rhetorical analysis movie speech

10 Great Movie Speeches for Teaching Rhetoric

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Rhetoric can be difficult for students. Heavy speeches often scare students away from enjoying the beauty of rhetoric. Using movie speeches as an introduction to rhetoric is a great alternative to starting with the historic staples. Students do not have to have a working knowledge of these movies in order to analyze them for rhetoric. All of these speeches can be found HERE . This site is my favorite to use because it has a transcript for each speech below the movie clips, which makes it easy for students to analyze the rhetoric after they watch the speeches. Plus, it’s a one stop site. All the speeches you need are in one place.

Are you looking for a great activity to use in your own classroom with movie speeches? Click on the graphic below for my Movie Speech Rhetorical Analysis Resource.

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Coach Brooks Addresses the US Hockey Team

“miracle” 2004.

Powerful sports speeches are always a great asset to rhetoric units. Heavy with pathos, this speech uses repetition and anastrophe to grab the attention of the players before they begin an Olympic championship. Students love the emotion of the speech. It’s a great starting speech because the elements are easy to identify.

Oscar Schindler’s Departure Speech

“schindler’s list” 1993.

Oscar Schindler addresses his factory workers and Nazi guards on the eve of the end of the war. His speech is addressed to two groups separately: his factory workers and the Nazi guards. Addressing the workers, Schindler uses parallel structure and antithesis to express his thoughts on their freedom and his guilt. He then turns to the guards and uses antithesis one more time to urge them to do what is right. Moving and emotional, this speech uses a combination of pathos and logos. It takes a little background knowledge for students to understand this one, but it’s worth the time spent.

Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore Addresses the 7th Calvary

“we were soldiers” 2002.

A list of great movie speeches can’t be complete without a moving battle speech. Almost verbatim from the actual historical speech, Moore’s speech serves as a powerful reminder of universal equality regardless of race or religion. Moore creates a sense of unity among his troops as he promises to fight along side of them throughout the battle.

Mia’s Decision to Become a Princess

“princess diaries” 2001.

An unlikely addition to this list, Mia’s speech is a powerful reminder that sometimes having a platform is all it takes to make a difference in the world. Mia uses rhetorical questions to build her argument as to why she has decided to accept her role as princess. This addition is the result of years of student suggestions for it’s inclusion. I relented and I’m so glad that I did.

President Whitmore Addresses Fighter Pilots

“independence day” 1996.

Aliens and fighter planes grab the attention of students in this inspirational fight speech from the 1996 version of “Independence Day.” President Whitmore uses the holiday to invoke feelings of unity among the fighter pilots and continues his argument by using parallel structure and allusions. If these were to be voted upon, this speech would come out as the collective favorite in my classroom for the past ten years.

T errance Mann- People Will Come

“field of dreams” 1989.

Yes, another sports movie. It’s worth it. I promise. Terrance Mann explains why people will come to Ray’s outrageous dream of a field by using emotion, logic, and hyperbole. His image of what will be stirs both Ray and us to believe that the field will be worth the price.

Harvey Milk’s Address at the Gay Freedom Parade

“milk” 2008.

Students LOVE this speech. An unknown among students, this short speech uses parallel structure, allusion, and pathos to remind the audience that equality does not have one face. If you have not used “Milk” in your classroom for other projects, you need to discover the many uses of this phenomenal film.

Peace by Inches Speech

“on any given sunday” 1999.

Disclaimer: Stong Language (but still PG-13)

This speech deserves a place in this list because of the unlikely inspiration tactics used by coach D’Amato. Most students peg this speech for pathos as first, but upon closer inspection realize that it is logos to the core. He uses the analogy of life as a football game because, after all, “in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small.” Students love that line. And, frankly, so do I.

Gettysburg Speech

“remember the titans” 2000.

Sometimes is takes a little bit of history to understand today. This rallying speech reminds the players of a recently desegregated team that there are many who died to get them where they are. I find that year after year, my students still know and love this movie- especially my football players! Coach Boone uses a combination of logic and emotion to change the outlook of the players who go on to unite as a team.

The Cowardly Lion on Courage

“the wizard of oz” 1939.

What makes a king out of a slave? COURAGE! This fun and playful speech on courage uses rhetorical questions coupled with parallel structure to reinforce the idea that courage is what makes one great and that courage is what the Cowardly Lion is lacking. Students love the whimsical nature of this speech and are drawn into the rhythm of the language.

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41 Movie Speeches to Inspire, Dissect, and Discuss

I have sent out calls on social media for people to give me speeches they like and any replied with movie speeches. Since I found them inspirational, I thought I would share them here. Watch them and be inspired, dissect them as a public speaking exercise. Think deeply about the hows and whys of speech, but most of all, allow yourself to be transformed. I believe that ultimately that is what all speech is about–transformation.

(contains swearing)

Game of Thrones: Tyrion’s Speech at The Battle of Blackwater (2012). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtLB71TlU1c

Independence Day-The President’s Speech (1996). https://youtu.be/9t1IK_9apWs

Advanced Public Speaking Copyright © 2021 by Lynn Meade is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Table of Contents

Ai, ethics & human agency, collaboration, information literacy, writing process, rhetorical analysis of film – elements of film.

  • © 2023 by Christine Photinos - National University, San Diego , Ramie Tateishi

Rhetorical choices in film are made on the narrative level (of story/plot), the visual level, and the audio level. Camera range, camera angles, point of view, lighting, editing, sound--these are rhetorical devices (aka elements of film) that directors use to signify meaning, tone, and emotions.

This article focuses on film. It describes some terminology to use when writing about the rhetorical devices used in film. It explores of how elements of a film work together to communicate ideas and create specific audience orientations, identifications, feelings, and attitudes.

Introduction

When you study rhetorical devices, you are studying how a text uses symbols to elicit particular responses or suggest particular meanings. These “symbols” might be words, sounds, or images, and a “text” can be anything from a famous speech to the back of a cereal box. [ Semiotics: Sign, Signifier, Signified ]

In looking at how meaning is constructed in film, try to trace your observations back to use of specific devices. Consider which device (or combination of devices) generates the tone and atmosphere that you associate with a scene, as well as any symbolic representations of the film’s themes that you may identify in a scene.

Every element of a film represents a set of choices, including choices about lighting, camera placement, sound, and shot duration. Even a camera set in one place and left to run for hours (as in Andy Warhol’s 1964 Empire ) represents a set of choices with implications for how you experience the film. Studying these choices may not necessarily reveal the purposes of filmmakers themselves, but it will give you greater insight into how cinematic rhetorical devices convey meaning, which can help you better understand your responses to film.

Rhetorical choices in film are made on the narrative level (of story/plot), the visual level (of how all onscreen elements are presented), and the audio level (of how the volume levels of all sound elements are mixed in relation to each other), so focus on how meaning is shaped on each of these levels.

Camera Range

The term  mise-en-scene  refers to the composition of all objects within the film frame in any given shot. Note the placement of the main subject or subjects of a shot in relation to the environment, as well as the placement of objects in the foreground and the background of the film frame. A key consideration in analyzing mise-en-scene is the degree to which our perception and understanding of the subject(s) is shaped by the use of close range or long range, and the use of other visual elements in the frame to possibly suggest certain characteristics associated with the subject.

A shot that tightly frames a subject.

Some applications:

  • Identify a character as important.
  • Communicate a character’s emotions.
  • note:  Withholding  of close-ups can create distance and impede audience identification with a character.

Close-up of character's head. Head almost fills the frame.

Medium shot

A shot that shows the subject from approximately the waist up.

  • Show both body language and facial expression.
  • Focus attention on the subject while retaining some contextual information.
  • Show interactions among characters.

Medium shot. Figure seated at desk with American flags in background.

A shot that includes the entire subject as well as the subject’s surroundings.

  • Focus attention on context and surroundings.
  • Suggest relationship between scene and character.
  • Show body language.

Long shot. Entire figure is visible walking through verdant outdoor space.

Camera Angles

Note how the camera establishes its baseline depiction of everyday reality through the choice of straightforward, level views of the subject(s). An awareness of the construction of this sense of everyday reality will make it clear when a sense of heightened reality is introduced through the use of different camera angles that provide us with a different vantage point that calls attention to the subject in different ways.

High angle shot

Shows the subject from a high angle.

  • Cause subject to appear vulnerable.
  • Elicit viewer concern or sympathy for the subject.
  • Heighten intensity of a scene.

High angle shot. Two figures fighting, viewed from above.

Low angle shot

Shows the subject from a low angle.

  • Cause subject to appear more imposing.
  • Cause setting to appear more imposing.
  • Show the perspective of a depicted or implied character positioned below.

Low angle shot. Bearded muscular man in red sleeveless shirt, viewed from below.

Canted angle shot

Tilts the camera on its x-axis.

  • Mark an altered psychological state in a character (such as disorientation, or a mental drift into memory or fantasy).
  • Create a sense of disorientation in the viewer.
  • Suggest sinisterness (as when a villain is shot from a “twisted” angle).

Canted angle shot. Singer in foreground and silhouettes of horn players in background. Image appears tilted.

Point of View

The depiction of the subject via camera range and camera angles is presented through a point of view that determines how much access we are granted into the subject’s range of action. Think of how the camera’s point of view is always being strategically utilized to give us a very focused perspective on whatever action is taking place, forcing the spectator to view unfolding events through the very specifically-defined window of the film frame.

Establishing shot

A type of long shot, this shot is taken from a distance and shows the broad context in which the action will unfold.

  • Orient the viewer in space and time.
  • Draw upon a set of significations associated with a particular location.
  • Create a sense of realism.

Shot of rundown house with one-way sign in foreground.

Reaction shot

Shows the response of a character, or any onlooker, to an action.

  • Guide viewer’s understanding of the action.
  • Guide viewer’s understanding of a character’s experience of the action.
  • Invite positive or negative judgment of the reacting character based on the reaction.

Medium shot of audience members. Main figures are crying baby and woman with head buried in handkerchief.

Point of view shot

Shows the scene as viewed from a particular character’s perspective. Can be objective (as in an over-the-shoulder shot) or, less commonly, subjective (as if the viewer shares the same eyeballs as the character).

  • Reveal a character’s perspective.
  • Bring the viewer into a character’s world view.
  • Suggest a character’s emotional or physiological state.

Man wearing bow-tie, directly facing camera.

Similar to the process of analyzing point of view, look first at how shots are lit in order to produce a straightforward depiction of a naturalistic environment. With this in mind, you can then notice when different lighting techniques are used to emphasize or undercut certain aspects of characters or settings. Note how the lighting-related rhetorical devices described here can be supplemented with the use of fill lighting , smaller lights used to accentuate even more specific parts of characters, objects, and settings.

Backlighting

Light source is positioned behind the subject.

  • Create a glowing, otherworldly effect.
  • Suggest romance.
  • Suggest virtuousness.

Man and woman in foreground, closely facing each other, with bright sun in background.

Low-key lighting

Lighting that produces shadowy areas.

  • Create an atmosphere of mystery.
  • Suggest ambiguity or hidden motivations.
  • Heighten sense of harshness or misfortune.

Woman's head and shoulders behind bars. Bars form shadows on her face.

High-key lighting

Bright lighting producing even illumination with few shadows.

Some applications :

  • Suggest optimism.
  • Suggest cheerfulness.
  • Create an atmosphere of clarity.

Man in orange plaid shirt stands against orange and white background. His face and figure are brightly lit, with almost no shadowing.

Shots are combined into scenes, which represent continuous actions/moments in time. An analysis of editing as a rhetorical device might entail making a claim about how tone/atmosphere or characterization is affected by the pacing of a scene as constructed through editing techniques.

Fast cutting

Technique in which shots appear in rapid succession.

  • Create an energetic or frenzied feeling.
  • Create a sense of urgency.
  • Quickly communicate information (as in movie trailers).

A shot which is held for a long duration of time.

  • Force concentrated attention on the subject(s) within the frame.
  • Introduce a location.
  • Create the experience of the passage of “real time.”

One of the most famous long takes in American film history is the opening scene of Orson Welles’s 1958 Touch of Evil :

A transition from one image to another in which one image disappears while the next appears, with the two images temporarily superimposed.

  • communicate a change in scene or time.
  • signal a relationship between two scenes.
  • expose a character’s thoughts (as when a close-up dissolves to a person or place the character is thinking about).

Dramatic irony

Dramatic irony is generated when the audience possesses knowledge not shared by the character/s—as when a scene cuts away from a character’s field of vision and furnishes the audience with information not available to that character.

  • Sustain audience interest.
  • Create a sense of anticipation for the moment when the character learns what the audience already knows.
  • Elicit audience sympathy for a character.

In the example below, the audience sees that a mysterious man has switched the main character’s drink, but the character himself lacks this knowledge.

The term sound design refers to the art of recording, selecting, and combining dialogue, music, and sound effects to craft the audio component of a scene. In analyzing sound design, also pay attention to the adjustment of the volume levels of each sound in relation to the other sounds in a given scene. As with camera-related techniques and editing techniques, think of how the manipulation of sound shapes our perception of space and time, and why or for what reasons this is done with respect to the film’s theme(s).

Music composed to enhance the visual narrative.

  • Heighten dramatic impact.
  • Guide the audience’s emotional response to the narrative.
  • Construct a specific mood or atmosphere.
  • Suggest interior states of characters (sadness, fear, confusion, etc.).

Any sound that originates within the story world, including dialogue, music, and noises made by objects.

Just as our real-life hearing is selective (as when we “tune out” nearby conversations, or fixate on a displeasing sound), film sound represents a set of selections. Sounds may be stressed, muted, or gradually amplified or lessened. They can align with a particular point of view, and they can conjure images or elicit particular feelings.

Non-Diegetic

Any sound that has no source within the story world. The most common example is the film score. Non-diegetic sound can encourage particular affective/emotional responses.

Related Concepts

Rhetorical Analysis

Visual Literacy

Film Synopses

Black Fist Detour D.O.A. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Jane Eyre Laser Mission Power, Passion, Murder Prisoners of the Lost Universe TNT Jackson Touch of Evil Within Our Gates

Black Fist . Directed by Timothy Galfas, Richard Kaye. L-T Films, 1975. Internet Archiv e, archive.org/details/BlackFist.

Detour . Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. PRC Pictures, 1945. Internet Archiv e, archive.org/details/Detour.

D.O.A. Directed by Rudolph Maté. United Artists, 1950. Internet Archiv e, archive.org/details/D.o.a.VideoQualityUpgrade.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde . Directed by Rouben Mamoulian. Paramount Pictures, 1931. Internet Archiv e, archive.org/details/DRJEKYLLANDMR.HYDE31.

Jane Eyre . Directed by Delbert Mann. Omnibus Productions, 1970. Internet Archiv e, archive.org/details/JaneEyre70.

Laser Mission . Directed by BJ Davis. Turner Home Entertainment, 1989. Internet Archiv e, archive.org/details/LaserMission1989.

Power, Passion, Murder . Directed by Paul Bogart. BCI Eclipse, 1987. Internet Archiv e, archive.org/details/PowerPassion.

Prisoners of the Lost Universe . Directed by Terry Marcel. Marcel/Robertson, 1983. Internet Archiv e, archive.org/details/PrisonersOfTheLostUniverse1983.

TNT Jackson . Directed by Cirio Santiago. Premiere Productions, 1974. Internet Archiv e, archive.org/details/TNTJackson.

Touch of Evil . Directed by Orson Welles. Universal-International, 1958.

Within Our Gates . Directed by Oscar Micheaux. Micheaux Book & Film Company, 1920. Internet Archiv e, archive.org/details/withinOurGates1920.

Brevity - Say More with Less

Brevity - Say More with Less

Clarity (in Speech and Writing)

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Inclusivity - Inclusive Language

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Simplicity

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Grace Tener: Your Move Chief: A Rhetorical Analysis on Film

Your Move Chief: A Rhetorical Analysis on Film

Good Will Hunting, a late 1990s drama written by the acting duo Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, portrays a young man’s journey overcoming his abusive past and embracing his intellectual potential. The protagonist, Will Hunting’s path towards realizing his immense skill occurs through the guidance of his probation officer’s prescribed therapy sessions. The entrance of Robin Williams’ character, psychiatrist Sean Macguire, leads to several emotional examples of rhetoric that occur throughout the film. Williams’ portrayal of Sean’s dedication to helping Will address his internal adversity brings about the prime example of rhetoric within the film which I have selected to highlight. This particular clip, a short frame commonly referred to as The Bench Scene accurately demonstrates the several aspects of effective rhetoric as defined by Bitzer, and proves a powerful cinematic moment with key rhetorical relevance that translates to current media.

Bitzer emphasizes the basis of particular instances that qualify them as rhetoric when he states, “rhetorical situation may be defined as a complex of persons, events, objects, and relations presenting an actual or potential exigence” (6). Three characteristics of “The Rhetorical Situation” are constraints that complicate the rhetoric’s overall message. An audience, that receives the communication and is called to action by the composer of the situation. Then exigence, the desire behind the given display to convey certain meanings through particular works. 

The idea that a moment or situation can be assumed to have rhetoric occurs when it also demonstrates persuasive elements that cultivate a response. The effective nature of rhetoric, regardless of the form of media it occurs through, is determined by the ability it has to connect to an audience and how strongly the message is conveyed despite the constraints working against it. The circumstances of a rhetorical situation must contain a shared narrative seeking to convince a viewer to recognize the events, and authenticity that outshines any factors that seek to undermine the ideals being portrayed. Each of these specified factors occurs during Robin Williams’ speech to Matt Damon’s character in the film, and the scene itself proves a strong example of the situation Bitzer emphasizes through his list of rhetorical elements. 

Through this short monologue delivered on a park bench, the exigence of Sean Maguire’s narrative is conveyed through his desire to get through to Will. Robin Williams’ talent as an actor makes a convincing display as he emotionally retells his life events to the young man. Sean’s character uses the hardships he experienced in war and the struggles with his wife’s cancer battle to relate to Will and his tragic past and demonstrate that his selfish nature of believing the world is against him, and he alone is victim to the struggles of human existence, proves blatantly false against the obstacles of others. He asserts his authority over Will’s naturally arrogant nature by counteracting it with compassion and wise words. Sean takes the opportunity of Will’s position as his client to come to terms with his personal battles, and through his passionate retelling of the past, he manages to use his desire of self-reflection to assist his work of pushing past Will’s emotional wall.

The conflict caused by Will’s experiences with abuse in the foster system, losing his family, and growing up in Boston feeling completely alone consume him. He responds to the hardships of his existence by acting out, as demonstrated by his countless run-ins with the law, assault, in particular, being the culprit landing him in Sean’s office. Despite his unfortunate circumstances, Will still demonstrates strong potential, his undeniable intelligence being the draw for Sean to get through to him. The psychiatrist uses unconventional methods of rhetoric to fulfill his hope to turn Will’s life around by getting personal about himself first to encourage Will to overcome his past. The details of Will’s extensive struggles, which Sean later elaborates on and demonstrates parallels to his former plights, prove the strongest exigence in the scene. The weight that his flawed reality has on his ability to move forward, catalyzes Sean’s purpose for getting vulnerable with him. As Sean begins to piece together Will’s mind the rhetorical situation of his moving speech are willed into existence and the basis of the work ahead of him to reach the young man’s heart is made known. 

While speaking to Will following his criticism of a paint by numbers in his office, causing a physical altercation between them and an awkward silence to ensue, the emotional breakthrough in the public park becomes inevitable to their relationship’s progression. Sean Maguire seeks to channel his wisdom past the young man’s pride and grant him understanding and insight into his experienced worldview. He utilizes their hour allotted therapy time to share a personal narrative with his client. The primary audience within this scene proves to be Will, as he is physically present next to Sean at the bench. However, it can also be interpreted that by attempting to teach Will the values of his past, Sean is also speaking on some levels to a former version of himself, who he witnesses parts of within Will’s character. Particularly in the moments where he remembers his wife, it becomes apparent that he also sees Nancy as a present member of his life, and by extension she too can be considered as the audience, seeing as their love proved a key aspect of Sean’s monologue. 

Bitzer throughout his outline of rhetorical situations, repeatedly explains that the key behind given rhetoric proves to be discourse and a driving purpose. Rhetorical situations must hold relevance and convey in some capacity a desire for change. This call to action as presented to a given audience holds more importance to the matter than simply receiving the communication, but also to initiate a form of change to occur within the recipient. Sean is not speaking to Will simply in terms of wishing to recount his past, but through his personal narrative, cause an awakening within Will’s nature and hopefully a chance for him to be released from the emotional pain dominating his conscience. Sean uses his rhetorical capabilities as an educated psychologist to get through to his client. Will’s position as the main audience is demonstrated through his solemn nature on the bench during the scene, as well as the later actions he takes as changes in his overall attitude towards Sean become more positive. The effectiveness of Sean’s words is made apparent as Will begins to share his own story. The obligation of a rhetorical audience is fulfilled within Will’s character, when Sean’s efforts come full circle during the equally emotion it’s not your fault scene, another instance of rhetoric within the moving film, proving that Will and Sean’s complicated relationship fulfill the aspects of Bitzer’s understanding of rhetorical situations.

Sean’s efforts to make Will become more in touch with himself as a person in addition to assisting him in moving on from his tragic circumstance, are met with strong resistance from Will’s strong-willed nature. The results of Sean’s genuine account are not necessarily well-received at first glance by Will as he remains silent throughout the five-minute monologue, however, the course of the film allows for the effectiveness of the rhetorical situations on the young man’s life to become known. The constraints of this scene are made prevalent based on Will’s demonstration of stubbornness before this particular climax instance in the film. His arrogance towards Sean’s authority, and constant carelessness towards the other professionals tasked with assisting him, prove a foundation towards his resistance to Sean’s approach of discussion. Another factor that obstructs Maguire’s message occurs when analyzing the tension between the newly acquainted pair. Due to their introduction being less than welcoming, the effectiveness of Sean’s intelligent statements is somewhat lost on his small audience, as Will allows personal bias against the professor to block out the effectiveness of the words Sean shares with him. Will’s poor history with “shrinks” causes him to lack trust and empathy for the vulnerability Sean attempts to share with him, a major constraint on the rhetoric being displayed. Their rocky relationship up until this point proves a challenging constraint to the scene as well. Will is unlikely to trust and fully dedicate his attention to Sean following their prior engagement ending in a fight.

 The parameters of the event impact the overall results of the experience Sean is attempting to relay. Bitzer outlines two separate forms of constraints “those originated or managed by the rhetor and his method… and those other constraints, in the situation, which may be operative” (8). Both of these play a role in complicating Sean’s rhetorical situation as his forceful nature of speaking to Will for the first time in an authoritative nature proves a stark contrast from the kind approach of their introduction. This controlled constraint is intended by Sean, as the speaker, as he seeks to defend himself against Will’s disrespect however, this method creates tension between him and his client and a barrier for his message to Will. The operative circumstances that constrain Sean’s speech occur due to Will’s unfortunate past with authority figures and natural tendency to underestimate and invalidate the efforts of professionals to encourage his personal development and intellectual abilities. 

The rhetoric of The Bench Scene in itself seemingly lacks effectiveness, as Will up until this moment in the film appeared to hold little to no respect for Sean, his superior. But, upon the movie’s progression, obvious changes appear in his character that contradicts his former stubbornness as he begins to slowly share with Sean throughout the course of their remaining exchanges. The lasting result of Sean’s willingness to share even his most intimate memories forms a silent bond between the two as mutual respect over shared hardships draws them to a common understanding. The emotion behind the scene makes it a memorable and effective demonstration of the relevance rhetorical situations can have. Bitzer’s demonstration of the elements of rhetoric is prevalent throughout Good Will Hunting . Sean’s intelligent display of rhetoric to Will highlights the various methods at which certain communication can be conveyed, and his message holds strong desires for change, making it a compelling example of all aspects that Bitzer formulates in his text. Your Move Chief GT (1) Your Move Chief GT (2) Your Move Chief GT (3)

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The 30 Best Movie Inspirational Speeches

Cinema's most stirring oratories and spirit-raising team talks.

Gladiator

In times of trouble, you need a little help getting up and going, and film can often provide just that. Cinema has a long and storied history of providing great words of motivation and encouragement, sometimes for the characters' own benefit and occasionally to the audience. Here, we've chosen 30 of the best that should fit almost any occasion - but if you're really pressed for time, here are 40 condensed into a two-minute span { =nofollow}. If you have a little longer, read on!

Also: The 25 Best Movie Bollockings

The Great Dictator

Made at a time when the shadow of World War II was looming over Europe, Charlie Chaplin’s speech here – he’s playing a poor Jewish barber in disguise as a preening dictator and forced to address a Nuremberg-style rally – is a heartfelt plea for sanity and compassion in a time of madness. It’s the perfect antidote to extremism, and uses fiery rhetoric for good. If only we’d be able to pull this switcheroo in real life.

Buy The Great Dictator

Independence Day

Sure, there are cheesemongers with less cheese on offer than you see here and OK, the American jingoism doesn’t work at all for those of us not of a Yank disposition. But Bill Pullman’s slightly sheepish style blends here with steely determination, and he delivers the American St Crispin’s Day speech with conviction. Then, like any US President, he leaps into his fighter jet and flies off to battle aliens.

Buy Independence Day

For those who prefer a little humour in their motivational speeches, try the pitch-black streak in this opener, establishing Russell Crowe’s Maximus Decimus Meridius as a leader of men and a helluva guy. Galloping around the Legions in his cool armour and fur-lined cloak, you might question whether he really needs an entire army to back him up, but you’ll never doubt for a moment that they’d choose to follow him as he unleashes hell.

Buy Gladiator

Any Given Sunday

There’s a lot to be said for a little personal touch to leaven your high-flung rhetoric, and it’s a trick that Al Pacino uses well here, in the first of three American football speeches we’re going to include (hey, we can’t help it if the heavily-padded sport produces some great pep talks). Pacino’s troubled Tony D’Amato unveils his own problems with brutal honesty before using his own failures as a spur to rev on his team to greatness, speaking of team spirit and commitment as someone who has been known to suck at both.

Buy Any Given Sunday

Friday Night Lights

The film has been somewhat overshadowed nowadays by the equally good TV show that followed it, but watch Billy Bob Thornton here and be reminded that Kyle Chandler isn’t the only fundamentally decent man who can inspire a team of small-town boys to great efforts in pursuit of perfection. It’s also worth noting that he puts his emphasis here on excelling and not winning, making it clear that victory isn’t only measured by the scoreboard. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

Buy Friday Night Lights

It is, and will probably always be, the greatest inspirational speech ever made. It’s endlessly flexible, and works even when not declaimed by the classically trained (see this Renaissance Man version for proof). And it’s by Shakespeare, still the best writer in Hollywood. We have, controversially perhaps, chosen Branagh’s version over Olivier’s because the latter sounds a little shrill to the modern ear, while Branagh convinces us that he could convince his men. This speech, given by the titular monarch to a vastly outnumbered force about to fight the French, obviously works especially well for English people, but by God, Harry and St George, it’s universal in its rousing effect.

Buy Henry V

This is a little-known film in the UK but it’s revered in certain communities in the US. Sean Astin’s Rudy has overcome dyslexia, poor grades and his relatively small stature to win a place on Notre Dame’s famous Fighting Irish American football team. Only problem is that he’s never been off the bench, and with his final game approaching he threatens to quit the team if he isn’t allowed to play – prompting this inspirational speech / telling off from a friend who points out that he’s being whiny and entitled and needs to grow a pair. Soon he’s back on the bench and given a starting position when his entire team threatens not to play unless he’s given a shot.

An honourable mention for Hector’s pep talk but Achilles wins the battle of the inspirational speeches just as he wins their duel (c’mon, that’s not a spoiler; it’s in the 2000 year-old Iliad). This is a short snippet, but then godlike Achilles, the man-killer, is a man of action rather than words. And what he does say – focusing on lions, glory and the manifold abilities of his small, hand-picked group of Myrmidons – would convince a rock to fight any Trojan who dared oppose it.

Animal House

Not every inspirational speech is about trying to inspire his cohorts to kill people or batter them up and down the length of a football field. Some aspire to a higher goal. Some aspire to debauchery, drinking and probably nudity. Some aspire to party like 1999 might have done had it tried harder. Some aspire to a particular kind of grubby, deranged greatness. One such is John Belushi’s Bluto, and this is the greatest night of his life.

Buy Animal House

The Goonies

Come the hour, cometh the man – and in this case the man is a small, asthmatic Sean Astin, inspiring his fellow Goonies to never say die and to keep going in their quest to find treasure and save their community. In his yellow rain slicker and with his voice on the edge of breaking he may not look like a modern Napoleon, but he has the same effect on his exhausted and discouraged troopers. He’s so good you’ll almost forget to laugh at his mentions of One-Eyed Willy. snigger

Buy The Goonies

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Death comes to us all, and Aragorn ain’t going to lie about it. But he still gees up his troops with the assurance that their civilisation will survive the onslaught of the forces of Mordor. Sure, they’re vastly outnumbered and sure, it seems likely that Frodo has failed in his quest to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom (especially if you’re watching the Extended Edition) but Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn ensures that no one will be quitting any time soon. Not this day!

Buy The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Bill Murray isn’t usually the guy you turn to for sincere, inspiring words of comfort. He’s more the type to puncture any attempt at same, and probably to fast-talk his opponents into giving up and going for a karaoke session while he’s about it. But after his heart grows two sizes during the course of Scrooged, he makes a plea for kindness and niceness from all mankind. He still does it in a recognisably Murray, manic and scattershot way, but that just makes him all the more compelling. Someone hire this man to play Santa Claus.

Buy Scrooged

Stirring sports speeches are limited to American Football. Miracle On Ice chronicles the based-on-truth tale of how the US Olympic hockey team triumphed over their Russian rivals. Kurt Russell's the speech-giver here, playing coach Herb Brooks. "Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world," he tells them. You'll feel a swell of pride and inspiration too.

Rent Miracle

Deep Blue Sea

“You think water’s fast? You should see ice.” Samuel L. Jackson’s been around the block more than once, and he’s seen the worst of mankind. It’s with the weight of that history behind him that he takes charge and orders his fellow survivors of a marine disaster to start pulling together and quit arguing. His speech also has what is, unquestionably, the greatest punchline on this list. Still, it achieves the desired effect once everyone has quit screaming.

Buy Deep Blue Sea

If in doubt, steal from classical history, something that David Wenham’s Dilios demonstrates with aplomb here. In actual history, the one survivor of the 300 was so shamed by his survival that he executed a suicidal one-man attack on the Persians at this Battle of Plataea, but Wenham seems more in control and also like he has quite a bit of back-up. “The enemy outnumber us a paltry three-to-one,” notes Dilios triumphantly. Why, it was hardly worth the Persians turning up.

Good Will Hunting

Here’s an inspirational speech well-suited to highly-paid sports teams and the enormously talented. Ben Affleck’s argument is, basically, that if you’re lucky enough to get extraordinary chances in your life, it’s your duty to the rest of us schmoes to actually take those chances and run with them as far as you can. If you can get past the shellsuit and the hair, he’s basically Yoda-like in his wisdom.

Buy Good Will Hunting

Most people only remember the last word – “Freedom!” – but the rest of the speech is pretty killer too. Mel Gibson’s William Wallace starts off by puncturing his own legend, and acknowledges the urge to cut and run in the face of a far superior English force. But then he reminds his men what they’d be missing if they do, and soon they’re all back on side and facing down the hated English. By the end of this speech, you’ll all hate the English with them – even if you are one.

Buy Braveheart

Coach Carter

You’d expect the inspiration in this basketball film to come from the titular no-nonsense coach, played by a fiery Samuel L. Jackson. But in fact it’s one of his players who nabs the best lines, as he and the team sit studying to keep their grades as high as their scores. There is a little cheating here: Rick Gonzalez’ Timo actually steals his inspirational speech from Marianne Williamson (it’s sometimes wrongly attributed to Nelson Mandela) but he delivers it well so we’re going to allow it.

Buy Coach Carter

While it’s his skills in the ring that he is most lauded for, Rocky Balboa is something of a poet to boot. An incoherent one, certainly; a poet who says “I guess” a lot more often than Wordsworth might like, but a poet nevertheless. His moving words here, as he single-handedly ends the Cold War and ushers in a new era of East-West relations, are just one example. Another is…

Buy Rocky IV

Rocky Balboa

If his last speech was incoherent – in fairness, his rhythm may have been thrown off by the translator – this one verges on incomprehensible when he really gets going. Still, there’s real passion in Rocky’s plea for one last shot and an argument that’s applicable to all sorts of situations of institutional injustice or unfeeling bureaucracy.

Buy Rocky Balboa

Stand And Deliver

Those who've watched him on the modern Battlestar Galactica know that Edward James Olmos is a past master at giving speeches. This is him from a little earlier in his career, playing Jaime Escalante, a real-life teacher who inspired his students to stop dropping out and start taking calculus seriously. Here, he's handing out as pop quiz, so anyone having to home school their kids can take note.

Rent Stand And Deliver

Good Night, And Good Luck

This one is couched particularly at media moguls, but there’s a call for excellence and the highest moral standards here that we would all do well to live by. David Strathairn’s Edward R. Murrow, in a speech lifted directly from Murrow’s actual address to the Radio and Television News Directors Association in 1958, pleads for TV to inform as well as entertain. We feel that if more people saw this speech, Made In Chelsea would be cancelled immediately and reality TV would be banned, so spread the word!

Buy Good Night, And Good Luck

Anyone who has ever flirted with a romantic interest knows the risk of being knocked back, and Jon Favreau's Mike is experiencing a crisis of confidence. Luckily for him, he has Vince Vaughn's Trent to talk him back into the game, and Alex Désert's Charles to remind him that he's so money. He's a bear! And she's a bunny! Everything is going to be fine.

Buy Swingers

Charles Dutton’s second appearance on this list, after Rudy, sees him once again reminding lesser men (and women) to get with the programme, pull the finger out and generally stand up and be counted. But this time they’re facing unstoppable acid-blooded xenomorphs rather than American football players, so he has to be extra-emphatic.

Buy Alien 3

Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End

Remarkably few women get to deliver inspirational speeches in movies – apparently they’re relegated to clapping admiringly from the sidelines. Thank goodness for Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) who is elected King of the Pirates and rouses her troops into action for a last-ditch fight against the Lord Beckett’s overwhelming forces, led by the Flying Dutchman. She may not have quite the lungs of others on the list, but there’s no doubting her conviction as she calls for them to “Hoist the colours!” – the Jolly Roger – and sail out one last time.

Buy Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End

The Replacements

One doesn’t expect lengthy speeches from Keanu “Woah” Reeves (although he’s done his share of Shakespeare actually) but he’s rarely more succinct and to the point than in this chat with his fellow Replacements. And in fact there are few speeches more likely to be effective in motivating an exhausted team for one last effort. “Chicks dig scars” could be used by virtually every example here to drive on the listeners.

Buy The Replacements

Bill Murray at it again, and once more an unconventional speech. This time out, he's John Winger, a loser who decides that he and best pal Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis) will join the Army. Stuck with a group of oddballs, and, after a night of partying, decides to rally his fellow troops. It works... Sort of. But Murray's typically laconic style works well for the speech itself.

Rent or buy Stripes

The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King

All seems lost for Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin again) and Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) as they lie, exhausted, on the slopes of Mount Doom. Frodo’s beyond endurance and raving as the influence of the Ring grows ever stronger on him, and his desperate straits drive Sam to one last push. It’s barely a speech, really – he uses his words better here – but there are few moments more inspirational.

Buy The Lord Of The Rings: Return of The King

The Shawshank Redemption

A quiet moment between Tim Robbins' Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman's Red became one of the more memorable moments in Shawshank , a movie with no shortage of them. And for those who are spending more time inside than perhaps they might be used to, Andy's musing on what he would do if he got out of prison are inspirational in themselves, even before he gets to that iconic line.

Rent The Shawshank Redemption

Avengers: Endgame

Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, is not shy of breaking out speech mode when the moment calls for it. And inspiring the Avengers as they're about to embark on a trip through space and time to retrieve the Infinity Stones certainly seems like that moment. "Whatever it takes," indeed.

Rent Avengers: Endgame

The Daring English Teacher on Teachers Pay Teachers Secondary ELA resources Middle School ELA High School English

My Favorite Speeches for Rhetorical Analysis: 10 Speeches for Middle School ELA and High School English

Teaching rhetorical analysis is one of my absolute favorite units to complete with my students. I love teaching my students about rhetorical strategies and devices, analyzing what makes an effective and persuasive argument, and reading critical speeches with my students. Here is a quick list of some of my favorite speeches for rhetorical analysis.

My Favorite Speeches for Rhetorical Analysis

I absolutely LOVE teaching rhetorical analysis. I think it might be one of my favorite units to teach to my high school students. There are just so many different text options to choose from. Here is a list of some of my favorite speeches to include in my rhetorical analysis teaching unit.

10 Speeches for Teaching Rhetorical Analysis

1. the gettysburg address (abraham lincoln).

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Some notable things to mention in this speech include allusion and parallel structure. To make your analysis more meaningful, point out these devices to students and explain how these devices enhance the meaning of the text.

Teaching Resource : The Gettysburg Address Rhetorical Analysis Activity Packet

2. Lou Gehrig’s Farewell Speech (Lou Gehrig)

This speech is one that many of my athletes love to analyze, and it is an excellent exemplar text to teach pathos. And like The Gettysburg Address, it is short. This is another speech that you can read, analyze, and even write about in one class period.

When I use this speech in my class, I have students look for examples of pathos. Mainly, I have them look at word choice, tone, and mood. How does Lou Gehrig’s choice of words affect his tone and the overall mood of the speech?

3. I Have a Dream (Martin Luther King,  Jr.)

IMG 8495

In the classroom, it is important to point out the sermonic feel to the speech and also to have your students look for calls to action and pathos. Have your students look for tone, allusions, and word choice to help them notice these rhetoric expressions throughout it.

Teaching Resource : I Have a Dream Close Read and Rhetorical Analysis

4. Speech at the March on Washington (Josephine Baker)

This is another important speech that held a lot of importance for the changes that needed to be made in America. The speech is a shorter one, so in the classroom, it will not take as long to analyze it, and students can understand the significance of the use of rhetoric in a shorter amount of time than some other speeches.

When teaching this speech, I like to remind my students to search for devices that portray an excellent example of the pathos that is so present in this speech. Some of these devices could be mood, repetition, and diction.

5. Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech (Steve Jobs)

My Favorite Speeches for Rhetorical Analysis

In class, it is good to have your students annotate and analyze the speech just as they have done for the others. The organization of the speech will help them to notice the similarities and differences between each point Jobs makes.

6. Space Shuttle Challenger (Ronald Reagan)

This speech represents a strong sense of pathos as a movement to help the American people cope with loss after the deaths of the astronauts aboard the Challenger. It is another speech that is not too long, so it should not take a long time to both analyze and annotate the entire speech.

When teaching this speech in class, be sure to mention how pathos is the driving force behind the speech, through the tone and the diction. How does Reagan use emotion to focus on the astronauts as humans, rather than solely focusing on the tragedy?

7. The Perils of Indifference (Elie Wiesel)

This speech is a good one to teach because it both makes students question their own lives, but also how the world works. The speech relies on pathos, and a little ethos too, to get the audience to feel the full effect of the tragedy of the Holocaust and what the speaker went through. It is a long speech so it may take longer for the students to fully grasp all the details that make it such a persuasive speech.

When I teach this speech, I like to have students annotate every place they notice an example of pathos, and then have them explain why in their annotations this makes them feel an emotion. The same with the ethos, and then we can further analyze the rest together.

8. 9/11 Address to the Nation (George W. Bush)

This speech shows another example of the use of pathos in the midst of a tragedy. The President wanted to show the American people how much he was feeling for those lost in the tragedy of 9/11. It is not a long speech, but the amount of emotion within the words is significant for students to notice.

When teaching this speech, it is essential that students look very closely at each part of it, noticing each piece that reveals tone, mood, and other literary devices. How do the different devices add to the pathos of the speech?

FREE TEACHING ACTIVITY : September 11 Address to the Nation Sampler

Teaching Resource : September 11 Address to the Nation Rhetorical Analysis Unit

9. We are Virginia Tech (Nikki Giovanni)

This speech is probably the shortest speech on this list but provides one of the most emotional and pathos-filled rhetoric. This describes another tragedy that is spoken about with pathos to give the audience a safe feeling after such an emotional thing. Students can spend time analyzing the different devices that make the piece so strong in its emotion.

In the classroom, make sure your students make a note of the repetition, and what that does for the speech. Does it make the emotion more impactful? How does it make the audience feel like they are a part of something bigger?

10. Woman’s Right to the Suffrage (Susan B. Anthony)

This is another short speech that holds a lot of power within it. A lot of students will enjoy reading this to see how much the country has changed, and how this speech may have some part in influencing this change. It is a great speech to help teach logos in the classroom, and it will not take a long time to analyze.

Make sure your students notice, and they also understand, the use of allusions within the speech. These allusions help to establish the use of logos, as Anthony wants the use of American historical documents to show how logical her argument is.

Ready-For-You Rhetorical Analysis Teaching Unit

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You might also be interested in my blog post about 15 rhetorical analysis questions to ask your students.

Teaching rhetorical analysis and speeches in the classroom is a great way to teach informational text reading standards.

Rhetorical Analysis Teaching Resources:

These resources follow reading standards for informational text and are ideal for secondary ELA teachers.

  • Rhetorical Analysis Unit with Sticky Notes
  • Ethos, Pathos, Logos: Understanding Rhetorical Appeals\
  • Rhetorical Analysis Mini Flip Book

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Home Essay Samples Entertainment In Pursuit of Happiness

Rhetorical Analysis of Will Smith’s Speech from the Movie "The Pursuit of Happyness"

Rhetorical Analysis of Will Smith’s Speech from the Movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" essay

Table of contents

Persuasive appeals in will smith's speech.

  • Du, Y. (2019). A Rhetorical Analysis of “The Pursuit of Happyness” Movie Trailer. Journal of Media Critiques, 5(19), 20-33. https://doi.org/10.17349/jmc119320
  • Koster, C. R. (2012). Masculinity and success in American movies: A social-cognitive analysis of Will Smith’s character in The Pursuit of Happyness. Men and Masculinities, 15(3), 236-252. https://doi.org/10.1177/1097184X11430257
  • Lambe, J. (2018). A Rhetorical Analysis of Will Smith’s “The Pursuit of Happyness” Speech. Medium. https://medium.com/@JenLambe/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-will-smiths-the-pursuit-of-happyness-speech-30f0b1de8aa3
  • Snyder, J. (2006). The Pursuit of Happyness: A Hollywood portrayal of the homeless. Journal of Poverty, 10(2), 103-114. https://doi.org/10.1300/J134v10n02_06
  • Wimberley, D. W. (2012). The myth of meritocracy and African American success: A rhetorical analysis of The Pursuit of Happyness. Western Journal of Black Studies, 36(4), 228-238. https://www.jstor.org/stable/43809098

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Rhetorical Analysis: Miracle

A major success for this week was deciding on a topic for the rhetorical analysis. For me, figuring out the topic was a long process that may even be longer than actually writing the rhetorical analysis, itself. When I began thinking about topics, I knew I wanted to analyze a speech of some sort. After days of brainstorming and indecisiveness, a light bulb finally lit up in my head. I decided I wanted to analyze the speech given by Herb Brooks in the movie Miracle .

Miracle is a movie that was made in 2004, and it is about the story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team and its victory over the heavily favored Soviets. Although it is based on a true story, a lot of the events in the movie are fictional. The speech, given by Coach Herb Brooks (who is portrayed by Kurt Russell), is intended as a pre-game motivational speech for his nervous team. The speech is in the video below.

I chose to analyze this speech because I am a huge hockey fan, to start, and the character in the movie proves how influential proper and well-planned rhetoric can be. The speaker uses specific speaking strategies that I will describe in more detail in my rhetorical analysis, such as the appeals and planned pauses. Personally, I think the planned pauses make the speech so strong. They emphasize certain aspects of the speech and allow the audience to emotionally connect better.

Every time I watch the speech, I can feel how my emotions and thoughts are affected. The speech given by Herb Brooks in the movie practically defines the movie, and everyone who has watched Miracle before can relate. After coming up with this idea, I knew I would love to write about it, even if I had to watch it two hundred times to fully grasp every aspect of the speech execution.

Since I finally decided on my topic very recently, I do not have much progress in writing the actual rhetorical analysis at this moment, but I look forward to writing about a topic of interest to me.

The video below shows a young kid giving the Miracle speech, and he does it phenomenally, to say the least.

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I love that speech. We’ve all been in the locker room before a big game, with the coach giving us a speech to pump us up, even if we were supposed to lose, and you still went out there and tried your hardest. This speech gave me chills it really unites them as one I loved it!

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As a hockey fan myself, this is definitely one of my all-time favorites. A truly great story, even if some parts are fictional, I am sure your essay will be fantastic. A lot you can do along the lines of ethos, logos, and certainly pathos.

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That kid is adorable! I actually have seen this movie so I know what you are talking about when you say that the speech is strong. It is a great idea for a Rhetorical Analysis paper and I think it will be great!

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I love Miracle, it is one of my favorite movies. That speech is one of the best parts of it and I’m sure that it will be a lot of fun for you to analyze in your essay. Best of luck!

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I also agree that some of the best speeches I’ve heard have been in movies, which is awesome but also sad when I realize its not real. I think this speech is a great idea for your paper, plus the kid is pretty cute.

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Movies are great outlets for speeches. I always find myself surprised when I watch a phenomenal movie speech – I usually think, “Wait, this isn’t legit, this is entertainment,” until I realize that sometimes entertainment gives you the audience you want for a speech. Good luck with your paper!

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Rhetorical Analysis: Miracle By: Brandice Cole

“Great moments are born from great opportunity, and that’s what you have here tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve yearned here tonight. One game; if we played them ten times, they might win nine. But not this game, not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight we stay with them, and we shut them down because we can. Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world.

You were born to be hockey players--every one of you, and you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It’s over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw ‘em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it!”

HERB BROOKS

This speech was given by Coach Herb Brooks in the movie, Miracle, which was based on a true story. He gave this speech to his USA Olympic team prior to the big game against Soviet.

In his speech, Brooks was mainly stating that although Soviet may have been a winning team so far, their winning streak will end tonight. He also was saying that his players were born for this moment and that they have everything they need to win as far as; skills, training, and God given talent.

The intended audience was his team but also, it can be used to motivate anyone. This speech explains that whatever you do in life, with hard work and self confidence you can achieve your goals.

EXAMPLE: "Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world." - giving creditability to being the best team

"Great moments are born from great opportunity, and that’s what you have here tonight, boys." - reason why they are able to compete

"One game; if we played them ten times, they might win nine. But not this game, not tonight." - showing that odds are in their favor

"we are the greatest hockey team in the world" - giving confidence

"I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw ‘em" - getting audience fired up

An author's specific word choice

GREATEST team

All three appeals are used, however, pathos seemed to be used the most. This speech had a very strong message and it can reach all age groups and it can be used in different scenarios.

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24/7 Tempo

The Best Speeches in Movie History

Posted: May 27, 2024 | Last updated: May 27, 2024

<p>Much like plays of time past, movies often contain extended dialogue from a singular character that rises above the film, reaching a level of transcendence rarely realized. Be it out of love, hate, or from someplace in between the two, some speeches rise above the films they live in, reaching a high watermark of rhetoric, philosophy, and analysis. Some speeches, however, rise even further and become the best in movie history.</p> <p>The greatest movie speeches manage to summarize the theme and plot of the movie while simultaneously surpassing the dialogue of the entire film. Be it monologues of misguided anarchy like in "Animal House," or brief analyses that aptly summarize the eternal struggles of mankind like "Do the Right Thing," all the best movie speeches upstage the characters, plot, and themes, resulting in profound meditations on existence itself. In this article, we will explore some of the best speeches in movie history. (For one-liners that became iconic, <a href="https://247tempo.com/50-of-the-most-unforgettable-movie-lines/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=msn&utm_content=50-of-the-most-unforgettable-movie-lines&wsrlui=47410981" rel="noopener">discover 50 of the most unforgettable movie lines.</a>)</p> <p>To compile a list of the best speeches in movie history, 24/7 Tempo consulted a range of film, entertainment, and lifestyle sites including Empire Online, American Rhetoric, and HighSnobiety. Next, we selected speeches that had the most cultural impact and/or delivered the most iconic moments. After that, we consulted sites like Rotten Tomatoes and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/" rel="noopener">IMDB.com</a> to confirm aspects of each movie and the speeches therein.</p>

Much like plays of time past, movies often contain extended dialogue from a singular character that rises above the film, reaching a level of transcendence rarely realized. Be it out of love, hate, or from someplace in between the two, some speeches rise above the films they live in, reaching a high watermark of rhetoric, philosophy, and analysis. Some speeches, however, rise even further and become the best in movie history.

The greatest movie speeches manage to summarize the theme and plot of the movie while simultaneously surpassing the dialogue of the entire film. Be it monologues of misguided anarchy like in "Animal House," or brief analyses that aptly summarize the eternal struggles of mankind like "Do the Right Thing," all the best movie speeches upstage the characters, plot, and themes, resulting in profound meditations on existence itself. In this article, we will explore some of the best speeches in movie history. (For one-liners that became iconic, discover 50 of the most unforgettable movie lines. )

To compile a list of the best speeches in movie history, 24/7 Tempo consulted a range of film, entertainment, and lifestyle sites including Empire Online, American Rhetoric, and HighSnobiety. Next, we selected speeches that had the most cultural impact and/or delivered the most iconic moments. After that, we consulted sites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB.com to confirm aspects of each movie and the speeches therein.

<p>One of the best speeches in movie history comes from Ridley Scott's Roman epic "Gladiator." Though the main character Maximus gives an impressive speech to his battle-worn soldiers at the movie's commencement, it fails to top the speech he utters during the movie's climax. By this time, Maximus has been sold into slavery and bides his time competing in Gladiatorial games. His unparalleled success leads him closer to his nemesis, Emperor Commodus.</p> <p>After Maximus wins the games in the Roman Coliseum, Commodus enters the ring to give credence to his performance. While Maximus dons a mask disguising his face, he pulls it off and reveals his true identity. In his speech, Maximus pays loyalty to the murdered former emperor and details the horror and destruction that Commodus' regime administered against him. It's one of the best movie speeches because it provides a satisfying conclusion to the hardship Maximus endured to reach this place and position. He's willing to throw away his life in exchange for the chance to tell off the malevolent Emperor.</p>

Gladiator (2000)

One of the best speeches in movie history comes from Ridley Scott's Roman epic "Gladiator." Though the main character Maximus gives an impressive speech to his battle-worn soldiers at the movie's commencement, it fails to top the speech he utters during the movie's climax. By this time, Maximus has been sold into slavery and bides his time competing in Gladiatorial games. His unparalleled success leads him closer to his nemesis, Emperor Commodus.

After Maximus wins the games in the Roman Coliseum, Commodus enters the ring to give credence to his performance. While Maximus dons a mask disguising his face, he pulls it off and reveals his true identity. In his speech, Maximus pays loyalty to the murdered former emperor and details the horror and destruction that Commodus' regime administered against him. It's one of the best movie speeches because it provides a satisfying conclusion to the hardship Maximus endured to reach this place and position. He's willing to throw away his life in exchange for the chance to tell off the malevolent Emperor.

<p>Another one of the best speeches in movie history comes from the sci-fi blockbuster "Independence Day." In any other context, Bill Pullman's speech as the US President might come off as patriotic propaganda or foreign policy jingoism. The aliens, however, have invaded and threaten not only the American way of life but the life of all human beings. To whip up the pilots, Pullman delivers a mighty monologue.</p> <p>In the speech, he harkens back to the great fight the American colonies undertook to claim their independence from the British. From there, he connects the revolution to the battle the rag-tag group of pilots will fight against the invading aliens. He asks the people to put aside their petty differences and fight for the rights of all people to live. It helps that Pullman's character will be flying a plane in the ensuing battle, but it doesn't detract from the inspirational, mighty tone he takes when expressing human dignity in the face of unprecedented adversity.</p>

Independence Day (1996)

Another one of the best speeches in movie history comes from the sci-fi blockbuster "Independence Day." In any other context, Bill Pullman's speech as the US President might come off as patriotic propaganda or foreign policy jingoism. The aliens, however, have invaded and threaten not only the American way of life but the life of all human beings. To whip up the pilots, Pullman delivers a mighty monologue.

In the speech, he harkens back to the great fight the American colonies undertook to claim their independence from the British. From there, he connects the revolution to the battle the rag-tag group of pilots will fight against the invading aliens. He asks the people to put aside their petty differences and fight for the rights of all people to live. It helps that Pullman's character will be flying a plane in the ensuing battle, but it doesn't detract from the inspirational, mighty tone he takes when expressing human dignity in the face of unprecedented adversity.

<p>Another one of the best speeches in movie history comes by way of frat-boy humor in the comedic classic "Animal House." By this time in the film, the animal house frat boys have alienated the other students at their college, sown destruction on campus, and earned the ire of their nemesis, Dean Wormer. Battle-worn, and morally defeated, the boys retire to their frat house to figure out what comes next. Amid this languor, John Belushi's Bluto character makes an impassioned speech.</p> <p>Though he's probably drunk and surely deranged, this state of mind fails to stop Bluto from raising the spirits of his fellow frat boys. He fails to make the proper historical connections, but his emotion carries his words to a hair-raising level of anger and pride. Bluto calls upon his countrymen to not give up the fight against the school so easily, and after a few minutes of blustering and shouting, he whips up his compatriots into an inspirational frenzy. Though comedic, Bluto's speech hits all the notes of a great monologue.</p>

Animal House (1978)

Another one of the best speeches in movie history comes by way of frat-boy humor in the comedic classic "Animal House." By this time in the film, the animal house frat boys have alienated the other students at their college, sown destruction on campus, and earned the ire of their nemesis, Dean Wormer. Battle-worn, and morally defeated, the boys retire to their frat house to figure out what comes next. Amid this languor, John Belushi's Bluto character makes an impassioned speech.

Though he's probably drunk and surely deranged, this state of mind fails to stop Bluto from raising the spirits of his fellow frat boys. He fails to make the proper historical connections, but his emotion carries his words to a hair-raising level of anger and pride. Bluto calls upon his countrymen to not give up the fight against the school so easily, and after a few minutes of blustering and shouting, he whips up his compatriots into an inspirational frenzy. Though comedic, Bluto's speech hits all the notes of a great monologue.

<p>Another one of the best movie speeches in history comes from the sports film "Miracle." Based on a real-life story, the movie details the heroic fight the US Olympic hockey team brought to their Russian rivals. Though the hot-headed American team suffered previous, if not humiliating, defeats, they stayed in the rankings long enough for an epic showdown against the Russian teams. Before the game, Kurt Russell as their coach Herb Brooks, enters the locker room and gives one of the best coach speeches ever.</p> <p>What makes the speech so great is Russell's lack of negativity. He eschews all doubt in his player's minds as he illustrates the game as being a change for singular greatness. He tells them that they are the greatest hockey team in the world. It's said with such conviction and sincerity, that you believe him. It's a speech of triumph and rising above bad odds. Much like the players on the receiving end, it fills the audience with pride and inspiration as well.</p>

Miracle (2004)

Another one of the best movie speeches in history comes from the sports film "Miracle." Based on a real-life story, the movie details the heroic fight the US Olympic hockey team brought to their Russian rivals. Though the hot-headed American team suffered previous, if not humiliating, defeats, they stayed in the rankings long enough for an epic showdown against the Russian teams. Before the game, Kurt Russell as their coach Herb Brooks, enters the locker room and gives one of the best coach speeches ever.

What makes the speech so great is Russell's lack of negativity. He eschews all doubt in his player's minds as he illustrates the game as being a change for singular greatness. He tells them that they are the greatest hockey team in the world. It's said with such conviction and sincerity, that you believe him. It's a speech of triumph and rising above bad odds. Much like the players on the receiving end, it fills the audience with pride and inspiration as well.

<p>While there are multiple brief monologues in the Academy Award-winning "Good Will Hunting," this speech is given by Robin Williams' character to Matt Damon's character, Will Hunting. After being discovered solving complex equations in a Harvard hallway, janitor Will Hunting becomes the apprentice of psychologist Sean Maguire. Though they come to intellectual blows, and Hunting embarrasses Maguire, Maguire sits him down on a park bench and lays it all out.</p> <p>Hunting is brash and arrogant, but Maguire picks up on his latent insecurity. After Hunting rips apart Maguire's life by analyzing a painting in his office, Maguire explains to Hunting that he may know endless information, but it's all learned from books. He illustrates that Hunting may be a genius, but he's also a scared kid, afraid of knowing his true, inner self. It's a great movie speech because it captures the duality of wisdom gained from books and wisdom gained from hardship, adversity, and life experiences.</p>

Good Will Hunting (1997)

While there are multiple brief monologues in the Academy Award-winning "Good Will Hunting," this speech is given by Robin Williams' character to Matt Damon's character, Will Hunting. After being discovered solving complex equations in a Harvard hallway, janitor Will Hunting becomes the apprentice of psychologist Sean Maguire. Though they come to intellectual blows, and Hunting embarrasses Maguire, Maguire sits him down on a park bench and lays it all out.

Hunting is brash and arrogant, but Maguire picks up on his latent insecurity. After Hunting rips apart Maguire's life by analyzing a painting in his office, Maguire explains to Hunting that he may know endless information, but it's all learned from books. He illustrates that Hunting may be a genius, but he's also a scared kid, afraid of knowing his true, inner self. It's a great movie speech because it captures the duality of wisdom gained from books and wisdom gained from hardship, adversity, and life experiences.

<p>Another one of the greatest movie speeches in history comes from the biopic "Good Night, and Good Luck." The film details the real-life witchhunt undertaken by Senator Joseph McCarthy to root out Communists from American society. In response, CBS News correspondent Edward R. Murrow undertakes a campaign of his own to point out the social atrocities and disturbing precedents McCarthy set with his campaign. The speech comes from Murrow's character speaking to a dinner party full of high-profile guests.</p> <p>Though he works for the media, Murrow's speech lays out a blistering attack against the media apparatus of the United States. He illustrates how the media serves not the public, but the goals of the powers that be. Then he explains how it distracts, deludes, and destroys our sense of critical thinking. Murrow decries the United States' allergy to facing any uncomfortable truths. From there, he signs off his soliloquy with the parting words, "Good Night, and Good Luck." What makes this speech so great is it's directly lifted from the real-life speech Edward R. Murrow gave. It's poised, prophetic, and highlights the heroism required to stand up to the status quo. (For other historic speeches, <a href="https://247tempo.com/the-best-real-life-speeches-portrayed-in-film-and-television/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=msn&utm_content=the-best-real-life-speeches-portrayed-in-film-and-television&wsrlui=47410982" rel="noopener">discover the best real-life speeches portrayed in film and television.</a>)</p>

Good Night, And Good Luck (2005)

Another one of the greatest movie speeches in history comes from the biopic "Good Night, and Good Luck." The film details the real-life witchhunt undertaken by Senator Joseph McCarthy to root out Communists from American society. In response, CBS News correspondent Edward R. Murrow undertakes a campaign of his own to point out the social atrocities and disturbing precedents McCarthy set with his campaign. The speech comes from Murrow's character speaking to a dinner party full of high-profile guests.

Though he works for the media, Murrow's speech lays out a blistering attack against the media apparatus of the United States. He illustrates how the media serves not the public, but the goals of the powers that be. Then he explains how it distracts, deludes, and destroys our sense of critical thinking. Murrow decries the United States' allergy to facing any uncomfortable truths. From there, he signs off his soliloquy with the parting words, "Good Night, and Good Luck." What makes this speech so great is it's directly lifted from the real-life speech Edward R. Murrow gave. It's poised, prophetic, and highlights the heroism required to stand up to the status quo. (For other historic speeches, discover the best real-life speeches portrayed in film and television. )

<p>Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes from "The Shawshank Redemption." In the film, Andy Dufresne passes the time in prison learning how to get along and come away without losing his life. Along the way, he befriends Red, a long-time prisoner with enough wisdom to go around. In a quiet moment before the film's climax, the pair sit on a rooftop and discuss what life might be like beyond the confines of the prison's walls.</p> <p>Not yet fully resigned to prison living, Dufresne fantasizes about what life could be like after he gets out. He details his plan to move to the Pacific coast of Mexico and open a small hotel, living a quiet life, unencumbered by the actions that put him in prison in the first place. Red, however, has been in prison so long that it is all he knows, and he fears what life would be like if given his freedom. Furthermore, he shoots down Dufresne's plans as pipe dreams. Besides giving us the iconic line "Get busy living or get busy dying" the speech captures the duality of experience, the irreconcilable yet inexorably linked state of hope and state of resignation.</p>

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes from "The Shawshank Redemption." In the film, Andy Dufresne passes the time in prison learning how to get along and come away without losing his life. Along the way, he befriends Red, a long-time prisoner with enough wisdom to go around. In a quiet moment before the film's climax, the pair sit on a rooftop and discuss what life might be like beyond the confines of the prison's walls.

Not yet fully resigned to prison living, Dufresne fantasizes about what life could be like after he gets out. He details his plan to move to the Pacific coast of Mexico and open a small hotel, living a quiet life, unencumbered by the actions that put him in prison in the first place. Red, however, has been in prison so long that it is all he knows, and he fears what life would be like if given his freedom. Furthermore, he shoots down Dufresne's plans as pipe dreams. Besides giving us the iconic line "Get busy living or get busy dying" the speech captures the duality of experience, the irreconcilable yet inexorably linked state of hope and state of resignation.

<p>Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes from the disturbing, surreal "American Psycho." Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, the film follows hot-shot investment banker Patrick Bateman. Though Bateman lives a life most fantasize about, his monologue at the beginning of the movie provides insight into the type of person, or lack thereof, Bateman sees himself as.</p> <p>Though the speech starts as something out of a self-help book, detailing Bateman's morning routine as camera shots illustrate it, by the end, it ventures into harrowing territory. It details name-brand products, careful grooming tactics, and discipline exercises, but gives insight to Bateman's startingly psychopathic nature. As he says, "There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable, I simply am not there." It's frightening and bone-chilling, to be sure, but it gives incredible insight into the inner voice of a deeply disturbed and violent psychopath.</p>

American Psycho (2000)

Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes from the disturbing, surreal "American Psycho." Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, the film follows hot-shot investment banker Patrick Bateman. Though Bateman lives a life most fantasize about, his monologue at the beginning of the movie provides insight into the type of person, or lack thereof, Bateman sees himself as.

Though the speech starts as something out of a self-help book, detailing Bateman's morning routine as camera shots illustrate it, by the end, it ventures into harrowing territory. It details name-brand products, careful grooming tactics, and discipline exercises, but gives insight to Bateman's startingly psychopathic nature. As he says, "There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable, I simply am not there." It's frightening and bone-chilling, to be sure, but it gives incredible insight into the inner voice of a deeply disturbed and violent psychopath.

<p>Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes from the incredibly successful sequel to the original Star Wars, "The Empire Strikes Back." By this time, protagonist Luke Skywalker has gained his Jedi powers and uses them to fight against the growing power of the Empire and its leader, Darth Vader. The speech occurs once Luke confronts Darth Vader, and they engage in an all-out battle for life and death.</p> <p>However, Vader is more powerful than Skywalker, and once he gets him on the ground, he delivers a crushing speech. In it, he trumps the merits of the dark side of the Jedi force, illustrating its unstoppable power and how little Skywalker can do against it. Then, in an iconic subverting of expectations, Vader explains to Skywalker that he is his father. It's a crushing blow to Luke, but it remains one of the most iconic lines in history and finds support in Vader's entire speech.</p>

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes from the incredibly successful sequel to the original Star Wars, "The Empire Strikes Back." By this time, protagonist Luke Skywalker has gained his Jedi powers and uses them to fight against the growing power of the Empire and its leader, Darth Vader. The speech occurs once Luke confronts Darth Vader, and they engage in an all-out battle for life and death.

However, Vader is more powerful than Skywalker, and once he gets him on the ground, he delivers a crushing speech. In it, he trumps the merits of the dark side of the Jedi force, illustrating its unstoppable power and how little Skywalker can do against it. Then, in an iconic subverting of expectations, Vader explains to Skywalker that he is his father. It's a crushing blow to Luke, but it remains one of the most iconic lines in history and finds support in Vader's entire speech.

<p>Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes by way of Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator." Made in response to the looming destruction of World War II, Chaplin plays a poor Jewish barber disguised as a bombastic dictator. When forced to speak to the people in a Nuremberg-style rally, Chaplin subverts his audience's expectations with his impassioned, heartfelt speech.</p> <p>In the speech, Chaplin's character lets down his guard and lets his humanity shine through. Instead of calling for division, he calls for peace, urging people to live by each other's happiness and not their misery. He decries the widespread use of machines and how they transform human feeling into cold, often bitter, calculation. It's one of the greatest speeches in movie history because it uses explosive rhetoric from a dictatorial pulpit to fight against extremism. It asks the audience to see their fellow people as just that, people, instead of letting division sow disaster and impede progress.</p>

The Great Dictator (1940)

Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes by way of Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator." Made in response to the looming destruction of World War II, Chaplin plays a poor Jewish barber disguised as a bombastic dictator. When forced to speak to the people in a Nuremberg-style rally, Chaplin subverts his audience's expectations with his impassioned, heartfelt speech.

In the speech, Chaplin's character lets down his guard and lets his humanity shine through. Instead of calling for division, he calls for peace, urging people to live by each other's happiness and not their misery. He decries the widespread use of machines and how they transform human feeling into cold, often bitter, calculation. It's one of the greatest speeches in movie history because it uses explosive rhetoric from a dictatorial pulpit to fight against extremism. It asks the audience to see their fellow people as just that, people, instead of letting division sow disaster and impede progress.

<p>Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes from the Christmas classic, "It's A Wonderful Life." In the film, protagonist George Bailey seems at his wit's end. Facing increasingly insurmountable problems, he decides to jump off a bridge and end his life. In the last moment, angels save Bailey and show him what life in his town would be like without all his years of good influence.</p> <p>The speech occurs during a flashback, as Bailey accompanies his future wife Mary home from a school dance. It's a heartfelt and romantic scene, further bolstered by Bailey's outpouring of love for Mary. After asking her what she wishes for, Bailey testifies to his commitment to their love. He asks, "You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. I'll give you the moon." It's a beautiful, romantic speech, and shows how even in the darkest life, joyous and loving memories sit, waiting to be remembered and cherished.</p>

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes from the Christmas classic, "It's A Wonderful Life." In the film, protagonist George Bailey seems at his wit's end. Facing increasingly insurmountable problems, he decides to jump off a bridge and end his life. In the last moment, angels save Bailey and show him what life in his town would be like without all his years of good influence.

The speech occurs during a flashback, as Bailey accompanies his future wife Mary home from a school dance. It's a heartfelt and romantic scene, further bolstered by Bailey's outpouring of love for Mary. After asking her what she wishes for, Bailey testifies to his commitment to their love. He asks, "You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. I'll give you the moon." It's a beautiful, romantic speech, and shows how even in the darkest life, joyous and loving memories sit, waiting to be remembered and cherished.

<p>Another one of the best speeches in movie history comes from the climax of the award-winning cop drama, "Training Day." In the film, police officer Jake Hoyt feels the heat after being assigned to the LAPD's narcotics unit. His new partner, Detective Alonzo Harris, doesn't make it easy. Instead, Harris leads Hoyt through the dangerous, unpredictable world of the Los Angeles streets. In the process, Hoyt takes notice of the unconventional, if not corrupt, way Harris conducts his police work.</p> <p>The speech occurs in the film's climax, after Hoyt survives near-certain murder, and joins with the project's community to betray the increasingly out-of-control Harris. When faced with the community's wrath, Harris unleashes an incredible speech of pride, anger, resentment, and deluded strength. Besides the iconic line, "King Kong ain't got shit on me!" the speech illustrates the sober arrival of consequence, the pity of impotent rage, and provides satisfying closure to Harris' many crimes. It's a powerful monologue of a man meeting his well-deserved comeuppance.</p>

Training Day (2001)

Another one of the best speeches in movie history comes from the climax of the award-winning cop drama, "Training Day." In the film, police officer Jake Hoyt feels the heat after being assigned to the LAPD's narcotics unit. His new partner, Detective Alonzo Harris, doesn't make it easy. Instead, Harris leads Hoyt through the dangerous, unpredictable world of the Los Angeles streets. In the process, Hoyt takes notice of the unconventional, if not corrupt, way Harris conducts his police work.

The speech occurs in the film's climax, after Hoyt survives near-certain murder, and joins with the project's community to betray the increasingly out-of-control Harris. When faced with the community's wrath, Harris unleashes an incredible speech of pride, anger, resentment, and deluded strength. Besides the iconic line, "King Kong ain't got shit on me!" the speech illustrates the sober arrival of consequence, the pity of impotent rage, and provides satisfying closure to Harris' many crimes. It's a powerful monologue of a man meeting his well-deserved comeuppance.

<p>One of the greatest mafia films ever made, Martin Scorcese's coming-of-criminal-age film "Goodfellas" features incredible moments and equally impressive speeches. The film follows the life of Henry Hill, a real-life gangster, as he earns the respect of his neighborhood mafia crew, joins their ranks, and finds riches and tragedy in the process. There is one extended monologue at the movie's commencement, however, that provides a simple but stunning look into the mafioso mindset.</p> <p>The first lines of the film "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster," herald a stunning, seductive look at the criminal mindset. In the speech, Hill details the seductive disregard the gangsters show for normal society and the respect and fear they earn in the process. It's an unabashed, alluring depiction of how a life lived on the margins can pull in even the most normal of people. Though Hill provides other monologues in the film about how even the most violent actions can become routine, nothing tops this simple but effective introduction to the criminal lifestyle.</p>

Goodfellas (1990)

One of the greatest mafia films ever made, Martin Scorcese's coming-of-criminal-age film "Goodfellas" features incredible moments and equally impressive speeches. The film follows the life of Henry Hill, a real-life gangster, as he earns the respect of his neighborhood mafia crew, joins their ranks, and finds riches and tragedy in the process. There is one extended monologue at the movie's commencement, however, that provides a simple but stunning look into the mafioso mindset.

The first lines of the film "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster," herald a stunning, seductive look at the criminal mindset. In the speech, Hill details the seductive disregard the gangsters show for normal society and the respect and fear they earn in the process. It's an unabashed, alluring depiction of how a life lived on the margins can pull in even the most normal of people. Though Hill provides other monologues in the film about how even the most violent actions can become routine, nothing tops this simple but effective introduction to the criminal lifestyle.

<p>Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes at the start of Spike Lee's chaotic, heartbreaking meditation on racial relations, "Do the Right Thing." It's a blistering hot summer in New York City, and everyone is at each other's throats. A small conflict at a pizza parlor, spirals out of control, leading to a tense, violent, and tragic confrontation between blacks and whites.</p> <p>The speech at the film's start delivered by the neighborhood character Radio Raheem, however, provides foreshadowing to the conflicts that lay ahead. Donning two chunky brass knuckles saying LOVE and HATE, Raheem details the eternal struggle between the two forces. Furthermore, using simple terms, Raheem illustrates the theme of the movie and the divisive conflict that sets the neighborhood ablaze. As Raheem says, "Let me tell you the story of Right Hand, Left Hand. It's a tale of good and evil. Hate: It was with this hand that Cain iced his brother. Love: These five fingers, they go straight to the soul of man. The right hand: The hand of love. The story of life is this: Static."</p>

Do the Right Thing (1989)

Another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes at the start of Spike Lee's chaotic, heartbreaking meditation on racial relations, "Do the Right Thing." It's a blistering hot summer in New York City, and everyone is at each other's throats. A small conflict at a pizza parlor, spirals out of control, leading to a tense, violent, and tragic confrontation between blacks and whites.

The speech at the film's start delivered by the neighborhood character Radio Raheem, however, provides foreshadowing to the conflicts that lay ahead. Donning two chunky brass knuckles saying LOVE and HATE, Raheem details the eternal struggle between the two forces. Furthermore, using simple terms, Raheem illustrates the theme of the movie and the divisive conflict that sets the neighborhood ablaze. As Raheem says, "Let me tell you the story of Right Hand, Left Hand. It's a tale of good and evil. Hate: It was with this hand that Cain iced his brother. Love: These five fingers, they go straight to the soul of man. The right hand: The hand of love. The story of life is this: Static."

A Few Good Men (1992)

No doubt, another one of the greatest speeches in movie history comes from the military-court drama "A Few Good Men." In the film, military lawyer Lt. Daniel Kaffee defends two Marines charged with the murder of a fellow soldier at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. After learning that the soldiers were likely following orders from their commanding officer, he calls Col. Nathan R. Jessep to the stand in hopes of uncovering a conspiracy.

Instead, Col. Nathan R. Jessep (played wonderfully by Jack Nicholson) lays into Kaffee, detailing what it takes to act in his position, and the ugly truths that lay at the heart of any military mechanism. Besides delivering one of the most iconic lines in movie history ("You can't handle the truth!"), the speech suggests that Kaffee's pursuit comes from immature and misguided idealism. Jessep's impassioned, fiery speech illustrates that the men who guard the walls of civilization are not the type of men lauded for their goodness. Instead, he explains, convincingly, that the pursuit of the greater good requires unpleasant realities. (For more impassioned dialogue, discover the most stirring speeches delivered on the silver screen. )

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a rhetorical movie speech analysis

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A rhetorical movie speech analysis

Preview of Rhetorical Appeals in Movie Speeches - Ethos, Pathos, Logos Analysis Activities

Rhetorical Appeals in Movie Speeches - Ethos, Pathos, Logos Analysis Activities

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Rhetorical Appeals Through Cinema – Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Analysis Activities, Film Speeches

Rhetorical Appeals Through Cinema - Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Analysis Activities, Film Speeches

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Let’s face it, sometimes our rhetoric units aren’t the most engaging ones of the year. Students often get bored quickly with historical speeches and other dry informative texts. While it is important to teach these valuable documents, students will definitely appreciate some relevant and exciting teaching materials too. This set of 7 different movie speeches contains the perfect resources you need to get your students actively engaged with speech analysis. By interacting with iconic movies, old and new, students will be able to successfully annotate and analyze rhetorical appeals in a way that is academic, real world applicable, and fun all at the same time.

Materials included:

Iconic Speeches from 7 Popular Movies, Including:

1. Coach Boone’s Speech from Remember the Titans

2. Coach Lengyel’s Speech from We Are Marshall (some minor language, edited on worksheet)

3. The U.S President’s Speech from Armageddon

4. William Wallace’s Speech from Braveheart

5. Dumbledore’s Speech from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

6. President Snow’s Speech from Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

7. Diana’s Last Monologue from Wonder Woman

Each speech contains 2 worksheets, which include:

A brief summary of the movie

An image from the speech scene in the movie

A Link to watch the movie clip (please copy and paste the links)

A reprinted copy of the speech (full-text)

An annotation guide for ethos, pathos, and logos

A SOAPSTONE analysis chart

Analyzing Rhetorical Appeals Questions (specific for each speech)

***Detailed Answer Keys provided for EACH speech!!***

There are many ways to include this resource in your rhetoric unit! I hope you and your students enjoy! Keywords: rhetoric, rhetorical appeals, rhetorical analysis, movie speeches, persuasive language techniques, movie clips, movie videos, movie viewing guide, video clips, speeches, speech, ethos, pathos, logos, rhetorical arguments, SOAPSTONE, rhetorical purpose, tone, informational text, pop culture, multimedia, argument, persuasive language, worksheets, printables, handouts, analyzing rhetoric, analyzing the rhetorical situation, SPACE CAT, speaker, purpose, audience, occasion, exigence, tone, subject, message, rhetorical choices, speech analysis

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Raoul peck’s ‘ernest cole’ shares cannes’ l’oeil d’or prize for best documentary with ‘the brink of dreams’.

  • Cannes Film Festival Winners Analysis: Comedy, Humanity Takes Jury’s Heart Over Politics

By Pete Hammond

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Awards Columnist/Chief Film Critic

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  • Cannes Film Festival 2024: Read All Of Deadline’s Movie Reviews, Including Palme d’Or Winner ‘Anora’
  • 1964 Palme d’Or Winner ‘The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg’ Celebrates 60th In Cannes With Special Screening & Two New Documentaries – Cannes Film Festival

U.S. director Sean Baker delivers a speech after winning the Palme d'Or

Often, the juries at the Cannes Film Festival will try to make a political statement in their choices for the winners of the world’s most famous film festival. Not this year. At least, not in the way they might have.

I rather thought that director Mohammad Rasoulof would take the Palme d’Or for his stirring The Seed Of The Sacred Fig . It deals with the oppressive regime in Iran and the crisis in one family, where the daughters rise up to protest against the wishes of their father, a judge handing out death sentences for those who make their voices heard.

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rhetorical analysis movie speech

Greta Gerwig-Led Cannes Jury On Awarding Palme D’Or To ‘Anora’ In Year That Had “Embarrassment Of Riches”

He made his way to Cannes, where his film deservedly received a rapturous welcome yesterday on the festival’s last night of screenings. Alas, the jury, headed by Greta Gerwig, handed the film only a “Special” Jury Prize, not even one of the major awards given. And though it gave Rasoulof a world platform to talk about the many reasons this film was necessary in today’s tinderbox environment in his country and elsewhere, a Palme d’Or for a film whose lead actors still can’t even leave the country would have been a major statement.

rhetorical analysis movie speech

This special award was really as close as anything political that this jury got, even though films they completely ignored, such as the Donald Trump origins movie, The Apprentice ( which Trump and his lawyers have a cease and desist complaint against); Paul Schrader’s Oh Canada, which deals in part with resistance against an unjust war; Kiril Serebbrennikov’s Luminov-The Ballad, about a controversial Russian activist, with a sensational lead performance by Ben Whishaw; and even Francis Ford Coppola’s divisive Megalopolis, which contains some of the legendary director’s urgent concerns about the state of the world, were all completely shut out.

rhetorical analysis movie speech

But the top honor, Palme d’Or, is a raucous wildly entertaining comedy, Anora , from director Sean Baker, that blew the roof off the Grande Lumiere, and represents yet another Palme d’Or win for NEON, which seems to triumph every single year (they will also be releasing The Seed Of The Sacred Fig). It is a hilarious, rollicking movie with superb performances by the astonishing Mikey Madison in the title role, Mark Eydelshteyn, a real find, Yura Borisov, and Karren Karagulian.

Its win resembles the Palme d’Or for Triangle Of Sadness, and it bodes well for its Oscar chances, since the latter film went on to three major nominations, including Best Picture, and was just as outrageous as this one (more on this year’s potential Oscar connection with Cannes will be coming soon in another column). However, the most “political” this movie got would be Baker’s plea for better treatment of sex workers.

Anora

The Grand Prix (second place) went to India’s first appearance in competition in 30 years, with the heartfelt All We Imagine As Light from director Payal Kapadia. It is about a number of women as they relate to the city of Mumbai in which they go about their daily lives. Definitely a mood piece and slow moving, it still seems hard to resist its beauty and comment on humanity, and people just getting by day by day.

The acting prizes including the four-way “harmony of sisterhood” award to Emilia Perez’s Zoe Saldanan, Karla Sofia Gascon, Selena Gomez, and Adriana Paz, was a nice compromise, since they are all great in this Spanish language film from a French director. It’s about a cartel leader who decides to change his life and his sex and find a different path.

For Best Actor, I have to say Jesse Plemons is always very fine. But the film for which he was honored, Yorgas Lathimos’ Kinds Of Kindness, is flawed and received a mixed reception at best. I am sorry that The Apprentice’s Donald Trump of Sebastian Stan and Roy Cohn of Jeremy Strong, plus Limonov’s Ben Whishaw, were ignored here. But it was probably because of the political message a win for them might send, my guess at least. They were more deserving.

The screenplay award to French director Coralie Forgeat for the wild English language body horror movie comedy, The Substance, was well-deserved, another great example of a brilliantly written, directed, and performed satire, for which Demi Moore would have been a fine Best Actress winner as well. It has much to say about our youthful obsession and body image taken to the extreme limits. I would call it Ozempic: The Movie . It’s wild and it has put Moore back on the map.

The Substance

I missed Grand Tour , the Burmese period fantasy story that somehow won Miguel Gomes the Director prize. Its overall reception had been kinda meh, so its win here was a bit of a surprise. But you never know with juries.

Palme d’Or winner Sean Baker’s (‘Anora’) acceptance speech #Cannes2024 pic.twitter.com/FrfJ2rceT9 — Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) May 25, 2024

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They went the whole nine yards with this one.

White House officials went into cleanup mode after President Biden delivered a gaffe-riddled speech to the NAACP in Detroit Sunday — making a whopping nine corrections to the formal transcript.

The changes fixed both trips of Biden’s tongue — such as calling Capitol rioters “irrectionists” — and flagrant retellings of history, like claiming he was still vice president during the COVID-19 pandemic .

President Biden

The official transcript, released Monday, made no bones about the errors, with strikethroughs of Biden’s mistakes and the corrected comments included in brackets.

The 81-year-old’s address to the 69th annual Fight for  Freedom Fund  Dinner was part of an outreach effort to black Americans as polls show support for him softening in the demographic.

Here are the nine adjustments that were made in the official transcript :

Vice president during the pandemic

During his opening, Biden conveyed his “love” for Detroit, before slipping up and suggesting he was the vice president during the outbreak of COVID-19.

“And when I was vice president, things were kind of bad during the  pandemic  [recession], and what happened was Barack said to me, ‘Go to Detroit and help fix it,'” the transcript said.

Honored to receive this organization

Part of the impetus for Biden’s speech was to accept a lifetime achievement award from the Detroit branch of the NAACP, but he mangled that part during his acceptance.

President Biden

“Folks, I’m humbled to receive this  organization  [award], which defines the character and consequence of what we do,” Biden said.

‘Truly inspiresing’

Biden’s swing through Detroit came on the heels of his commencement address at Atlanta’s Morehouse College, an all-male historically black institution that bestowed an honorary degree on him.

“It was truly  inspiresing  [inspiring]: over 400 young Black men who will do extraordinary things,” the transcript said.

$800,000 in health care premium savings

Back when Democrats had control of Congress, Biden was able to push through an expansion of subsidies in the Affordable Care Act. The administration estimates that can save families up to $800 annually, but Biden mangled it and said $800,000.

“I protected and expanded the Affordable Care Act, saving millions of families $800,000 in prem- —  $8,000  [$800] in — a year in premiums,” the president said.

Fighting landlords who keep rents down

While touting efforts to lower the cost of living, the president inadvertently claimed to be fighting unscrupulous landlords who are trying to keep rents down.

“We’re cracking down on corporate landlords  who  [to] keep rents down,” Biden said.

Black women ‘have nearly three times more likely to die’

In another verbal flub, Biden swapped in the word “have” when he meant to say “are.”

“He [Trump] not only denies reproductive freedom but worsens the mortality rate for Black moms, who  have  [are] nearly three times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than a white woman,” the president declared.

Donald Trump

‘Irrectionists’

Some politicians have mangled the word “insurrection ” (which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer once called an “erection”), but Biden had a unique fumble on that front.

“He [Trump] calls the  irrectionists  [insurrectionists] who stormed Capitol Hill ‘patriots.’ He says, if re-elected, he wants, quote, ‘every’ one of them pardoned,” the transcript noted.

‘Bloodshed’

Back in March, former President Donald Trump warned there would be a “bloodbath” in the auto industry if he loses the 2024 election. Biden misquoted him as saying “bloodshed.”

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“But that’s not Donald Trump. Donald Trump has said, if he loses again in November, there will be, quote,  ‘bloodshed ‘ [‘bloodbath’]. What in God’s name are we talking about here?” Biden said, according to the transcript.

And to cap things off, Biden butchered the very name of the organization to which he was speaking.

“Earlier this month, I posthumously awarded Medgar Evers the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor. His spirit endures. The  NAAC  [NAACP] spirit endures,” the transcript said.

President Biden

The commander-in-chief, who has been open about growing up with a stutter, has been no stranger to rhetorical doozies during some of his public outings.

Between the start of the year and late last month, the White House made at least 148 adjustments to transcripts of his remarks, according to an analysis by the Daily Caller.

Ahead of Biden’s Nov. 5 rematch with Trump, the issue of age has loomed large. Biden is already the oldest president in US history and would be 86 at the end of a second four-year term.

Trump and Biden are slated to square off in a CNN-hosted debate on June 27 in Atlanta.

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NFL

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker addresses commencement speech backlash: ‘I do not regret at all’

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 11: Harrison Butker #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs arrives at Allegiant Stadium before Super Bowl LVIII against the San Francisco 49ers on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Luke Hales/Getty Images)

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker said he doesn’t have any regrets about his commencement address at Benedictine College earlier this month, saying in his first public comments since the speech that he received “a shocking level of hate” but also support for his views.

“It’s a decision I’ve consciously made and one I do not regret at all,” Butker said Friday night at the Regina Caeli Academy Courage Under Fire Gala in Nashville, Tenn.

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Butker, in the commencement speech, referred to Pride Month as an example of the “deadly sins” and he wanted the graduating class to prevent political leaders from interfering with social issues that impact their relationship with the Catholic church. He also addressed gender ideologies and said a woman’s most important title is “homemaker.”

“It is you, the women, who have had the most diabolic lies told to you,” Butker said during the speech. “Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.”

Butker also used the speech to criticize President Joe Biden on several issues, including abortion and the COVID-19 pandemic, and questioned Biden’s devotion to Catholicism.

“At the outset, many people expressed a shocking level of hate,” Butker said Friday. “But as the days went on, even those who disagreed with my viewpoints shared their support for my freedom of religion.”

Since Butker’s speech, several members of the Chiefs addressed the kicker’s comments. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said he doesn’t agree with all of Butker’s comments in the speech, but considers Butker a close friend and “good person.”

“I’ve known (Butker) for seven years,” Mahomes said. “I judge him by the character he shows every day and that’s a good person. … We’re not always going to agree. He said certain things I don’t agree with.”

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that he believes Butker will go with the team to the White House on May 31 to celebrate its Super Bowl LVIII victory, despite the kicker’s views on Biden.

“I didn’t think I need to (address it). We’re a microcosm of life,” Reid said. “We all respect each other’s opinions. We all have a voice.”

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said he doesn’t agree with “the majority” of Butker’s commencement speech but he won’t judge the kicker by his views.

“He’s treated friends and family that I’ve introduced to him with nothing but respect and kindness,” Kelce said on Friday’s episode of his “New Heights” podcast . “And that’s how he treats everyone. When it comes down to his views and what he said (in his) commencement speech, those are his.”

A few days after Butker delivered his speech, the NFL released a statement distancing itself from his comments and said Butker’s views are not the same as the league as an organization.

When asked about Butker’s speech at the league meetings in Nashville, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league has a “diversity of opinions and thoughts.”

Required reading

  • Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker says Pride Month is example of ‘deadly sin’ during commencement speech
  • NFL distances itself from Chiefs’ Harrison Butker’s Benedictine College speech
  • Benedictine Sisters denounce Harrison Butker’s speech as his jersey sales rise
  • Patrick Mahomes: I didn’t agree with all of Harrison Butker’s speech comments, but he’s ‘a good person’
  • Travis Kelce on Harrison Butker’s speech: ‘I don’t think that I should judge him by his views’

(Photo: Luke Hales / Getty Images)

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Lukas Weese

Lukas Weese is a Staff Editor of News at The Athletic. Before The Athletic, Lukas was a freelance sports journalist, working as an associate editor at Sportsnet, an OHL reporter for the Toronto Star and had bylines in outlets such as ESPN's Andscape, USA Today, Complex, Yahoo Sports, GOLF Magazine, Just Women's Sports and Raptors Republic. Lukas also does freelance play-by-play broadcasting. Follow Lukas on Twitter @ Weesesports

Highlights: Closing arguments wrap in Trump hush money trial

What to know about the hush money trial.

  • Prosecutors finished delivering their closing statements in the trial shortly before 8 p.m. Former President Donald Trump's lawyers presented their arguments this morning .
  • Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass, who spoke for more than four hours, argued that Trump falsified business records to cover up what was essentially an illegal campaign contribution meant to help him get elected in 2016.
  • Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels to buy her silence about an alleged affair with Trump. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
  • Court adjourned for the day at 8 p.m. and will resume at 10 a.m., when the judge will give instructions to the jury before it begins deliberations.

Judge lays out timeline for the rest of the week

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Gary Grumbach

Zoë Richards

Tomorrow's trial proceedings are expected to get underway at 10 a.m., instead of the regular 9:30 a.m., with Judge Juan Merchan saying he expects jury instructions to last about an hour.

After that, the case will be in the hands of the jury.

Merchan said tomorrow's proceedings will conclude at 4:30 p.m., but he left the door open for the rest of the week, noting that if proceedings are needed on Thursday and Friday, the timing will be determined by how deliberations are progressing.

Trump makes no comments after leaving courtroom

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Katherine Koretski

Trump did not make any comments as he left the Manhattan courtroom after the prosecution delivered closing arguments that went until just before 8 p.m.

Trump, who has often spoken outside the courtroom, instead raised his fist as he left.

Closing arguments are done; court to resume at 10 a.m. tomorrow

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass has finished his closing argument, which began shortly after 2 p.m.

Judge Juan Merchan told jurors they will start tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Merchan told jurors that jury instructions will take around an hour before deliberations begin. He said the plan is to go until 4:30 p.m. for the day.

Prosecutor gets fired up during end of closing argument

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Phil Helsel

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass began accelerating and emphasizing his delivery to jurors during closing arguments with minutes to go before an 8 p.m. deadline.

Steinglass reiterated to the jurors that it is a crime to willfully create inaccurate tax forms and that Trump’s intent to defraud in this case is clear. He argued that why else would Stormy Daniels be paid in what he described as an elaborate scheme, instead of all at once.

Steinglass argued that that and other steps show Trump wanted the issue to be kept quiet until after the election.

“The name of the game was concealment,” he said.

Defense objects to prosecutor's remarks about Trump and Fifth Avenue

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Jillian Frankel

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass urged the jury to hold Trump accountable, suggesting by way of analogy that he can’t shoot someone on Fifth Avenue during rush hour and get away with it.

Trump's defense team objected to the comment, which Judge Juan Merchan sustained.

Mixed level of visible engagement among jurors at this late hour

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Laura Jarrett

At least one juror appears to be visibly engaged in prosecutor Joshua Steinglass’ presentation — offering an affirming smile.

Others, however, appear considerably less focused and can be seen twisting their hair and rubbing their faces.

The jury is approaching an 11-hour day at the courthouse.

Prosecutor talks about difference between reasonable doubt and certainty

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jury that it does not need to evaluate each piece of evidence alone and in a vacuum but as part of a whole that he argues proves Trump’s guilt.

“You will see that the people have proven this case beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.

During his remarks, the defense objected. Judge Juan Merchan sustained the objection.

“I’ll instruct them on the law and the evidence,” Merchan said.

Prosecutor launches into rapid-fire recap of Trump’s involvement in Daniels and McDougal stories

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is recapping all of the evidence intended to show Trump’s direct involvement in the settlements with Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, beginning with an August 2015 Trump Tower meeting.

A screen the prosecution displayed during closing arguments read “Mr. Trump involved every step of the way” as Steinglass went through a timeline of events.

Joshua Steinglass passes 4-hour mark in his closing arguments

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass has passed the four-hour mark since he began giving the prosecution’s closing argument in Trump’s trial.

Steinglass began giving the prosecution’s closing arguments at around 2:07 p.m., but there have been several breaks since then.

Today's trial proceedings to continue until 8 p.m., judge says

After he returned to the bench, Judge Juan Merchan indicated to the attorneys that the court will push forward until 8 p.m. but will need to wrap up after that.

That would make an 11-hour day for the jury.

Last recess of the day

Judge Juan Merchan announced at 6:52 p.m. what he said will be the last recess of the day.

It's expected to last just a few minutes.

Merchan earlier said that the plan was to go until at least 7 p.m. and “finish this out if we can.”

'A bold-faced lie': Prosecutor revisits Robert Costello's testimony

Given the hour, it was initially unclear why prosecutor Joshua Steinglass began revisiting the testimony of Robert Costello , a Trump ally and lawyer who has clashed with Michael Cohen.

But the prosecution's display of an email exchange between Costello and Cohen hinted that the DA's office aims to portray Trump’s attitude toward Cohen changing only after his former attorney's compliance was in doubt, not because of anything else Cohen did.

Recounting Costello's testimony, Steinglass argued that Costello's assertion that he was acting in Cohen’s best interest and that he didn’t care at all about the defendant’s interest "was a bold-faced lie.”

‘You guys good to go a little bit longer?’ prosecutor asks, as 7 p.m. draws near

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass asked jurors, “You guys good to go a little bit longer?” and said “Alright!” after a bench meeting to discuss scheduling at around 6:30 p.m.

Judge Juan Merchan earlier today said the plan was to go until at least 7 p.m. and “finish this out if we can.”

Prosecutor refers to 'devastating' testimony by Hope Hicks

Given the largely chronological order of the prosecution's closing arguments, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass could be nearing the end of his remarks.

He discussed what he called Hope Hicks’ “devastating” testimony earlier in the trial, adding that she burst into tears because she realized the impact of what she had told the court.

Defense attorney Todd Blanche objected to that characterization, but Judge Juan Merchan allowed it.

Prosecutor argues Trump wanted to be 'involved in everything'

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass mocked former Trump aide Madeleine Westerhout’s testimony in which she said Trump was often so busy that sometimes he absent-mindedly signed presidential proclamations.

Steinglass, who dismissed Westerhout's remarks as a narrative Trump’s team encouraged, said that overall she gave the opposite impression — that the former president remained very attentive to outlays of his personal expenses, and that his most frequent contacts included his former attorney Michael Cohen and a former top executive of his company, Allen Weisselberg. Westerhout's testimony also conveyed that Trump continued to be the sole signatory on his own accounts, even though he easily could have added other signatories, Steinglass argued.

Trump wanted to maintain control — and “he insists on signing his own checks," Steinglass said, adding that Trump boasted about his frugality and micromanagement in his books, which Steinglass read excerpts from.

Steinglass also rejected the defense's argument that Trump was too busy to be involved in certain financial transactions.

“He’s in charge of a company for 40 years. The defendant’s entire business philosophy was to be involved in everything,” Steinglass said.

Prosecutor: Cohen's time being cross-examined exceeded his legal work for Trump in 2017

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said that Michael Cohen did very few hours of legal work for Trump on 2017, and that “these payments had nothing to do with the retainer agreement and nothing to do with services rendered in 2017.”

“Cohen spent more time being cross-examined in this trial than he did doing legal work for Donald Trump in 2017,” Steinglass said. He also told the jury that none of the Trump invoices went through the Trump Organization’s legal department because they weren’t for legal services rendered.

Steinglass also commented on how Cohen was paid pretty well, and had the title of personal attorney for the president.

“He was making way more money than any government job would ever pay, and don’t I know that,” Steinglass joked.

Some jurors cracked smiles and small laughs when Steinglass joked about government salaries compared to what Cohen was making.

Prosecutor says ‘these documents are so damning that you almost have to laugh’ at defense's argument

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jury that “these documents are so damning that you almost have to laugh” at an argument presented by Trump’s defense.

Steinglass was referring to a comments by defense attorney Todd Blanche that the records were not false because, if they were false, they would have been destroyed.

Steinglass also argued that the 1099s forms on which Trump reported payments to Michael Cohen of $105,000 and $315,000 were another “unlawful means” through which the conspiracy was acted upon.

EXCLUSIVE: Elise Stefanik requests probe into Merchan's selection as judge

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., issued a complaint letter today to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct and an inspector general for the New York State Unified Court System, requesting an investigation into Judge Juan Merchan’s selection to preside over Trump’s hush money case.

Stefanik pointed to Merchan’s role as presiding judge for a pair of other cases related to Trump and his allies, saying, “The probability of three specific criminal cases being assigned to the same justice is infinitesimally small.”

“One cannot help but suspect that the ‘random selection’ at work in the assignment of Acting Justice Merchan, a Democrat Party donor, to these cases involving prominent Republicans, is in fact not random at all,” Stefanik wrote. “The simple answer to why Acting Justice Merchan has been assigned to these cases would seem to be that whoever made the assignment intentionally selected Acting Justice Merchan to handle them to increase the chance that Donald Trump, the Trump Organization, and Steven Bannon would ultimately be convicted.”

The letter marks a continued effort by Trump allies to attack people involved with the case by filing complaints. The board overseeing the judges has made clear that Merchan didn’t need to recuse himself over issues that some of his critics have called a conflict of interest.

Trump posts on Truth Social during break in courtroom action

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Vaughn Hillyard

During the court's roughly 20-minute break, Trump on his Truth Social platform disparaged the proceedings as "boring" and a " filibuster ."

Trump's Truth Social account has been active today with posts referring to his criminal trial and the closing arguments, which have continued as the prosecution continues its argument into this evening.

Judge says closing arguments to continue into the evening

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Adam Edelman

Judge Juan Merchan announced a short courtroom break and said the plan is to go until at least 7 p.m. and "finish this out if we can."

“I was watching the jurors, they look pretty alert to me. I don’t think we’re losing anyone. So I think right now we’re going to try to finish this out if we can," he told the attorneys.

“Let’s see what we can do," Merchan continued, adding that they will revisit the timeline at 7 p.m.

Prosecutor argues Trump didn't sign confidentiality agreement for a reason

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Kyla Guilfoil

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass tried to turn one of defense attorney Todd Blanche’s better arguments on its head.

Steinglass said that Trump didn’t sign the agreement because that was the point: The agreement was no less enforceable without his signature.

The timing of the payment on Oct. 27, 2016, Steinglass argued, further showed that Trump's primary concern was not his family but the election.

Prosecutor seems to say for first time there were 2 calls between Cohen and Weisselberg in late October 2016

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Rebecca Shabad is in Washington, D.C.

Joshua Steinglass mentioned that in the phone records they have, prosecutors saw six calls between Michael Cohen and Allen Weisselberg over three years, two of which were in late October 2016, right before the Stormy Daniels deal was reached.

This appears to be the first time the calls have been mentioned in the case.

Steinglass also emphasized that Trump and Cohen spoke twice on the morning of Oct. 26, 2016, right before Cohen went to First Republic to submit paperwork to open his new account and to send the wire transfer to Keith Davidson on Daniels’ behalf.

Prosecutor walks through Michael Cohen's bank papers

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is now going through the false claims and omissions in former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s paperwork to First Republic to open an account in the name of his new LLC.

Those forms could serve as the “unlawful means” through which the alleged conspiracy to promote Trump’s election was acted on.

Prosecutor: Stormy Daniels' testimony shows Trump was 'not just words'

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is going at Trump now, referring to Story Daniels' testimony to argue that Trump is "not just words."

"Stormy Daniels was a walking, talking reminder that Trump was not just words" at a time when Trump was trying to distinguish between his words and the actions of both Clintons, Steinglass said.

He also noted that Daniels' story got little to no traction until the day after the "Access Hollywood" tape became national news, with phone traffic exploding among Keith Davidson, Dylan Howard, Michael Cohen and Trump.

Prosecutor describes ramifications of the 'Access Hollywood' tape

After a brief break, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass resumed his closing argument by describing the "Access Hollywood" tape, which multiple witnesses during the trial described as catastrophic for Trump's 2016 campaign.

Steinglass said the tape eclipsed coverage of a Category 4 hurricane, according to Hope Hicks; debate prep at Trump Tower was disrupted as campaign leadership discussed how to respond; and elected Republicans raced to disavow Trump's comments on the tape, with some withdrawing their endorsements.

Trump aide Madeleine Westerhout testified that senior Republican National Committee officials were even discussing dropping Trump from the 2016 ticket, Steinglass said.

“The video was vulgar, to say the least," he added.

Prosecution's closing arguments are one-third of the way done

Asked by Judge Juan Merchan "how much longer" the prosecution's closing arguments would take, Joshua Steinglass replied that there was still a lot to get through.

"We’re about a third of the way through," he said.

The prosecution's closing arguments began today shortly before 2:15 p.m.

Prosecutor says Cohen-Trump call shows effort to influence 2016 election

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jurors that it's their decision what the tape between Michael Cohen and Trump from Sept. 6, 2016, said.

Steinglass said it showed Trump suggested paying in cash — whether it means no financing, lump sum, it doesn’t matter, he said. Steinglass said they were trying to take steps that would not get noticed.

“This tape unequivocally shows a presidential candidate actively engaging in a scheme to influence the election," Steinglass said.

Prosecutor defends Michael Cohen's phone records

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is making arguments to defend Michael Cohen's phone records after the defense questioned their integrity.

Steinglass said that Cohen had no idea the Manhattan district attorney's office would ask for phone records again in January of last year, and there would be no conceivable reason for him to delete evidence of a crime he’d already been convicted and served time for.

Prosecution using graphics to illustrate points during closing arguments

The graphics that the Manhattan district attorney's team is using during their summation are high-tech and modern.

In presenting them, prosecutors are isolating certain calls and using zoom functions to highlight them. The graphics offer a clean and accessible way for the attorneys to illustrate their points to the jury.

Prosecutor: Call between David Pecker and Trump makes it 'impossible' to claim Cohen acted independently

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass discussed a call between David Pecker and Trump in which Pecker apprised him that Michael Cohen had told Trump about Karen McDougal coming forward.

"This call makes it impossible for the defense to claim that Cohen was acting on his own here," Steinglass said.

He said the transaction was an unlawful corporate contribution to the Trump campaign — and not only did Trump know about it, Steinglass said, but he participated as well.

Prosecutor details Karen McDougal catch-and-kill scheme

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is going through the Karen McDougal catch-and-kill scheme in minute detail — call by call, text by text and day by day.

Virtually no testimony is needed to illustrate the negotiations — and to the extent that testimony is used, it’s not from key witness and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. It's from David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer.

Analysis: Steinglass pokes hole in defense's argument around National Enquirer

Steinglass makes a very good point about the Dino Sajuddin story and corresponding payment.

Sajuddin is the former Trump Tower doorman who claims Trump fathered a child out of wedlock, a claim the former president has denied.

Given that everyone believed Sajuddin's claim to be false, purchasing the story was not something David Pecker did because of his fiduciary duty to shareholders; there was no reason to do it other than to benefit the 2016 Trump campaign.

Steinglass calls 2015 meeting at Trump Tower a 'subversion of democracy'

Steinglass characterized a meeting at Trump Tower almost a decade ago as a “subversion of democracy.”

He said the entire purpose of the August 2015 meeting was to “pull the wool over [voters’] eyes” before they made their decisions.

He also pointed out that while NDAs are not unlawful, nor are contracts illegal, a contract to kill your wife is illegal, and therefore an NDA designed to prevent certain information from becoming public during a political campaign is also illegal.

Steinglass tells jurors to think of Cohen as a 'tour guide'

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Daniel Arkin

Trump's lawyers repeatedly attempted to make Cohen's trustworthiness and motives a focal point of the trial — a strategy that Steinglass flat-out rejected in his summations. "This case is not about Michael Cohen," Steinglass told the jury. "This case is about Donald Trump."

Steinglass encouraged the jury to instead think of Cohen as a "tour guide" through the evidence introduced during the proceedings, including what the state has presented as falsified business records aimed at covering up an election law violation. Cohen, according to Steinglass, "provides context and color to the documents" — but he is not the trial's main character.

Steinglass begins touching on campaign finance violations

Steinglass is teasing the crux of the prosecution’s argument, saying, “Once money starts changing hands on behalf of the campaign, that’s election law — that’s federal election campaign finance violation.”

“We’ll get back to that,” he adds.

Prosecution argues there is a 'mountain of evidence' against Trump

Steinglass is fighting back against the defense's rhetoric that the only evidence in this case came from Michael Cohen's testimony.

The prosecutor told the jury that Judge Merchan will say Cohen is an accomplice because he participated in these crimes, but you cannot convict Trump on Cohen’s word alone — unless there is corroborating evidence.

Steinglass said that there is a mountain of evidence in the case, saying "it’s difficult to conceive of a case with more corroboration than this one.”

Steinglass looks to counter questions on details of Cohen's stories

Steinglass is now using an imaginary conversation to explain Cohen’s retelling of some of the stories or dates he’d recounted to the jury that Trump’s lawyers had questioned.

“These guys know each other well, they speak in code. A better explanation is that Cohen could have gotten the time and place of the call wrong. This is one date in many, he spoke to the defendant 20 times in the month of October,” Steinglass said.

“Let’s say you had dinner at a restaurant with an old friend and the friend says they were getting married. Later you find a receipt and think that was the night they told you they were getting married, but found out the friend was actually in California on that night. That does not mean that you are lying about the fact that you had dinner with the friend or about the fact that your friend told you they were getting married,” Steinglass said.

Steinglass: We didn't pick Cohen at the 'witness store'

Steinglass is forcefully pushing back on the Trump team's attempts to tarnish Cohen's character and motives, reminding the jury that the ex-fixer was once a valued member of the former president's inner circle: "We didn't choose Michael Cohen. We didn't pick him up at the witness store. Mr. Trump chose Mr. Cohen for the same qualities his attorneys now urge you to reject."

Cohen's top quality was loyalty to his former boss, Steinglass said. Cohen was "drawn to the defendant like a moth to a flame, and he wasn't the only one. David Pecker saw Mr. Trump as a mentor; Mr. Trump saw David Pecker as a useful tool."

On Trump attacks on Cohen: 'That is what some people might call chutzpah'

Steinglass is explaining that Cohen had lied at Trump’s direction and that Trump was now using those lies to harm Cohen’s credibility in the trial.

“The defense also tells you you should reject his testimony because he lied and took pleas in federal court. He has had some trouble accepting responsibility,” Steinglass said. “For bank fraud conviction and his tax law violation, he said he admitted to you that he did the things. He pleaded guilty.”

“He feels like he was treated unfairly and as a first offender he should have been able to pay a fine and back taxes and he believes the Trump Justice Department did him dirty. Whether that is true or not, he accepted responsibility and went to prison for it,” Steinglass added.

“You should consider all of this for his credibility” he continued. “The lies he told to Congress had to do with the Mueller investigation and the Russia probe, and what he lied about was the number of dealings the defendant had with Russia, and the only benefit was he stayed in the defendant’s good graces.”

“Those lies that he told are being used by the same defendant to undermine his credibility,” Steinglass said. 

“That is what some people might call chutzpah,” he added, using a Yiddish word meaning audacity.

Prosecution is careful to repeatedly call Trump 'the defendent'

There’s subtle but notable rhetorical move happening in this closing by the prosecution.

Steinglass is repeatedly referring to Trump as “the defendant” instead of “Mr. Trump” or “the former president.” This contrasts greatly from the defense's language, as Trump's lawyers almost always refer to him as "the president."

It will be important to watch for Steinglass to argue at some point that no one is above the law, even the former president of the United States -- something we’ve seen other state and federal prosecutors say about Trump over the last year.

Steinglass focuses on inconsistencies in defense argument

Steinglass zeroed in on an example of what the prosecution considers an inconsistency in the defense team's case. He told the jury that if the $420,000 payment for Cohen was for legal services, as the defense argued, Cohen could not have stolen $60,000 from the Trump Organization, as the defense also argued. It's either one or the other, the prosecutor argues — not both.

Steinglass: 'I'm not asking you to feel bad for Michael Cohen'

Steinglass is trying to reason with the jury, telling the jurors that they don't need to feel bad for Cohen, but they should understand where Cohen is coming from.

“I am not asking you to feel bad for Michael Cohen. He made his bed," Steinglass said.

“But you can hardly blame him that he’s making money for the one thing he has left," he added, referencing Cohen's knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump organization.

Steinglass admits that Daniels’ testimony was “messy” — but 'Stormy Daniels is the motive'

Steinglass is laying out how “the defense has gone to great lengths to shame Stormy Daniels, saying that she changed her story” but adds that “her false denials have been thoroughly discussed and explained.”

“She lived 2017 in pure silence, Michael Cohen came out and said sex never happened” and Daniels “felt compelled to set the record straight,” he said.

Steinglass said that “parts of her testimony” were “cringeworthy” and “uncomfortable.”

But details like “what the suite” at Harrah’s “looked like” and how the toiletry bag appeared “ring true.”

“They’re the kind of details you’d expect someone to remember,” Steinglass explained, adding that, “fortunately, she was not asked or did she volunteer specific details of the sexual act itself.”

“It certainly is true you don’t have to prove that sex took place — that is not an element of the crime, the defendant knew what happened and reinforces the incentive to buy her silence,” explained Steinglass.

“Her story is messy,” he said. “But that’s kind of the point. That’s the display the defendant didn’t want the American voter to see.”

“If her testimony were so irrelevant, why did they work so hard to discredit her?” he added. “In the simplest terms, Stormy Daniels is the motive.”

Steinglass undercuts defense argument that Trump was totally in the dark on Daniels payment

Steinglass displayed quotes from one of the state's exhibits: a phone call in which Cohen — well before he started cooperating with prosecutors — tells Davidson that Trump hates the fact that his team settled with Daniels.

The quotes undercut the defense team's insistence that Trump knew nothing about the hush money payments to Daniels.

Steinglass to jury: You don't need to believe Cohen to find there was a conspiracy

Steinglass defended the state's witnesses against the Trump team's accusations of lying, but he added that the jury does not necessarily need to believe every word of Cohen's testimony to find that there was a conspiracy to unlawfully influence the 2016 election.

"You don’t need Michael Cohen to prove that one bit," Steinglass said, referring to the state's accusation of a conspiracy.

He added that Hope Hicks, Rhona Graff, Madeleine Westerhout, Jeffrey McConney and Deborah Tarasoff were all witnesses who like Trump but confirmed Cohen's testimony.

Steinglass: 'You don't get to commit election fraud or falsify your business records'

Steinglass is appealing to the jury by explaining to them that it doesn't really matter why Trump broke the law, as long as they feel he did break the law. The argument appears to be a response to the claim by Blanche, during his own closing arguments, that Stormy Daniels had attempted to extort Trump.

"In the end it doesn’t really matter, because you don't get to commit election fraud or falsify your business records because you think you’ve been victimized," he said.

"In other words, extortion is not a defense for falsifying business records," he added.

"You've got to use your common sense, here," Steinglass continued. "Consider the utterly damning testimony of David Pecker."

Steinglass rebuts defense arguments about phone records

"The defense seems to be questioning our integrity,” Steinglass told the jury near the top of his summation.

But, he argued, it was the defense that didn't properly depict phone records.

The call summaries were made to help guide you, the prosecutor explained to the jury. The phone records are all in evidence and you can look through them at your leisure, he added.

It’s also an interesting accusation, Steinglass points out, given that the defense’s summary of calls between Cohen and Costello double-counts their calls. He also reminds them that not every phone call is accounted for in their phone records. Cohen had 11 phone numbers for Trump; they had records corresponding to two of them.

Prosecution kicks off closing arguments

The prosecution is now kicking off its closing arguments. Joshua Steinglass will give them.

Merchan told jury to disregard Blanche's 'prison' comment

Merchan, who chastised Blanche for imploring jurors not to send Trump to prison, told the jury that the lawyer's comment was "improper, and you must disregard it."

"If there is a verdict of guilty," the judge added, "it will be up to me to impose a sentence."

He went on to explain that a "prison sentence is not required in the event of a guilty verdict."

We are back

Merchan is at the bench. Trump is seated at the defense table.

Trump's family shows support outside the courthouse

Trump's sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump along with Eric's wife, Lara Trump, the co-chair of the Republican National Committee, slammed the proceedings in remarks to reporters outside the courthouse during the lunch break.

"Michael Cohen is the embodiment of reasonable doubt," Donald Jr. said. "This entire case hinges on someone who has quite literally lied to every single person and body he's ever been in front of in his life before."

Both he and Eric Trump echoed their father's often repeated characterization of the trial, calling it a "political witch hunt" and a "sham."

Eric went on to say that the district attorney's office is ignoring crimes across the city and using the trial to attack Trump.

"They're sitting there, they're laughing, they're giggling," Eric said. "This was their moment. This is how they embarrass Donald Trump."

Laura Trump added that the trial has been "banana republic-type stuff."

"This is a case about politics, pure and simple," she said.  

After walking away from the news conference, Donald Trump Jr. added that Democrats "talk about democracy but are laughing about it like it's a soundbite," and claimed they are “trying to scare anyone who has any kind of belief that doesn’t go 100% with what they believe.”

Merchan says he will give curative instructions after Blanche's 'prison' comment

Merchan appeared to chastise Blanche after the defense lawyer implored jurors not to send Trump to prison — an unlikely outcome in this case

"I think that statement was outrageous, Mr. Blanche," Merchan said after jurors were excused for their daily lunch break, later adding: "It's simply not allowed. Period. It’s hard for me to imagine how that was accidental in any way."

Merchan told the court that he plans to give jurors a curative instruction — in other words, general direction that is aimed at clearing up an erroneous statement.

Prosecutor slams Blanche's 'prison' comment

Joshua Steinglass, the prosecutor who is expected to deliver the state's closing arguments, blasted Blanche's comment to the jury about prison time as a "blatant and wholly inappropriate move" by the defense.

Steinglass asked Merchan to provide a curative instruction, a direction given by a judge to correct an erroneous statement.

Trump lawyer tells jurors that 'this isn't a referendum on your views of' Trump

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Summer Concepcion

Toward the end of his closing arguments, Trump lawyer Todd Blanche told jurors that the verdict “isn’t a referendum on your views of” Trump, or “a referendum on the ballot box,” stressing the importance of basing their decision on evidence that emerged throughout the trial.

“If you focus just on the evidence you heard in this courtroom, this is a very very quick and easy not guilty verdict. Thank you,” he said.

‘You are gangsters!’: Robert De Niro clashes with Trump supporters in New York

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Katherine Doyle

Amanda Terkel Politics Managing Editor

President Joe Biden’s campaign held a news conference outside the Manhattan courtroom where  Donald Trump is on trial  in his hush money case, with actor Robert De Niro and  two officers who defended the Capitol  from the Jan. 6 mob warning about the dangers of re-electing the former president.

“The Twin Towers fell just over here, just over there. This part of the city was like a ghost town, but we vowed we would not allow terrorists to change our way of life. ... I love this city. I don’t want to destroy it. Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city, but the country, and eventually he can destroy the world,” De Niro said.

Afterward, on the way back to his car, De Niro mixed it up with some pro-Trump protesters, who yelled that he’s a “wannabe,” “paid sell-out” to the Democratic National Committee, “nobody” and a “little punk” whose “movies suck.”

“You’re not going to intimidate,” De Niro replied. “That’s what Trump does. ... We are going to fight back. We’re trying to be gentlemen in this world, the Democrats. You are gangsters. You are gangsters!”

Read the full story here.

Blanche finishes summation

Blanche finished his summation at 12:49 p.m. ET, about three hours after he began the closing arguments.

Blanche refers to jail time

Blanche told the jurors: "You cannot send someone to prison based on the words of Michael Cohen."

It's worth noting that it's unlikely the former president will be sentenced to prison in this case.

Blanche says Michael Cohen is the 'GLOAT'

Blanche says that Michael Cohen is the "greatest liar of all time."

“Michael Cohen is the GLOAT. He’s literally the greatest liar of all time," Blanche said, a play on the sports term GOAT "greatest of all time. “He has lied to every single branch of Congress.”

He added, “He has lied to the Department of Justice.”

Blanche outlines 10 reasons why he believes jury should have reasonable doubt

Blanche presented jurors with a list:

  • The invoices. Blanche argues Cohen created the invoices, Trump had no intent to defraud, and prosecutors did not present evidence that Trump knew about them.
  • Valentine's Day 2017 vouchers. Blanche argues there is no proof Trump ever saw the vouchers.
  • No evidence of intent to defraud.
  • No evidence to commit or conceal a crime. "There is no falsification of business records, period," Blanche argued.
  • No evidence Trump was involved in illegal agreement to influence election.
  • AMI would have run Sajudin's story. Dino Sajudin is the former Trump Tower doorman who tried to sell a story about Trump fathering a child out of wedlock.
  • McDougal did not want her story published .
  • Daniels' story was already public .
  • Alleged manipulation of evidence .
  • Cohen is the "embodiment of reasonable doubt." "He lied to you repeatedly," Blanche said. "He is biased and motivated to tell you a story that is not true."

Blanche insists there was no felony because even if there was a conspiracy, it wasn't through 'unlawful means'

Blanche is insisting that there can be no felony falsification of business records because even if there was a conspiracy to influence the election, it was not carried out through any “unlawful means.”

To support his “no unlawful means” argument, Blanche said there is no proof Trump ever knew, for example, about certain paperwork Michael Cohen submitted to his bank or paperwork prepared to transfer Karen McDougal’s life rights from AMI to Trump.

Trump’s knowledge, however, is not required. All that matters legally is that a member of the conspiracy undertook those “unlawful means.”

Trump lawyer plays audio of Cohen screaming on his podcast

After playing audio of Cohen excitedly talking about the prospect of Trump being convicted, Trump lawyer Todd Blanche then played two excerpts of Cohen screaming on his podcast in a tone virtually unrecognizable to anyone who has encountered him only here.

This was more effective than most moments today.

Blanche says Michael Cohen is the 'MVP of liars'

Blanche said that Michael Cohen has lied to his family, including his wife and kids, his banker, the Federal Election Commission, reporters, Congress, prosecutors, business associates and bosses.

"He's literally like the MVP of liars," Blanche said.

Blanche raises his voice in accusing Cohen of lying

Blanche began shouting as he again accused Cohen of lying under oath. He reminded jurors that Cohen testified that he called Trump on Oct. 24, 2016, to provide an update on the Daniels situation, "It was a lie!" he said, pointing out that the call was actually to Trump's bodyguard, Keith Schiller.

"That was a lie and he got caught red-handed,” Blanche added.

Blanche accuses the prosecution of using Stormy Daniels to inflame jury

Over objections by prosecutor Joshua Steinglass, Blanche is accusing the prosecution of calling Stormy Daniels as a witness at trial, but not calling her as a grand jury witness.

Blanche is arguing it was intended to inflame the jury’s emotions and to embarrass the former president.

The jury didn't appear to react to that statement.

Trump lawyer portrays Trump as the victim of the infamous 'Access Hollywood' tape

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Jonathan Allen

Blanche may be the first person to portray Trump as the victim of the “Access Hollywood” tape .

Though Blanche says it was not “so catastrophic” as to motivate Trump to break the law — more precisely, that there’s “no evidence” that it was — he says this of the release of the video Oct. 7, 2016: “This was an extremely personal event for President Trump. Nobody wants their family to be subjected to that sort of thing.”

(The video had Trump on a hot mic discussing getting away with assaulting women because he was famous.)

Blanche accuses Daniels of 'extortion,' and the prosecution stays mum (for now)

Blanche just said of Daniels’ nondisclosure agreement: “This started out as an extortion and it ended up very well for Ms. Daniels, there’s no doubt about that.”

The prosecution has not objected to Blanche’s repeated use of the word “extortion,” which suggests a crime was committed. That could be a strategic choice, because what they say in refuting that characterization during their own summation could be more memorable and powerful than a sustained objection.

Blanche claims that threats against Stormy Daniels never happened

Blanche said that Stormy Daniels decided to go public with her story supposedly because she was trying to protect herself from threats in a parking lot that she received five years earlier.

Blanche said, however, that there are recordings that show that's not true. He said Michael Avenatti, Gina Rodriguez and Daniels were lying about these threats.

“They never happened," Blanche said. “The recording makes clear that Ms. Daniels lied to you.”

Blanche has resumed his summation

The morning break is over and Trump's defense team is continuing with its closing arguments.

Blanche said he expects about 30 to 40 more minutes.

Trial takes a break

The trial took a quick break starting at 11:35 a.m.

Blanche questions why no one in Trump campaign addressed Stormy Daniels issue in April 2016

Blanche questions why no one in the campaign did anything about Stormy Daniels in April 2016 when her manager reached out about it.

But Blanche's point ignores the impact that the leak of the "Access Hollywood" tape in October 2016 had on the campaign. Trump's campaign was beleaguered by accusations of sexism as a result of the tape, so Daniels' claim may have had more of an impact.

Fight appears to break out between pro-Trump supporters outside the courthouse

Elizabeth Maline

A fight appears to have broken out between pro-Trump supporters in Columbus Park across the street from the courthouse.

New York City Police Department officers were seen hopping over the fence into the park to respond to the clash.

Blanche tries to impress upon jury that Cohen's recording of Trump call is unreliable

Blanche wants the jury to believe that Michael Cohen's recording of the call with Trump is unreliable because it cuts off early.

But more than that, Blanche is trying to tell the jury that the transcript of what they have is unreliable because while the recording discussed AMI and Pecker, there is doubt that they are talking about Karen McDougal, whose name is never mentioned, or any payment of $150,000, which cannot be heard on the tape.

Blanche says they were “talking past each other,” and that Cohen’s invocation of “financing” shocked Trump, who had no idea what was going on, and that Cohen’s interpretation of “cash” to mean actual bills is a fiction designed to make the conversation sound more sinister.

Trump team responds outside courthouse immediately following Biden campaign

Moments after the Biden campaign finished its remarks outside the courthouse, Trump campaign members went to the microphone to speak.

Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the campaign, called the Biden campaign's decision to have Robert De Niro — whom he called a "washed-up actor" — speak today as a way to "try to change the subject" from Biden's "falling" poll numbers.

Karoline Leavitt, a Trump campaign spokesperson, called the Biden team's conference "a full-blown confession that this trial is a witch hunt."

"This is a disgrace. President Trump has been locked up in that courtroom for six weeks," Leavitt said. "But guess what, the American people see through this witch hunt, this scam, and that's why President Trump continues to rise in the polls."

Leavitt added that Biden is "weak" and "pathetic" and is using "elitist, out-of-touch Hollywood actors like Robert De Niro who have no idea the real problems that people in this city and across this country are facing." 

Blanche accuses Cohen of lying about Pecker lunch. Pecker didn't dispute it, though.

Blanche is continuing his effort to convince jurors that Cohen is a shameless liar. "Remember when Cohen told you he had lunch with Pecker?" Blanche told the jury. "Pecker said he was really frustrated that he was not getting paid for the McDougal story. Ladies and gentlemen, that lunch did not happen. Cohen made it up."

However, Blanche and Trump's other lawyers never entered any evidence backing up that claim — and Pecker during his testimony did not dispute that the lunch happened.

Blanche appears to want to have it both ways regarding David Pecker

Blanche appears to want it both ways regarding Pecker.

On one hand, he has characterized David Pecker as a “truth teller” and someone who, because of Pecker's immunity deal with the Manhattan DA, had no incentive to lie.

But Blanche also tells the jury that Pecker’s explanation that if the story from Trump Tower doorman Dino Sajuddin had been true, he would have published it — but only after the election — is not entirely credible because such a major story would have been published immediately.

Blanche argues the effort to silence Karen McDougal wasn't a 'catch and kill'

Blanche argued that the effort to silence Karen McDougal "is not a catch and kill either" because she didn't want her story published.

Blanche said McDougal wanted to kick-start her career, be on the cover of magazines and write articles. He said it wasn't McDougal's intention to publish her story.

"She didn't want her story published," he said.

Former Capitol police officers campaign for Biden outside courthouse

Harry Dunn, a former Capitol Police officer, and Michael Fanone, a former D.C. Metropolitan Police officer, who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, spoke in support of the Biden campaign outside of the courthouse today.

Fanone, who suffered a brain injury and a heart attack in the assault, recounted the attack adding that "if Jan. 6 didn't happen, we wouldn't be here right now, I'd still be at work."

Dunn went on to say that Trump is "the greatest threat to our democracy and to the safety of communities across the country today."

"Trump does whatever will get him votes and helps Donald Trump," he said.

Blanche mixes up details in 'catch and kill' cases

Reporting from Manhattan criminal court

Blanche has been walking through each of the stories that were caught and killed. But he is mixing up details. He mentioned, for example, that Karen McDougal’s business manager was Gina Rodriguez. But Rodriguez worked for Stormy Daniels, not McDougal.

Analysis: Blanche's assertions about the Enquirer don't really hold up to scrutiny

Blanche is arguing that the Enquirer’s reach was not wide enough to influence the election. But especially in today’s social media-fueled age, the idea that a story’s reach is limited to the publication’s own distribution is simply untrue. More significantly, however, the Enquirer’s influence here was in preventing certain stories from ever seeing the light of day.

Blanche pushes back on idea that the Enquirer could influence an election

Blanche, attempting to undercut one of the key planks of the prosecution's narrative, told the jury that it's absurd to believe that positive stories in the National Enquirer could affect the outcome of an American election.

"The idea that even sophisticated people like President Trump and David Pecker believed that positive stories in the National Enquirer could influence the 2016 election is preposterous," Blanche said, referring to the former publisher of the tabloid magazine. He went on to say that many of the articles published in the Enquirer were recycled from other outlets.

Pecker testified earlier in the trial that he purchased potentially damaging stories about Trump and then made sure they never saw the light of day — a practice known as "catch and kill." He also testified that his editorial team attempted to run more glowing stories about Trump in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

Robert De Niro condemns Trump in fiery remarks outside courthouse: 'He could destroy the world'

Robert De Niro reads a statement during a press conference outside of Manhattan Criminal Court.

Actor Robert De Niro spoke to the press as a surrogate for the Biden campaign outside the courthouse, railing against Trump.

"I love this city. I don’t want to destroy it," De Niro, a native New Yorker, said.

"Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city, but the country and eventually he could destroy the world," he continued.

De Niro, who has also appeared in ads for the Biden campaign, condemned Trump for the violence that occurred Jan. 6 at the Capitol, arguing that if Trump wins in November, "he will never leave."

At the end of De Niro's remarks, a Trump supporter in the crowd called the two former police officers standing with De Niro — both present at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 — "traitors."

The actor engaged in a back-and-forth with the man in the crowd, defending the officers, Harry Dunn and Michael Fanone.

"They stood there. They didn’t have to," De Niro said. "They stood there and fought for us. They fought for you, buddy. You’re able to stand right here."

"They are the true heroes. I’m honored to be with these two heroes today," De Niro continued.

Blanche says every campaign is a 'conspiracy to promote a candidate'

Blanche said that the prosecution wants the jury to believe that the entire scheme was to promote Trump's successful candidacy in 2016.

“Even if you find that’s true, that’s still not enough. It doesn’t matter — as I said to you in the opening statement — it doesn’t matter if there was a conspiracy to win the election," Blanche said. “Every campaign is a conspiracy to promote a candidate.”

Blanche hammers on the question of Trump's intent to defraud

Blanche asked the jury: "Where is the intent to defraud on the part of President Trump?" He then showed a slide labeled "No Intent to Defraud."

The exact language of the charges against Trump in this case accuse the former president of breaking various laws with the "intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof."

Biden campaign arrives with Robert De Niro outside courthouse

Biden campaign members have arrived outside the courthouse with actor Robert De Niro and Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who was attacked in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Blanche again suggests Cohen was bitter

Blanche asked the jurors whether they "believe for a second that, after getting stiffed on his bonus in 2016, when he thought he worked so hard," Cohen would then "want to work for free" for Trump.

"Was that the man who testified," Blanche asked rhetorically, "or was that a lie?"

Cohen did indeed testify that he was upset after he did not receive a holiday season bonus after the 2016 presidential election, but he repeatedly rejected the defense team's suggestions that bitterness and vindictiveness drove him to cooperate with prosecutors.

Blanche then argued it was "absurd" that Trump would agree to pay Cohen $420,000 even though the former president owed him only $130,000.

Blanche suggests Trump, as president, was too busy to be part of 'scheme'

Blanche repeatedly refers to Trump being in the White House when the repayments were made. He was very busy, Blanche said. That he was somehow in on a “scheme” to conceal a repayment is “absurd,” he added

His argument also reminds the jury this is no normal defendant: It’s the former president of the United States.

It’s an interesting line to to walk: Trump is so careful about his finances that he would never overpay, but he was also so busy in the White House that he was sometimes careless and wouldn’t know what he was paying for.

Blanche says prosecutors asked jury to believe Michael Cohen

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche said, “What the people have done, what the government did for the last five weeks, at the end of the day, is ask you to believe the man who testified two weeks ago, Michael Cohen.”

Blanche rejects assertion that Trump had full knowledge

Blanche told jurors it was "a stretch" that Trump always "had full knowledge of what was happening" inside the Trump Organization and his other business enterprises.

"That is reasonable doubt, ladies and gentlemen," he said.

Trump lawyer says there's nothing 'sinister or criminal' about the word 'retainer'

Blanche commented on the fact that retainer was listed as the reason for the reimbursement checks from Trump to Cohen.

"There's nothing sinister or criminal about that word," Blanche said.

Blanche said it wasn't put there by Trump or Allen Weisselberg but by Trump Organization accounting employee Deb Tarasoff, who testified earlier in the trial.

What was missing from the chart put up on the screen

When Blanche put up a visual aid for the jurors showing invoices, vouchers and checks, the most glaringly noticeable line on any of the documents was the very familiar, thick-lettered signature of Donald Trump.

Blanche calls attention to the fact that Don Jr. and Eric Trump weren't called as witnesses

As Blanche is calling attention to the fact that Don Jr. and Eric Trump were not called as witnesses, they are sitting in the front row of the courtroom behind their dad.

“The burden is always on the government, they make decisions about who to call," Blanche said, adding, “They did not call Don or Eric.”

The jury did not look over at the Trump children.

Blanche tries to steer jury away from old Trump books

Blanche tells the jury to be wary if the prosecution starts reading from an old Trump book to help prove how involved the former president was in his company’s accounting system.

Those books were co-written by ghostwriters, Blanche says, implying the ghostwriters did the due diligence of figuring out the system in lieu of Trump’s personal knowledge.

Blanche tries to address toughest evidence before prosecution gets to it

Blanche is working hard to try to pre-empt certain arguments the jury is likely to hear from the prosecution after he sits down. Because he goes first and the prosecution will have the last word -- per New York law -- he can’t afford not to address the toughest evidence for his client. 

Blanche pushes back on hush money argument

Blanche appeared to suggest that Cohen received retainer payments not because of the hush money arrangement but because he was Trump's personal attorney.

"There’s a reason why in life usually the simplest answer is the right one, and that’s certainly the case here. That the story Mr. Cohen told you on that witness stand is not true.” 

Cohen was paid $35,000 a month by Trump to be his attorney, Blanche said.

Blanche planting the seeds of reasonable doubt

Blanche is doing two things simultaneously to plant seeds of reasonable doubt early in this closing argument — establish that the internal records at the heart of this case weren't falsified and that Michael Cohen is a liar.

Blanche argues Michael Cohen was working as Trump's personal lawyer

Trump attorney Todd Blanche argued that Michael Cohen was serving as Trump's personal attorney, which he said was not in dispute.

“He talked to every reporter that he could, pushing the fact that he was going to be the personal attorney to President Trump," Blanche said. “This was not a secret. Michael Cohen was President Trump’s personal attorney. Period.”

Biden's campaign set to hold press conference outside the courthouse

President Joe Biden's campaign is scheduled to hold a news conference outside the court this morning at 10:15 ET.

The news conference is set to include the campaign team and "special guests," although the news release didn't say who they would be.

Trump lawyer argues invoices were false and there was no intent to defraud

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche argued that the invoices weren't false and there was no intent to defraud — and that if the jurors are so convinced, they don't have to go further.

As a matter of law, Blanche is correct, but it is also the case that the requisite intent to defraud is defined as including the intent to commit or conceal another crime.

Put another way, if the jurors believe the documents are false, they do have to confront whether Trump intended to conceal the underlying alleged conspiracy.

Jury sees chart that won't be put into evidence

Blanche displayed a chart on the courtroom screen showing what it presented as various financial records, including Cohen's invoices (which were then turned into vouchers, and then turned into checks).

The chart will not be put into evidence, so the jury can't refer back to it — and the general public may never see it publicly produced.

Trump lawyer accuses Michael Cohen of lying for likely the first of many times today

It's 9:48 a.m. and Trump lawyer Todd Blanche just accused Michael Cohen of lying — the first of many times we're likely to hear that claim today.

Blanche: 'This is a paper case'

Blanche continues his sentiment that the testimony that the jury has heard thus far is not enough to convict Trump. Instead, Blanche argues the true evidence for this case lies in documents.

"This case is about documents, it’s a paper case," Blanche said.

Blanche went on to argue that the case is not about Stormy Daniels, but instead about the payments Trump made to Michael Cohen.

“Were those bookings done with an intent to defraud? That’s why you’re here. And the answer to that — to those questions is absolutely positively not," Blanche said.

"The bookings were accurate, and there was absolutely no intent to defraud. And beyond that, there was no conspiracy," he continued.

Blanche tries to undercut Cohen and Daniels testimony

Blanche tells the jury members that “they should want and expect more than the testimony of Michael Cohen. ... You should want and expect more than the word of a woman who claims something happened in 2006.”

He continues by saying they should want and expect more than the testimony of Keith Davidson, who was trying to extort Trump. Notably, the district attorney's office does not object to the characterization of what happened as attempted or actual extortion.

Trump lawyer reiterates to jury that his client is innocent

Trump attorney Todd Blanche told the jury that they, as a group of citizens, decide the facts and decide whether Trump is guilty or not guilty. He said he wanted to repeat what he told them five weeks ago.

“President Trump is innocent," Blanche said. "He did not commit any crimes, and the district attorney has not met their burden of proof. Period.”

Blanche starts his closing arguments

Trump's lawyer Todd Blanche began giving his closing arguments at about 9:40 a.m. ET. He said that he expects he'll need 2½ hours to deliver the end of the defense's case.

He briefly put up a PowerPoint presentation and then took it down.

Merchan to jurors: You are the judges of the facts

Merchan is giving jurors an overview of what they're going to hear today from lawyers on both sides of the case. He explained that the summations "provide each lawyer the opportunity to review the evidence and give you the conclusions that can be drawn."

"You are the finders of fact, and it is for you and for you alone to determine the facts from the evidence," the judge told the jury.

He reminded the jury that the "lawyers are not witnesses," adding that nothing they say in their summations constitutes "evidence."

"You and you alone are the judges of the facts in this case," Merchan said.

Judge tells prosecution and defense: Don't go into the law

Before the jury entered, Judge Merchan told both the prosecution and defense teams that they shouldn't explain the law to the jurors during summation.

"Please do not go into the law. Stay away from the law," he said. "That'll be my job. I'll take care of it."

District attorney staff members are watching from the overflow room

As proceedings begin today, more than eight secondary members of the prosecution team have come into the overflow room to watch the trial.

The members present appear to be senior leadership from the district attorney’s office, including First Assistant District Attorney Meg Reiss and former Executive Assistant District Attorney Peter Pope, who led the investigation of this case leading to the grand jury’s indictment.

The staff members are seated in the jury box in the overflow room -- an area we have not seen used before for seating.

How long will summations last?

Todd Blanche, Trump's lawyer, estimates he'll need around 2½ hours to deliver his closing argument. He goes first.

Joshua Steinglass, one of the prosecutors, says he'll need "somewhere in the vicinity of 4 to 4½ hours."

Trump says 'this is a dark day in America' before heading into courtroom for closing arguments

Shortly before heading into the courtroom for closing arguments, Trump repeated his claims that he was forced to attend courtroom proceedings in the hush money trial because of President Joe Biden, without providing evidence.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee griped that the trial is “election hunting, election interfering” because it is an effort to go after Biden’s political opponent.

Trump again accused Judge Merchan of being “highly conflicted” and “corrupt” and read aloud quotes from legal analysts who support his assertions that the former president did not commit wrongdoing in the case.

Trump also complained about Merchan’s gag order that bars him from making disparaging comments against his family members and others involved in the case, saying that it’s an “unconstitutional thing” to impose on a presidential candidate.

“This is not a trial that should happen. It’s a very sad day. This is a dark day in America,” he said. “We have a rigged court case that should have never been brought, and it should have been brought in another jurisdiction.”

Jury instructions set in stone

Judge Merchan says that he provided the jury instructions to the defense and prosecution on Thursday afternoon and that neither side has commented on them. They are now final.

Merchan is on the stand and they're ready on go

The judge has taken his seat and proceedings are about to get underway.

The prosecution and defense in Trump’s criminal hush money trial will begin making their closing arguments to the jury today as the first criminal trial of a former president enters its final phase. NBC’s Laura Jarrett reports and Hallie Jackson provides analysis for "TODAY."

‘Phony’ checks and hush money payments: Breaking down Trump’s 34 charges in his New York criminal trial

JoElla Carman

Trump faces 34 felony counts in the New York hush money trial that is expected to potentially wrap up as early as this week.

Here's what to know about the charges.

Biden campaign preps for a Trump trial verdict: From the Politics Desk

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Monica Alba

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Natasha Korecki

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Mike Memoli

President Joe Biden has largely steered clear of Trump’s legal woes. But with a verdict in the  hush money trial  coming as soon as this week, Biden’s campaign is exploring a shift to a new, more aggressive posture, according to two people familiar with the strategy. 

Regardless of the outcome, top Biden campaign officials plan to stress to voters that Trump will be on the ballot in the fall and that no potential court proceeding will change that fact.

A person familiar with the discussions summed it up this way: “Donald Trump’s legal troubles are not going to keep him out of the White House. Only one thing will do that: voting this November for Joe Biden.” 

Trump has departed for the courthouse

Brittany Kubicko

The former president has left Trump Tower for the courthouse downtown.

Rudy Giuliani's son argues with anti-Israel protester outside court

Former New York gubernatorial candidate Andrew Giuliani started a heated argument with a protester who was shouting antisemitic tropes outside the courthouse this morning.

Giuliani, a former Trump White House official and the son of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, followed the demonstrator who was wearing a ski mask around a protest zone and yelled at the man about the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel.

The protester carried a sign with numbers representing Gazans who have been killed in the ensuing conflict and voiced canards about Jews controlling the U.S. government and the entertainment industry.

Trump's guests in court today

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Jake Traylor

Matt Korade

Several of Trump's children will be in court for closing arguments, including Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and his wife, Lara Trump, who is the co-chair of the Republican National Committee, as well as Tiffany Trump, the former president's only daughter with his ex-wife Marla Maples, and her husband, Michael Boulos.

Also in attendance will be Trump's longtime friend Steve Witkoff, a real-estate investor who testified as a defense expert in Trump’s Manhattan civil fraud trial , Will Scharf, a lawyer for Trump who is running for attorney general in Missouri against Republican incumbent Andrew Bailey, and Deroy Murdock, a contributing editor for National Review Online.

Trump lawyer says she has 'zero confidence' Judge Merchan will issue jury instructions 'in an appropriate manner'

Trump legal spokesperson Alina Habba on Sunday expressed concerns about jury instructions in the hush money trial against the former president and the jurors not being sequestered over the holiday weekend.

“Generally, as an attorney, as an American who understands the law and how to apply to laws to facts, there are no facts that support this alleged crime,” Habba said during an interview on Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures.” “We’re not even sure what the crime is. So it’s a books and records issue.”

Habba echoed Trump’s claims that Merchan is “severely conflicted” without evidence, noting the judge’s gag order that bars Trump from issuing disparaging comments on his family members and others involved in the case. Trump has repeatedly accused Merchan of being “conflicted,” often citing his daughter’s work at a digital fundraising and advertising firm that often collaborates with Democratic politicians.

“This judge is the judge that determines the jury instructions. The jury instructions are the road map for non-attorneys and jurors to follow the law,” she said. “It’s going to be critical, and frankly, at this point, I have zero confidence in the fact that this person, who should not be sitting on the bench right now, will do the right thing and give jury instructions that are in an appropriate manner without any persuasion towards the prosecution.”

Habba then raised concerns about jurors not being sequestered over the holiday weekend, arguing that they could be swayed by family and friends who have certain opinions.

“They should have been sequestered because, in my opinion, these jurors are handling something that is completely unprecedented and unwarranted in America, and for them to be able to be out and about on a holiday weekend with friends and families who have opinions, who are watching the news TVs on the background at the pool party — I have serious concerns,” she said.

Trump blasts Merchan and District Attorney Alvin Bragg in Truth Social posts over the weekend

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Alexandra Marquez is based in Washington, D.C.

Isabelle Schmeler

In a series of social media posts over the holiday weekend, Trump attacked Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the charges in this case against him, attacked Judge Juan Merchan and said the case was about a "legal expense" and a "bookkeeping error."

"I have a great case, but with a rigged and conflicted judge," Trump said in one post, before adding in another one, "The City of New York’s D.A., Alvin Bragg, is trying to prosecute a Federal case, which cannot be done, and where there is NO CRIME."

One post blasted the case for blowing a "legal expense" out of proportion, saying, "Let’s put the President in jail for 150 years because a LEGAL EXPENSE to a lawyer was called, by a bookkeeper."

Another post yesterday accused Merchan, without evidence, of being a "corrupt and conflicted" judge and claimed that Bragg is backed by liberal billionaire megadonor George Soros, who has been a target of antisemitic conspiracy theories .

Trump’s lawyers are preparing for the final stretch of the former president’s hush money trial in New York. NBC News’ Gabe Gutierrez reports on Trump’s busy weekend ahead of closing arguments in court.

Closing arguments set to begin in Trump’s criminal trial

rhetorical analysis movie speech

Dareh Gregorian

Closing arguments will begin today in the People of the State of New York v. Donald J. Trump , as the first criminal trial of a former president enters its final phase.

After the prosecution and the defense deliver their concluding arguments, the judge will give instructions to the jury. Then, the 12 ordinary New Yorkers who sit on the jury will begin deliberations on whether or not the former president is guilty of the charges against him.

After 20 days in a courtroom, here's what you missed in the Trump hush money trial

Ahead of this week's closing arguments, catch up on what you missed over the last few weeks of the first criminal trial of a former president.

In sometimes explosive testimony, former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen said that he did call Trump a "Cheeto-dusted" villain but admitted to past lies and theft upon questioning by Trump's attorneys.

Despite promising to testify, Trump did not ultimately take the stand and pushed back on media reports that he fell asleep multiple times during the trial. On his Truth Social account, the former president claimed he was simply resting his “beautiful blue eyes” while listening “intensely” to the proceedings.

© Copyright 2001-Present. American Rhetoric by Michael E. Eidenmuller All rights reserved.

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COMMENTS

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  2. 10 Great Movie Speeches for Teaching Rhetoric

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  3. American Rhetoric: Movie Speech: To Kill A Mockingbird

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  11. Remember the Titans Rhetorical Analysis

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  12. The 30 Best Movie Inspirational Speeches

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  14. Rhetorical Analysis of Will Smith's Speech from the Movie "The Pursuit

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  15. American Rhetoric: Movie Speech from Remember the Titans

    Listen to their souls, men: 'I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family.'. You listen. And you take a lesson from the dead. If we don't come together, right now, on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed -- just like they were. I don't care if you like each other or not. But you will respect each other.

  16. Rhetorical Analysis: Miracle

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  22. American Rhetoric: Movie Speech from Independence Day

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