Article written

  • on 12.11.2010
  • at 07:13 PM
  • by The Editor

Five Most Educating Movie Speeches 2


In school, we met a lot of characters that can later change our lives. A mean dean, evil headmaster, crazy teacher, even violent classmates. Of course, not everything about school is bad. In school, we learned a lot of things. We learned normal things like mathematics, geography, or language. We also learned other useful stuffs like forging our parents signature, acting sick, or cheating in exams without getting caught.

Educational institutions inspired us to do many things. Learning shapes and defines who we are. These movie characters showed us how important education is. They showed us that education is not all about the school building, books, and perfect score.

Education is enlightenment. We need to understand that, to learn is to change. To change how you grasp the meaning of life through responsible actions. To achieve excellence without sacrificing your ethics. To accept that different perspectives may eventually lead to the same goal. To learn is to embrace the constant change of life.

These are Five Things’ five most educating movie speeches:

1. Lean On Me

“I want all of you to take a good look at these people on the risers behind me. These people have been here up to five years and done absolutely nothing. These people are drug dealers and drug users. They have taken up space; they have disrupted the school; they have harassed your teachers; and they have intimated you. Well, times are about to change. You will not be bothered in Joe Clark’s school. These people are incorrigible. And since none of them could graduate anyway, you are all expurgated. You are dismissed! You are out of here forever! I wish you well. Mr. Wright…. Next time it may be you. If you do no better than they did, next time it will be you. They said this school was dead, like the cemetery it’s built on. But we call our East Side teams “ghosts,” don’t we? And what are ghosts? Ghosts are spirits that rise from the dead. I want you to be my ghosts. You are going to lead our resurrection by defying the expectation that all of us are doomed to failure. My motto is simple: If you do not succeed in life, I don’t want you to blame your parents. I don’t want you to blame the white man! I want you to blame yourselves! The responsibility is yours!” – Joe Clark

Eastside High School in New Jersey was having so much trouble, the Mayor decided to appoint “Crazy Joe” Clark (Morgan Freeman) as the new headmaster. The school was on the verge of being closed down due to the low scores on the state’s basic skill test. Joe Clark’s unorthodox methods on ‘fixing’ the school raised protests, and finally lead to his arrest. The students at Eastside High School realized that Clark is the best person to lead the school, and they want him back. Turned out, the school also passed the exam. Happy ending. In this speech in front of the Eastside students, Clark firmly state that the students are responsible for their own actions and conditions. If they wanted to get a better life, they have to do something about it. Drugs and violence are not an option. So, if you want to blame someone, blame yourself. Go go Clark!

2. Dead Poets Society

“Believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is, one day, gonna stop breathing, turn cold, and die. I would like you to step forward over here and peruse some of the faces from the past. You’ve walked past them many times, but I don’t think you’ve really looked at them. They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? Carpe, hear it? Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” – John Keating

John Keating (Robin Williams) was a new English teacher at Welton Academy. He taught his students to embrace poetry and free themselves from day-to-day pressure of trying to be a perfect student. To seize the day. His encouragement inspired his students to revive the school’s literary club, Dead Poets Society, where they secretly met at a cave in the school ground. Although his students have tasted freedom in their minds, they were still very much bound by their parent’s force. These frictions lead to one of Keating’s student committing suicide, which enraged the parents and the school. His students were then forced to sign a letter that blamed Keating for causing the incident to happen. He was later dismissed from the school, while his students managed to salute him one last time.

3. Accepted

“You know what? You’re a criminal. ‘Cause you rob these kids of their creativity and their passion. That’s the real crime! Well, what about you parents? Did the system really work out for you? Did it teach you to follow your heart, or to just play it safe, roll over? What about you guys? Did you always want to be school administrators? Dr. Alexander, was that your dream? Or maybe no, maybe you wanted to be a poet. Maybe you wanted to be a magician or an artist. Maybe you just wanted to travel the world. Look, I lied to you. I lied to all of you, and I’m sorry. Dad, especially to you. But out of that desperation, something happened that was so amazing. Life was full of possibilities. And isn’t that what you ultimately want for us? As parents, I mean, is that, is possibilities. Well, we came here today to ask for your approval, and something just occurred to me. I don’t give a shit. Who cares about your approval? We don’t need your approval to tell us that what we did was real. ‘Cause there are so few truths in this world, that when you see one, you just know it. And I know that it is a truth that real learning took place at South Harmon. Whether you like it or not, it did. ‘Cause you don’t need teachers or classrooms or – or fancy highbrow traditions or money to really learn. You just need people with a desire to better themselves, and we got that by the shit at South Harmon. So you can go ahead, sign your forms, reject us and shoot us down, and do whatever you gotta do. It doesn’t really matter at this point. Because we’ll never stop learning, and we’ll never stop growing, and we’ll never forget the ideals what were instilled in us at our place. ‘Cause we are SHIT heads now, and we’ll be SHIT heads forever and nothing you say can do or stamp can take that away from us! So go!” – Bartleby Gaines

Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) failed to get accepted at all the universities he applied to. To avoid his parents anger, he faked a letter that said he got accepted at South Harmon Institute of Technology (SHIT). The small lie incidentally turned huge when the fake university website he created accidentally accepted everyone that applied. Hundreds of people got in the university overnight. The big local university sniffed the appearance of this fake university and forced it to be shut down. Too bad, for Bartleby and all the students of SHIT, the place had become a great place to learn and live. He took his case on the state educational accreditation hearing, in which he gave out a passionate speech about providing an education institution that can create a chance for the university rejects to study and enrich their mind, with their own unique way. The board members are impressed with Bartleby’s speech, and gave him a year probation to run his university. Not bad for a reject.

4. Scent Of A Woman

“I’m not a judge or jury. But I can tell you this: he won’t sell anybody out to buy his future! And that, my friends, is called integrity! That’s called courage! Now that’s the stuff leaders should be made of. Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here’s Charlie. He’s come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It’s the right path. It’s a path made of principle — that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey. You hold this boy’s future in your hands, committee. It’s a valuable future. Believe me. Don’t destroy it! Protect it. Embrace it. It’s gonna make ya proud one day — I promise you.” – Frank Slade

Charlie Simms (Chris O’Donnell) became a witness of an act of vandalism that took place at a prep school where he studied. The school headmaster pressed Charlie to give him the names of the perpetrators, in exchange of a recommendation letter that will insure him of an acceptance at Harvard University. Charlie consulted Frank Slade (Al Pacino), an army retiree he worked for, and expressed his fear of being punished if he decides to keep quiet. The blind man defended Charlie in the formal inquiry before the student body and the school’s disciplinary committee. In his speech, Frank revealed his concern about the education system that no longer value the student’s ethics and integrity. The speech gained an applause from the student body, and Charlie was then excused from all punishments.

5. Good Will Hunting

“Wood ‘drastically underestimates the impact of social distinctions predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth.’ You got that from Vickers, ‘Work in Essex County,’ page 98, right? Yeah, I read that too. Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter? Or do you…is that your thing? You come into a bar. You read some obscure passage and then pretend…you pawn it off as your own idea just to impress some girls and embarrass my friend? See the sad thing about a guy like you is in 50 years you’re gonna start doin’ some thinkin’ on your own and you’re gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One: don’t do that. And two: You dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin’ education you coulda’ got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.” – Will Hunting

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) was a janitor working at MIT. One day, Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard) found Will solving a mathematical equation he wrote on the class’ chalkboard. Will turned out to be a math genius with a deep emotional problem. Lambeau tried to save will from sabotaging himself, by offering Will to go see a shrink, rather than going to prison after beating up a man. Will took the offer and met Sean Maguire (Robin Williams). Their interaction soon made will realized his potential. He got a lot of options, and he should start pursuing what matters most in his life. In his short speech in a bar to defend his friend, Will showed that education can be attained anywhere, and intelligence is not tied with wealth. Woohoo, my boy’s wicked smart.

That’s it from Five Things. We hope you got a little smarter after reading these speeches. Afterall, you can learn from anything, even from movies.

Related posts:

  1. Five Things You Should See in October 2010
  2. Five Things about Let The Right One In (2008)
  3. Five Things’ Most Memorable Romance Movie Soundtrack
  4. Five Things about Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  5. Five Things’ Five Movie Characters Men Want To Be

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There are 2 comments for this post

  1. indobrad says:

    John Keating’s speech was one of the eye-opening moments in film for me. Full of passion.

    By the way, can you review “Five Most Inspiring Court Defences in Movies?” :D

  2. The Editor says:

    Hmm, Five Most Inspiring Court Defences. I bet one of them contains this line: “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” :) )

    I’d love to do a piece on that, but my knowledge to the genre is limited. Of course, if I could do it at later times, I will. :)

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