Picture the scene; it’s a Sunday afternoon, the lights are low the washing is done – it’s safe to say that most people can name their comfort film for just such a moment, but what really makes a favourite or even a classic? With so many genres of films available, and with such a rich history of classic, modern & independent movies from over the last near-century of cinema, sometimes it’s tricky to single it down to just one.
However, even the most impartial of film fans can probably name a line or two that has stuck with them from their viewing history, and if there’s one thing Hollywood has shown us it’s that it can really pull out the stops when it comes to iconic moments where one character shows their true colours.
After painstaking research involving low lighting, seven gallons of industrial strength root beer and an almost worrying selection of store-brand popcorn flavours, we provide you with fair warning for strong language, on-screen violence and the Escapade Top Five Movie Speeches countdown…
5. Gladiator: Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe)
Defiant to the end, Crowe’s characterisation of the wronged Roman General hell-bent on revenge managed to win audiences from all areas despite its occasionally spurious treatment of history & military detail. In this sequence, the thrilling crux of the film’s plot is presented in a rock hard, heroic manner to the Emperor himself, played to perfection by big screen eccentric Joaquin Pheonix.
FUN FACT: a discarded sequel to Gladiator was penned by Nick Cave and included a resurrected Maximus assassinating Jesus Christ!
4. Henry V: St. Crispin’s Day (Laurence Olivier)
It’s bizarre to think that such a lavish & richly coloured film could’ve come from as early as 1944, but it wasn’t a second too soon as Great Britain battled on in the midst of World War II. Lord Olivier’s Oscar nominated performance as the renowned, victorious English king is nothing short of perfect and shows the true force of a man born for greater things.
FUN FACT: A rousing performance of this same speech was originally recorded in 1942 by Olivier and broadcast on British radio, it became heralded as a key boost to morale for those at war.
3. BladeRunner: Tears in Rain (Rutger Hauer)
We’ve seen things that people wouldn’t believe, but let’s get past the spandex cycle shorts for a moment and concentrate on what is possibly one of the most dumbfounding final speeches that sci-fi has to offer. When Ridley Scott does it, he does it well and this is just one of those moments.
FUN FACT: whilst the film was adapted from Philip K Dick’s novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’, the speech in this scene written by actor Rutger Hauer himself on-set!
2. Pulp Fiction: Ezekiel 25:17 (Samuel L. Jackson)
In what could arguably have been a career-defining role, Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of badass mobster Jules Winnfield presents some of the most quotable lines in modern cinema history throughout the entire, heavily stylised piece. In this instance, we’re faced with one of the best bits of gun toting since Arnie’s “Hasta La Vista, Baby”!
FUN FACT: though now legendary, the passage cited here isn’t actually a bonafide Biblical quote and is mostly penned by Tarantino himself!
1. Dirty Harry: Do you feel lucky? (Clint Eastwood)
Clint Eastwood well & truly carved himself a niche as the original bad boy hero in spaghetti westerns, however his modern life characters also packed some weight. Though the kill is justified by the thrilling plot, this speech never fails to be a little chilling in presenting a game of chance at the end of a very serious weapon.
FUN FACT: it may not pay to dwell on the “what if” factor, but apparently the role of Harry Callahan was originally intended for legendary crooner and original Oceans Eleven star Frank Sinatra…
ESCAPADE’S STAFF PICKS:
Opinions across SuperStore and web office team are predictably split. With a pretty even gender balance across all our staff, we’re provided with pretty intriguing cross section, here are some highlights:
– Alex (German content & customer service): American Beauty – opening speech.
– Andre (design & office management): Rocky Balboa – “keep moving forward”.
– Skye (shopfloor): The Great Dictator – “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor”.
– Daniele (Italian content & customer service): Radiofreccia – “credo”.
– Sarah (shopfloor): Human Traffic – “the weekend has landed”.
– Alfee (customer service): Trainspotting – opening speech.
– Hal (marketing): The Prophecy – “hello Catherine, we must talk”.
– Emily (shop management): Girl Interrupted – “Resume by Dorothy Parker”.
– Nick (office management): 300 – “tonight, we dine in hell”.
– Joao (media): The Godfather – opening speech.
– Luke (office management): Jaws – Indianapolis speech.
– Neil (shopfloor): Shogun Samurai – opening speech.
– Tatiana (German content & customer service): Forrest Gump – “life is like a box of chocolates”.
– Shaun (web development): Transformers The Movie – Optimus Prime’s death.