Best Film Speeches and Monologues
|Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
All That Heaven Allows (1955)
Screenwriter(s): Peg Fenwick
Pitch for a New Television
The scene in which fortyish widow Cary Scott
(Jane Wyman), after suspending her love affair with her handsome
gardener Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson), was presented with a brand
new TV set (adorned with red ribbons) as a Christmas present
to keep her company - she saw her reflection on the screen
as the salesman told her:
All you have to do is turn that dial and
you have all the company you want right there on the screen
- drama, comedy, life's parade at your fingertips...
Bride of the Monster (1955)
Screenwriter(s): Edward D. Wood, Jr., Alex Gordon
Have No Home"
In Ed Wood Jr.'s B-horror film, Dr. Vornoff (Bela
Lugosi) gave an impassioned speech to Prof. Strowski (George
Becwar) about his exile and plans for revenge:
...Home? I have no home. Hunted, despised,
living like an animal! The jungle is my home. But I will
show the world that I can be its master! I will perfect
my own race of people. A race of atomic supermen which
will conquer the world!
[The speech was recreated memorably in Tim Burton's Ed
Wood (1994) by Martin Landau, portraying Lugosi.]
East of Eden
Screenwriter(s): Paul Osborn
Awful Not to Be Loved"
Abra's (Julie Harris) "It's awful not to
be loved" speech to bedridden Mr. Adam Trask (Raymond
Massey) regarding his relationship with son Cal (James Dean):
Mr. Trask, it's awful not to be loved. It's
the worst thing in the world. Don't ask me -- even if you
could -- how I know that. I just know it.
Guys and Dolls (1955)
Screenwriter(s): Joseph L. Mankiewicz
"You're Going To Wind Up With An Ear Full of Cider"
Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando) to fellow gambler
Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra), who attempted to wager a bet
to win $1,000:
On the day when I left home to make my way
in the world, my Daddy took me to one side. 'Son,' my Daddy
says to me, 'I am sorry I am not able to bankroll you to
a very large start, but not having the necessary lettuce
to get you rolling, instead I'm going to stake you to some
very valuable advice.
One of these days in your travels, a guy is
going to show you a brand-new deck of cards on which the
seal is not yet broken. Then this guy is going to offer to
bet you that he can make the jack of spades jump out of this
brand-new deck of cards and squirt cider in your ear. But,
son, you do not accept this bet, because as sure as you stand
there, you're going to wind up with an ear full of cider.'
Screenwriter(s): Paddy Chayefsky
Like Us, We Ain't Such Dogs As We Think We Are!"
Unmarried, lovelorn middle-aged, 34 year-old
Bronx butcher Marty (Ernest Borgnine) (calling himself
"a professor of pain") awkwardly attempted to make
a dance date, an equally 29 year-old plain girl named Clara Snyder
(Betsy Blair), feel better by telling her about his own rejections
And I also want you to know that I'm having
a very good time with you right now and really enjoyin'
myself. You see, you're not such a dog as you think you
"I'm having a very good time too.") So there you
are. So I guess I'm not such a dog as I think I am. (Clara: "You're
a very nice guy. I don't know why some girl hasn't grabbed
you off long ago.")
Well, I don't know either. I think I'm a very
nice guy. I also think I'm a pretty smart guy in my own way...You
know how I figure. Two people get married and are gonna live
together forty or fifty years, so it's gotta be more than
whether they're just good-looking or not. Now you tell me
you think you're not so good looking. Well, my father was
a real ugly man but my mother adored him. She told me how
she used to get so miserable sometimes - like everybody,
you know? And, and she says my father always tried to understand.
I used to see them sometimes when I was a kid sittin' in
the living room talkin' and talkin'. And I used to adore
my old man because he was always so kind. That's one of the
most beautiful things I have in my life - the way my father
and mother were. And my father was a real ugly man. So it
doesn't matter if you look like a gorilla. You see, dogs
like us, we ain't such dogs as we think we are.
of the Hunter (1955)
Screenwriter(s): James Agee, Charles Laughton (uncredited)
Insane Preacher's Prayer
The insane, memorable, and perversely-evil, chilling
prayer of "Preacher" Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum),
a killer-evangelist with borderline sanity who glanced heavenward
Well now, what's it to be, Lord? Another
widow? How many has it been? Six? Twelve? I disremember.
You say the word, Lord, I'm on my way...You always send
me money to go forth and preach your Word. The widow with
a little wad of bills hid away in a sugar bowl. Lord, I
am tired. Sometimes I wonder if you really understand.
Not that You mind the killin's. Yore Book is full of killin's.
But there are things you do hate Lord: perfume-smellin'
things, lacy things, things with curly hair.
of the Hunter (1955)
Screenwriter(s): James Agee, Charles Laughton
and the Famous Tale of "L-O-V-E" and "H-A-T-E"
The Preacher's explanation of the tattoos on
his fingers to little John Harper (Billy Chapin) and others
listening in the Spoon's ice-cream parlor:
Ah, little lad, you're staring at my fingers.
Would you like me to tell you the little story of right-hand
/ left-hand? The story of good and evil? H-A-T-E! It was
with this left hand that old brother Cain struck the blow
that laid his brother low. L-O-V-E! You see these fingers,
dear hearts? These fingers has veins that run straight
to the soul of man. The right hand, friends, the hand of
love. Now watch, and I'll show you the story of life. Those
fingers, dear hearts, is always a-warring and a-tugging,
one agin t'other. Now watch 'em! Old brother left hand,
left hand he's a fighting, and it looks like love's a goner.
But wait a minute! Hot dog, love's a winning! Yessirreee!
It's love that's won, and old left hand hate is down for
Without a Cause (1955)
Screenwriter(s): Stewart Stern
Judy's (Natalie Wood) "dirty tramp"
speech about her father:
He must hate me. He hates me. I know he
does. He looks at me like I'm the ugliest thing in the
world. He doesn't like my friends. He doesn't like one
thing about me. He called me - he called me a dirty tramp.
The Seven Year
Screenwriter(s): Billy Wilder, George Axelrod
Rituals in NYC
The comic opening voice-over monologue by the
Narrator (Joshua Logan) told about the virtually identical
summer rituals of the Manhattan Indians and Manhattanites 500
years later. Husbands would say goodbye to their wives, and
then follow after attractive females a moment later:
The island of Manhattan derives its name
from its earliest inhabitants - the Manhattan Indians.
They were a peaceful tribe, setting traps, fishing, hunting.
And there was a custom among them. Every July, when the
heat and the humidity on the island became unbearable,
they would send their wives and children away for the summer,
up the river to the cooler highlands, or, if they could
afford it, to the seashore. The husbands, of course, would
remain behind on the steaming island to attend to business
- setting traps, fishing, and hunting. [As soon as the
Indian squaws were out of sight, the Indian chiefs followed
an attractive Indian squaw.]
Actually, our story has nothing whatsoever
to do with Indians. It plays 500 years later...We only brought
up the subject to show you that in all that time, nothing
has changed. Manhattan husbands still send their wives and
kids away for the summer, and they still remain behind in
the steaming city to attend to business, setting traps, fishing,
and hunting. Now we want you to meet a typical Manhattan
husband whose family is leaving for the summer...
Seven Year Itch (1955)
Screenwriter(s): Billy Wilder, George
of Nudity and Naturism
A plain and middle-aged waitress (Doro Merande)
in a vegetarian restaurant on 3rd Avenue espoused the virtues
of nudity and naturism to Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell). She
explained that although she didn't accept tips, she did solicit
contributions for a fund established for a nudist camp:
Nudism is such a worthy cause. We must bring
the message to the people. We must teach them to unmask
their poor suffocating bodies and let them breathe again.
Clothes are the enemy. Without clothes, there'd be no sickness,
there'd be no war. I ask you, sir, can you imagine two
great armies on the battlefield, no uniforms, completely
nude? No way of telling friend from foe. All brothers,
Seven Year Itch (1955)
Screenwriter(s): Billy Wilder, George
a Pretty Girl Wants"
The Girl (Marilyn Monroe) listened to neighbor
Richard Sherman's (Tom Ewell) assertion about his vivid imagination: "It's
just my imagination. Some people have flat feet. Some people
have dandruff. I have this appalling imagination."
I think it's just elegant to have an imagination.
I just have no imagination at all. I have lots of other
things, but I have no imagination...Come on now, relax.
You're just making this all up.
Sherman explained how his wife trusted him implicitly
and took him for granted, not even suspecting lipstick on his
collar after a Christmas office party - believing it was only
cranberry sauce. He thought that women only wanted a man who
looked like Gregory Peck ("Let's face it. No pretty girl
in her right mind wants me. She wants Gregory Peck").
She bolstered his ego and showed some kindness to reassure
him, ending with her ultimate compliment and unique accolade:
Is that so?...How do you know what a pretty
girl wants?...You and your imagination. You think every
girl's a dope. You think a girl goes to a party, and there's
some guy - a great big lunk in a fancy striped vest, strutting
around like a tiger, giving you that 'I'm so handsome,
you can't resist me' look, and from this, she's supposed
to fall flat on her face. Well, she doesn't fall on her
face. But there's another guy in the room, way over in
the corner. Maybe he's kind of nervous and shy, perspiring
a little. First, you look past him, but then you sort of
sense, he's gentle and kind and worried, and he'll be tender
with you, nice and sweet. That's what's really exciting!
If I were your wife, I'd be very jealous of you. I'd be
very very jealous. (she kissed him) I think you're