17 Inspirational Quotes from Oscar-Winning Movies

To get excited for the Academy Awards, here are some of the best quotes from Hollywood's top films.

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By Rose Leadem Originally published


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The Oscars are nearly here. On Sunday, March 12, the famous awards show will reveal the top films of the season. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the 2023 Academy Awards ceremony will honor and recognize some of today's most successful, impactful, and talented people in film and entertainment. See the complete list of nominations here.

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To get ready for this year's award show, we've taken a look back at some of the greatest, most inspirational quotes from Oscar-winning movies of the past.

From Lawrence of Arabia to Titanic and Moonlight, here are 17 of the most inspirational quotes from Oscar-winning movies.

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Slow down.

"Never be in a hurry. You'll miss the best parts in life."

-- Marlene Dietrich in Around the World in Eighty Days, 1956

Getty Images

Start small.

"Big things have small beginnings, sir."

-- Mr. Dryden in Lawrence of Arabia, 1962
Warner Bros.

Be grateful.

"If you can't appreciate what you've got, you better get what you appreciate."

-- Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, 1964

Related: 50 Inspirational Quotes to Help You Achieve Your Goals

Twentieth Century Fox

Seek opportunity.

"When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window."

-- Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, 1965

Getty Images

Prove something to yourself.

"Ah come on, Adrian, it's true. I was nobody. But that don't matter either, you know? 'Cause I was thinkin', it really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head, either. 'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood."

-- Rocky Balboa in Rocky, 1976
Columbia Pictures

Honesty and love will prevail.

"Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always."

-- Gandhi in Gandhi, 1982
Columbia Pictures

Be authentic.

"If you cannot say what you mean, your majesty, you will never mean what you say. And a gentleman should always mean what he says."

-- Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston in The Last Emperor, 1987

Twentieth Century Fox

Make every day count.

"I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it. You don't know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you... To make each day count."

-- Jack in Titanic, 1997

Leave your legacy.

"What we do in life, echoes in eternity."

-- Maximus in Gladiator, 2000
Universal Pictures

Have a heart.

"Perhaps it is good to have a beautiful mind. But an even greater gift is to discover a beautiful heart."

-- John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, 2001

Related: 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurial Quotes


Love the life you live.

"You can like the life you're living. You can live the life you like."

-- Roxie in Chicago, 2002
Warner Bros.

Take risks.

"It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you."

-- Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris in Million Dollar Baby, 2004
Warner Bros.

Change the world.

"I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me."

-- Frank Costello in The Departed, 2006
The Weinstein Company

Take on challenges.

"For the sake of all that we ourselves hold dear, and of the world's order and peace, it is unthinkable that we should refuse to meet the challenge. It is to this high purpose that I now call my people at home and my peoples across the seas, who will make our cause their own. I ask them to stand calm and firm, and united in this time of trial."

-- King George VI in The King's Speech, 2010

The Weinstein Company

Embrace the new.

"Out with the old, in with the new! That's life!"

-- Peppy Miller in The Artist, 2011

Related: 20 Celebrities Who Started Alcohol Companies

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Work with purpose.

"This is my career, this is my chance to do some work that actually means something."

-- Riggan Thomson in Birdman, 2014

Be yourself.

"At some point you've got to decide who wanna be. Can't let nobody make that decision for you."

-- Juan in Moonlight, 2016
Rose Leadem
Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for Entrepreneur.com. 

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