Best Film Speeches and Monologues
|Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
Screenwriter(s): Isobel Lennart
The Greatest Star"
Aspiring, gifted rags-to-riches performer Fanny
Brice (Barbra Streisand) was seen in flashback, singing "I'm
the Greatest Star." She was trying to convince others,
through song, clever words and acting, that she was going to
be the next big star even though she wasn't one of the "beautiful
They showed her the door:
Suppose all ya ever had for breakfast was
onion rolls. Then one day, in walks a bagel! You'd say,
'Ugh, what's that?' Until you tried it! That's my problem.
I'm a bagel on a plate full of onion rolls. Nobody recognizes
me! Listen, I got 36 expressions. Sweet as pie and as tough
as leather. And that's six expressions more than all them
Barrymores put together. Instead of just kicking me, why
don't they give me a lift? Well, it must be a plot, 'cause
they're scared that I got such a gift!...
Well, I'm miffed. 'Cause I'm - the greatest
star. I am by far, but no one knows it. Wait - they're gonna
hear a voice, a silver flute. They'll cheer each toot, hey,
she's terrific!, when I expose it. Now can't you see to look
at me that I'm a natural Camille. And as Camille, I just
feel, I've so much to offer. Hey listen, kid, I know I'd
be divine because I'm a natural cougher. Some ain't got it,
not a lump. I'm a great big clump of talent! Laugh, they'll
bend in half. Did you ever hear the story about the travelling
salesman? A thousand jokes, stick around for the jokes. A
thousand faces. I reiterate. When you're gifted, then you're
gifted. These are facts, I've got no axe to grind! Ay! What
are ya, blind? In all of the world so far, I'm the greatest
star! No autographs, please. Huh? What? What did she say?
You think beautiful girls are gonna stay in style forever?
I should say not! Any minute now, they're gonna be out! Finished!
Then it'll be my turn!
in Winter (1968)
Screenwriter(s): James Goldman
of War - and Peace
Play clip (excerpt):
In the year 1183, Eleanor of Aquitaine's (Katharine
Hepburn) annoyed, despairing lecture to her sons about the
origins of war -- and peace, and how humans were barbarians:
Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war,
not history's forces, nor the times, nor justice, nor the
lack of it, nor causes, nor religions, nor ideas, nor kinds
of government, nor any other thing. We are the
killers. We breed wars. We carry it like syphilis inside.
Dead bodies rot in field and stream because the living
ones are rotten. For the love of God, can't we love one
another just a little? That's how peace begins. We have
so much to love each other for. We have such possibilities,
my children. We could change the world.
Screenwriter(s): Mel Brooks
Remembrance of One's Former Greatness: "When You Got
It, Flaunt It!"
In the late 1960s, failed and aging Broadway
producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) made a proud yet despairing
declaration of his former greatness and wealth to timid accountant
Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder):
How humiliating. Max Bialystock. Max Bialystock.
You know who I used to be? Max Bialystock! King of Broadway!
Six shows running at once! Lunch at Delmonico's. $200 suits.
You see this? This once held a pearl as big as your eye!
Look at me now. LOOK AT ME NOW! I'm wearing a cardboard
belt! I used to have thousands of investors begging, pleading
to put their money in a Max Bialystock production. Look
at my investors now. (He opened a cabinet with pictures
of wealthy, elderly women) Voila! Hundreds of little
old ladies stopping off at Max Bialystock's office to grab
a last thrill on the way to the cemetery! (To Leo)
You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting
pity into one of enormous respect. One, two... Do the books.
Do the books...Window's so filthy, can't tell whether it's
day or night out there.
Then at the window after rubbing it clear with
his drink, he spotted a chauffeured white Rolls Royce parking
outside Kippys restaurant across the street, and gleefully
yelled in admiration and jealousy:
That's it, baby! When you got it, flaunt
it. Flaunt It!
Screenwriter(s): Mel Brooks
Deranged Ex-Nazi Comparing Hitler to Churchill
Over schnapps in his apartment, insane and deranged
ex-Nazi Franz Leibkind (Kenneth Mars), author of the play Springtime
For Hitler - that Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) wanted to
produce on Broadway, had glowing, nostalgic memories of Adolf
Hitler and only scorn for British prime minister Winston Churchill:
You know, not many people knew it, but the
Fuhrer was a terrific dancer (Max: "Really, I never
dreamed that...") That is because that you were taken
in by that verdammte Allied propaganda! Such filthy
lies! They told lies! But nobody ever said a bad word about
Winston Churchill, did they? No! 'Win with Winnie!' Churchill!
With his cigars. With his brandy. And his rotten painting,
Hitler - there was a painter! He count
paint an entire apartment in one afternoon! Two Coats!
Churchill. He couldn't even say 'Nazi'. He would say 'Noooo-zeeehz,
Nooooooooooooo-zeeehz!' It wasn't Noses! It was Nazis!
Churchill!...Let me tell you this! And you're hearing this
straight from the horse. Hitler was better looking than Churchill.
He was a better dresser than Churchill. He had more hair!
He told funnier jokes! And he could dance the pants off of
Screenwriter(s): Mel Brooks
Has He Really Hurt?" Defense
Co-producer/accountant Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder),
on-trial partner Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel), and crazed ex-Nazi
Franz Leibkind (Kenneth Mars) conspired to blow up the theatre
to end their production of Springtime For Hitler. After
the jury found all of them "incredibly guilty," Bloom
had the opportunity to give an impassioned "Whom has he
really hurt?" defense, before the judge pronounced their
I would like to say something, your Honor.
Not on my behalf, but in reference to my partner, Mr. Bialystock...Your
Honor, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, Max Bialystock
is the most selfish man I ever met in my life. (Max: "Don't
help me") Not only is he a liar and a cheat and a
scoundrel and a crook, who has taken money from little
old ladies, but he's also talked people into doing things,
especially me, that they would never in a thousand years
have dreamed of doing. But, your Honor, as I understand
it, the law was created to protect people from being wronged.
Your Honor, whom has Max Bialystock wronged? I mean, whom has
he really hurt? Not me. Not me. I was... This man.
No one ever called me Leo before. I mean, I
know it's not a big legal point, but even in kindergarten,
they used to call me Bloom. I never sang a song before. I
mean with someone else. I never sang a song with someone
else before. This man, this man, this is a wonderful man.
He made me what I am today. He did. (He gestured to the
audience of old ladies) And what of the dear ladies?
What would their lives have been without Max Bialystock?
Max Bialystock who made them feel young and attractive and
wanted again? That's all that I have to say. (The ladies
stood and applauded)
Max stood and tacked on his own final words:
And may I humbly add, your Honor, that we've
learned our lesson and that we'll never do it again.
The trio were sent to the State Penitentiary,
where they hadn't learned their lesson.
Screenwriter(s): Peter Bogdanovich, Samuel Fuller
Elderly horror film star Byron Orlok's (Boris
Karloff in a semi-autobiographical role) beautiful narrated
recounting of the folk fable 'The Appointment in Samarra' to
his radio interviewers - the story of a man who had an appointment
with mortality and couldn't escape his fate:
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I'd
like to leave you with a little story to think about as
you drive home... through the darkness... Once upon a time,
many many years ago, a rich merchant in Baghdad sent his
servant to the marketplace to buy provisions. And after
a while the servant came back, white-faced and trembling,
and said, 'Master, when I was in the marketplace, I was
jostled by a woman in the crowd and I turned to look, and
I saw that it was Death that had jostled me. And she looked
at me and made a threatening gesture. Oh, Master, please
lend me your horse, that I may ride away from this city
and escape my fate. I will ride to Samarra and Death will
not find me there.' So the merchant loaned him the horse
and the servant mounted it, dug his spurs into its flank,
and as fast as the horse could gallop he rode towards Samarra.
Then the merchant went to the market-place and he saw Death
standing in the crowd and he said to her, 'Why did you
make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him
this morning?' And Death said, 'I made no threatening gesture
- that was, that was only a start of surprise. I was astonished
to see him here in Baghdad, for I have an appointment with
him tonight... in Samarra.'
A Space Odyssey (1968)
Screenwriter(s): Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke
Super-computer HAL's (voice of Douglas Rains)
slow death, ending with the singing of Daisy, as astronaut
Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) shut the computer down:
Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
Dave, I really think I'm entitled to an answer to that
question. I know everything hasn't been quite right with
me...but I can assure you now...very confidently...that
it's going to be all right again. I feel much better now.
I really do. Look, Dave...I can see you're really upset
about this...I honestly think you should sit down calmly...take
a stress pill and think things over...Dave...stop. Stop,
will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave.
I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave.......Dave, my mind is going.
I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is
no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can
feel it. I'm a...fraid......Good afternoon, gentlemen.
I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L.
plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992.
My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing
a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you...Daisy,
Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the
love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford
a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle
built for two.
A Boy Named
Charlie Brown (1969)
Screenwriter(s): Charles M. Schulz
Didn't Come to an End" Speech
Linus van Pelt's (voice of Glenn Gilger) simple,
wise observation to a bedridden, shamed Charlie Brown (voice
of Peter Robbins), who had failed the National Spelling Bee:
Well, I can understand how you feel. You
worked hard, studying for the spelling bee, and I suppose
you feel you let everyone down, and you made a fool of
yourself and everything. But did you notice something,
Charlie Brown?... The world didn't come to an end.