40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes

(created by Matthew Belinkie)

Sometimes, during the madness of the holiday season, with all of the stress that comes with papers and tests and projects before the winter break, not to mention the whole gift-giving thing during these tough economic times, it seems like you’re fighting an uphill battle and could use some encouragement.  🙂

You can read the transcript of the video here.

Some of you might notice that there aren’t that many females in the video.  If you go to the link with the transcript, there’s actually an interesting back-and-forth going on in the comments about the low number of women in these types of roles.  But I know…who wants to sift through the comments, right?  lol.  Ok then, here’s a selection that pretty much represents the major viewpoints expressed:

Isn’t it sad that there are only 2.5 women in that video? (The .5 is for Peter Pan.)

What, we’re not allowed to be epic and inspirational? We’re not important enough to make the big, final speeches to rouse up the team or the country or the Ancient Roman armies? Where’s the video for us? Because, I’ll tell you, where would the movie Troy be without Helen? Where would Rocky be without Adrian? Where would Bastian be without that weird princess girl? Where would William Wallace be without that dead wife of his? Where would the president of Independence Day be without that dead wife of HIS?

– mlawski

One big reason Hollywood inspirational speeches are gendered is that they appear primarily in sports movies, war movies, science fiction movies and fantasy movies, which overwhelmingly feature male actors and are overwhelmingly for male audiences.

– fenzel

The reason, I think, that the focus has tended to be on “guy’s” genres like sports, war, sci-fi and fantasy is that, for those successful among them, it’s really not just guys going. Had the audience for Lord of the Rings been as gendered in either direction as Sex and the City, it could never have been the hit it was.

The upshot seems to be that girls see guy movies, more than guys see girl movies. This means guy movies are more profitable and tend to dominate the marketplace, because they’re playing to more quadrants or whatever. This also means that I’m not sure we should still be thinking of them as guy movies. I think it plays to a false divide and perhaps limits them from being as good as they can be, as movies.

– Siwi

The disproportionate gender balance is an interesting issue. But I think if you look at how many of these speeches come either from coaches or generals, and then think about how many women have had those jobs historically, it’s not surprising.

So people, what are the great inspirational movie quotes by women?

– Matthew Belinkie

Yeah so…what ARE the great inspirational movie quotes by women?


9 Responses to “40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes”

  1. Emily Says:

    Since I just woke up and my brain isn’t recalling quotes the way it usually does, I’m just gonna point out a few inspirational female characters in books and movies. And you’re right, more girls watch guy movies than guys watch girl movies. I’m a living example. My older brother might be to blame, though. Not that I’m complaining. I love action, fantasy, and sci-fi. =)
    Lucy Pevensie (Chronicles of Narnia) – she was the one who stood by Aslan the longest, even when he wasn’t visible.
    Elizabeth Swann (Pirates of the Caribbean) – the only woman on board most of the time. she was in the video, too.
    Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) – enough said.
    Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter) – put up with being called Loony. Fought for the DA. “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.” (That was Rowena Ravenclaw’s quote, but whatever. It defines Luna.)
    Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter) – she was the only daughter with 6 brothers. She learned to stick up for herself. That’s definitely inspirational. “You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”
    Belle (Beauty and the Beast) – yes I love Disney. Belle is the best princess. She sticks up for her crazy father, selflessly gives up her freedom in exchange for his life, and learns to love the Beast for what he is.
    Saphira (Eragon) – she may be a dragon. But she’s still female. She’s Eragon’s conscience, basically, and is a whole lot smarter than he is on occasion. “Remember the past, live in the present, and fear not the future, for it doesn’t exist and never shall. There is only now.”
    Arya (Eragon) – Elf who beat Eragon in a sword fight, withstood extreme torture, brought Elves, Dwarves, and Humans together against Galbatorix (evil king). Is annoyed by Eragon’s infatuation. But they’ll end up together.
    Princess Zelda (Legend of Zelda) – saves all of Hyrule. Even though she screwed up everything in the first place, she still gives her life for her people.
    Midna (Legend of Zelda) – came to save Hyrule instead when her people kicked her out of Twili land. Tried to give up her life for Zelda, but Zelda beat her to the chase.
    Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Chloe Sullivan, and Martha Kent – because Kristin Kreuk did help found this site. And I am a die-hard Superman fan. =) Lois Lane has saved Superman on countless occasions. Lana Lang helped Clark become the hero he needed to be by making a sacrifice herself. Chloe Sullivan is Clark’s right-hand man (ahem, woman. sorry.) (well, WAS. until Clark decided to be all emo and “everyone who knows my secret gets hurt” and GRR.) Martha Kent… raised a Kryptonian son. Can’t be easy. My favorite Chloe quote: “Sooner or later you have to trust someone with what’s in your heart. Otherwise, you’ll end up going through life alone.”
    Bella, Alice, Rosalie, Esme (Twilight) – Bella loves a masochistic vampire. Alice is just awesome. Rosalie puts herself between Edward and Bella in Breaking Dawn (not a good place to be.) Esme is the “mother” of a chaotic coven of vampires.
    Have I made my point yet? =)

  2. Jenipher Says:

    You have made your point, sister! =) That was awesome, Emily! Loved it! KUDOS!

  3. Jennifer Says:

    Also Elizabeth I’s speech in Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Granted it’s based on an actual historical event, but most of the quotes mentioned in Emily’s post are first and foremost by book characters rather than film characters. Sadly, there are a great deal more male characters who are strong and say wonderful speeches in film than female characters who are of the same stock.

    How about Princess Leia though? I’m sure she had some good inspirational quotes. Even if she didn’t, she was a badass princess.

  4. Emma-Lu Says:

    Wow Emily, I have literally nothing (nada, niente!) to add .. Agree 100%…very well put!

  5. superkurre Says:

    Scarlett O’Hara had some good stuff too. It is very difficult to think of any. Even with my geeky knowledge of useless movie trivia. I’m sure I’ll think of something eventually, will get back to you.

  6. LI Says:


  7. puffy Says:

    I don’t have the specific examples but here are some characters with equally great speeches/monologues from females in the following movies.

    Sarah Connor – T2
    Ripley – Aliens
    Drew Barrymore’s character- Charlies Angels
    Elle Woods – Legally Blonde
    Mia – Princess Diaries
    Cher – Clueless
    Every female in Serenity

  8. Emily Says:

    The majority were book characters because I read… a lot. And haven’t seen a very, very large number of “reeally good” movies. Just ask any of my friends.
    And Jennifer… how could I forget Princess Leia?!?! My brother is pretty much the biggest Star Wars fan in the universe. So naturally, I am too. Haha. And not exactly an inspirational quote by her, but… “Would someone get this walking carpet out of my way?” =P

  9. Cara Says:

    Mr.s Gump from Forrest Gump:
    “Don’t ever let anybody tell you they’re better than you, Forrest. If God intended everybody to be the same, he’d have given us all braces on our legs. ”

    Galadriel from LOTR:
    ” This is Nenya, the Ring of Adament. And I am it’s keeper. This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way, no one will.”

    “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. ”

    Other strong women in movies:

    Ripley from Alien
    Louanne from Dangerous Minds
    Katherine Watson from Mona Lisa Smile

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