Posted in Movie Speeches

Pacifist?

A nice little anti-war speech in this episode of The Twilight Zone, No Time Like the Past, a little time travel, a man tired of the hate, wars, and all the problems of the present days goes back to live in 1881.  Written by the man himself, Rod Serling.  

 

Hanford: … You some kind of a pacifist, Driscoll?

Paul Driscoll: No, just some sick idiot who’s seen too many boys die because of too many men who fight their battles at dining room tables… and who probably wouldn’t last forty-five seconds in a REAL skirmish if they WERE thrust into it.

Hanford: …I take offense at that remark, Mr. Driscoll!

Paul Driscoll: And I take offense at “armchair warriors” like yourself – who clearly don’t know what a shrapnel, or a bullet, or a saber wound feels like… who’ve never smelled death after three days on an empty battlefield… who’ve never seen the look on a man’s face when he realizes he’s lost a limb or two, and his blood is seeping out. Mr. Hanford, you have a great affinity for “planting flags deep, high, and proud.” But you don’t have a nodding acquaintance of what it’s like for families to bury their sons in the same soil!

 

 

Posted in Movie Speeches

Catch 22- Speech

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Catch-22 is a satirical novel (then a movie starring Alan Arkin) written by American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953; the novel was first published in 1961. It is frequently cited as one of the greatest literary works of the twentieth century. It uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration, describing events from the points of view of different characters. The separate storylines are out of sequence so the timeline develops along with the plot.

The novel’s title refers to a plot device that is repeatedly invoked in the story. Catch-22 starts as a set of paradoxical requirements whereby airmen mentally unfit to fly did not have to do so, but could not actually be excused. By the end of the novel it is invoked as the explanation for many unreasonable restrictions. The phrase “Catch-22” has since entered the English language, referring to a type of unsolvable logic puzzle sometimes called a double bind. According to the novel, people who were crazy were not obliged to fly missions, but anyone who applied to stop flying was showing a rational concern for his safety and was, therefore, sane and had to fly.

Dr. ‘Doc’ Daneeka: Of course he is. He has to be crazy to keep flying after all the close calls he’s had.

Yossarian: Why can’t you ground him?

Dr. ‘Doc’ Daneeka: I can, but first he has to ask me.

Yossarian: That’s all he’s gotta do to be grounded?

Dr. ‘Doc’ Daneeka: That’s all.

Yossarian: Then you can ground him?

Dr. ‘Doc’ Daneeka: No. Then I cannot ground him.

Yossarian: Aah!

Dr. ‘Doc’ Daneeka: There’s a CATCH?

Yossarian: A catch?

Dr. ‘Doc’ Daneeka: Sure. Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat isn’t really crazy, so I can’t ground him.

Yossarian: Ok, let me see if I’ve got this straight. In order to be grounded, I’ve got to be crazy. And I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I’m not crazy anymore, and I have to keep flying.

Dr. ‘Doc’ Daneeka: You got it, that’s Catch-22.

Yossarian: Whoo… That’s some catch, that Catch-22.

Dr. ‘Doc’ Daneeka: It’s the best there is.

 

 

 

I will watch Alan Arkin in anything he is in, he is great.  While this is not a speech this is still some great writing.  Here is one of my favorite scenes from this movie, if you have not seen it yet drop whatever you are doing and go watch this great movie, or better yet read the book.  

 

 

Posted in Movie Speeches

Breaker Morant – Speech

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Breaker Morant is a 1980 Australian war– and trial film directed by Bruce Beresford, who also co-wrote based on Kenneth G. Ross‘ 1978 play of the same name.

The film centres around the 1902 court martial of Lieutenants Harry Morant, Peter Handcock, and George Witton – one of the first war crimes prosecutions in British military history. Australians serving in the British Army during the Second Anglo-Boer War, Lts. Morant, Handcock, and Witton stood accused of murdering captured enemy combatants and an unarmed civilian in the Northern Transvaal. The film is notable for its exploration of the Nuremberg Defense, the politics of the death penalty, and the human cost of total war. As the trial unfolds, the events in question are shown in flashbacks.

 

 

What follows is the complete text of the closing argument delivered by Major J. F. Thomas on behalf of Lieutenants Morant, Handcock, and Wilton in the court martial portrayed in Breaker Morant:

The main fact of this case–that the Boer prisoners were executed–has never been denied by the defense. However, I feel that there is no evidence at all for bringing charges against Lieutenant Wilton, a junior officer who had no reason to question the instructions of his superiors and whose only “crime” was that he shot a Boer in self-defense.

And further, no one denies the admirable fighting qualities of the Boers, nor, in general, their sense of honor. However, those Boers fighting in the northern Transvaal, in commando groups, are outlaws, renegades, often without any recognized form of control, addicted to the wrecking of trains, the looting of farms. Lord Kitchener himself recognized the unorthodox nature of this warfare when he formed a special squad to deal with it–the Bushveldt Carbineers.

Now when the rules and customs of war are departed from by one side, one must expect the same sort of behavior from the other. Accordingly, officers of the Carbineers should be, and up until now have been, given the widest possible discretion in their treatment of the enemy. Now, I don’t ask for proclamations condoning distasteful methods of war, but I do say that we must take for granted that it does happen.

Let’s not give our officers hazy, vague instructions about what they may and may not do. Let’s not reprimand on the one hand for hampering the column with prisoners and at another time and another place haul them up as murderers for obeying orders.

Lieutenant Morant shot no prisoners before the death of Captain Hunt. He then changed a good deal and adopted the sternest possible measures against the enemy. Yet there is no evidence to suggest that Lieutenant Morant has an intrinsically barbarous nature. On the contrary. The fact of the matter is that war changes men’s natures. The barbarities of war are seldom committed by abnormal men. The tragedy of war is that these horrors are committed by normal men in abnormal situations, situations in which the ebb and flow of everyday life have departed and have been replaced by a constant round of fear and anger, blood and death.

Soldiers at war are not to be judged by civilian rules, as the prosecution is attempting to do, even though they commit acts which, calmly viewed afterwards could only be seen as unchristian and brutal. And if, in every war, particularly guerrilla war, all the men who committed reprisals were to be charged and tried as murderers, court martials like this one would be in permanent session, would they not?

I say that we cannot hope to judge such matters unless we ourselves have been submitted to the same pressures, the same provocations, as these men whose actions are on trial.

 

 

Great movie, I had never heard of it before I listened to a podcast The Dangerous History Podcast.   Great movie and it can be watched in its entirety on Youtube.

 

Posted in Movie Speeches

Selling Fear- Speech

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Professor Ned Brainard’s, (Fred MacMurray) discovery of flubber hasn’t quite brought him – or his college – the riches he thought. The Pentagon has declared his discovery to be top secret and the IRS has slapped him with a huge tax bill, even if he has yet to receive a cent. He thinks he may have found the solution in the form of flubbergas, which can change the weather. It also helps Medfield College’s football team to win a game. At home, his wife Betsy is jealous of the attention lavished on him by an old high school girlfriend.

Professor Ned BrainardWell, it seems to me that a lot of people are going around these days selling fear.   All kinds of fear.  Fear of bombs, bugs, smog, surpluses, fallout, falling hair, even fear of Mr. Hawk.
We find ourselves apologizing, Hiding our heads, or jumping at shadows.
I can remember when groundhog day only came once a year in this country.
Now, I see a lot of students from my science class here in the courtroom. They may not be the most studious
group of young people in college today, But Ill say this for them:
so far they are unafraid. 
They have good will, enthusiasm, and an infinite capacity for making mistakes.
I have high hopes for them.

Prosecutor:  Am I to understand,  professor,You actually encourage mistakes in your class?

Professor Ned Brainard: Mr. Prosecutor, the road to genius is paved with fumble-Footing and bumbling.  Anyone who falls flat on his
face is at least moving in the right direction:  forward.
And the fellow who makes the most mistakes…
may be the one who will save the neck of the whole world someday.

This speech is at 1:27:00 mark in the movie.

A Disney movie with a Court Scene. 

In 1961 when he took his family to Disneyland, a woman came up to him and asked “Are you Fred MacMurray?”, and when he answered he was, she hit him with her purse and told him she had taken her children to see him in “The Apartment” and was furious because “That was not a Disney movie”, he responded, “No ma’am, it wasn’t.” He then turned to his wife and announced he was done playing bad guys in movies.

 

 

Posted in Movie Speeches

To Be – Speech

From the great Bard Shakespeare:

In the speech, a despondent or feigning Prince Hamlet contemplates death and suicide. He bemoans the pains and unfairness of life but acknowledges the alternative might be still worse. The speech functions within the play to explain Hamlet’s hesitation to directly and immediately avenge his father‘s murder (discovered in Act I) on his uncle, stepfather, and new king Claudius. Claudius and his minister Polonius are preparing to eavesdrop on Hamlet’s interaction with Ophelia.

To be, or not to be, that is the question—
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep—
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,
The Oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s Contumely,
The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would these Fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn
No Traveller returns, Puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all,
And thus the Native hue of Resolution
Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard their Currents turn awry,
And lose the name of Action.

 

Duplicated in multiple movies, by multiple actors, in multiple settings, below is a  small but diverse sampling.  

And now for something completely different.  

Posted in Movie Speeches

Right and Wrong – Speech

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John Wayne playing Davy Crockett before the Battle at the Alamo.

From IMDB:  A small band of soldiers sacrifice their lives in hopeless combat against a massive army in order to prevent a tyrant from smashing the new Republic of Texas.

Davy Crockett: It was like I was empty. Well, I’m not empty anymore. That’s what’s important, to feel useful in this old world, to hit a lick against what’s wrong for what’s right even though you get walloped for saying that word. Now I may sound like a Bible beater yelling up a revival at a river crossing camp meeting, but that don’t change the truth none. There’s right and there’s wrong. You got to do one or the other. You do the one and you’re living. You do the other and you may be walking around, but you’re dead as a beaver hat.

A little echo of Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 2.

Cowards die many times before their deaths.
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
Johnwayne-director
John Wayne also directed the movie.
Posted in Movie Speeches

Summary – Speech

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The Lost World:  Jurassic Park     Four years after the failure of Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar, John Hammond reveals to Ian Malcolm that there was another island (“Site B”) on which dinosaurs were bred before being transported to Isla Nublar. Left alone since the disaster, the dinosaurs have flourished, and Hammond is anxious that the world see them in their “natural” environment before they are exploited.

Probably the shortest and  best summary of an entire situation in one sentence.

Dr. Ian Malcolm: Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and um, screaming.

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Dr. Ian Malcom Knows Of What He Speaks