Hollywood movies have given many generations of cinema fans volumes of inspirational quotes. Too many lists have been made, but since the pool of quotes is more like a limitless wellspring that just keeps being filled with new ones, we’ll endeavor to make a list of our own. And our list features the shortest inspirational quotes from movies that were made in Hollywood.
10. “Show me the money!”
Jerry Maguire was the only major studio release in Hollywood the year it came out. Its quality has been lauded and recognized in movie awards and talk shows and even critics have little to say on the negative then and even now. Perhaps, one of its best moments (watch out for another one much later) is the telephone exchange between the half-naked Cuba Gooding and the overly stressed-out Tom Cruise. That scene made the movie lots and lots of money and re-launched Mr. Gooding’s career with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar award.
9. “You make me want to be a better man.”
Only the likes of Jack Nicholson could deliver a line like that. Wait, Jack Nicholson is in a category of his own. So, only Jack Nicholson can deliver a line like that – a line so cheesy you won’t even think of saying it, but it came out so endearing, rather strange, a little scary, and now quite immortal. As Good As It Gets is probably one of the best original screenplays ever written and one of the best acted films of our time. That’s a winning combination that is hard to come by in Hollywood these days.
8. “What are we holding onto, Sam?”
The Lord of the Rings trilogy has many inspirational lines to offer, most of which were lifted verbatim from the books that they were based on. But that line from The Two Towers reveals the true core of this epic adventure. And it is only complete with the reply that Sam gave to Frodo: “That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.
If you missed that word from Shawshank Redemption, the winning adaptation of a truly remarkable novella of a longer title, you probably should see it again. Andy Dufresne, fresh from a string of bad luck was sitting it out by the prison walls with his friend, Red. And that stretch of dialogue revealed to Red (and the audience) the hope that Dufresne, an innocent man wrongly accused was firmly holding on to. We could all learn about hope from Dufresne.
6. “Every man dies, but not every man really lives.”
Braveheart’s epic triumphs in both the battlefield and the spirit make this movie a favorite of a whole generation of movie-goers. The whole world was captured by the sheer drama and momentum of this movie. And despite the fact that it dealt with a very specific culture’s series of conflicts, the universal themes of family, love, loyalty and yes, freedom gave everyone the opportunity to relate to it and keep it close to their hearts.
5. “Do or do not. There is no try.”
Master Yoda’s very peculiar manner of speech does not subtract in the ultimate truth that is succinctly expressed in this statement that was first heard in The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars Episode 5.) This was not the statement that people said to themselves and their friends after leaving the cinema (we’ll get to that in a while) but this is the truth that they unknowingly kept in their hearts.
4. “May the Force be with you.”
That’s the statement that caused many moviegoers to become Star Wars fans. It is one of the most positive statements in cinematic history and it is rather unfortunate that it did not make it to the general public’s daily roster of greetings to one another. (Well, it is in certain circles). Hearing it gives the addressee a vibe that everything shall be alright and saying it gives the well-wisher a feeling of having wished the best of somebody.
3. “Did someone save me?” “Yeah, baby, I think someone did.”
That’s the essence of the choking and teary exchange between the characters of Mel Gibson and Rory Caulkin in the last speaking sequence of Signs. And that short exchange summarizes the whole movie in such a heartbreaking and inspiring way. The whole movie, though packaged as a sci-fi horror flick, is at its core a family drama. M.Night Shyamalan’s attempt at very serious issues in Signs was admirable and for many it succeeded quite well.
2. “Carpe diem, seize the day, boys.”
Seize the Day! What an amazing thought to have day in and day out. Dead Poets Society was for many the definitive inspirational movie of all time. And though they merely involved boys and the rites of passage that they go through, the issues and how the characters triumphed (or failed) transcend gender and generational differences.
1. “You complete me.”
And we go back full circle to Jerry Maguire. Even The Joker couldn’t help but say this line to Batman in The Dark Knight. This line has been quoted in movies, TV series, animated movies and TV series, and possibly even comics (and manga maybe?) that its position in pop culture is sealed in stone.
After giving you these inspirational quotes from movies, maybe next time we’ll make you a list of the 10 most despairing quotes from movies just to balance things out. We’ll find a set that’s also within the ten-word limit.