Top 10 Inspiring Movies of All Time

14 Feb

This is another, “Top 10,” list, all of which are subjective, as always, you are encouraged to share your thoughts, user input is not only appreciated, but used.  If enough reader requests to ammend the list are made, then it will be done according to your votes.

Movie number 10:

“Peaceful Warrior”

I have to give a heads up with this one: It is an absolute mind f***.

Almost more of a mind rape… You will be extremely inspired, you will not know why and you will make a worried face while rocking back and forth in the fetal position after seeing this, you will, however, also achieve a feeling of fulfillment and you will have a lot to ponder.

Movie Number 9:

“In the Name of the Father”

Daniel Day-Lewis plays “Gerard “Gerry” Conlon,” one of the “Guildford Four,” in the true story of four people allegedly coerced to confess to crimes that they did not commit and falsely imprisoned for fifteen years.  Conlon’s ability to overcome adversity, persevere and fight not only to improve his situation but his own inner rage and conflict paired with Day-Lewis’s spectacular performance, make this movie an unforgettable story of a fight against fate and that in ourselves which sometimes only serves to worsen our own fate.

Movie Number 8:

“The Apartment”

Little known, dated in props and extremely racy at its conception, this 1960 comedy may never be as well known as Jack Lemmon’s appearances in, “Some Like it Hot,” or “The Odd Couple,” but as always, he plays the role with truth and precision.  “C.C. Baxter” (Lemmon), a lonely bottom-feeder working at a NYC insurance company, is the archetypal pushover.  His apartment is a home away from home for cheating co-workers, whether he likes it or not.  Baxter gets bullied, threatened and punched in the face all because he does not want to make any trouble.  This movie takes the “nice guys finish last,” cliche and give it an unexpected twist, while remaining realistic and not over the top happy-go-lucky.

Movie Number 7:


Based on the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, this partly sensationalised biopic follows his life and dream.  A staunch “Notre Dame” fan, Rudy grows up in a blue collar household, determined from his youth to be on the “Fighting Irish.”  Rudy does not think he will play for the university he knows  it.  The quintessential actualisation of a dream, you needn’t be a sports fan to appreciate the film or the message that it holds.

Movie Number 6:

“It’s a Wonderful Life”

Jimmy Stewart plays “George Bailey,” in what is probably the most famous Christmas movie of all time. Unemployed, constantly unappreciated and unable to support his family, Bailey turns to suicide only to be stopped by an angel sent from heaven. The angel, “Clarence” (Henry Travers), shows Bailey what life would be like if he had never been born in an attempt to dissuade him from stepping off of the bridge. As much a classic as any Stewart-Capra Masterpiece, the years have been good to this wonderful story and it is a certainty that the years will continue only to mature this fine creation, never to diminish its beauty.

Movie Number 5:

“Good Night, and Good Luck”

A period piece, “Good Night, and Good Luck,” recounts the story of Edward R. Murrow’s prodigious feud against not only the “Red Scare,” but Senator McCarthy himself.  Murrow is portrayed by David Strathairn, who not only plays the part well but manages to look virtually identical to the real life Murrow.  This movie examines our nation in a time ofunrest and displays the destructive capacity of paranoia and mass-hysteria.  Well thought out, historically valuable and a representation of what journalism is truly about, this movie informs, inspires and should instill in the viewer a better understanding of integrity and the variable morality of compliance.

Movie Number 4:


A police officer determined not only to fight crime but to fight those who allow and perpetuate it, Frank Serpico (Al Pacino), battles with his superiors, inferiors and those who are supposed to help him uphold justice to combat interdepartmental bribery and corruption.  One of the first undercover officers, in the modern sense of the word, “Serpico,” was based on the real life story of Detective Frank Serpico.  Pacino’s dynamic acting as well as a strong plot, terrific character development and great thematic imagery create an explosive combination in this suspenseful, action packed thriller.

Movie Number 3:

“Mary Poppins”

In an iconic classic and possibly the most prolific origin of generalisations about British people, Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke dazzle, dance and sing themselves into the hearts of children and adults alike.  Famous for Andrews’ lovely singing and Van Dyke’s profoundly terrible accent, this movie is less about the perfect nanny than about one household’s evolution, from a stoic, waspy, middle-class household in which each member is only seen as another mouth to feed to a loving environment in which genuine affection, understanding and appreciation for one another can live within its walls.

Movie Number 2:

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”

Jimmy Stewart, the worlds favourite bright-eyed, leading-boy among leading-men of the 1930s, portrays his usual do-no-evil character done-wrong, in Frank Capra’s examination of human integrity and determination.  Naiive Junior Senator, Jefferson Smith (Stewart), goes to Washington DC with little knowledge of politics and little understanding of the evil of which men are capable.  His innocence and naiivety is what nearly leads to his downfall and destruction but eventually leads him out of the turbulent kerfuffle in which he finds himself ensnared.  The message of this movie rings clear throughout, integrity will not make your life easy, it may cause you to lose your battle, but if you do what you think is right then it will win your war.

Movie Number 1:

“The Dead Poets’ Society”

Commonly referenced, acclaimed by critic and viewer alike, this movie has enough themes to fill that deep, empty hole we each have within ourselves.  Young, bright and idealistic; Professor John Keating, tried to inspire in his students not only an education in poetry, but an appreciation and love for it as an art and not just a class course.  This movie examines relationships with parents and superiors and what sacrifices must be made in order to bend the rules just enough for them not to break.


4 Responses to “Top 10 Inspiring Movies of All Time”

  1. Cassiopea February 15, 2012 at 17:22 #

    love the selection!

    • el3790 February 15, 2012 at 18:29 #

      Thanks, believe it or not it took hours to put together, I nearly collapsed by the time I finished.

  2. Patrick Hickey Jr. February 15, 2012 at 19:56 #

    Two selections for number three I believe. But great choices

  3. Sylvia March 6, 2012 at 15:02 #

    Terrific list! I have some movies to watch and rewatch, please keep up the writing, I love your site.

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