Greatest Oscar-Winning Speech


I’m headed to Hollywood to attend the 86th Annual Academy Awards this Sunday, March 2, and I’ve been thinking about the greatest speeches ever delivered in Oscar-winning movies. I’ve selected one from acting legend Michael Douglass, whom I had the honor of walking the Red Carpet with at last year’s Academy Awards. Watch this short video and then click on the YouTube video below it to view my choice for the greatest speech in an Oscar-winning movie.

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Categories : Speaking


  1. One of my favorites is Morgan Freeman in “Lean on Me” – the speech he gave in the auditorium before the students took the test. (Also love Kurt Russell’s speech in “Miracle on Ice” – in the locker room before the game.)

  2. Tracy Potter says:

    There are many speeches I love, the one that immediately comes to mind was from Michael J. Fox in the movie “American President”.

  3. tim morell says:

    Hey Steve (and Tracy),

    alas, The American President did not win an Oscar, but did win a Top Ten Film award for 1995 and was nominated for 9 awards, including an Oscar that year.

    But here is the speech from that film that is…imo…the best ever in a movie:


    always the best,

  4. Tom Roberts says:

    Who from my generation could forget Peter Finch’s speed “Mad as Hell” in “Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 film “Network” directed by Sidney Lumet?


  5. I remember one of the times I was invited to attend the Academy awards and I was seated between Victor Mature and one of the Williams boys, and we were about 3 rows from the front and Jack Nicholson was seated directly behind me, So I’m just sitting there, shooting the breeze with Vic, when Jack tapped me on the shoulder and said “You gotta see this.” (funny, they always seated him directly behind me – every single time) Anyway, when he said it it wasn’t like a normal “You gotta see this” it was more like “You gotta see this” and he gave me a card like a business card and it had something scribbled something on it.
    I turned back around and showed it to Victor and he said “He’s right… You GOT to see that. It’s amazing!”.
    Just then Phillis Diller said something crazy up on stage and everyone went nuts and I didn’t think about the card again until the next morning, but when I retrieved my coat and pants out of the pool, the chlorine in the water literally made the ink on the card totally disappear!
    Years later I was out the back washing dishes at Serino’s and I saw Jack grabbing a bite to eat with the entire Kentucky Braves cheer squad and I managed to grab him as he was going to the restroom and I asked him if he remembered what he wrote on the card. He said “Your’e kidding me! You lost it?” but it was more like ” you’re kidding me! You lost it!” and I told him what happened, so he wrote it down again on a napkin.
    Steve, if you see Jack tell him thanks for me, but ask him what does he mean by ‘cloister’?

  6. I enjoy the American President speech Tim linked to but, since we are wandering from Oscar winners, here’s a speech I enjoy at least as much:


    It’s from HBO’s Newsroom, not an Oscar winner, not even a movie.

  7. the american president is a great movie.

  8. Jack Gibbons says:

    The opening sequence of “Patton” where George C. Scott addresses the troops before the large US flag. The speech was a combination of several actual speeches given by General Patton. I use sections of this speech to dramatically “motivate” my sophomore students.

    For a comparison of Hollywood and reality go on Youtube, locate a General George Patton speech, and compare the real voice to the film voice.

  9. Sharon Frost says:

    I like Leonardo Di caprio in the movie wall street.

  10. Mel Gibson’s speech as William Wallace rallying the troops against “Langshanks” in “Braveheart”. It’s short with lots of dramatic space and movement from the speaker on horseback–even his entry to the “platform” was a breath catcher–This was a great speech– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEOOZDbMrgE

    I don’t see many movies in a year; I usually wait until they hit the video stores or TV, but …whenever I feel the need for a bit of display of violence against my circumstances and situation in life I watch this.

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