Posted in Movie Speeches

John Doe – Speech

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Meet John Doe is a 1941 American comedy drama film directed and produced by Frank Capra, and starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. The film is about a “grassroots” political campaign created unwittingly by a newspaper columnist and pursued by a wealthy businessman. It became a box office hit and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Story. Though the film is less well known than other Frank Capra classics, it remains highly regarded today. It was ranked #49 in AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Cheers. In 1969, the film entered the public domain (in the USA) due to the claimants’ failure to renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after release.[1]

 

The fictional John Doe (Gary Cooper) (aka Long John Willoughby) delivered a radio address – an idealistic appeal to the common man – all the John Does (“the little punks”) in the world – to get up on their feet and pull together as a team:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am the man you all know as John Doe. I took that name because it seems to describe, because it seems to describe the average man – and that’s me. (He cleared his throat) And that’s me. Well, it was me before I said I was gonna jump off the City Hall roof at midnight on Christmas Eve. Now I guess I’m not average anymore. Now I’m getting all sorts of attention, from big shots too, the mayor and the governor, for instance. They don’t like those articles I’ve been writing…

Well, people like the governor, people like the governor and that fellow there can stop worrying. I’m not going to talk about them. I’m gonna talk about us – the average guys, the John Does. If anybody should ask you what the average John Doe is like, you couldn’t tell him because he’s a million and one things. He’s Mr. Big and Mr. Small, he’s simple and he’s wise, he’s inherently honest but he’s got a streak of larceny in his heart. He seldom walks up to a public telephone without shovin’ his finger into the slot to see if somebody left a nickel there. (Laughter) He’s the man the ads are written for. He’s the fella everybody sells things to. He’s Joe Doakes, the world’s greatest stooge and the world’s greatest strength.

Yes sir, yes sir, we’re a great family, the John Does. We are the meek who are, who are supposed to inherit the earth. You’ll find us everywhere. We raise the crops, we dig the mines, work the factories, keep the books, fly the planes and drive the buses, and when a cop yells, ‘Stand back there you,’ he means us – the John Does…We’ve existed since time began. We built the pyramids. We saw Christ crucified, pulled the oars for Roman emperors, sailed the boats for Columbus, retreated from Moscow with Napoleon, and froze with Washington at Valley Forge. Yes sir, we’ve been in there dodgin’ left hooks since before History began to walk. In our struggle for freedom, we’ve hit the canvas many a time, but we always bounced back because we’re the people – and we’re tough. (Applause)

They’ve started a lot of talk about free people goin’ soft, that we can’t take it. That’s a lot of hooey! A free people can beat the world at anything, from war to tiddly-winks if we all pull in the same direction. (Applause) I know a lot of you are saying, ‘What can I do? I’m just a little punk. I don’t count.’ Well, you’re dead wrong. The little punks have always counted because in the long run, the character of a country is the sum total of the character of its little punks. (Applause)

But we’ve all got to get in there and pitch. We can’t win the old ball game unless we have teamwork. And that’s where every John Doe comes in. It’s up to him to get together with his teammate. And your teammate, my friends, is the guy next door to ya. Your neighbor – he’s a terribly important guy, that guy next door. You’re gonna need him and he’s gonna need you, so look him up. If he’s sick, call on him. If he’s hungry, feed him. If he’s out of a job, find him one. To most of you, your neighbor is a stranger, a guy with a barkin’ dog and a high fence around him. Now you can’t be a stranger to any guy that’s on your own team. So tear down the fence that separates you. Tear down the fence and you’ll tear down a lot of hates and prejudices. Tear down all the fences in the country and you’ll really have teamwork. (Applause)

I know a lot of you are saying to yourselves: ‘He’s askin’ for a miracle to happen. He’s expecting people to change all of a sudden.’ Well, you’re wrong. It’s no miracle. It’s no miracle because I see it happen once every year and so do you – at Christmas time. There’s something swell about the spirit of Christmas, to see what it does to people, all kinds of people. Now why can’t that spirit, that same warm Christmas spirit, last the whole year round? Gosh, if it ever did, if each and every John Doe would make that spirit last 365 days out of the year – we’d develop such a strength, we’d create such a tidal wave of good will that no human force could stand against it. Yes sir, my friends, the meek can only inherit the earth when the John Does start loving their neighbors. You’d better start right now. Don’t wait till the game is called on account of darkness. Wake up, John Doe, you’re the hope of the world!

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Posted in Movie Speeches

The Individual – Speech

The Fountainhead Gary Cooper

From the Fountainhead, a great movie about individual accomplishment.

Howard Roark: [delivering the closing statements of his own defense] Thousands of years ago the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light, but he left them a gift they had not conceived of, and he lifted darkness off the earth. Through out the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators, the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors, stood alone against the men of their time. Every new thought was opposed. Every new invention was denounced. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered, and they paid – but they won.


Howard Roark: No creator was prompted by a desire to please his brothers. His brothers hated the gift he offered. His truth was his only motive. His work was his only goal. His work, not those who used it, his creation, not the benefits others derived from it. The creation which gave form to his truth. He held his truth above all things, and against all men. He went ahead whether others agreed with him or not. With his integrity as his only banner. He served nothing, and no one. He lived for himself. And only by living for himself was he able to achieve the things which are the glory of mankind. Such is the nature of achievement.

Howard Roark: Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. But the mind is an attribute of the individual, there is no such thing as a collective brain. The man who thinks must think and act on his own. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot not be subordinated to the needs, opinions, or wishes of others. It is not an object of sacrifice.
Howard Roark: The creator stands on his own judgment. The parasite follows the opinions of others. The creator thinks, the parasite copies. The creator produces, the parasite loots. The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature – the parasite’s concern is the conquest of men. The creator requires independence, he neither serves nor rules. He deals with men by free exchange and voluntary choice. The parasite seeks power, he wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery. He claims that man is only a tool for the use of others. That he must think as they think, act as they act, and live is selfless, joyless servitude to any need but his own. Look at history. Everything thing we have, every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind. Every horror and destruction came from attempts to force men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots. Without personal rights, without personal ambition, without will, hope, or dignity. It is an ancient conflict. It has another name: the individual against the collective.


Howard Roark: Our country, the noblest country in the history of men, was based on the principle of individualism. The principle of man’s inalienable rights. It was a country where a man was free to seek his own happiness, to gain and produce, not to give up and renounce. To prosper, not to starve. To achieve, not to plunder. To hold as his highest possession a sense of his personal value. And as his highest virtue, his self respect. Look at the results. That is what the collectivists are now asking you to destroy, as much of the earth has been destroyed.


Howard RoarkI am an architect. I know what is to come by the principle on which it is built. We are approaching a world in which I cannot permit myself to live. My ideas are my property. They were taken from me by force, by breach of contract. No appeal was left to me. It was believed that my work belonged to others, to do with as they pleased. They had a claim upon me without my consent. That is was my duty to serve them without choice or reward. Now you know why I dynamited Cortlandt. I designed Cortlandt, I made it possible, I destroyed it. I agreed to design it for the purpose of seeing it built as I wished. That was the price I set for my work. I was not paid. My building was disfigured at the whim of others who took all the benefits of my work and gave me nothing in return. I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy, nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim. It had to be said. The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing. I came here to be heard. In the name of every man of independence still left in the world. I wanted to state my terms. I do not care to work or live on any others. My terms are a man’s right to exist for his own sake.

Fom IMDB:

Individualistic and idealistic architect Howard Roark is expelled from college because his designs fail to fit with existing architectural thinking. He seems unemployable but finally lands a job with like-minded Henry Cameron, however within a few years Cameron drinks himself to death, warning Roark that the same fate awaits unless he compromises his ideals. Roark is determined to retain his artistic integrity at all costs.

the fountainhead rand THE_FOUNTAINHEAD-20

Posted in Movie Speeches

Tuba – Speech

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Mr. Deeds Goes To Town Garry Cooper plays Longfellow Deeds who lives in a small town, leading a small town kind of life – including playing the tuba in the town band. When a relative dies and leaves Deeds a fortune, Longfellow picks up his tuba and moves to the big city where he becomes an instant target for everyone from the greedy opera committee to the sensationalist daily newspaper. Deeds outwits them all. So of course he is thought to be crazy and a hearing is held to determine his mental and emotional competency in attempt to get his money away from him.

Longfellow Deeds: About my playing the tuba. Seems like a lot of fuss has been made about that. If, if a man’s crazy just because he plays the tuba, then somebody’d better look into it, because there are a lot of tuba players running around loose. ‘Course, I don’t see any harm in it. I play mine whenever I want to concentrate. That may sound funny to some people, but everybody does something silly when they’re thinking. For instance, the judge here is, is an O-filler.
Judge May: A what?
Longfellow Deeds: An O-filler. You fill in all the spaces in the O’s with your pencil. I was watching him.
That may make you look a little crazy, Your Honor, just, just sitting around filling in O’s, but I don’t see anything wrong, ’cause that helps you think. Other people are doodlers.
Judge May: “Doodlers”?
Longfellow Deeds: Uh, that’s a word we made up back home for people who make foolish designs on paper when they’re thinking: it’s called doodling. Almost everybody’s a doodler; did you ever see a scratchpad in a telephone booth? People draw the most idiotic pictures when they’re thinking. Uh, Dr. von Hallor here could probably think up a long name for it, because he doodles all the time. Thank you. This is a piece of paper he was scribbling on. I can’t figure it out – one minute it looks like a chimpanzee, and the next minute it looks like a picture of Mr. Cedar. You look at it, Judge. Exhibit A for the defense. Looks kind of stupid, doesn’t it, Your Honor? But I guess that’s all right; if Dr. von Hallor has to, uh, doodle to help him think, that’s his business. Everybody does something different: some people are, are ear-pullers; some are nail-biters; that, uh, Mr. Semple over there is a nose-twitcher. And the lady next to him is a knuckle-cracker. So you see, everybody does silly things to help them think. Well, I play the tuba.

Youtube clip.

The Gary Cooper original was released in 1936, a remake by Adam Sandler in 2002 was simply titled Mr. Deeds.

Here is a similar pose done by Adam Sandler for his movie version. adam sandler