Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Movie Speeches



Does a dramatic work or a scripted speech count for more when it is part of a Shakespearean play rather than from a Hollywood movie? 

Here are some film speeches that are worth a read and a look. More in the future.

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Secondhand Lions with Robert Duvall, Michael Caine and Haley Joel Oment, is a little known gem of a movie from 2003.  Beg, borrow or steal it to have a look at it.

The “What Every Boy Needs to Know” speech is by Hub (Robert Duvall) to Walter, who is upset at his mother’s constant lying to him. Hub explains that the actual truth is not as important as the belief in ideals like good winning over evil, honour and true love. 

Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in.

See and hear it at:


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If the first 5 minutes of Full Metal Jacket don’t leave you feeling emotionally drained, there’s something wrong with you. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman’s opening speech is a masterpiece in tearing down what the recruits are so as to rebuild them as Marines.  Actor Lee Ermey was a recently retired Marine instructor hired originally to coach the actor cast in the role. Complaining to Stanley Kubrick that the actor was not up to it, he requested the role for himself, a request declined by Kubrick. Ermey barked an order for Kubrick to stand up when he was spoken to and the director instinctively obeyed. That sealed the matter and Ermey won the part as Gunnery Sgt. Hartmann. Much of Hartman’s dialogue was adlibbed by Ermey and he was not introduced to the other actors before filming the opening scene so as to make the reactions stronger.

The opening scene is too long to set out the entire speech, watch the clip to get the true effect.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be "Sir". Do you maggots understand that? 
Recruits: [In unison in a normal speaking tone] Sir, yes Sir. 
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Bullshit I can't hear you. Sound off like you got a pair! 
Recruits: [In unison, much louder] SIR, YES SIR! 
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training, you will be a weapon. You will be a minister of death praying for war. But until that day you are pukes. You are the lowest form of life on Earth. You are not even human fucking beings. You are nothing but unorganized grabastic pieces of amphibian shit! Because I am hard, you will not like me. But the more you hate me, the more you will learn. I am hard but I am fair. There is no racial bigotry here. I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers. Here you are all equally worthless. And my orders are to weed out all non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in my beloved Corps. Do you maggots understand that?

See and hear the clip (ignore the French subtitles) at:



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