Movie Underdogs

In this week’s survey (Please vote. See lower right sidebar poll.), we look at where heroes come from. For most people I speculate that heroes come from our daily lives: family, neighborhood, school, the office. But we also find heroes in literature, online, and in movies.

As much as I regret lowering the level of conversation to movie characters, I’m trying to be open to the blog as a trace of thinking and hoping that the next post will build and evolve into something greater. Furthermore, I’d like to lighten up the discussion and make it more fun. It takes work.

Below are a few movie quotes from movies with underdog themes for your amusement and pondering.

On the Waterfront

“You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody. Instead of a bum. Which is what I am. Let’s face it.”


Adrian: You worked so hard.

Rocky: Yeah, that don’t matter. ‘Cause I was nobody before.

Adrian: Don’t say that.

Rocky: “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.”

Slumdog MillionaireSlumdog-Millionaire-film--008

Police Inspector: Doctors… Lawyers… never get past 60 thousand rupees. He’s won 10 million.

[pause] What the hell can a slumdog possibly know?

Jamal Malik: [quietly] The answers. [spits out blood]

Jamal Malik: [quietly and gently] I knew the answers.

Erin BrockovichErin-Brockovich-DI

“Look I don’t know shit about shit, but I know right from wrong.”

There’s something truthful and humble about heroes. These characters did not think they had much value themselves, but they stood up for what was right. They stood up to corruption. They stood up to big money, big corporations, big opponents. They fought. Some won, but it was mostly about the fight.

But these are only fictional characters you say. What could we possibly learn from these heroes? Part of my quest is to find commendable behavior. To encourage. To show examples. This is how you take action. Even though it is fiction, there’s truth in the script. There’s truth in the passion. If it resonates with you, then that is real.

Below are some more movies with underdog themes and characters to consider. My wife played an extra in Revenge of the Nerds while at University of Arizona…so that’s clearly why that title was included. Believe it or not, this was a climactic scene below.

JW the Nerd

Karate Kid, Breakfast Club, 300, Revenge of the Nerds, 8 Mile, Slumdog Millionaire, Erin Brockovich, Money Ball, Hoop Dreams, The Fugitive, Jerry Maguire, Sea Biscuit, Gandhi, Little Miss Sunshine, Hoosiers, Bad News Bears, Hunger Games, Billy Elliott, Ratatouille, The Commitments, School of Rock, Ray.


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