My Ten Favorite “Pre-Battle” Speeches

Yesterday, I was watching Braveheart (in honor of my recent trip to Scotland).

As always, I got a little choked up in the scene where William Wallace talks to the troops before battle.

Promising them a chance to kill some English he rouses their spirits and inspires them to attack with courage. 

(These are the kind of clips that make me want to get out there and start a new life.)

This got me thinking about some of my personal favorite “pre-battle” speeches.

You know, the ones where a strong character encourages another (or others) to find the courage that lies within.

So to life your spirits before the weekend, I’ve included 10 of my personal favorites. Know some of them aren’t specific to war, but you get the picture when you watch them…

1. William Wallace from “Braveheart”

2. President Whitemore from “Independence Day”

3. Aragorn from “Return of the King”

Watch it on YouTube

4. Dilios from “300”

Watch on YouTube

5. Gen. George Patton from “Patton”

6. Fortune from “Rudy”

7. Rocky Balboa from “Rocky Balboa”

8. Blake from “Glengarry Glen Ross”

9. Trent and Sue from “Swingers”

10. John Blutarsky from “Animal House”

Take Action. Get Results.

17 thoughts on “My Ten Favorite “Pre-Battle” Speeches”

  1. Hey, Steve.
    Great choices here! I adore Braveheart and LOTR. I’ve watched Braveheart at least 3 times and cry at points even still… LOTR is the geek in me and it too has its emotional moments. Now I will be watching all four movies again soonish! Can’t watch just one LOTR 😉 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Jennifer,
    All of LOTR wow, each episode is what, 7 hours long? LOL. They are some great movies, admittedly a little geekish, as you say, but still great. Thinking about them got me to thinking of MY FAVORITE series of fantasy books that is currently being filmed into a HBO Series. OOO I cannot wait. I am sure I will have all sorts of new quotes once I figure a few more people would know what the heck I am talking about.

    • LMAO. they are about 3 hours each… but yah, it feels like 7 or so each one is so epic. The funny thing is that they don’t cover half of what the books do…if memory serves.

      Hrm…now I am wondering which series you are talking about being turned into an HBO series LOL Oh..and I would just use my favorite quotes etc with links or videos. One of the greatest things I enjoy about blogging is exposing others to new things 😉

      • It is a series of Fantasy books by George RR Martin. The whole series is called “a song of ice and fire” With the first book and (I think) series title for HBO called “A Game of Thrones”

        It “light” fantasy, with much more time being spent on extremely realistic characterization. IT has MAJOR characters die. You really see bad parts of “good” guy and good parts of “bad” guys. Each book is pretty long, the longest book in the series being equal to the word count of the entire LOTR trilogy.

        It is a very good series and worth a read. Only series I can think of where my favorite character is an 8-9 year old girl. (I think they aged her a few years for the TV show…and her character may be hard to really portray “on screen”)

        • Sounds good.. Thanks! I need a new fantasy series, will have to go pay the tiny late fees I owe and check out the first one 🙂

  3. Scotland was great. Switzerland is nice but expensive. Like, take out a second mortgage on your house expensive. I think I will be leaving Switzerland a little earlier than I had anticipated. Next stop Austria.

    How are things going with you?

    • Woe is me little brother, you had better make it a list to 13. Perhaps it is dated, but how could you forget the Henry V “St. Crispen’s Day” speech.

      He that shall live this day, and see old age,
      Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
      And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian”:
      Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
      And say “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.”
      Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
      But he’ll remember with advantages
      What feats he did that day: then shall our names,
      Familiar in his mouth as household words
      Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
      Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
      Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
      This story shall the good man teach his son;
      And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
      From this day to the ending of the world,
      But we in it shall be remember’d;
      We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
      For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
      Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
      This day shall gentle his condition:
      And gentlemen in England now a-bed
      Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
      And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
      That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

      Good stuff.

  4. Hey Steve,

    These are very good speeches to encourage people, the only problem after watching them is that we have no excuse left to be lazy and whiners…stop pushing us out of our comfort zone! (just kidding)


  5. There’s no better way to be convinced that you’ve found the right blog to read than finding references to Lord of the Rings and Braveheart.

    I always assumed that Walace’s speech in the film was inspired by the Roberts Burns poem, ‘Bruce Addresses His Army at Bannockburn’, something which for me is up there with Henry V, probably because I’m a Scot.

    Scots! wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
    Scots! wham Bruce has aften led,
    Welcome to your gory bed,
    Or to victory!

    Now’s the day, and now’s the hour;
    See the front o’ battle lour:
    See approach proud Edward’s power –
    Chains and slavery!

    Wha will be a traitor knave?
    Wha can fill a coward’s grave?
    Wha sae base as be a slave?
    Let him turn and flee!

    What for Scotland’s king and law
    Freedom’s sword will strongly draw?
    Freeman stand, or freeman fa’?
    Let him on wi’ me!

    By oppression’s woes and pains!
    By your sons in servile chains!
    We will drain our dearest veins,
    But they shall be free!

    Lay the proud usurpers low!
    Tyrants fall in every foe!
    Liberty’s in every blow! –
    Let us do or die!

    But for something less war related and more modern, how about Gordon Gecko’s Greed is Good speech?

  6. Hi Steve, great choices, although I am disappointed there’s no clip for LOTR! 8) But I love your Braveheart choice, excellent stuff. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  7. That is a quite inspirational poem. I particularly like the last line:

    Liberty’s in every blow! –
    Let us do or die!

    It really shows the only really good reason for war, freedom for kith and kin.

    I actually had thought of GG’s “greed is good speech” It is one of the great speeches, but ultimately by the tone of the movie it was a little more self serving than some of the others.

    The Baldwin clip was likely that way too but I simply couldn’t pass up including it; because I think of it all the time when I think of “sales”…both good and bad aspects

  8. Steve
    those are all killer, I love the Alec Baldwin one, I used to work in a mortgage office and I called everyone “steak knives”. No one had a clue what the heck I was talking about. So, I showed them that, we had a steak knive that got passed around every month to the 2nd place loser.


    • Yeah that is an absolute “classic” for anyone who has to sell. It is hysterical and sort of sad at the same time.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Comments are closed.