Top Ten Movie Speeches

10. “I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich.”

Actor: Billy Crystal as Harry

Movie: When Harry Met Sally

 I believe this is the best speech of any romantic comedy, which gave it a spot on this list. Everyone who has seen this movie simply knows it as the When Harry Met Sally Speech for good reason. In this speech, Billy Crystal runs through all the reasons why he loves Meg Ryan in a both funny and yet heart-felt enough way to even make a cynic like me go gushy.

9. “What is there to explain?”

Actor: Hillary Swank as Alice Paul

Movie: Iron Jawed Angels

Of all the movie speeches on this list, I would wager this is the one you have never heard of. Iron Jawed Angels is one of the few HBO feature films with some actual quality. It is about how women passed the 19th amendment. The speech in question is performed by Hillary Swank, playing the true life character of Alice Paul. She gives this speech when she is questioned by a doctor in the mental ward of a prison she is in after picketing a war time president. She eloquently explains her position as a suffragette, revealing that all she really wants are the same thing men want as well.

I couldn’t find a youtube video of just the speech so skip to 5:32 on the video to get straight to it.

8. “If I asked you about art I bet you could give me the skinny on every art book ever written…but I bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel.”

Actor: Robin Williams as Sean Maguire

Movie: Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting, an impeccable film, has multiple good speeches, but I think this is the best one. Robin William’s character is speaking to Matt Damon (Will) about how even though he is extremely intelligent, he has really never experienced anything in his life.

7. “You’ll never write well if you fear death.”

Actor: Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway

Movie: Midnight in Paris

 Corey Stoll’s great performance as Hemmingway makes this speech unforgettable. It is so powerful and also kind of funny in a very subtle way. The first time I saw this scene, I thought, “I’m not quite sure what he said, but he said it beautifully,” which just goes to show the power of his words.

6. “The Lambs Were Screaming”

Actor: Jodie Foster as Clarisse Starling and Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector

Movie: Silence of the Lambs

 The power in this speech (and really the whole film) is how the actor’s feed off each other. You have Anthony Hopkins playing Hannibal Lector gazing at Jodie Foster (Clarisse) so intensely, and Jodie Foster respinding with raw emotion as she tells him about her childhood trauma when he came across screaming lambs.

 

 

5.  “My Name is Maximus”

Actor: Russell Crowe as Maximus

Movie: Gladiator

 You all know this rivetting scene, when Maximus faces Commedus with eyes of glaring hatred and completely tells him off in a tour-de-force diatribe that leaves you shivering.

4. “Here’s Lookin’ at you kid.”

Actor: Humphrey Bogart as Rick

Movie: Casablanca

 There was no way I could leave Casablanca out of this list. This is at the end of the movie when Rick persuades Elsa to get in the plain with Victor even though they love each other in the most beautiful scene on the silver screen.

3. “They May Take Our Lives, but they will never take our freedom!”

Actor: Mel Gibson as William Wallace

Movie: Braveheart

I am not a particularly large fan of Braveheart, but I have to admit that this is a very awesome speech. I think that every speech a general gives in front of his troops in a movie goes back to this powerful scene that pretty much every Western man knows by heart.

2.  “And You Will Know My Name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee!!”

Actor: Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield

Movie; Pulp Fiction

Do I really have to explain this one? Come on.

  1. “You Can’t Handle the Truth!”

Actor: Jack Nicholson as Col. Jesip

Movie: A Few Good Men

 For the best movie speech, I chose the one Jack Nicolson gives in A Few Good Men. I realize that saying “You can’t handle the truth” is kind of a joke now, but that is only because it is from a very memorable speech that sticks in people’s heads. In this scene, Col. Jesip is explaining the role he plays as a colonel heading Guantanamo Bay. His speech is so intense and deranged that it goes beyond awesomeness. Just watch the clip. it says it all.

Being that there are some really amazing movie speeches out there, please speak up if I forgot some great ones. Or, feel free to argue with my choices!

My Favorite Top Ten Actresses

I have noticed that in my posts regarding actors, I haven’t chosen many females, and as a feminist, it does not sit right with me. To that end, I decided to write a post dedicated to my favorite actresses. This is now a penis free realm. Hos before bros. Hos before bros. And I think you care about my opinion because…well let’s face it. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be reading my blog.

10. Amy Adams

Image

Best Role: Charlene Flemming in The Fighter

Amy Adams is on here because even though she hasn’t done as much work as some of the other women on this post, I think she has a large amount of potential. With just a few roles, she has shown more range than most actors have ever shown in their entire careers. I’m really looking forward to seeing the continued burgeoning of Adam’s talent.

9. Meryl Streep

Image

Best Role: Clarissa Vaughan from The Hours

Meryl Streep has become one of those actresses everyone thinks of when you mention Hollywood. When you watch one of her movies, it seems as if she slips into character as easily as a glove. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie in which she delivers a disappointing performance.

8. Judy Dench

Image

Best Role: Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love

So here is where I reveal what a history nerd I am by saying that I love the Elizabeth I performances of 3 of the actresses on this list. The other two are Helen Mirren and Cate Blanchett. But anyway, Judy Dench is always a pleasure to watch on the screen. She always commands a lot of feeling in her voice, plus a hell of a lot of power.

7. Emma Thompson

Image

Best role: Karen Eiffel in Stranger than Fiction

I love Emma Thompson. She acts a wide range, and yet every character she does has this fire beneath it that always makes me come back for more. Although I do have to say I was very disappointed that she chose to act in Men in Black 3. Oh well, I gues she has bills too.

6. Natalie Portman

Image

Best Role: Nina Sayers in Black Swan

I will be very honest. When I saw Natalie Portman’s performance in Star Wars: Episode III, I thought she was a terrible actress. “Anaken, you’re breaking my heart!” She has since redeemed herself in a way I never thought possible. First, she did such a great job in Garden State. She delivered a remarkable performance in V for Vendetta, and kudos to her for still being able to look sexy with a shaven head. Then she was like a bolt of lightening in Black Swan. Her performance in that movie was some of the best acting I’ve ever seen. She really deserved the Oscar she received for it.

5. Helen Mirren

Image

Best Role: Elizabeth II in The Queen

When I saw The Queen, I saw Helen Mirren perform for the first time, and she captured my heart. She did such a powerful performance as Elizabeth II that now whenever I think of the Queen of England, I don’t think of Elizabeth Windsor, I think of Helen Mirren.

5. Angelina Jolie

Image

Best Role; Lisa Rowe in Girl Interrupted

Angelina Jolie is an actress with the remarkable ability to make the audience believe that she isn’t Angelia Jolie anymore, but her character. Say what you will about her being a home-wrecker or that her lips have all the collagen in the Western hemisphere, Jolie is a masterful actress.

4. Keira Knightly

Image

Best Role: Sabina Spielrein from A Dangerous Method

For a while, I had thought Keira Knightley had the potential to be a great actress. Then she did a great job as Elizabeth Benett in Pride and Prejudice, then was astounding in A Dangerous Method. I feel like her career can only keep going up, and I eagerly await her Anna Karenina.

3. Hillary Swank

Image

Best Role: Alice Paul in Iron Jawed Angels

I don’t kow what it is about Hillary Swank, but every movie I see her in I have to watch it either at a movie theater or alone to make sure no one talks during it so I can hear every word, because she commands so much power and passion. Everyone thinks of her performance in Million Dollar Baby, which was amazing to be sure, but in Iron Jawed Angels, she has a speech in which she explains her cause for women’s rights and even though I’ve seen the movie 20 times, I’m floored every time I hear it. As an actress, Swank has the entire package.

2. Kate Winslet

Image

Best Role: Hanna Schmitz in The Reader

I love Kate Winslet so much. Not only is she a great actress, she only takes roles in movies that she thinks are high in quality. And whenever she has photo shoots, she doesn’t allow post-touch-ups. And damn, can she act. There are so many movies that I love mainly because of her presence, and I will basically see any movie if I know she is in the cast. She is that great.

  1. Cate Blanchett
Image

Best Role: Daisy from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I’ll admit, I was going back and forth with Blachett and Winslet for a while as to who I’d pick as umber one, but I finally decided it needed to be Blanchett. She is a powder keg. She commits so much to every role that I feel whatever emotion she portrays. For example, if you’ve ever seen Babel, you know her character gets shot while she’s traveling with her husband in Morroco, and the nearest doctor is in a small village. She pleads with her huband not to let him operate on her, and her entire body, her every movement exudes terror. In that moment I was about to cry it was so tense. Her ability of transferring her emotions onto the audience made me put her as number 1. She is in my opinion the best actress.

Honorable Mention:

Kathy Bates

Maggie Smith

Julie Andrews

Jodie Foster