“What you do in your life…”: uttered 24 years ago in one of the most epic films of all time, this line still resonates in the hearts of viewers – Cinema News

“What you do in your life…”: uttered 24 years ago in one of the most epic films of all time, this line still resonates in the hearts of viewers – Cinema News
“What you do in your life…”: uttered 24 years ago in one of the most epic films of all time, this line still resonates in the hearts of viewers – Cinema News

A look back at the first speech given by Maximus in the introduction to “Gladiator”, and a particularly powerful line that still resonates in our memories as spectators today.

In the cinema, some particularly well-composed and well-delivered lines still resonate in our memories many years after they have made the walls of dark rooms tremble. Sometimes because of their irresistible humor, sometimes thanks to their implacable effectiveness, sometimes thanks to their indomitable power.

In this regard, the speeches that are regularly delivered before the greatest battle sequences in the 7th art are often fertile ground for the most inspiring tirades. While a few weeks ago, we discussed with you Théoden’s masterful speech before the Charge of Rohan in The Return of the King, today we’re going back to another unforgettable speech: that of Maximus, in the memorable opening scene of Gladiator.

The first battle of the film

It is the year 180 AD. Near the banks of the Danube, under a thick fog, in the heart of a vast plain speckled with dead stumps, the prestigious Roman army is preparing to confront the hordes of Germanic barbarians. Their messenger has returned without his head, the fight seems inevitable.


Universal Pictures

As so often in the past, it is the Spanish general Maximus Decimus Meridius who will ensure victory. The catapults are loaded, the arrowheads are flaming, and as the enemy camp howls sinister threats across the field of the coming battle, the officer wishes “strength and honor” to his second, before slipping away through the trees of the nearby forest, flanked by his faithful bloodhound.

Maximus’ Speech

There, in the shade of the foliage, his riders await him, ready to give their lives to win under his orders. Perfectly aware of the risk he is about to make them run, but totally confident in their ability to win, punctuated by Hans Zimmer’s masterful soundtrack, he then declaims a speech tinged with passion and humor that has remained famous in cinema:


Universal Pictures

“In three weeks, I will harvest my land. Imagine where you would like to be, and you will be there! Hold the line, stay with me! If you find yourself all alone, riding through green pastures with the sun on your face, do not be disturbed, for you are in the Champs-Elyseum, and you are already dead!”

Greeted by the laughter of his loyal soldiers ready to follow him against all odds, the Roman general then ends his tirade with a little phrase as fine as the blade of a sword, and as sharp as the point of an arrow:

“But… what we do in our lives resonates in eternity.”

The soldiers no longer laugh, they suddenly look serious and solemn. Even Maximus’ dog seems to have listened to him attentively. Silence falls, the storm is brewing.

These few words, which trigger the first battle of Ridley Scott’s film, could have been chosen to adorn the poster of the feature film, as they perfectly sum up the spirit of the work, systematically acting as an epic breath of fresh air throughout the rest of the feature film.

(Re)discover all the hidden details of “Gladiator”…

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