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Triumph of the Will
October 5, 2012 10:46 PM   Subscribe

What are some movies that deal with the theme of self-discipline?

I wish I could say more clearly what I'm looking for, but I don't really know. I guess what I'm interested in are movies where a character is successful not because he/she is the smartest or strongest but because he/she is the most dedicated, persistent, and disciplined.
posted by twinight to Media & Arts (41 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Harry Potter?
posted by empatterson at 10:49 PM on October 5, 2012


Forrest Gump?
posted by trip and a half at 10:54 PM on October 5, 2012


Erin Brockovich
posted by JujuB at 10:55 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Karate Kid
posted by erst at 10:56 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Black Narcissus. And weirdly, Black Swan.
posted by hermitosis at 10:56 PM on October 5, 2012


Rudy -- that movie is the epitome of what you're asking for.
posted by erst at 10:58 PM on October 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


Rocky
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:58 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lord of the Rings.
posted by erst at 11:01 PM on October 5, 2012


The King of Kong
posted by mannequito at 11:04 PM on October 5, 2012


Labyrinth!
posted by spunweb at 11:06 PM on October 5, 2012


Oh, and Kill Bill. :D
posted by spunweb at 11:08 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


God of Cookery.

Hong Kong comedy about a famous chef (master of culinary technique, restaurants named after him, TV show, entourage of assholes, the works) who gets revealed as a fraud who can't actually prepare the dishes he's famous for.

He's cast down to the streets and left destitute and disgraced. From there, he has to learn REAL cooking chops and come back to challenge the man who dethroned him in an Iron Chef-style "Kung Food" cook off.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:01 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gattaca. In a world where genetics is everything and parents buy the best gene manipulation they can afford, an "all natural" guy with a dodgy heart dreams of being a astronaut.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:05 AM on October 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Taxi Driver
posted by the noob at 12:22 AM on October 6, 2012


Anatomy of a Murder
posted by rhizome at 12:25 AM on October 6, 2012


The 36th Chamber of Shaolin is a great Kung Fu movie that is all about patience and training
posted by Paragon at 12:34 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Off the top of my head I'd say Vision Quest and perreneal fave King of Kong.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:48 AM on October 6, 2012


Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.

Rocky.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:12 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I second Gattacca - I think it's a marvelous film.
I will add The Shawshank Redemption (though that's as mcuh about cleverness as determination), The Pursuit of Happyness, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (lots of patience in that one).
posted by CustooFintel at 1:13 AM on October 6, 2012


Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill.
posted by littlesq at 1:26 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Million Dollar Baby
posted by crabintheocean at 2:46 AM on October 6, 2012


I Heart Huckabees
posted by wherever, whatever at 3:40 AM on October 6, 2012


Gandhi
posted by Flood at 3:43 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seconding Rudy!
posted by natasha_k at 4:46 AM on October 6, 2012


Ghost Dog and Le Samouraï.
posted by hot soup girl at 4:57 AM on October 6, 2012


Nolan's Batman trilogy.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:40 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stand and Deliver
Flashdance
posted by dawkins_7 at 6:32 AM on October 6, 2012


Lawrence of Arabia presents about as spectacular a triumph of the will as you're going to get, at least up until the intermission. After that, Lawrence is bested by forces beyond his control.
posted by Currer Belfry at 6:33 AM on October 6, 2012


Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade

Dedication, persistence, discipline.
posted by cashman at 6:47 AM on October 6, 2012


a character is successful not because he/she is the smartest or strongest but because he/she is the most dedicated, persistent, and disciplined.

The villain in Seven fits this description.
posted by stebulus at 7:03 AM on October 6, 2012


Valhalla Rising
posted by KingEdRa at 7:06 AM on October 6, 2012


GI Jane
posted by Ideefixe at 7:31 AM on October 6, 2012


Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
posted by sharkfu at 7:55 AM on October 6, 2012


Various victims in the Saw movies.
posted by iviken at 11:04 AM on October 6, 2012


The King's Speech
The September Issue
posted by cadge at 12:53 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Iron Will
posted by ibakecake at 1:22 PM on October 6, 2012


Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
posted by kmel at 5:27 PM on October 6, 2012


The first scenes of There Will Be Blood are the purest display of stubbornness I can remember seeing in a film. The main character does get ahead by extraordinary persistence, but also by being an extraordinary liar and a bully, so depending on what you're specifically looking for, this may or may not be what you're looking for.
posted by Anything at 8:40 PM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not to be a dick, but didn't Rocky lose in movie 1?
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:11 AM on October 7, 2012


Purple Rain and 8 Mile.
posted by anildash at 6:54 AM on October 7, 2012


Not to be a dick, but didn't Rocky lose in movie 1?

He lost the bout, but he achieved his goal of "going the distance", demonstrating persistence, etc., which makes him a reasonable answer to the question.
posted by stebulus at 3:53 PM on October 7, 2012


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