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(Literal) Text Transcription of the video :
Hello, Olivier Roland here, welcome to this new video. So, today is Thursday’s question and the one I have chosen this time is a question from Harry P. who says: “Hi Olivier! Do you know any good inspirational movies of any kind?”
Great question Harry. There, there’s nothing like good, well-made movies to re-motivate and inspire us to achieve more. So today, I will share 4 films with you that inspired me, which I find particularly interesting.
The first movie I’m going to share with you is the least know of the 4, it’s called “Zorba the Greek”. It’s a film from the 60s which I think is an excellent example of what personal development can do for you when you live it for your life. It’s the story of a young writer, who arrives in Crete to claim a paternal inheritance. He meets a Greek who is the complete opposite of his own personality and with whom he tries to start a mining business there. He also meets a woman who is a widow and who seems to be mistreated by the whole village he lives in, and with whom he will fall in love. So, it’s a story.
I can’t disclose much more about the film, otherwise, I’ll end up revealing the whole story to you. But, know that this is a film that is a great example of what to do when we encounter adversity, that our plans fail and that we fall on hard times.
How do you deal with that? How to still carry on with your life and continue to enjoy it?
So, it’s really, really great movie on this subject. How to stay human, happy and joyful despite hardship? So, there you go, “Zorba the Greek”, you can click on the link just here to get to it on Amazon.
The second movie I’m going to share with you, which on the other hand is an extremely well-known example of personal development, is obviously “Rocky”. “Rocky”, an excellent film in itself about someone does everything possible to win a fight in which he has no chance, but who will fight to the end even if he knows that basically he is only likely to lose in the end. It is the fight between Rocky Balboa and I can’t remember the name of the black boxer anymore but anyway, the reigning champion, whereas Rocky Balboa is just a little boxer from the “suburbs” let’s say.
So, there you go a very good film on the subject. You should know that it is inspired by a true story as it’s the fight between Mohamed Ali who was a champion boxer of the 60s who fought against a small-time boxer – I don’t remember his name – but a boxer no one knew. Everyone expected this guy would either get knocked down in three rounds or would abandon. It lasted for almost 15 rounds in the end and he got completely massacred by Mohamed Ali, but nevertheless, he held on until the end. And this is the fight that inspired Sylvester Stallone.
And beyond the history of the film which is already very interesting, it’s also really interesting to know the story behind the making of Sylvester Stallone’s film. Because it’s also an extraordinary story of someone who fought to accomplish his dreams and who succeeded. When Sylvester Stallone got the idea for Rocky, he lived in New York. He had no money at all.
When he started writing the script for Rocky, he had $106 in his account, 106 dollars. This was the 70s, so it was worth a little more than today but still it wasn’t much. In fact, he was extremely poor. He had only picked up some small roles here and there and therefore, he didn’t earn much. Often, the scenes he was in were cut out because no one cared. So, he said to himself: “Ok. I want to be a star. It’s my life’s dream and the only way to get there is to write a film that I will act in. I will just give myself the biggest role”.
So, he started writing Rocky. And then, he went to see film producers to try to convince them to finance the project. He got many rejections. But in the end, he found two producers who agreed to buy his script. However, they didn’t want Sylvester Stallone in the lead role, which was normal as he was completely unknown, he had only appeared in small films and the producers wanted a sure bet to ensure the success of the film. They were thinking of very famous actors like Robert Redford for example.
And so, to start with, they offered Sylvester Stallone $25,000. Then, they went to $100,000, followed by $300,000, and then offered him $400,000 to buy his screenplay outright provided he didn’t take the principle role.
At that time, Sylvester Stallone was in extreme poverty, having had to pawn his wife’s jewelry. Can you imagine? It’s not the best thing to do if you want to keep your marriage. He had to sell his dog, a dog he adored. He sold it for $50 to the owner of a grocery store. It broke his heart and now he is offered $400,000. So, Sylvester Stallone thought about this sum. 400,000 dollars was huge for him. He had never earned this much in his whole life.
And he asked himself a simple question, he said to himself: “Will I be able to bear it if this film is a success without me in it, not to be the headliner?” And he said “No. If the film is a hit and I am not in it, the role that I destined myself to play, I will simply jump off a bridge”. So, he said to the producers: “Listen, thank you, but actually for the time-being, I am coping well with poverty. I don’t want your $400,000. What I want is to play the Rocky role in this film.”
The producers had no choice. So, as they were also very keen on the project, they said: “Ok. Ok.” The initial budget for the movie was two million dollars and it was reduced to a million because the film company producing it were afraid that the film would flop because there was no star in it. So, they cut the budget in half and Sylvester Stallone was paid something like $25,000 for the script and he would get commission on the rest.
$25,000. So, he took the $25,000 instead of $400,000. And he bought his dog back. He sold it for $50 and he bought it back for $15,000 because the owner saw how much he wanted it back. And so, the rest is history. He played the role of rocky in “Rocky”. And the film was a huge success. I believe it did something like $225 million income in one year. It was the most profitable movie of its release year. I think it was in 1976. A cost of $1.1 million. The producers put in $100,000 of their own money. They mortgaged their houses to do this because they believed in the project which resulted $225 million in profits, in returns. That’s huge obviously.
That’s it. “Rocky” really is a film to watch, not only for the story of the film itself but for also for everything that happened behind the scenes, how hard Sylvester Stallone fought. Then, we see the success of the film, which was nominated for several Oscars. It received many accolades. It became a cult film and it obviously launched Sylvester Stallone’s career. So, a great, great story.
Onto the third film that I recommend, which is a great classic from the 80s, it’s “Karate Kid” – “Karate kid” is the story of a 16-year-old teenager who didn’t integrate well in the community he lived in. He’s of Italian origin and he finds himself surrounded by blonde-haired Americans who don’t really accept him. He takes up karate. Then, he ends up meeting a sage, a master who will eventually teach him how to do things, tasks that are completely useless and soulless and uninteresting but which will prove to be extremely useful for personal development, which will allow him to grow both personally and in his mastery of the art of karate.
And I think this film really inspired many, young and old. For one, to find their own Mr. Miyagi, to find their own sensei, their own teacher, their own coach who would allow them to excel. It really is a film about the whole point of finding our own Mr. Miyagi who will reveal our potential and help us to go further than we could do alone.
And, it’s also a film about the fact that, yes, sometimes you have to take on tasks that seem boring, useless, that seem pointless, but which will ultimately allow us to access an additional level of mastery and move us forward. There is even a part in the film where the young karate kid repaints Mr. Miyagi’s fence. He does a lot of housework, polishing wood, I can’t remember what else. And he says to himself: “This guy is actually exploiting me”. And then, afterwards, he realizes that all the gestures he made during these housework tasks are used in karate to block attacks or to counter attack, etc.
Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know. Anyway, it is a very beautiful story that has inspired a lot of people to have a better life.
And so to the fourth film, I may even give you a fifth. Ok, I’ll give you a fifth as a bonus right after this one. The fourth film is “Invictus”. It’s a film by Clint Eastwood which came out in 2009, if I remember well. And it’s a film that takes place in South Africa when Nelson Mandela was president. He has just been elected actually, and it’s an extremely interesting movie because it shows the transition that took place in a country where there was apartheid, a segregation between black and white people. And how Nelson Mandela finally came to power, how the transition happened, just how hard it was, how minds were still scarred by decades struggle. So, the film tells the story of a player and the South African rugby team.
You should know that one of the first things the black government wanted to do when it came to power was to get rid of the rugby team since the rugby team was seen as being pro-white or at least loved exclusively by the whites of the country. And Nelson Mandela intervened to explain that it would really be an act of war that it would ultimately only be about seeking revenge and all that.
This is a very beautiful film, especially about this aspect, on the value of acceptance and forgiveness, to forgive people who have harassed us for decades. Nelson Mandela is obviously an extraordinary example of this. I have to say, he still got 30 years in prison, something like that. But in the end, he forgave the people who locked him up. It’s quite extraordinary. And what a human being is capable of when he really gives the best of himself. That’s it.
And the fifth bonus film because you are still here. You see, there are many people who stop after two. We know that most people watch a maximum of three to four minutes of a video on YouTube. So, thank you for sticking around. This fifth movie is also an excellent, excellent film about personal development, it’s the movie “Groundhog Day“. It came out, if I remember well in ’91 starring Bill Murray who also appeared in “Ghost Busters”.
This film actually tells the story of an American journalist who arrives in a small lost town to cover Groundhog Day. Because here every year, they take out the groundhog and they make a prediction on the year with it. And the reporter is jaded about it all. He has failed his career, he arrives at this lost town to cover Groundhog Day and he is completely bored with life. And, he finds the whole thing horrible.
So, he spends his day there. He wants to go home immediately after but cannot due to a blizzard. And when he wakes up the next day, he realizes that it isn’t tomorrow, it is actually the day before. He realizes that he is reliving the same day. And the next day is the same, the next day it’s the same again. The next day is the same, again and again. He’s a prisoner of some kind of time loop which means he always relives the same thing at the same time of day.
So, at the beginning, he takes the opportunity to steal lots of money without getting caught, has lots of girls, etc. And after a while, he is fed up and tries to commit suicide but it doesn’t work. Every time he succeeds in committing suicide, he wakes up in bed the next day which is useless. In the end, he takes it on the chin and realizes that in fact, there are things he can’t control and he tries to live a good life despite it.
And it’s a message that is so beautiful, so true in this film. Many people only see the comedy in this film. It is true that it also a pretty funny movie. But, it’s a movie which works at a much deeper level. I mean, at one point, he meets people in a bar and tells them: “I have fallen under, I don’t know, some sort of curse. I live the same day again over and over”. And one of the guys looking at him says: “Ah. Well, that sounds a lot like my life”.
And that’s the message of the movie in the end. There are so many of us that live an extremely routine life or are locked in the same habits which ultimately means every day resembles the next, and the next and the next. And the message of the film is: even if all your days are alike and it’s deadly boring, you can still improve your life and make the most of it, and enjoy it and become a better you. It’s really an extraordinary film about personal development.
There you go. I hope you enjoyed this video. In any case, I strongly encourage you to watch these films if you haven’t already. They are truly extraordinary. Each has its own qualities. And they are all exceptional personal development films.