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Dropped-in Speech Clip

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History is full of many important and inspiring speeches, and writers are quite often fond of quoting them. For millennia, the voices of those speeches were limited to the words on pages or the voices of those who read them aloud. With the coming of the modern age, the ability to record not only the text of a speech, but also the voice in which it was given has emerged. Not just a re-enactor reading the speech, the actual original recording.

This gives creators the option of clipping parts of those speeches and dropping them into their works (at least ones that have a soundtrack). Needless to say, none of these examples can be Older Than Radio.

The reasons for doing this are many and varied, depending on the work or the speech in question. In historical works, a speech contemporary to the period would only be natural. In other cases the speech could be from the past but be topical to the subject of the work.

John F. Kennedy seems to be a particular favorite.

Compare the visual counterpart Stock Footage.


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    Film - Animated 

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Contact opens with a long shot pulling away from Earth into deep space while audio representing radio transmissions are heard going from newest (at the time) to oldest as we move further away. Amid the period music and television audio are snippets of some of the landmark speeches from various time periods, including:
    • Audio from the Challenger disaster
    • Richard Nixon's "I am not a crook" statement
    • Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech
    • JFK's first inaugural address
    • The "Day of Infamy" speech
    • Hitler's remarks at the Berlin Olympics (which becomes more significant later in the film)
  • Independence Day: As the film opens we see the Apollo 11 landing site and hear the recording of Neil Armstrong reading the plaque commemorating the first landing on the moon right before the Mothership passes overhead.
  • In Jubilee (1978), a sample from one of Adolf Hitler's speeches plays during the bridge of Amyl Nitrate's "Rule Britannia" musical number.
  • Midway (2019): The mood is set in the opening by a recording of FDR's so-called "quarantine" speech, in which he speaks of the need to hem in the growing waves of totalitarianism rising in nations around the world. After the Pearl Harbor attack, Admiral Yamamoto is shown listening to Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" speech on the radio.
  • Miracle: After the team has gathered together for a Christmas celebration, Herb turns on the radio and drives off. As we watch the boys outside throwing a football around, Jimmy Carter's "Crisis of Confidence" speech is heard.
  • In the opening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Nixon's resignation speech can be heard on the radio while Brad and Janet are driving. This is also featured in the original play.
  • Thirteen Days: The final lines of the film are clips from John F. Kennedy's "A Strategy of Peace" speech, speaking about the common human desire for peace.
  • Towards the end of X-Men: First Class, a sample and actual footage of JFK's thanksgiving speech at the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis are used, in which he mentions, among other things, how the "calm determination" of the Americans will be tested "many more times in this decade".
  • Greyhound begins with clips of speeches from President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the need, and their determination, to send supplies over the Atlantic to the front lines in Europe.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The teaser trailer for the fourth season of the The Crown (2016), which focuses on Prince Charles's nuptials to Diana Spencer, is overlaid with the real speech given by Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie at the wedding. The speech's emphasis on Happily Ever After is juxtaposed with less-than-ideal scenes behind the curtain.
  • Doctor Who: "Remembrance of the Daleks" opens with President Kennedy's "Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet..." playing over a shot of the Dalek mothership approaching Earth.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: In the episode "Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties", Mac, Charlie, and Dennis create a remix of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" which includes a clip of Ronald Reagan saying "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
  • Pan Am: The episode "Ich Bin Ein Berliner" is set on the day JFK travels to Berlin to give the eponymous speech. While the action follows the main characters, they are at times close enough to hear snippets of it, using clips of the actual speech, while Kennedy himself is never actually seen.
  • SeaQuest DSV: The opening shot of the first episode has a portion of Kennedy's remarks at the Dinner for the America's Cup Crews, speaking of why people are continually drawn back to the sea.

  • Extreme's song "Peacemaker Die" includes a clip of Martin Luther King giving his "I Have a Dream Speech" (but not the famous one in Washington, it was from an event in Detroit).
  • Lemon Demon's song "Reaganomics" samples Ronald Reagan's inauguration speech, specifically "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem." After the initial sample, the quote is edited to say "Government is the solution to our problem" to fit with the song's message.
  • Living Colour's "Cult of Personality" starts with Malcolm X's "Message to the Grass Roots", later has JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you..." and ends with FDR's "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
  • Take That!'s song "SOS" has a sample of JFK declaring, "Without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed, and no republic can survive".
  • Within Temptation: "Our Solemn Hour" samples Winston Churchill's Be ye men of valour speech.

  • Margin for Error, near the end of the first act, has the characters being treated to, or rather enduring, a radio speech from "the Awful, Awful Voice of Hitler... hysterical, guttural, hideously sure and hard and loud." This obviously can be represented by a recording of one of Hitler's actual speeches, though its particular subject doesn't matter; all that really matters is that the German Consul, who wanted to hear it more than anyone else in his room, is murdered before it ends.

    Theme Parks 
  • Disney Theme Parks:
    • The attraction films The Walt Disney Story and Walt Disney: One Man's Dream are "narrated" by Walt himself through audio from interviews of him discussing his life and career.
    • The opening to the Disneyland's Remember... Dreams Come True fireworks show features audio of Walt Disney reading the park's dedication plaque ("To all who come to this happy place, welcome...").
    • The ending of EPCOT's American Adventure includes audio clips from JFK and MLK, along with parts of the Apollo 11 landings.

    Video Games 
  • Countryball: Catch em' All: The track "March Under the Flag" that plays while fighting a Chrono Corps Admin has one of Adolf Hitler's speeches starting from 0:41 to 1:00 alongside the instrumentation.
  • Police Quest 4: Open Season: The floppy version has one of Adolf Hitler's speeches playing in Dennis Walker's house, since he is a Neo-Nazi member of the Aryan Brotherhood. It has been removed from the CD version, even though a much more spacious CD would have less problems with storing audio, though this is presumably because the characters speak and it wouldn't want the audio to clash.
  • In Poptropica, a phonograph is an item on Time Tangled Island. Before returning it to its proper time period, you can listen to it, playing a voice clip of Thomas Edison.
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth: The Nazi Zombies all speak with snippets of Adolf Hitler's speeches.

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: In the 1960s segment of "Family Guy Through the Years", audio of The Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show and the Apollo moon landing are heard while Peter switches through TV channels.
  • The Proud Family: In "I Had a Dream", Penny is thrust back to 1955 and recites Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech to quell an anti-integration protest. During that moment, audio of Dr. King himself giving the speech plays at the same time Penny says the same lines.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Worst Episode Ever", Homer eats some expired baking soda and goes on an "antacid trip" that takes his taste buds back. The ensuring hallucination features audio from Johnnie Cochran's "If it doesn't fit..." defense from the O. J. Simpson trial, President Nixon's resignation speech, and Neil Armstrong's "One small step for man..." quote.
    • In "Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts", Superintendent Chalmers plays a wax cylinder recording of a speech by Theodore Roosevelt (who actually receives a guest star credit).
  • South Park: The episode "Go Fund Yourself" contains a scene referencing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's controversial response to the league's 2014 abuse scandals, in which he turns out to be a malfunctioning "Goodell-Bot". Here, actual audio from that press conference was used for his dialogue.