Top 10 Memorable School Speeches in Movies

Script written by Niki Neptune. Some graduating classes are a little more… enlightening than others. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 memorable school speeches in movies. For this list, we’re choosing those movie moments that graced us with the most inspiring, the most ridiculous, or the most entertaining speeches from some of our favorite, or not-so-favorite films. Public speaking can be stressful and listening to speeches can be a bore, but throw a little Hollywood into the mix and you’re bound to hear some gems! Special thanks to our user nneptune for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Credits
Tags
Comments

You must login to access this feature

Transcript
Script written by Niki Neptune.

Some graduating classes are a little more… enlightening than others. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 memorable school speeches in movies.

For this list, we’re choosing those movie moments that graced us with the most inspiring, the most ridiculous, or the most entertaining speeches from some of our favorite, or not-so-favorite films. Public speaking can be stressful and listening to speeches can be a bore, but throw a little Hollywood into the mix and you’re bound to hear some gems!

#10: The Man
“School of Rock” (2003)

What happens when a musician with no band and no prospects takes up substitute teaching in disguise as his roommate? Well, he doesn’t get caught immediately, for one. After his deceit proves effective, this wild child rocker is left to shape the minds of the future. So it’d make sense that he’d launch into a lengthy diatribe about “the man” and “subversion.” After all, what’s rock and roll without a little rebellion? And bitterness.

#9: Debate Smackdown
“Old School” (2003)

When a bunch of middle-aged man-children decide to start a fraternity at a college they don’t attend, they find themselves having to overcome a gauntlet of obstacles to keep their frat house. One of these obstacles is a debate. When James Carville saunters onto the stage, it’s all but assumed that the competition is a wrap. That was the goal, at least, but the political commentator and his team grossly underestimated Frank the Tank and his blackout abilities.

#8: Who Cares?
“Election” (1999)

There were just so many scandals at this school; it’s a wonder anyone even cared about a little student body election. The irritatingly over-achieving Tracy Flick is running for school president. But she’s up against the machinations of a teacher who secretly hates her, a popular jock and his disgruntled sibling. And it’s that disgruntled sibling who manages to deliver an anti-speech for the history books, much to almost everyone’s delight.

#7: There’s More to Music Than Notes On a Page
“Mr. Holland’s Opus” (1995)

After having a close encounter with aliens and battling a bloodthirsty shark, Richard Dreyfuss took on the role of a beloved music teacher who never quite lived out his dream. Once the composer-musician turned to teaching the art instead of only writing it, Glenn Holland manages to connect with his students on an inspirational level. Brusque but encouraging, he delivers a speech to one of his students that reinforces her self-confidence and keeps her motivated.

#6: Carpe Diem
“Dead Poets Society” (1989)

Robin Williams has an innate teddy bear-ness that makes him fun and endearing when he’s being silly, but also fuzzy and reassuring when he takes on the serious stuff. In “Dead Poets Society,” he plays an elite prep school teacher who employs some rather unconventional methods to stir up his students. That includes this rousing speech, which sows the seeds of yuppie insurgence and self-realization, and finds a spot on our list.

#5: Never Give Up
“Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011)

As far as romantic comedies go, this one is a little bit of mid-life crisis mixed with a coming-of-age story and a dash of Ryan Gosling doing what he does best: being dreamy. Steve Carell plays a man devastated by his wife’s infidelity, but when his young son gives a school speech in the midst of his own heartbreak, he steps in to course correct.

#4: Our Deepest Fear
“Coach Carter” (2005)

Audiences may have grown accustomed to seeing Samuel L. Jackson giving audibly aggressive speeches prior to fighting off snakes or being eaten by genetically engineered sharks, but this time he was on the receiving end of one. In this sports drama, Jackson plays a coach committed to ensuring his basketball team receives a sound education. After losing a school board ruling against one of his coaching decisions, his team rallies around him in a collective show of support.

#3: A Stimulating Speech
“Police Academy” (1984)

Those wacky cops-in-training down at the Police Academy really knew how to shake things up back in the day. If mouth sound effects weren’t out of the question, then certainly a little oral encouragement seemed par for the course in the department. The crafty bunch pull a “not-so-unwelcome” prank on their Commandant with the help of a working girl. His resulting speech is understandably a little difficult for him to deliver but hilarious to watch.

#2: Yahoo for School!
“Billy Madison” (1995)

Adam Sandler essentially plays himself in this mid-‘90s addition to the low-brow comedy circuit. He takes on the role of an obnoxious slacker who is tasked with passing first grade all the way up through high school in just 24 weeks so that he can take over his father’s successful business. Of course, the movie features some hijinks and laughs, as well as Steve Buscemi being creepy, but it’s the way Billy Madison accomplishes his goal and commemorates the occasion Adam Sandler-style that lands this flick’s speech here.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- We Don’t Need Your Approval
“Accepted” (2006)
- Passion
“Legally Blonde” (2001)
- Don’t Worry So Much
“Jack” (1996)
- You Are Not Inferior
“Lean on Me” (1989)
- Life Sneaks Up On Us
“National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: Freshman Year” (2009)

#1: It’s Rough Out There
“Back to School” (1986)

In what is probably the most realistic speech mankind will ever hear; Rodney Dangerfield regales his graduating class with the wisdom gained over decades of adult life. In “Back to School,” he plays a successful businessman who attends college to keep his despondent son motivated. He not only manages to bribe his way through college, but he also courts the affections of a literary professor. And, of course, hit us with some hard truths the Dangerfield way.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the most memorable school speech? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
Download

You must register to a corporate account to download. Please login

Related Videos

+ see more

More Top 10