Best Film Speeches
and Monologues

1970


Best Film Speeches and Monologues
Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
Screenshots

Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Screenwriter(s): Carole Eastman (Adrien Joyce)

Prophetic Words Against "Crap" and "Filth"

Aggressive but morose lesbian hitchhiker, Palm Apodaca (Helena Kallianiotes), a long-haired malcontent who was an anti-filth, ecology nut on her way to Alaska because it was "cleaner," preached prophetically about her discontent regarding "crap" and "filth," in a memorable ranting monologue:

I had to leave this place because I got depressed seeing all the crap. And the thing is, they're making more crap, you know. They got so many stores and stuff and junk full of crap. I can't believe it...Who? Man, that's who. Pretty soon, there won't be any room for man. They're selling more crap that people go and buy than you can imagine. Crap. I believe everybody should have a big hole where they throw the stuff in and burn it...

A disposal? What's that, but more crap? I've never seen such crap...People's homes, just filth. I've been in people's homes...I'm seeing more filth, a lot of filth. What they need to do every day, no, once in a while, is do a cockroach thing, you know, where they, uh, spray the homes, Can you imagine if their doors were painted a pretty color and they had a pot outside...and they picked up. I mean, then it wouldn't be filthy, with uh, Coke bottles and whisky and uh (she pauses to puff on her cigarette)

(Pointing at billboards and roadside signs), those signs everywhere. Well, they should be erased! All those signs selling you crap and more crap and more crap. And I - I don't know. I don't know. I don't even want to talk about it...It's just filthy. People are filthy. I think that's the biggest thing that's wrong with people. I think they wouldn't be as violent if they were clean, because then they wouldn't have anybody to pick on. Dirt. Not dirt. See, dirt isn't bad. It's filth. Filth is bad. That's what starts maggots and riots.

For a few more miles (while the other passengers napped) after an aborted restaurant stop, Palm resumed her rant about filthy human beings:

People. (Shaking her head in disgust) Animals are not like that. They're always cleaning themselves. Did you ever see, uhmm, pigeons? Well, he's always picking on himself and his friends. They're always picking bugs out of their hair all the time. Monkeys too. Except they do something out in the open that I don't go for.

She added one more example of man creating a stink for himself, and suggested a capitalistic conspiracy against having steam-powered cars:

You know, I read where they, uh, invented this car that runs on, uhm, that runs on, uhm? When you boil water?...Right, steam. A car that you could ride around in and not cause a stink. But do you know they will not even let us have it? Can you believe it? Why? Man! He likes to create a stink! I mean, I've seen filth that you wouldn't believe. Ugh! What a stink! I don't even wanna talk about it.


Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Screenwriter(s): Carole Eastman (Adrien Joyce)

Angry "Diner" Speech Tirade

In a roadside cafe-diner, in a booth for four by a window, Bobby Dupea (Jack Nicholson) was aggravated, impatient and exasperated by meaningless rules. A live-by-the-rules, inflexible waitress (Lorna Thayer) stubbornly refused to serve Bobby a plain omelette (with tomatoes instead of potatoes), a cup of coffee and a side order of wheat toast, because she dryly explained: "No substitutions":

Dupea: I'd like a plain omelette. No potatoes. Tomatoes instead. A cup of coffee, and wheat toast.
Waitress: (She pointed to the menu) No substitutions.
Dupea: What do you mean? You don't have any tomatoes?
Waitress: Only what's on the menu. You can have a number two - a plain omelette. It comes with cottage fries and rolls.
Dupea: Yeah, I know what it comes with. But it's not what I want.
Waitress: Well, I'll come back when you make up your mind.
Dupea: Wait a minute. I have made up my mind. I'd like a plain omelette. No potatoes on the plate. A cup of coffee, and a side order of wheat toast.
Waitress: I'm sorry, we don't have any side orders of toast. I'll give you an English muffin or a coffee roll.
Dupea: What do you mean, you don't make side orders of toast? You make sandwiches, don't you?
Waitress: Would you like to talk to the manager?
Dupea: ...You've got bread and a toaster of some kind?
Waitress: I don't make the rules.
Dupea: OK, I'll make it as easy for you as I can. I'd like an omelette, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast. No mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce, and a cup of coffee.
Waitress: A number two. A chicken sal san. Hold the butter, the lettuce and the mayonnaise. And a cup of coffee. Anything else?
Dupea: Yeah. Now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven't broken any rules.
Waitress (spitefully with her arms on her hips): You want me to hold the chicken, huh?
Dupea: I want you to hold it between your knees.
Waitress (turning and telling him to look at the sign that said, "Right to Refuse Service") Do you see that sign, sir? Yes, you all have to leave. I'm not taking any more of your smartness and sarcasm.
Dupea: You see this sign?

With one gesture with his right arm, he swept all the water glasses, place-mats, cutlery and menus off the table.

Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Screenwriter(s): Carole Eastman (Adrien Joyce)

Final Words to a Dying Father

In a most powerful sequence, Bobby Dupea (Jack Nicholson) was viewed wheeling his father Nicholas (William Challee) in a wheelchair in the cold outdoors, as the sun set. At the shoreline, he delivered a painful, one-sided, remorseful confession to his father, who was unable to respond due to his medical condition. He apologized for his abandonment of his family and talent, for giving up on his responsibilities, and for not living up to his father's high ideals. Unable to explain his life's failings, he broke down in tears mid-speech, and eventually apologized:

I don't know if you'd be particularly interested in hearing anything about me, my life, I mean. Most of it doesn't add up to much that I could relate as a way of life that you'd approve of. I move around a lot. Not because I'm looking for anything, really, but - 'cause I'm getting away from things that get bad if I stay. Auspicious beginnings. You know what I mean?

I'm trying to imagine your, your half of this conversation...My feeling is, I don't know, that, uh, if you could talk, we probably wouldn't be talking. That's pretty much the way it got to be before I left. Are you all right? I don't know what to say.

Tita suggested that we try to - .I don't know. I think that she feels - I think that she feels that we've got some understanding to reach. She totally denies the fact that we were never that comfortable with one another to begin with. The best that I can do is apologize. We both know that I was never really that good at it, anyway.

He finally admitted with sorrow: "I'm sorry it didn't work out." He slowly bowed his head.


Little Big Man (1970)
Screenwriter(s): Calder Willingham

The White Man's Beliefs: "Everything is Dead"

As he held up a white man's scalp, Old Lodge Skins (Chief Dan George) described to Little Big Man/Jack Crabb (Dustin Hoffman) the difference in beliefs between the White Man and the "Human Beings" (their Indian tribe), after being asked if he hated the White Man:

Do you see this fine thing? Do you admire the humanity of it? Because the Human Beings, my son, they believe everything is alive. Not only man and animals, but also water, earth, stone. And also the things from them like that hair. The man from whom this hair came, he's bald on the other side, because I now own his scalp! That is the way things are. But the white man, they believe everything is dead. Stone, earth, animals, and people! Even their own people! If things keep trying to live, white man will rub them out. That is the difference.


M*A*S*H (1970)
Screenwriter(s): Ring Lardner, Jr.

"We Are the Pros..."

Capt. Trapper John (Elliott Gould) gave orders to hostile chief nurse Captain Peterson (Cathleen Cordell) of the Nurse Corps, after he and Hawkeye Pierce (Donald Sutherland) were accused of being "hoodlums" in the hospital:

Look, mother, I want to go to work in one hour. We are the pros from Dover and we figure to crack this kid's chest and get out to the golf course before it gets dark. So you go find the gas-passer and you have him pre-medicate this patient. Then bring me the latest pictures on him. The ones we saw must be 48 hours old by now. Then, call the kitchen and have them rustle us up some lunch. Ham and eggs'll be all right. Steak would be even better. And then give me at least ONE nurse who knows how to work in close without getting her TITS in my way!


Patton (1970)
Screenwriter(s): Francis Ford Coppola, Edmund H. North

Opening "Address" to the Troops

Top Pick

Play clip (excerpt): Patton

Gen. George S. Patton (George C. Scott) gave a six-minute opening address to the troops of the US 3rd Army before a giant American flag on a bare stage. His barking address (composed of actual speech content delivered by Patton) was given to off-screen troops unseen in the audience:

...Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. Men, all this stuff you've heard about America not wanting to fight - wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of horse dung. Americans traditionally love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, big league ball players, the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war, because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.

Now, an army is a team - it lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap. The bilious bastards who wrote that stuff about individuality for the Saturday Evening Post don't know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating. Now, we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. You know, by God, I actually pity those poor bastards we're goin' up against. By God, I do. We're not just gonna shoot the bastard, we're going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel.

Now, some of you boys, I know, are wondering whether or not you'll chicken out under fire. Don't worry about it. I can assure you that you will all do your duty. The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them, spill their blood, shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do.

Now there's another thing I want you to remember. I don't want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We're not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We're going to hold onto him by the nose and we're gonna kick him in the ass. We're gonna kick the hell out of him all the time and we're gonna go through him like crap through a goose.

Now, there's one thing that you men will be able to say when you get back home, and you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when you're sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you: 'What did you do in the Great World War II?', you won't have to say: 'Well, I shoveled s--t in Louisiana.'

All right now, you sons-of-bitches, you know how I feel - and I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere. That's all.






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