In addition to my love of books, I love watching movies too. My rule is to never watch anything that has scored under 7.0 on IMDB (although I make exceptions for the occasional sci-fi flick).
The movies I tend to remember the longest and have the most meaningful impact on me are often highly inspirational ones. Without further ado, here is the list of my top 6 inspirational movies of all time- please enjoy!
In a dystopian genetically engineered future that is frighteningly plausible, people are judged according to their gene potential and little else. Natural born children (without genetic tampering) are shunned by society and only allowed to pursue the most menial jobs and careers. Ethan Hawke plays an imperfect young man who refuses to accept the status quo and embarks on a dream to become an astronaut, with the help of a genetically perfect Jude Law who is bitter about the system. This movie epitomizes the power of the human will to succeed against all odds.
2. Any Given Sunday
In this American Football story, an aging team coach (Al Pacino) and quarterback (Dennis Quad) are pitted against younger, hungry foes that seek to replace them. There’s plenty of action and all out sports play, but it is was this hugely inspirational speech by Al Pacino during the final game showdown that I’ll always remember:
3. Glengarry Glen Ross
This has been the quintessential salesman’s movie for the last 20 years. The entire dialogue heavy story revolves around a group of real estate salesmen who are struggling to meet their numbers before the end of a crucial month, and the lengths that they go to try and make a sale. Anybody who has ever been out on the road trying to close sales will be able to relate to this movie. At one point a senior manager (Alex Baldwin) walks in gives them a brutal pep talk that is unmissable:
4. The Shawshank Redemption
This movie revolves around a man (Tim Adams) who is wrongly convicted of a crime, then imprisoned for a lengthy sentence. During his time in prison, he makes a best friend (Morgan Freeman) who helps him make his time more worthwhile. In the end, he’s able to mould his destiny and find happiness in the toughest of conditions. This incredible film holds the rating for Number 1 movie of all time on IMDB.
5. The Concert (Russian)
This movie is pure magic. It’s about a retired and disgraced (but brilliant) orchestra conductor who hasn’t worked in the music business since Communism fell. His former orchestra is in tatters, most now poor and out of the business completely. He manages to sneak a big shot to play in foreign country and sets about frantically rebuilding his orchestra and getting to the show before the Russian authorities catch up with his plan. This delightful piece of filmmaking reminded me how we can (and should) never escape our passions in life, for it is in passionate work where we are at our finest. See the trailer here:
What can I say about the movie Rocky that hasn’t already been said? It’s the story of a soon to retire, down and out boxer who never made it big in his career, despite possessing some talent. One day, he gets a wild card shot at the world heavyweight champion that nobody takes seriously except for him. Well, we all know the rest of this story.
It was in this movie that Rocky, lying in bed and feeling crushed by the magnitude of the task ahead of him, uttered one of my favourite lines of all time:
"I can’t beat him. But that don’t bother me. The only thing I want to do is to go the distance, that’s all. Because if that bell rings and I’m still standing, then I’m gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I wasn’t just another bum from the neighborhood."
The Rocky movies consistently display how the person with the most heart can win, in spite of the largest of obstacles. Rocky is the ultimate people’s champion and there is more than enough to love about this movie.
In fact, the story of Sylvester Stallone and how the Rocky movie came into being is an incredibly inspiring too. Listen to it here: