The medium of cinema isn’t just there to entertain and inform; on some occasions, it can not only inspire but also teach us valuable life lessons, albeit this can be very rare and is unlikely to be attained from the latest installment of the Fast and Furious franchise.
Occasionally there are movies, regardless of the genre they are within, that will have the power to make you think deeply about perhaps yourself on an individual level or about society as a whole.
Perhaps you are looking to put together a great script yourself or merely seeking out some great one-liners to inspire yourself or others, or maybe working on a YouTube channel podcast that is hell-bent on motivating and stimulating your audience, as well as looking for the best music for videos, in any case here are some truly rousing lines from cinematic history.
John Keating – Dead Poets Society
A masterful film and a performance for the ages by the late great Robin Wiliams. This movie is resplendent with deep and meaningful quotes that are usually reserved for the character played by Williams, John Keating, in a film that has perhaps risen ever greater since his early passing.
Frequently Mr. Keating is looking to inspire his young students with wise words, and often he does so ever so eloquently. Perhaps no better than this line below.
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
Keating has a deep impact on all those he teaches, and the finale of the film shows that he has earned their collective respect, even after tragedy has befallen their group.
Yoda – The Empire Strikes Back
Now, when it comes to characters from famous films that have a spiritual quality, Yoda will always be one of the first you think of. His most famous quote is certainly one that can be taken as something of a life lesson.
“Do, or do no. There is no Try.”
And indeed, this is a good motto for life, and no doubt served Luke Skywalker well as he took on board these words before Yoda passed away. Though clearly, he was still able to continue to offer Luka sage words long after his death, such is the strength of ‘The Force.’
Ferris Bueller – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This 80s classic is still very relevant today and still resonates not only with those who watched the movie as teenagers and then went on to make a life for themselves and their families, but it’s also a film that speaks to the younger generation in 2022.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
In many ways, the sentiment of this quote is actually more relevant in today’s even faster-paced world. There has long since been talk of Matthew Broderick reprising the role and showing just how life turned out for Ferris Bueller, but in many ways, such a sequel would spoil the original.
Forrest Gump – Forrest Gump
Now, this is a movie full of memorable quotes. Some of which have been too often used and devalued as cheap and throwaway, but some lines are actually very inspirational indeed. The film acts as a kind of history of the United States in the modern era and is seen through the eyes of an extraordinary character.
“My momma always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Obviously, this isn’t to be taken literally; after all, most boxes of chocolate show what each type of wrapping contains within. Here the lead character is pointing out that destiny isn’t something you can plan but something you can strive for.
Chris Gardner – The Pursuit of Happyness
This is arguably the best performance Will Smith has achieved in his career, far better in our view than the role that helped him get the leading actor Oscar (King Richard). The entire film is inspirational, and the fact it’s based on a true story makes it all the more meaningful.
Smith plays Gardner, a single father who battles to make something of himself and overcome every challenge he meets with grace and determination.
“Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something, not even me. Alright? You dream; you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves; they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.”
This quote has it all. It’s strong, it’s vocal, and it’s spot on. It’s a life lesson within one simple quote. There’s real pathos to it and an understanding of the pitfalls and stumbles that await us all.
A nice lesser-known fact about this movie. In the final scene, as Will Smith and his son walk down the street, they nod to a stranger who passes by, and he just happens to be the real Chris Gardner that Smith portrays in the film.
Gandalf – Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The wizard Gandalf may be one of the most inspirational ever committed to the screen. Each word he utters is measured and weighted. He passes advice to those among the fellowship, but pretty much every line is applicable to the watching public that was so enthralled by Peter Jackson’s interpretation of the classic J.R.R Tolkein books.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
This line is delivered to a frightened Pippin ahead of a major battle and is part of a longer monologue that is meant to calm the hobbit’s nerves and build up his morale before the big fight. It’s, of course, expertly delivered by Sir Ian McKellen and is one of the most memorable moments in the trilogy and includes sentiments that can be very relevant to our own daily struggles.