Individuals wanting to brush up on their public speaking skills can now do so online through BYU Independent Study. The online class is based on BYU's own public speaking course, Theatre and Media Arts 150, which is moving from the Theatre department to Student Development fall 2015. To celebrate the move, we've compiled a sample of the best speeches immortalized in film, delivered by people who clearly got an 'A' in public speaking.
“Remember the Titans” — A Lesson from the Dead
Struggling through the heated process of integration, Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) teaches his football players a lesson they will never forget at Gettysburg Battlefield.
“Dead Poet’s Society” — Carpe Diem
“But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it?”
“Miracle” — This is Your Time
U.S. Olympic Hockey Coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) delivers this stirring pregame speech as his team prepares to take on the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics, and he does so wearing spectacular plaid pants.
“The King’s Speech” — Radio Broadcast
When his brother abdicates the throne, newly crowned King George VI must confront two obstacles: an impending war with Germany and a stammer. The movie follows the king’s journey as he meets with speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), culminating in the king’s first radio speech to declare war on Germany in 1939.
“Gladiator” — My Name is Maximus
After being stripped of his headline as chief commander and suffering through the murder of his wife and children, Maximus (Russell Crowe) is forced to become a gladiator. He finally comes face to face with the man responsible, and this is what he says.
“The Alamo” — There’s Right, and There’s Wrong
Leave it to the Duke to tell it like it is. John Wayne, we couldn’t have said it better (or been a cooler Davy Crockett).
“The Return of the King” — Not This Day
“A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.”
“Independence Day” — We Will Not Go Quietly
The aliens are coming, and Earth is uniting to fight. Good to know we can rely on the president of the United States to rally the planet.
“Coach Carter” — Our Deepest Fear
Timo Cruz (Rick Gonzalez) almost died working as a drug dealer. He makes this speech to the man who saved him from a life on the streets, his basketball coach.
“Armageddon” — 14 Brave Souls
POTUS strikes again! Not aliens this time, but an asteroid headed for Earth. Will space ever give us a break?
“The Two Towers” — There’s Some Good in This World
Always faithful, always loyal, Samwise Gamgee is the unassuming hero who in the darkest of hours reminds us all what matters most. This speech deserves a new adjective: goosebump-and-tear-inducing.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” — They Didn’t Die in Vain, But You Will
Neville. Is. A. Boss. Thank you, and goodnight.
“Secondhand Lions” — Things Worth Believing In
A young Haley Joel Osment and a not-so-young-but-always-awesome Robert Duvall steal the show as great uncle Hub gives part of his famous “what every boy needs to know about being a man speech” to his nephew Walter.
“Casablanca” — Here’s Looking At You, Kid
Ingrid Bergman will get on that plane if it is the last thing Humphrey Bogart does!
“Guys and Dolls” — Ear Full of Cider
“On the day when I left home to make my way in the world my Daddy took me to one side. ‘Son,’ my daddy says to me, ‘I am sorry I’m not able to bankroll you to a very large start, but not having the necessary lettuce to get you rolling, instead I’m going to stake you to some very valuable advice…'”
“West Side Story” — Killed by Hate
Yes, they danced around with knives, and the whole musical has haunted you since you were forced to watch it in high school, but you have to admit that Maria’s closing speech is a powerful reminder to us all.
“Brian’s Song” — Rare Form of Courage
Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo passed away from cancer in 1970. A month before his death, Piccolo’s best friend and teammate Gale Sayers accepted the George S. Halas Award for Most Courageous Player. In his speech, Sayers told the audience they had selected the wrong man and gave a beautiful speech about his dying friend, re-enacted here in the 1971 movie “Brian’s Song.”
“Star Wars: A New Hope” — Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re My Only Hope
Note to self: If you need something done, just end your speech with “you’re my only hope.”
“The Muppet Movie” — I’ve Got a Dream
Winner of “the most moving speech ever given by an amphibian.”
“Footloose” — A Time to Dance
Each time you “cut footloose” you can thank Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) for fighting for your right to boogie.
“The Princess Bride” — Drop Your Sword
Any speech that makes a grown man drop his weapon and voluntarily hand himself over to be tied up is a good speech.