When inspiration does not come, I go for a walk, go to the movies, talk to a friend, let go… The muse is bound to return again, especially if I turn my back!
People watch movies for a lot of different reasons. Some watch for escapism—to leave their everyday lives and experience the exotic, exciting lands that are in the movies they watch. Some watch movies to be thrilled or even scared, They watch action movies and horror movies to get the blood pumping. I watch movies for another reason—to be inspired. I love inspirational speeches. When I come out of a movie, I want to feel like I can conquer the world, that everything is possible, and that good will win out in the end.
Inspirational Movie Speeches
I have racked up twenty movies that are on my list to watch over and over again, at least for the inspirational speeches in them. Ready to be inspired? In no particular order, here we go:
1. Independence Day (1996) – President Whitmore Speech
The aliens have pretty much conquered Earth. The US President has put together a rag tag fleet to go against them. None of the pilots know if they will return or even be successful. President Whitmore gives them a speech to go for it. In the context of the 4th of July, he speaks of teamwork, freedom, and not giving up.
2. Gladiator (2000) – As One
Former Roman General Maximus is standing before a blood thirsty crowd with a motley crew of gladiators. He recognizes what has beenlanned for their death and organizes the gladiators together to form an effective fighting unit. His message is stand alone, you die. Stand together and we can win.
3. Braveheart (1995) – William Wallace
Leader of the rebel Scots, William Wallace exhorts his people to fight for their freedom and not live one further day in slavery. This is based on the real speech that William Wallace gave before the Battle of Stirling. Makes you want to go out and buy a kilt.
4. Network (1976) – Mad as Hell
Fired TV broadcaster Howard Beale pleads with people not to believe what they see on TV and not to feel powerless against the political and media forces of the world. For a film that is thirty-seven years old, it still hits a lot of the issues that are relevant today.
5. Peaceful Warrior (2006) – Take Out the Trash
The centuries old teacher Socrates teaches Dan about taking out the trash. “The trash is anything that is keeping you from the only thing that matters… this moment, here and now.”
6. Rocky (1976) – It Ain’t How Hard You Hit
Rocky gives his grown up son a heart to heart on stop blaming others and taking charge of his own life. It is a great speech from a father to a son about taking responsibility.
7. The Legend of Bagger Vance (2006) – Authentic Swing
Caddy Bagger Vance gives advice on looking inside of yourself and finding what is your true nature. Great inspiration when it gets hectic and crazy. .
8. The Blind Side (2009) – The Charge of the Light Brigade
Through a recital of the “The Charge of the Light Brigade” a struggling student and football player learns about courage and honor. Great linkage of the historic charge to teamwork and responsibility in the modern age.
9. Secondhand Lions (2003) – Everything a Boy Needs to Know
Great uncle Hub McCann teaches his nephew Walter about what it takes to be a man. He speaks of honor, courage, virtue and power of good.
10. Forever Strong (2008) – Haka Chant
Not really a speech, the Haka chant before the rugby match will get your blood going. Got a hard contest ahead of you? Watch this and get it done!
11. Faith Like Potatoes (2006) – White African
While putting on a demonstration of his native country of Scotland, South African farmer Angus is challenged by one of the locals about his national loyalties. Angus talks about how you can love your heritage and still love your new home. He speaks of diversity and acceptance. Great story for those who have moved away from home and feel torn.
12. Miracle on Ice (2004) – You Were Born for This
US Hockey Team Coach Herb Brooks put together a team of amateurs to play against the world’s elite hockey player. Prior to the semi final game against the Russians he speaks to the team as they sit in the locker room. “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”
13. We are Marshall (2006) – We Cannot Lose
The coach of a football team delivers a speech honoring the memory of the prior team that had been killed in a plane crash. How do you pick it up when all seems lost? “This is your opportunity to rise from the ashes and grab glory!”
14. Invictus (2009) – This Is Our Country
In overtime, South African Rugby Captain François Pienaar urges his team to fight on for victory. It’s short, sweet, and to the point.
15. Any Given Sunday (1999) – Inch By inch
An aging football coach takes a good look at himself and asks his team do the same. You can accept your present, miserable circumstances or you can fight your way out of it.
16. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – Get Busy Living
Convict Andy would not allow grim circumstances keep him from hoping and following his dreams. This speech is great to watch when you are feeling sorry for yourself.
17. Remember the Titans (2000) – Coach Boone speech
Football coach Boone reminds his players of the Battle of Gettysburg and the need to come together as a team.
18. Hoosiers (1986) – I Don’t Care What the Scoreboard Says
Coach Dale talks about the need to be winners. Forget about the distractions, just put out the effort and concentration to win at what you want.
19. Facing the Giants (2006) – Death Crawl
Coach Taylor urges his team to give their best for the game. Don’t ever give up before you started. There is a lot more inside of yourself than you might believe.
20. Don Juan DeMarco (1994) – Four Questions
Finally Don Juan explains that love conquers all. It is the reason for living and dying. Nice!