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Memorable Movie Speeches


Palmerin
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You all know the speech that Peter Alexander Ustinov as Nero delivers in Le Roy's QUO VADIS, the one that ends with: LET IT BE WONDERFUL! OR LET IT BE AWFUL--AS LONG AS IT IS UNCOMMON!

The eloquence of that speech is worthy of Shakespeare and Calderon; what other movie orations would you regard as equally memorable?

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Spencer Tracy's speech near the end of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967). It was his final movie scene, and Katharine Hepburn's reactions indicate that she knew it. 

 

He died 17 days later, on June 10, 1967. He was 67 years old.

 

 

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From my favorite movie of all time...THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES...

 

Fredric March's speech he gives during his welcome home from the war banquet dinner party, and where he pretty much tells (off) his boss in front of everyone in attendance that he's going to conduct his newly acquired bank function as head of the loan department in the manner he thinks it should be run.

 

Just one of the many scenes in this film which has always brought a tear to my eye.

 

(...unfortunately this complete scene can not be found on YouTube)

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Fredric March in SEVEN DAYS IN MAY.  Nice closing speech, though his scene with Lancaster is far less rhetorical and carries even greater impact.  I think this is probably the best performance by an actor as a President of the United States.

 

 

 

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I looked on YouTube and was surprised to see how many people remembered Jon Voight's Oscar nomination ("For a Golan/Globus film??") for Runaway Train (1985)  (some language NSFW):

 

But then, it was supposedly based on a Kurosawa script, so that explains a lot.

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I looked on YouTube and was surprised to see how many people remembered Jon Voight's Oscar nomination ("For a Golan/Globus film??) for Runaway Train (1985) 

 

 

Eric Roberts was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the film. Now he and Voight have another thing in common. Their daughters are bigger stars than they are.

 

Runaway.Train.1985.png

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On a completely different level...

 

I love Bill Murray's two-minute "It just doesn't matter" speech in Meatballs.

 

Link to youtube video

Murray's speech in STRIPES about how he and his fellow soldiers are mutts who were kicked out of every decent country, and how that does not matter because they are American soldiers who always kick **** is not too shabby, either.

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Sam Spade's closing speech in The Maltese Falcon. I remember it because so much of it, taken word by word, makes no sense. When your partner is killed you have to do something about it? How about all of the times he was diddling said partner's wife AND making her think he cared when he didn't? Yes, I realize that this is just part of the complexity that is Sam Spade and the fact that Bogie carries it off is what made him such a fine actor, such a pleasure to watch and to listen to. And he was right to turn in the Divine Miss W for one good reason which he did mention - in the end he could not trust her. At some point she would have put a bullet in him. They were enough alike that he could realize that.

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Now, HERE'S what might be one of THE most inspirational speeches ever placed on film, and even though ya might say Mr. Blutarsky here "got some of his facts wrong" within it.

 

BUT, then again as RECENT history shows, getting your facts wrong within your speeches WON'T necessary deter a large number of people from following your lead. ;)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep-xgd_eETE

 

(...sorry Palmerin...just couldn't resist)

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  • 1 month later...

The one speech which gives me chills leading up to his speech and makes me want to watch the entire movie is "The Wilcoxon speech" at the end of "Mrs. Miniver".  If you are a classic movie fan you know Henry Wilcoxon played the Vicar in this movie.  He nailed that speech.  It was well written, well delivered, and the last scene of the airplanes flying overhead while "My Country Tis of Thee" is playing is just perfect.  If there is a top ten speech category in film history I would rate this one in the top three.  Just inspiring.

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Sam Spade's closing speech in The Maltese Falcon. I remember it because so much of it, taken word by word, makes no sense. When your partner is killed you have to do something about it? How about all of the times he was diddling said partner's wife AND making her think he cared when he didn't? Yes, I realize that this is just part of the complexity that is Sam Spade and the fact that Bogie carries it off is what made him such a fine actor, such a pleasure to watch and to listen to. And he was right to turn in the Divine Miss W for one good reason which he did mention - in the end he could not trust her. At some point she would have put a bullet in him. They were enough alike that he could realize that.

 

To me those words about Spade's words of "When your partner is killed you have to do something about it?",  makes sense given, as you noted his moral complexity.    Spade is a private eye.   A detective.   When one of your own is gunned down you have to do something about it.  Period.    That is part of the detective 'code of honor',  while bedding your fellow detective's wife isn't.  

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