The Most Epic Movie Speeches


Like Lincoln himself, we here at *AT* love great orators – especially the fake ones from movies. These speeches represent some of the greatest and most memorable moments in movie history that Hollywood writers can offer. And while this list is by no means comprehensive, hopefully you’ll agree that they are among the most chillingly awesome out there.

5. “No bastard ever won a war by dying for their country…” – George C. Scott, Patton [1970]

General Patton became one of the most iconic personalities of WWII, and I’d imagine that George C. Scott’s portrayal of him was basically spot on. This speech, which was the opening scene of the movie, was an edited version of Patton’s address to the US Third Army on June 5th, 1944, the day before the D-Day Invasion of France. Patton’s real speech was actually so laced with profanity that many words had to be replaced in order for the movie to avoid an R-rating.

4. “Inch by inch…” Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday [1999]

I’m not sure what exactly it is that makes me come back to this speech; it could be the perfect delivery by Al Pacino, the great ensemble cast, or maybe just the calming sounds of Explosions in the Sky playing in the background. Either way, it is probably the most inspiring sports speech in the last two decades of film.

3. “The dreams of an entire planet are focused tonight on those fourteen brave souls…” – Stanley Anderson, Armageddon [1998]

I almost want to put this one first because it is so epic and so well done; everything from the writing, to the acting, to the beautiful score by Trevor Rabin makes it a gorgeous moment. It perfectly sums up the gravity and the mood of the situation into two and a half minutes; unfortunately, the rest of the movie just has too many ridiculous moments.

2. “FREEEDOM!!!” Mel Gibson, Braveheart [1996]

Of course this speech is on here. It is probably the most recognized – and most parodied – movie speech of all time. A blue-faced Mel Gibson playing Scottish hero William Wallace rides in front of a rag-tag army of Scottish highlanders facing down a heavily armed English army. Even though Braveheart is not historically accurate, I pretty much accept Mel Gibson’s portrayal as a perfect account of what really happened.

1. “We will not go quietly into the night…” – Bill Pullman, Independence Day [1996]

Not surprisingly, this is the second speech on this list made by someone playing the President of the United States during a period of disaster. Although wildly inaccurate scientifically, this movie will always remain one of my favorites of the 90’s, and maybe even of all time. The reason I love this speech is because the improvised manner in which it is delivered makes it seem authentic; the situation in this movie is probably more hopeless than in any of the others on this list, which makes it even more motivational. Mostly though, this speech just makes me feel extremely patriotic…and I bleed red, white, and blue. Enjoy!

Did you favorite epic movie speech not make the cut? Let us know below!

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