American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Ford v Ferrari" (2019)


Lee Iacocca Pitches Ferrari Company Ownership to Henry Ford II


Lee Iacocca: 1945. Our soldiers came home. What was the first thing that they did? They had sex. Seventeen years later -- those babies, they've grown. They've got jobs. They've got licenses.

But they do not want to drive the same dull 50s cars that their parents drove. You see, kids today -- they want glamour. They want sex appeal. They want to go fast. Gentlemen, it's time for the Ford Motor Company to go racing.

Henry Ford II: We're already in racing, Iacocca.

Lee Iacocca: NASCAR? It's regional, sir. If you go to the movies, you open up a magazine, you don't see good ol' boys and Winston-Salem. You see Sophia Lauren, Monica Vitti.

James Bond does not drive a Ford, sir.

Henry Ford II: That's because he's a degenerate.


[Film set still photo Sean Connery (as James Bond) and Ursula Andress (as Honey Ryder) relaxing on the beach]


Henry Ford II: See?


[Projector carousel malfunctions]


Lee Iacocca: Uh, just give me one second here, sir.

Henry Ford II: Is this part of it? This going anywhere, Iacocca?


[Iacocca continues to fumble unsuccessfully with the projector]


Henry Ford II: All right, all right, that's enough.

Lee Iacocca: Sir, if you just bare with me.

Henry Ford II: Turn if off. Lights!


Leo Beebe: Lee, in the last three years you and your marketing team have presided over the worst sales slump in U.S. history. Why exactly should Mr. Ford listen to you?

Lee Iacocca: Because we've been thinking wrong. Ferrari. Now they've won four out of the last five Le Mans. We need to think like Ferrari.

Leo Beebe: Ferrari makes fewer cars in a year than we make in a day. We spend more on toilet paper than they do on their entire output. You want us to think like them?

Lee Iacocca: Enzo Ferrari will go down in history as the greatest car manufacturer of all time. Why? Is it because he built the most cars? No, it's because of what his cars mean: victory. Ferrari wins at Le Mans! And people, they -- they they want some of that victory. Now, what if the Ford badge meant victory? And meant it where it counts: with the first group of seventeen year olds in history with money in their pockets?

Leo Beebe: This would take years -- decades to test and develop a race team capable of taking out Ferrari.

Lee Iacocca: Ferrari's bankrupt. Enzo spent every lira he's got chasing perfection, and you know something? He got there. But now he's broke.

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.