Business advice from films

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Stylist Team
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Desperate to get ahead at work? Whilst speaking to your friends or a careers advisor may help, simply spending some time with you DVD collection could prove just as fruitful, as our gallery below proves.We've selected the best bits of career advice from some of our favourite films to inspire you to success in the work place.

Click an image to launch the quotes gallery. Have we missed a key quote? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Dead Poet's Society (1989)

    “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”

    John Keating (played by Robin Williams), Dead Poet's Society

  • Before Sunrise (1995)

    “There’s all these people talking about how great technology is and how it saves all this time but what good is saved time if nobody uses it?”

    Jesse (played by Ethan Hawke), Before Sunrise

  • The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

    "You chose to get ahead. You want this life. Those choices are necessary."

    Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep), The Devil Wears Prada

  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)

    "Two little mice fell into a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned, but the second mouse, he struggled so hard that he eventually churned that cream into butter and he walked out. Amen."

    Frank Abagnale Jr. (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), Catch Me If You Can

  • Leap Year (2010)

    “You know it’s not about luck, it’s about preparation.”

    Anna Brady (played by Amy Adams), Leap Year

  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)

    "The world is a market in which you buy what you want, not just with money but with your time. It’s an exchange - you give something and you get something.”

    Harry Street (played by Gregory Peck), The Snows of Kilimanjaro

  • Big Night (1996)

    “Give the people what they want. Then later, you can give the people what you want.”

    Pascal (played by Ian Holm), Big Night

  • Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007)

    “The only thing to invest in is the future.”

    Eric Applebaum (played by Zach Mills), Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

  • The Good Shepherd (2006)

    “Never be ashamed of your abilities.”

    Dr. Fredricks (played by Michael Gambon), The Good Shepherd

  • Working Girl (1988)

    "Never burn bridges. Today's junior prick, tomorrow's senior partner."

    Katherine Parker (played by Sigourney Weaver), Working Girl

  • D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996)

    “It's easy to be confident when you have control of the puck. It's very difficult to keep that confidence when you have to take whatever strange bounces life throws your way. Don't be careless, but don't be too careful either. You cannot be afraid to lose. That's how you gain the confidence - attack the game when the puck isn't yours.”

    Coach Ted Orion (played by Jeffrey Nordling), D3: The Mighty Ducks

  • Born Yesterday (1950)

    "Never do nothing you wouldn't want printed on the front page of The New York Times."

    Billie Dawn (played by Judy Holliday), Born Yesterday

  • I Remember Mama (1948)

    “There are things you must learn, even if you have a gift.”

    Mama (played by Irene Dunne), I Remember Mama

  • From Russia With Love (1963)

    “Training is useful, but there is no substitute for experience.”

    Rosa Klebb (played by Lotte Lenya), From Russia With Love

  • Steel Magnolias (1989)

    "Smile. It increases your face value."

    Truvy Jones (played by Dolly Parton), Steel Magnolias

  • Harvey (1950)

    “An element of conflict in any discussion is a very good thing. It shows everybody’s taking part and nobody’s left out. I like that.”

    Elwood P. Dowd (played by James Stewart), Harvey

  • Swimming With Sharks (1994)

    "If they can't start a meeting without you, well, that's a meeting worth going to, isn't it? And that's the only kind of meeting you should ever concern yourselves with.”

    Buddy Ackerman (played by Kevin Spacey), Swimming With Sharks

  • The Big Kahuna (1999)

    “If you want to talk to somebody honestly, as a human being, ask him about his kids. Find out what his dreams are - just to find out, for no other reason. Because as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation to steer it, it's not a conversation anymore, it's a pitch. And you're not a human being, you're a marketing rep.”

    Phil Cooper (played by Danny DeVito), The Big Kahuna

  • Hitch (2005)

    “Ninety percent of what you're saying isn't coming out of your mouth.”

    Alex Hitchins (played by Will Smith), Hitch

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

    “Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating.”

    Joel Barish (played by Jim Carey), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

  • Winter's Bone (2010)

    “Never ask for what ought to be offered.”

    Ree (played by Jennifer Lawrence), Winter's Bone

  • Black Narcissus (1947)

    “Remember, the superior of all is the servant of all.”

    Mother Dorothea (played by Nancy Roberts), Black Narcissus

  • Lust for Life (1956)

    "Before you can move people, you’ll first have to learn your business. It needs skill as well as heart.”

    Anton Mauve (Noel Purcell), Lust for Life

  • The Player (1992)

    “I am not just me. I am also the job.”

    Celia (played by Dina Merrill), The Player

  • The Paper (1994)

    “Well, you're in management now. If everybody loved you, you'd be doing something wrong.”

    Bernie White (played by Robert Duvall), The Paper

  • Revolutionary Road (2008)

    “Money is a good reason but it’s never the real reason.”

    John Givings (played by Michael Shannon), Revolutionary Road

  • Election (1999)

    "I cannot make these days longer, so I strive to make them better.”

    Tracy Flick (played by Reese Witherspoon), Election

  • Up in the Air (2009)

    "There's nothing cheap about loyalty."

    Ryan Bingham (played by George Clooney), Up in the Air

  • Jerry Maguire (1996)

    "Success consists of simply getting up one more time than you fall."

    Locker room sign, Jerry Maguire

  • The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

    “My number one rule is, ‘Hope for the best, plan for the worst.”

    Noah Vosen (played by David Strathairn), The Bourne Ultimatum

  • The Good Girl (2002)

    "Is this your last best chance? Or are you going to your grave with unlived lives in your veins?"

    Justine Last (played by Jennifer Aniston), The Good Girl

  • Mr. Deeds (2002)

    "It's hard to soar with the eagles when you're surrounded by turkeys."

    Longfellow Deeds (played by Adam Sandler), Mr. Deeds

  • The Fountainhead (1949)

    “I don’t build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build.”

    Howard Roark (played by Gary Cooper), The Fountainhead

  • Baby Boom (1987)

    "I'm not one of your students who's going to faint every time you say hello - I'm a tough, cold, career woman with nothing in common with a vetinarian from Hadleyville. I have one thing on my mind and that is to get out of this moth-eatin' town and nothing, including you Dr. Charm, holds any interest to me whatsoever."

    J. C. Wiatt (played by Diane Keaton), Baby Boom

  • The Dark Knight (2008)

    “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

    The Joker (played by Heath Ledger), The Dark Knight

  • The Palm Beach Story (1942)

    “It isn’t what it costs, it’s what it brings you back.”

    Tom Jeffers (played by Joel Mccrea), The Palm Beach Story

  • The Hustler (1961)

    "A 25% slice of something big is better than 100% slice of nothing."

    Fast Eddie (played by Paul Newman), The Hustler

  • The Entertainer (1960)

    "Better to be a has-been than a never-was.”

    Frank Rice (played by Alan Bates), The Entertainer

  • Higher Learning (1995)

    “Without struggle there is no progress.”

    Professor Phipps (played by Laurence Fishburne), Higher Learning

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

    "Even a good decision if made for the wrong reasons can be a wrong decision.”

    Governor Swann (played by Jonathan Pryce), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

  • Facing the Giants (2006)

    “You’re not doing anybody any favors by sitting on the fence. Determine which side you want to be on and stay on it.”

    Grant Taylor (Alex Kendrick), Facing the Giants

  • Head of State (2003)

    “You got to dress for the job you want, not the job you got.”

    Mitch Gilliam (Bernie Mac), Head of State

  • The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

    "You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period."

    Christopher Gardner (played by Will Smith), The Pursuit of Happyness

  • Wall Street (1987)

    "When you've had money and lost it, it can be much worse than never having had it at all!"

    Darien Taylor (played by Daryl Hannah), Wall Street

  • Trading Places (1983)

    "Think big, think positive, never show any sign of weakness. Always go for the throat. Buy low, sell high. Fear? That's the other guy's problem."

    Louis Winthorpe III (played by Dan Aykroyd), Trading Places