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!

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Top Ten Actors Who Are So Good at Being So Bad

Dear Squids,

I have no idea how I did this, but even though I originally created this post over two weeks ago, last night I was trying to go to sleep and I realized, holy crap, I totally forgot one of my favorite villainous roles! so I’ve done some doctoring. Sorry Dustin Hoffman. I still love you. Let me kow what you think of my change.

10. Jeremy Irons: the voice of Scar in The Lion King

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Jeremy Irons’s role as Scar is an animated role, but it definitely deserves to be here. Jeremy Irons has a lovely velvety voice, but if he wants it to, it can sound so vile and full of hatred that it’s awesome. It’s kind of easy to forget that Scar is a talking lion because it has such a powerful performance behind it. And Scar is pretty much as evil as they come. He kills his brother and convinces the adorable Simba that he’s the one who killed Mufasa. And the way the song Be Prepared makes Scar kind of look like Hitler really makes it easy to loath this lowly lion. Yay alliteration.

9. Jason Isaacs: Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies

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I’m not actually a very big fan of the Harry Potter movies (or the books for that matter, go ahead, stone me now) but even I had to admit that these movies have many great villains to offer. Others included Alan Rickman as Snape and Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort, but I only wanted one on this list, so when I asked myself who of this three really made me despise him, the answer was very clear: Jason Isaacs playing the intimidating Lucius Malfoy. Everything about this character makes you hate him, from his icy hair and regard, to his elitist manners. Isaacs just has that something that allows him to naturally purvey this attitude of “I’m the shit and you aren’t and never will be.” And this isn’t Isaacs’s only role as a villain, He was also a deranged British officer in the Patriot and killed Heath Ledger. How dare he?

8. Samuel L Jackson: Jules Winnfeild in Pulp Fiction

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Samuel L Jackson has been a bad ass so may times, he’s basically type casted for his bad ass nature. But I think the role that everyone thinks of is the role that made him the bad ass mother fucker we all know and love. I’m talking about of course his role as a gangster in Pulp Fiction. I don’t think any other actor could have delivered his Biblical soliloquy any better. And doesn’t everyone remember his awesome line, “I’m sorry. Did I break your concentration?” Thank you Jackson for being such a hardcore bad ass.

7. Marlon Brando: Don Corleone in The Godfather

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This choice might be surprising, considering Don Corleone is a protagonist and not the villain in The Godfather. Despite that, the Don is obviously no saint, and he perfected the art of being bad. He’s a mob boss. You don’t get much worse than that. I’m sure I don’t have to say that his performance as the Don has gone down in cinema history. Because of that, he has won a prime spot on this list.

6. Andy Serkis: Golem in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

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Golem is another animated character, but Andy Serkis was much more than the voice. Serkis inspired many decisions about Golem and the way his animation went. And I believe Golem was such a success. He is the most interesting chacter in the trilogy, and he’s animated. And most of that is because of Andy Serkis’s killer performance. Everyone remembers that incredible scene in The Two Towers when Golem is talking to himself. But its also very easy to hate Golem. When he becomes an obstacle first between Sam and Frodo’s friendship and later for the destruction of the Ring, you just want him to die. When I saw the Return of the King in theaters, when Golem fell into the lava, everyone cheered. Okay, so they were probably cheering because the ring was getting destroyed. I was cheering because Golem was finally dead.

5. Malcolm McDowell: Alex Delarge in A Clockwork Orange

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Deciding whether or not to include this actor was not a hard decision at all. Alex Delarge is pretty much a sociopath who doesn’t care about hurting people or even murdering them. And Malcolm McDowell pulls this character off so well. The beginning of A Clockwork Orange, the camera just slowly goes closer and closer on McDowell’s face for 3 minutes, and his face is set in such a way that it is so full of hatred and rage that it makes your skin crawl.

4. Heath Ledger: The Joker in Batman: Dark Knight

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Heath Ledger’s amazing role of the Joker in Batman Dark Knight put him here. Now, I did not think Dark Knight was as incredible as everyone said it was. I my opinion, the best thing about the movie was Heath Ledger’s role. He just exuded evil. He terrified me. Now, terrifying me is a very easy achievement, but still. I feel sorry for anyone who has to play the Joker in the future, because I just can’t see anyone topping his performance. Strangely, I said the same thing about Jack Nicholson’s performance as the Joker. But this one surely can’t be beaten.

3. Anthony Hopkins: Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs

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I’m sure everyone can understand why I put Anthony Hopkins here. His character bit off someone’s freakin nose! But more than that, Once you see Silence of the Lambs, it is so hard to get his performance out of your head. It’s everything. His haunting voice, how he carries himself. He almost pulls you in the way he is able to pull in Clarisse. You can’t say that of many other actors.

2. Joaquin Phoenix: Commodus in Gladiator

Gladiator is one of my favorite movies despite the fact that it is obscenely historically inaccurate. Anyway, one of the main reasons why this movie is so good is because of Joaquin Phoenix’s amazing acting in his villainous role of Commodus, the corrupt Roman emperor who wants to dissolve the senate, steal power from the people (it’s Rome, they don’t have much power anyway!) and have sex with his sister. Pretty twisted stuff. Even when he’s not screaming in his sister’s face, he is just so awesomely bad, especially when he becomes an albino at the end. Phoenix is an incredible actor, even considering that he went crazy and decided to become a rapper, but apparently, that was just for an acting role too. Just shows you how dedicated he is.

 

1. Christoph Waltz: Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds

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Anyone who has seen Inglorious Basterds most likely agrees with my choice. Christoph Waltz is the best evil actor I have ever seen. If I ever meet him in person, I will have to resist the urge to kick him in the balls simply because he is so awesome at being evil  He makes you hate him with every fiber of your being. You hate his role so much, you almost enjoy it, which is something I have never experienced before. It’s quite incredible. Waltz definitely deserved the Oscar he received for his performance.