Filmic moments of strength, weakness, and wisdom have inspired some of the most powerful speeches in cinema. With the arrival of Patton on Blu-ray tomorrow, we felt compelled to revisit a few memorable speeches in film history. George C. Scott starred in Franklin J. Schaffner’s 1970 war drama as General George S. Patton, and we first meet the actor during a stern opening address to the troops of the US 3rd Army, framed by a massive American flag. It’s a spare, bold moment that sets the tone for the film and introduces Patton as an uncompromising military leader ready to fight. It’s also a reminder that impressive, intense dialogue can outshine even the greatest of special effects. Click through for a look back at some quotable, emotional, and uplifting speeches that have graced the big screen. We’ve left plenty of room so you can share your favorites in the comments, below.
Young men from every demographic arrive on Parris Island in 1967 ready to be transformed forever. They’ve joined the Marines in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, where they will become molded into a cohesive killing machine and taught that order, uniformity, and discipline are essential to their survival. It’s a dehumanizing process, which we’re first introduced to by a brutal drill sergeant — played by real-life retired Marine, R. Lee Ermey. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Ermey) wastes no time putting the men in their place, issuing harsh guidelines, ruthless insults, and even physically assaulting the recruits. “Here you are all equally worthless,” he spews at the men. His introductory barrage sets the tone for the film’s larger-than-life performances, unsettling surreality, and Kubrick’s meditation about the effects of war.