I love movies that not only have happy endings but also reward their heroes’ lonely travails by inspiring others to rise up and support them. Here are 10 “you are not alone” scenes that will inspire you not to give up when the going gets tough.
Angels in the Outfield (1994)
Mel Clark is a washed-up pitcher who knows that this is the last game in his baseball career. When he’s given up hope of finishing the game, his coach gives him a surprising message that he has one strike left in him. This scene works so well because it brings back many lovable side characters and gives each of them a moment to shine. Plus, the coach was awful to Clark at the start of the film, so seeing him speak so confidently about Clark demonstrates how much he’s changed over the course of the film.
A big message of Ghostbusters II is the power of positivity. For most of the film, people treat each other poorly, which feeds the pink slime that’s shielding the villainous Vigo. The Ghostbusters do their best to break through the barrier, but that only gets them so far. It’s the New Yorkers outside who have to save the day by finally joining together in a song of joy to counteract the negative influence of the slime. As a bonus, Louis Tully gets to feel like a hero, even though he’s completely ineffectual.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
“Look to the east.” Gandalf’s words ring in Aragorn’s mind when he asks King Theoden to ride out of Helm’s Deep with him into what looks like certain doom. The Orcs have broken through almost all of their defenses, and it looks like Rohan is about to be wiped out of existence. With the hope that Gandalf is coming to the rescue at dawn, Aragorn and Theoden charge forward, killing every Orc that stands in their way until they emerge into the sunlight and see Gandalf the White at the head of the returning Rohirrim or horse-lords. It’s an inspiring sight, made even better by the symbolism of the sun rising behind them and blinding the evil Orcs.
Quigley Down Under
It’s ironic that Matthew Quigley was brought to Australia by Elliott Marston in order to kill aborigines because once Quigley has killed Marston, he is saved by those same aborigines. Not a single word needs to be spoken between Quigley and the British officers once they see that they are surrounded on every side. Quigley just has to give them a sardonic grin after he spits, and the officers turn tail and retreat.
This scene is unique on this list because the main character who feels like he’s alone doesn’t even appear in it. Rudy has faced so many disappointments and struggles on his journey to his one last opportunity to play in a Notre Dame football game, so it’s immensely satisfying to see others take up his cause and quietly fight for him. There’s another great “you are not alone” scene shortly after when everyone in the stadium starts cheering for Rudy when he finally gets to go on the field and play. That is a hugely emotional release compared to this scene. But I still love the understated quality of Rudy’s teammates (some of whom have criticized him in the past) pleading with their coach to let Rudy take their place.
Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 both have inspiring scenes near the end when a group of New Yorkers help Spider-Man when he’s at his most vulnerable. Spider-Man 2 does it even better because they get to be his protectors in the sense of keeping his identity a secret. They won’t give anyone a description of what he looks like because just as he saved them, they now get to return the favor. This is quite possibly the greatest superhero-movie moment of all time.
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Despite being the weakest entry in the series, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier ends on a surprisingly high note. What its climax lacks in action, it more than makes up for in emotional impact when Kirk sees who is responsible for saving his life. He was convinced that he would die alone and that his time had come, and so Spock’s words of comfort are particularly moving.
Luke Skywalker gets not one but two moments when others tell him he’s not alone. Obi-Wan Kenobi’s spirit lives on, even though he was killed by Darth Vader on the Death Star. He tells Luke to rely on the Force, not a computer, to destroy the Death Star and save his friends. And then Han Solo shows that Luke’s kind words and brave actions have inspired him to have a change of heart because he has come to stop Vader from killing Luke. Other Star Wars movies have tried to recreate this kind of “you are not alone” scene, from the Ewoks on Endor to the giant fleet of starships at Exegol, but they can’t beat the original.
The Three Musketeers (1993)
After the Cardinal’s failed attempt on King Louis’ life, he has the gall to point at Athos, Porthos, and Aramis and say that they are responsible for trying to murder the king. More than a hundred of the Cardinal’s guards draw their swords in unison, and it looks like the Three Musketeers are hopelessly outmatched. That is, until dozens of men come from behind and shed their disguises to reveal themselves as fellow musketeers. The famous motto “All for one, and one for all” comes to life as Athos signals the beginning of an epic battle by shouting, “Save the king!”
The Wedding Singer
Robbie Hart is a classic underdog, struggling to confess his love to Julia Sullivan. He’s not as rich, handsome, strong, or successful as Julia’s cheating fiancé, but he does have a good heart. At the climax of The Wedding Singer, he doesn’t realize that he and Julia are on the same flight because he’s in first class and she’s in coach. She’s going to Las Vegas to get married, and he’s trying to stop her. Once he realizes they’re on the same plane, it’s wonderful to see everyone in first class join forces to help him win her over and defeat her fiancé.
You’re Not Alone
Even when it seems like all hope is lost, you have people on your side who want to help you succeed. Whether it’s unseen angels or Billy Idol rooting for you, you’re not alone.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
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