Wednesday Favorites – Inspirational Movies

***Contest Starts Today***

Right now, I’m in the process of preparing for the ACFW Writer’s Conference in Denver Colorado and I’m down to the final 4 weeks before the event. I’ve been blessed with being able to attend numerous conferences over the years, but this is the first time I have an almost completed manuscript that I truly feel is darn near “publication ready.” I’ll be blogging on this conference topic quite a bit between now and next month, but for the moment, I’m concentrating on building my courage to pitch my manuscript to literary agents and publishers. For me, there’s nothing like a really great inspirational movie to help me get and or keep a “can-do” attitude.

Over the years, I’ve seen lots of inspirational films, but admittedly, there are a few movies that, even to this day, strengthen my inner spirit. Today, I’d like to share a few clips from some of my all-time favorites, and I hope you’ll stick around for the contest immediately following.

First on my list is Rudy. Although Rudy came out in 1993, the film still makes me cry, still makes me feel hopeful, and still warms my heart. Here is a synopsis of the movie from Moviefone.

A young man learns to let nothing stop him from realizing his ambitions in this drama, based on a true story. Ever since he was a little boy, Rudy Ruettiger (Sean Astin) has dreamed of attending Notre Dame University, and playing on the Fighting Irish football team. However, Rudy’s dream doesn’t seem very practical; Daniel (Ned Beatty), his father, works in a steel mill and can ill afford to send his son to Notre Dame, while Rudy’s grades are not especially impressive, and standing a shade over five feet tall and weighing a little over 100 pounds, Rudy is hardly built for the gridiron. However, with the help of Father Cavanaugh (Robert Prosky), a sympathetic priest, Rudy is admitted to nearby Holy Cross, and in his junior year manages to squeak into Notre Dame as a transfer student. Rudy works as an assistant to the football stadium’s groundskeeper, Fortune (Charles S. Dutton), to pay his tuition (often sleeping in Fortune’s office since he can’t afford a room), studies diligently, and appears at tryouts for the football team. Rudy is made a member of the practice team, which means he’s little more than a human tackling dummy, but Coach Ara Parseghian (Jason Miller) is impressed with Rudy’s devotion and determination, and pledges that he’ll allow him to dress for one game before he graduates, so his name can be recorded as an official member of the team. However, the arrival of a new coach and a tough season that allows for few unnecessary players may put a stop to Rudy’s dreams within sight of the finish line. Rudy also stars Jon Favreau, Lili Taylor, and Scott Benjaminson. – Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Second on my list is Rocky. What can I say? The movie Rocky is one of the greatest underdog stories of all time. How can you not be inspired? I double-dog-dare you to watch this clip with the “Eye to the Tiger” song playing in the background and not get at least a little bit pumped up.

Narrowing down even three favorite inspirational movies was really hard. I was torn between several favorites for this last choice, but in the end I chose The Pursuit of Happyness. Will Smith starred in this movie which is based on the true story of Chris Gardner. If memory serves me correctly, I believe Will Smith was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in this picture.

And now for the contest! Enter a comment and tell us a few of your favorite inspirational movies and you will be entered in a drawing to win the movie The Ultimate Gift. The contest will end on August 24th and the winner will be announced on August 25th. If you haven’t seen this movie, you’ll really want to enter the contest to win. Here is a brief description from the DVD of what the movie is about.

The Ultimate Gift

With an all-star cast that includes Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin, Academy Award nominee James Garner, and Brian Dennehy, this engaging, heartwarming drama won the 2006 Heartland Film Festival’s Crystal Heart Award and received the Dove Foundation’s seal of approval.

Based on Jim Stovall’s best-selling novel, The Ultimate Gift sends a young man of privilege on an improbable journey. Trust fund baby Jason Stevens (Drew Fuller) loves all of life’s gifts, as long as they’re bankable. But when his wealthy grandfather, Red (James Garner), dies, Jason receives a most unusual inheritance: twelve tasks, which Red calls “gifts,” to challenge Jason to grow as a man. If he succeeds, the experience will not only change Jason forever, but he will discover the real meaning of wealth.

Related Posts:

Wednesday Favorites – Inspirational Music

Wednesday Favorites – Movie One-Liners

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9 Responses

  1. I love all the movies you mentioned. But, two more that always inspire me to be a better person and try to make a difference in this life are: It’s A Wonderful LIfe and Pay It Forward.

    The Ultimate Gift is a great film too, which I saw once. I would love for my son to see it too. It just might inspire him. You can always pray for it to be so……right?

  2. Hey sister-girl! Since I’ve won twice in recent months, I’ll recuse myself from the running for the prize. But, I thought I’d share my favorite inspirational movie anyway…

    Radio- with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris. I went to the theatre and saw it with the girls on my hall when I was in college. We BAWLED. There’s just something that’s very moving about seeing somebody do the right thing… In this case, a white coach in the ’70’s in SC, befriending a poor, mentally handicapped black man. And when Coach Jones did what was right, he didn’t just change his life or the life of the black man (Radio), he changed the community.

  3. “It’s a Wonderful Life” by far! Never miss it when it’s on. We all make a difference in lives, just can’t see them. Wonderful movie–my favorite of all times.

  4. Susan and Linda, I completely forgot about the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Gosh I love watching that movie during the holidays. Clarence the angel was so adorable and of course Jimmy Stewart was awesome.

  5. Honest to goodness, Sarah, I came so close to listing Radio. I was so torn because the story and movie were so powerful. And to think that the movie is based on a true story is even more heartwarming.

  6. Jim and I had a dog named Rocky and so did two of our friends. Wonder what movie we had all been watching? One of my favorite inspirational movies is Seabiscuit. Here’s some of a blurb about it: “During the Depression, a former bicycle repairman, Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges), owned a small, knobbly-kneed horse called Seabiscuit. Howard teamed up with half-blind ex-prize-fighter Red Pollard (Tobey Maguire), who became the horse’s jockey, and former “mustang breaker” Tom Smith (Chris Cooper), who became the horse’s trainer. …”

  7. Mary, I loved Seabiscuit! I thought Toby Maquire and Jeff Bridges did an excellent job in this film. Thank you for the blurb about the movie.

  8. Chris Gardner’s story is so powerful. What intestinal fortitude and strength of character he exhibited to pursue a profitable career. Sometimes it takes awhile in life to reach your goal but Gardner proves you can do it. He was never discouraged. Drive and determination will take you a long way.

  9. Mary, you are so right. I love the fact that Chris built himself up from nothing. His story really gives me hope.

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