"We will certainly not walk quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We"re going to live on! We"re going come survive!"

by James Clark | released Jul 4, 2021 10:20 am



Welcome to That One Scene, a semi-regular series in which maritime veteran and also pop society omnivore James Clark waxes nostalgic around “that one scene” from a lovely movie. (Editor’s note: This article was initially published on July 3, 2018.)

Decades ago, manager Roland Emmerich and also writer Dean Devlin offered American audiences one of the biggest summer blockbusters of the 1990s. Independence job helped cement will certainly Smith’s tenure together a top activity star of the decade, provided us another excuse to listen to Jeff Goldblum quip and stutter between raised eyebrows, and also delivered a perfect mix the camp and gratuitous destruction at a time when we no so queasy around seeing nationwide monuments laid come waste top top screen.

You are watching: Bill pullman speech in independence day


Part doomsday sci-fi romp, part patriotic escapist fantasy, Independence day had all the trappings that an prompt summer standard — and that has a many to perform with one scene in the final act the the film. You recognize which one I’m talk about:


The step takes place at Area 51, where the survivors of the brutal alien intrusion gather to mountain a desperate offensive to deliver mankind from the danger of annihilation. When President cutting board J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman), grabs the mic and addresses the beleaguered troops, the delivers the speech we’ve always wanted come hear native an actual president. In fact, if we were ever assaulted by a war fleet the extraterrestrials, that scene would more than likely be compelled viewing because that White house staff, follow to previous President bill Clinton’s speechwriting director Michael Waldman.


“I created a book that to be a arsenal of an excellent presidential speeches, and also if in fact the human being had been got into by aliens, this decided would have made the collection,” the told complicated in a June 23, 2016 roundtable discussion. “So that’s high praise.”


Surprisingly, the iconic scene — and it is iconic, so lot so that human being have actually yielded it during weddings — was created in just 5 minutes and also was never meant to do it into the final reduced as is, screenwriter Dean Devlin called Complex. But it’s a good thing the did, because the scene ends with Whitmore plugging the movie title once he concludes: “Today us celebrate our independence day!” and also it turns out, that was deliberate.

“The main reason we did the is ’cause the studio at the time was threatening to change the location to Doomsday,” Devlin called Complex. “So us thought, let’s get it right into the speech.”


Not only did chairman Whitmore rally earth defenders for one final push against the alien menace, he likewise helped certain the film’s title, i beg your pardon is great, because… Doomsday? Are friend fucking kidding me?


So, we know it’s good, but why is that so goddamn motivating? Well, partly since President Whitmore is the fictional leader us all wish to be real. An really presidential attend to under these scenarios would amount to a clipped statement adhered to by an every but-meaningless executive, management order given that the people is in flames, the army is in disarray, and also we simply nuked Houston. Sorry, but no carefully crafted statement delivered from a instead of Resolute workdesk will cut it.

Instead, we acquire Whitmore as commander-in-chief in the really literal feeling of the constitution office. One ex-Air pressure fighter pilot and Gulf war veteran, he’s an ext comfortable in a flightsuit and the cockpit of an F-16 (or one F-18 later in the film) 보다 he is put on a tie and also sitting in a boardroom — something he is criticized for by cable news hosts early on in the movie. But before personally acquisition to the sky to kick extraterrestrial ass because that America, and also all mankind, he’s gotta rally his troops.

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“Perhaps the fate that today is the 4th of July, and also you will once again be fighting because that our freedom, no from tyranny, oppression, or persecution — however from annihilation,” Whitmore says before pivoting to a much more unifying article that payment homage to both the St. Crispin’s Day decided from william Shakespeare’s Henry V, once the titular king rallies his men before leading them into battle, and to the poem, Do no go gentle into that good night, by Dylan Thomas:

“Should we success the day, the 4th of July will certainly no longer be known as one American holiday, yet as the day when the human being declared in one voice: We will certainly not walk quietly into the night! We will certainly not vanish there is no a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going come survive!”


If your an answer to the last lines of that speech was anything yet “FUCK YEAH!” and a curious sensation of patriotic arousal, then you’re dead inside. (WARNING: If a moto-boner lasts an ext than 4 hours, speak to your neighborhood recruiter — that’ll take treatment of that immediately.)


And v that, Happy 4th of July. Let’s expect no alien intruders drop by, yet if lock do, climate political leader the people over should brush up on the finest presidential deal with in movie history.


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James Clark

is the Deputy Editor of task & Purpose and also a naval veteran. That oversees daily editorial operations, edit articles, and supports reporters for this reason they can proceed to compose the impactful stories that issue to ours audience. In regards to writing, James provides a mix the pop society commentary and in-depth analysis of worries facing the military and also veterans community. Contact the author here.