Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The speech of Tom Joad

USA Today's Pop Candy blog included a link to the Top 10 Movie speeches of all time. The page even includes youtube links to those speeches so you can judge for yourself. I agree with some of them (ie Samuel Jackson's path of the righteous man from Pulp Fiction), disagree with others (ie Ewen McGregor's Choose Life speech from Trainspotting) and am bored with others (ie Clint Eastwood's do you feel lucky speech from Dirty Harry). Plus I still wonder how Micheal Douglas' speech at the end of The American President isn't on that list.

Since the list only features one movie prior to the 70s, it really isn't all that impressive. Not that I am a big fan of old movies. J-Mac has been busy watching the new Turner Movie Channel and AMC which appears to be showing nothing but old movies lately. Sometimes I'll watch as Citizen Kane was on this morning. But sometimes, I'd rather not like when My Man Godfrey was on last night. I like to think I am a movie buff but sometimes old movies are filled with racism that may have been okay when originally filmed but watching it now, just makes me cringe. Plus, a lot of times, the secondary actors are sometimes really week. And really take away from the power of the movie.

Anyway, getting back to talking about movie speeches. Here is my personal top 5 movie speeches.

1. Henry Fonda, The Grapes of Wrath

"I'll be all around in the dark. I'll be ever'-where - wherever you can look. Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad - I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry an' they know supper's ready. An' when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise, and livin' in the houses they build - I'll be there, too."

2. Jimmy Stewart, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

Great principles don't get lost once they come to light. They're right here. You just have to see them again...You think I'm licked. You all think I'm licked. Well, I'm not licked. And I'm going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause, even if this room gets filled with lies like these; and the Taylors and all their armies come marching into this place. Somebody will listen to me.

3. Vivien Leigh, Gone With The Wind

As God is my witness, as God is my witness, they're not going to lick me! I'm going to live through this, and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again - no, nor any of my folks! If I have to lie, steal, cheat, or kill, as God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again.

4. Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca

Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now. Here's looking at you, kid.

5. Edward G. Robinson, Double Indemnity

Why, they've got 10 volumes on suicide alone. Suicide by race, by color, by occupation, by sex, by seasons of the year, by time of day. Suicide, how committed: by poisons, by firearms, by drowning, by leaps. Suicide by poison, subdivided by types of poison, such as corrosive, irritant, systemic, gaseous, narcotic, alkaloid, protein, and so forth. Suicide by leaps, subdivided by leaps from high places, under the wheels of trains, under the wheels of trucks, under the feet of horses, from steamboats. But Mr. Norton, of all the cases on record, there's not one single case of suicide by leap from the rear end of a moving train.

With apologies to Ben Johnson's ode to a past love during the 1971 film The Last Picture Show. It probably would be in my top 5 but I tried to list only films made prior to 1970.



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