L The List
- 1+ 31- 6Sons of Scotland! I am William Wallace....Yes, I've heard. Kills men by the hundreds. And if he were here, he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse. I am William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my country men, here, in defiance of tyranny. You've come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight? ...Aye, fight and you may die, run and you'll live, at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom! Alba gu bra! (Scotland forever!)
Mel Gibson's speech as Scottish fighter William Wallace in 1995's "Braveheart" defines inspirational. This is how you motivate your troops!
- 2+ 18- 3'O Captain, my Captain.' Who knows where that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue? It's from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class, you can either call me Mr. Keating, or if you're slightly more daring, O Captain, my Captain. Now let me dispel a few rumors so they don't fester into facts. Yes, I too attended Hell-ton and survived. And no, at that time I was not the mental giant you see before you. I was the intellectual equivalent of a ninety-eight pound weakling. I would go to the beach and people would kick copies of Byron in my face...
'Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.' The Latin term for that sentiment is Carpe Diem. Now who knows what that means?...Seize the day. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. Why does the writer use these lines?...Because we are food for worms, lads. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day gonna stop breathing, turn cold, and die.
Now I would like you to step forward over here and peruse some of the faces from the past. You've walked past them many times. I don't think you've really looked at them. They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen. Do you hear it? Carpe. Hear it? Carpe. Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys. Make your lives extraordinary.
Robin Williams delivers this incredible monologue in 1989's inspirational (and horribly sad) "Dead Poets Society." Just watch. Enough said. It's beautiful.
- 3+ 18- 7Anybody know what this place is? This is Gettysburg. This is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here on this field, fightin' the same fight that we're still fightin' amongst ourselves today. This green field right here, painted red, bubblin' with the blood of young boys. Smoke and hot lead pourin' right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men. I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family. You listen, you take a lesson from the dead.
If we don't come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don't care if you like each other right now, but you will respect each other. And maybe - I don't know, maybe we'll learn to play this game like men.
This list of inspirational movie speeches does include a whole lot of sports-related movies, but really let's face it: Coaches give inspirational speeches, period. At least, the great ones do. Like Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) in 2000's "Remember the Titans." Awesome movie, awesome scene and awesome speech.
- 4+ 13- 3I rode the bench for two years. Thought I wasn't being played because of my color, I got filled up with a lotta attitude. So I quit. Still not a week goes by I don't regret it. And I guarantee a week won't go by in your life you won't regret walking out, letting them get the best of ya. You hear me clear enough?
Thought I'd let 1993's "Rudy" slip by? No chance. This brief speech that Fortune, the janitor, gives to Rudy is brief, but it's memorable - and it's certainly inspirational, setting up one of the best, most tear-jerking scenes in sports movie history. "Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!"
- 5+ 15- 5I don't know what to say really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives, all comes down to today. Now either we heal as a team, or we're gonna crumble. Inch by inch, play by play -- till we're finished. We're in hell right now gentleman. Believe me. And we can stay here, get the s**t kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back, into the light. We can climb out of hell, one inch at a time.
Now I can't do it for you, I'm too old. I look around I see these young faces and I think, I mean, I made every wrong choice a middle aged man can make. I, uh, I pissed away all my money, believe it or not, I chased off anyone who's ever loved me, and lately I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror.
Y'know when you get old in life things get taken from you, I mean that's that's that's part of life. But you only learn that when you start losin' stuff. You find out life's this game of inches, and so is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small, I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don't quite make it, one half second to slow or to fast, you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break in the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when we add up all those inches that's going to make the f**king difference between winning and losing. Between livin' and dying. I'll tell you this in any fight it's the guy whose willing to die who's gonna win that inch , and I know that if I'm going to have any life anymore it's because I'm still willin to fight and die for that inch. Because that's what livin is. The six inches in front of your face. Now I can't make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you, look into his eyes. Now, I think you're gonna see a guy who will go that inch with you. You're gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you're going to do the same for him.
That's a team gentlemen and either we heal now as a team or we will die as individuals. That's football guys. That's all it is. Now, What are you going to do?
Al Pacino delivers a whopper of an inspirational movie speech in 1999's "Any Given Sunday" as coach Tony D'Amato, speaking to his Miami Sharks before a huge playoff game. It's about climbing outta hell and for football fans, you know - this is a game of INCHES. But so is life. Great stuff.
- 6+ 10- 1I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. Men, all this stuff you've heard about America not wanting to fight - wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of horse dung. Americans traditionally love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, big league ball players, the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war, because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.
Now, an army is a team - it lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap. The bilious bastards who wrote that stuff about individuality for the Saturday Evening Post don't know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating. Now, we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. You know, by God, I actually pity those poor bastards we're goin' up against. By God, I do. We're not just gonna shoot the bastard, we're going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel.
Now, some of you boys, I know, are wondering whether or not you'll chicken out under fire. Don't worry about it. I can assure you that you will all do your duty. The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them, spill their blood, shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do.
Now there's another thing I want you to remember. I don't want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We're not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We're going to hold onto him by the nose and we're gonna kick him in the ass. We're gonna kick the hell out of him all the time and we're gonna go through him like crap through a goose.
Now, there's one thing that you men will be able to say when you get back home, and you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when you're sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you: 'What did you do in the Great World War II?', you won't have to say: 'Well, I shoveled s--t in Louisiana.'
All right now, you sons-of-bitches, you know how I feel - and I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere. That's all.
George C. Scott delivers quite possibly THE most inspirational opening movie speech in film history in 1970's "Patton," offering up motivation to his troops (who aren't seen). This movie speech does include some of the real General Patton's words, by the way).