Dirk’s Five: Motivational Speeches

This week I watched UP IN THE AIR (2010) where George Clooney plays a business man who lives in airspace, moving from meeting to meeting while filling time with his side-occupation of motivational speaking. He delivers a speech about unloading the emotional baggage associated with relationships with the cool aplomb of a shaved badger.

This week’s Friday Five have been inspired by inspiration.


1) Alec Baldwin in GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (1992) – “Go and do likewise.” Baldwin gives a career best performance. Coming from down town, Mitch and Murrey, to put a rocket up Jack Lemon and Ed Harris to sell real estate. This is my party piece. “Coffee’s for closers only.”

2) Michael Douglas in WALL STREET (1987) Gordon Gekko’s “Greed is good,” speech defined the economics of the 80s, a bit like Loadsamoney in a pin-striped suit.

3) Tom Cruise in MAGNOLIA (1999) Everyone’s favourite thetan is the best he’s ever been in his y-fronts as ‘seduce and destroy’ Frank T.J. Mackey. He’s been signed up for Sky Sports, but you’ll never look at a sausage in the same way again.

4) Laurence Olivier in HENRY V (1944) I don’t know who wrote the screenplay for this, but it must be one of the best motivational speeches I have ever heard, after the “We few, we happy few. We band of brothers …” I nearly got in the car and headed to Calais armed with a sharpened stick.


5) Ben Affleck in THE BOILER ROOM He gives a speech that is a homage to WALL STREET and GLENGARRY … but ends up as a reheated ragu of both.

Which films have got your pecker up?

2 responses to “Dirk’s Five: Motivational Speeches

  1. FIELD OF DREAMS “If you build it, they will come” Ray Liotta gets Kevin Costner to build a baseball ground on his farm. A wonderful film and it is all based on this motivational speech.

  2. Pingback: CHRIS: House of Games (Mamet, US, 1987) | The Dirk Malcolm Alternative·

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