Although several of the scenes feature violence of some sort, I tried to stay away from scenes that were notable simply for stylistic ways the heroes dispatched their enemies. Sometimes you do have to fight to be a man, but masculinity isn’t just fighting.
1) Alex Baldwin’s Motivational Monologue From Glengarry Glen Ross
If you want to be motivated to get off your ass and get to work on your life, this pep talk is as good as any you’ll ever hear. No BS, just stone cold reality delivered without pity.
2) Saving Private Ryan: The Omaha Beach Opening Scene
As you watch this, remember that there were real men who walked into exactly this kind of meat grinder to defeat the Germans. The amount of courage it took to do that is beyond description.
3) Breaking Bad: “I am the one who knocks!”
Walter White rose up in fury because his wife saw him as much less than what he was. Beautiful scene.
4) Rocky Balboa: Defending Marie
At this point in the series, Rocky was over-the-top affable and would have NEVER done anything about the loudmouth yelling at him. But, when he sees the female friend he’s with is upset at the taunts aimed at her, his protective instincts kick in and he dominates the lesser man yelling at them.
5) The Magnificent Seven: A Father’s Responsibility
The late, great Charles Bronson was playing a gunfighter whom those kids worshipped. From that position of strength, he explained the sacrifices and struggles their fathers made to take care of them to kids who had never understood it before.
6) The Conan “Egg Scene”
The Conan remake was terrible, but this scene is amazing. Conan, a gifted killer trained in combat from the time he was able to walk, turns a coming of age ritual into something else entirely.
7) 300: This Is Sparta!
After watching this scene, chest kicking a Persian into a bottomless pit was added to my bucket list. Leonidas was simultaneously thoughtful about his people’s future and ferocious in his reaction to the arrogant Persian messenger who threatened his kingdom.