Films that focus on the teacher, administrator, or coach as the
main character typically follow The Hollywood Model of the good
teacher. These characteristics include a personalized curriculum,
personal involvement with students, conflict with administrators,
educator as an outsider, and the teacher learning from students. Each
of the four movies I have discussed in this paper has followed that
model, but these movies also have a number of plot similarities that
contribute to the similarities seen in the motivational speeches. These
characteristics include the coach/teacher having something to prove,
the students/players are at some kind of disadvantage, the link to a
social/cultural layer in the films, and the focus on both student and
teacher struggles. Finally, all of these links contribute to the
characteristics of the motivational/inspirational speech. The
recognition of obstacles allows students/players to feel as though they
have accomplished something or to motivate them to prove their
detractors wrong. Each of these films highlights a slightly different form
of encouragement, but the outcome is the same. Encouragement helps
the students/players become motivated to do their best work. Finally,
recognition of social/cultural factors, especially those that are external,
helps to put players/students work into a broader context and help
them understand why they are doing what they are doing. It also allows
them to draw conclusions about the significance of their work.
It is a little naive to believe that all problems can be erased by a
simple motivational speech, especially with the cultural and societal
influences woven throughout these films. It is important to remember
that this is Hollywood, even though many of these films are based on
true events. The operative words there are based on. Hollywood has
always been known to exaggerate details to provoke an emotional
response from the audience. Therefore, it is imperative to remember
that these similarities in speeches throughout these films may be a
manifestation of Hollywood finding a speech template that works to
show motivation in the players/students and evoke an emotional
reaction in the audience. However, the actual complexity of these social
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