Nothing makes a movie more memorable than a good fight scene. Who can forget the final battles of "Rocky" or "The Karate Kid"? But sometimes, the most memorable fights aren’t physical. Sometimes verbal conflicts are what make a movie unforgettable. That is certainly true of these Six Greatest Movie Debates Of All Time.
“Inherit the Wind”
Bertram Cates–a school teacher–is fired from his job for teaching evolutionary theory. Skilled lawyer Henry Drummond defends Cates at his trial, while Drummond’s friend and town hero Matthew Harrison Brady represents the opposition. In one memorable moment, Brady declares, “Faith is the most important thing!” Drummond disagrees. “Then why did God plague us with the capacity to think? Mr. Brady, why do you deny the one thing that sets above the other animals?” he asks. Spencer Tracy’s skilled portrayal of Drummond and Frederic March’s equally adept portrayal of Brady make this, perhaps the greatest movie debate of all time.
“The Ten Commandments”
Moses and Nefertiti, former lovers, engage in one of the greatest movie debates in history. She tries to convince Moses first to love her as he once did, then to save her son. In one of the most memorable and heart-rending scenes of the film, she pleads with Moses to save her son from God’s punishment. “In the hardness of his heart,” Moses tells her, “Pharaoh mocked God and brings death to his own son.” “But he is my son, Moses. You would not harm my son,” she responds. This scene becomes more tragic and more memorable when Nefertiti's son dies–in spite of her pleading.
“It’s a Wonderful Life”
George Bailey and Mr. Potter debate about how businessmen should treat the poor. In one part, Potter says, “Now you take this loan here to Ernie Bishop…I happen to know the bank turned down this loan–but he comes here and we’re building him a house worth five-thousand dollars. What does that get us? A discontented lazy rabble instead of a thrifty working class." Bailey responds that providing the poor with ways to own their own houses makes them better citizens.
Two priests work to bring Christianity to a group of Native Americans at a mission under Spanish control. They are safe from slave traders at the mission, until Spain sells the mission to Portugal, which condones slavery. The priests argue against the decision. When Papal emissary Altamirano tells Gabriel, “Tell them they must leave the missions. They must submit to the will of God.” Gabriel responds, saying, “They say it was the will of God that they came out of the jungle and built the mission. They don't understand why God has changed his mind.” Although Altamirano sees that the mission is good, he does not move to save them. Because of this, the Portuguese slaughter, not only the natives, but also the priests who stay behind to protect them. This tragic end gives the debate more meaning. Indeed, it makes the debate one of the 6 greatest movie debates of all time.
Inside trader Bud Fox confronts his mentor, Gordon Gecko, who plans to destroy his father’s company. “Why do you want to wreck this company?” Fox asks. “Because it’s wreckable, alright? I took another look at it. I changed my mind,” Gekko replies. “If these people lose their jobs, they’ve got nowhere to go. My father has worked there for 24 years.” Fox pleads.“It’s all about bucks, Kid,” says Gekko.
“Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"
One of the greatest movie debates of all time is the one between Gollum’s two personalities in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. “Good Gollum” argues in favor of remaining friends with Frodo, whereas “Bad Gollum” argues against it, urging Good Gollum to take the one-ring back. “Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little Hobbitses. Wicked! Tricksy, False,” snarls Bad Gollum. “Not master!” Good Gollum argues, eventually, telling Bad Gollum to "Leave now and never come back."