Best Film Speeches and Monologues
||Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
Screenwriter(s): John Waters
Grotesquely disfigured Dawn Davenport's (drag
queen Divine) bizarre, freakish
"nightclub act," when she was introduced as the "most
beautiful woman in the world." During her act, she jumped
up and down on a trampoline, tore up a book, rolled around on
stage, sat in a small crib and pretended to masturbate, fondled
her body with a fish, made some lewd gestures with a gun, and
then told the audience:
Thank you! I love you! Thank you! Thank
you from the bottom of my black little heart! You came
here for some excitement tonight and that's just what you're
going to get! Take a good look at ME because I'm going
to be on the front of every newspaper in this country tomorrow!
You're looking at crime personified AND DON'T YOU FORGET
IT! I framed Leslie Bacon! I called the heroin hot line
on Abby Hoffman! I bought the gun that Bremmer used to
shoot Wallace! I had an affair with Juan Corona! I blew
Richard Speck! And I'm so f--kin' beautiful I can't stand
it myself! (She shot her gun into the air) Now,
everybody freeze! (She pointed the gun at the audience)
Who wants to be famous? Who wants to DIE for art?!
When an audience member
lept up and replied: "I do!", she shot him, and when
the audience fled, she continued to fire on them maniacally.
Screenwriter(s): John Waters
The disfigured, glory-seeking serial killer
mom Dawn Davenport (Divine) was to be executed on the electric
chair. She considered that the execution ("a big news-event")
was her greatest accomplishment and believed that her legend
would live on:
"My fans want me to die in the electric
chair. It will be my final curtain call - the most theatrical
moment of my life."
She delivered an astonishing "acceptance
speech" before the execution (she called the execution chamber
the 'green room') that featured
a shockingly prescient speech on the cult of media criminal
I'd like to thank all the wonderful people
that made this great moment in my life come true. My daughter
Taffy, who died in order to further my career. My friends
Chicklette and Concetta who should be here with me today.
All the fans that died so fashionably and gallantly at
my nightclub act. And especially all those wonderful people
who were kind enough to read about me in the newspapers
and watch me on the television news shows. Without all
of you, my career could never have gotten this far. It
is you that I burn for and it is you that I will die for!
Please remember, I love every f--king one of you!
Godfather, Part 2 (1974)
Screenwriter(s): Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo
Was Stepped Over" - Fredo's Lamenting Complaints, and
Michael's Response: "You're Nothing to Me Now"
Suspecting that he knew something, Michael Corleone
(Al Pacino) spoke to his weakling, often-neglected brother
Fredo (John Cazale) on the lanai. Although Fredo was "kept
pretty much in the dark" and "didn't know all that
much," he explained how he was lured to help knock off
Frankie Pentangeli with the promise of a deal for himself.
Resentful of being treated like the perennial errand boy, and
being "stepped over" in the succession of power,
he sought to establish his separate identity through betrayal:
I didn't know it was gonna be a hit, Mike.
I swear to God I didn't know it was gonna be a hit. Johnny
Ola bumped into me in Beverly Hills and he said that he
wanted to talk. He said that you and Roth were in on a
big deal together and that there was something in it for
me if I could help him out. He said that you were being
tough on the negotiations. But if they could get a little
help and close the deal fast, it'd be good for the family...He
said there was something in it for me - on my own!
When Michael asserted, "I've always taken
care of you, Fredo," Fredo exploded:
Taken care of me! You're my kid brother,
and you take care of me? Did you ever think about
that, huh? Did you ever once think about that? Send Fredo
off to do this, send Fredo off to do that! Let Fredo take
care of some Mickey Mouse nightclub somewhere! Send Fredo
to pick somebody up at the airport! I'm your older brother,
Mike, and I was stepped over...It ain't the way I wanted
it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody
says. Like dumb. I'm smart, and I want respect!
Fredo eventually revealed that Senator Questadt
was on Roth's payroll and was the one responsible for orchestrating
Michael's exposure before the Congressional committee. Michael
issued an ultimatum to his older brother:
Fredo, you're nothing to me now. You're not
a brother, you're not a friend. I don't wanna know you
or what you do. I don't wanna see you at the hotels. I
don't want you near my house. When you see our mother,
I wanna know a day in advance so I won't be there. You
Godfather, Part 2 (1974)
Screenwriter(s): Francis Ford Coppola,
Must All End" Speech
In a Hotel Washington fourth floor suite, abused
and embittered wife Kay Corleone (Diane Keaton) congratulated
her crime boss husband Michael (Al Pacino) for being let off
during a Congressional investigation: "I suppose I always
knew you were too smart to let any of them ever beat you." She
announced that she was not going back to Nevada and that she
was leaving him (with the children) because "it's too
late" and because he had become "blind" to "what's
happened" to them and to their son Anthony:
He promised to change:
What do you want from me? Do you expect
me to let you go? Do you expect me to let you take my children
from me? Don't you know me? Don't you know that that's
an impossibility? That that could never happen? That I'd
use all my power to keep something like that from happening?
Don't you know that? Kay, now in time, you'll feel differently.
You'll be glad I stopped you now. I know that. I know you
blame me for losing the baby. Yes. I know what that meant
to you. I'll make it up to you, Kay. I swear I'll make
it up to you. I'm gonna change. I'll change. I've learned
that I have the strength to change. And you'll forget about
this miscarriage. And we'll have another child. And we'll
go on, you and I. We'll go on.
But she had lost all love for her husband and
willingly performed a vengeful abortion (it wasn't a miscarriage)
to kill their expected child in their already-dead marriage
(to prevent the raising of another son in an atmosphere of
Oh! Oh, Michael, Michael, you are blind.
It wasn't a miscarriage. It was an abortion. An abortion,
Michael. Just like our marriage is an abortion. Something
that's unholy and evil! I didn't want your son, Michael.
I wouldn't bring another one of your sons into this world!
It was an abortion, Michael! It was a son! A son! And I
had it killed because this must all end!
I know now that it's over. I knew it then.
There would be no way, Michael, no way you could ever forgive
me. Not with this Sicilian thing that's been going
on for 2,000 years (losing control in a violent rage,
Michael viciously struck her and slapped her back onto the
couch, yelling out "BITCH!") - OH!
Screenwriter(s): Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb; Indianapolis Monologue
(John Milius, Howard Sackler, Robert Shaw)
Recollection of Sharks After the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis
In a long and memorable monologue, Quint (Robert
Shaw) recollected how he was a World War II sailor, and his
carrier was delivering the Hiroshima A-bomb to Japan, and was
en-route home. The Ill-fated USS Indianapolis was sunk
in 12 minutes by two torpedoes shot from a Japanese submarine
and about 1,100 men went into the shark-infested water for
about 4 days. He remembered the grisly, hideous story of the
ill-fated crew during an attack of swarming sharks that began
a half-hour later - in which 800 sailors perished (and only
316 men survived) in shark-infested waters:
A Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes
into our side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island
of Tinian to Leyte - just delivered the bomb, the Hiroshima
bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went
down in 12 minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about
half an hour - a tiger - thirteen footer. You know how
you know that when you're in the water, Chief? You tell
by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn't
know was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress
signal had been sent. They didn't even list us overdue
for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin'.
So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know, it
was kinda like old squares in the battle like that you
see in the calendar named 'The Battle of Waterloo.' And
the idea was, the shark comes to the nearest man and he
starts poundin' and hollerin' and screamin'. Sometimes
the shark go away. Sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes
that shark, he looks right into ya, right into your eyes.
Y'know, the thing about a shark, he's got lifeless eyes,
black eyes, like a doll's eyes. When he comes after
ya, he doesn't seem to be livin' until he bites ya, and
those black eyes roll over white, and then - aww, then
you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin', the ocean
turns red, and in spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin',
they all come in and rip ya to pieces.
You know, by the end of that first dawn, we
lost a hundred men. I don't know how many sharks, maybe a
thousand. I don't know how many men. They averaged six an
hour. On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend
of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player.
Boatswain's mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over
to wake him up. Bobbed up, down in the water just like a
kinda top. Upended. Well, he'd been bitten in half below
the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura
saw us. He swung in low and he saw us. He was a young pilot,
a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and he come
in low and three hours later, a big fat PBY [seaplane] comes
down and start to pick us up. You know, that was the time
I was most frightened - waitin' for my turn. I'll never put
on a life jacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the
water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, and the sharks
took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered
Screenwriter(s): Woody Allen
Thoughts on Life, Love and Death
Play clip (excerpt):
Boris Grushenko's (Woody Allen) rambling, final
thoughts on life and death:
The question is - have I learned
anything about life? Only that, only that human beings
are divided into mind and body. The mind embraces all
the nobler aspirations, like poetry and philosophy, but
the body has all the fun. The important thing, I think,
is not to be bitter. You know, if it turns out that there
is a god, I don't think that he's evil, I think that,
that the worst you can say about him is that, basically,
he's an under-achiever. After all, you know, there are
worse things in life than death. I mean, If you've ever
spent an evening with an insurance salesman, you know
exactly what I mean. The key here I think is to, to not
think of death as an end, but think of it more as a very
effective way of cutting down on your expenses. Regarding
love, heh, you know, uh, what can you say? It's not the
quantity of your sexual relations that count. It's the
quality. On the other hand, if the quantity drops below
once every eight months, I would definitely look into
it. Well, that's about it for me folks. Goodbye.
(1975, Can.) (aka They Came From Within, The Parasite Murders)
Screenwriter(s): David Cronenberg
The infected Nurse Forsythe's (Lynn Lowry) description
of her "disturbing dream" to resident physician Roger
St. Luc (Paul Hampton) after he had rescued her from a second
sexual assault in the underground parking lot. In the basement
of the complex, she began to describe the dream in which a
repulsive old man told her how everything in life was sexual:
In this dream, I found myself making love
to a strange man. Only I'm having trouble you see, because
he's old... and dying... and he smells bad, and I find
him repulsive. But then he tells me that everything is
erotic, that everything is sexual, you know what I mean?
He tells me that even old flesh is erotic flesh. That disease
is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other,
that even dying is an act of eroticism, that talking is
sexual, that breathing is sexual, that even to physically
exist is sexual. And I believe him, and we make love beautifully.
She leaned forward to kiss St. Luc, then arched
back and hissed, and opened her mouth to reveal her own parasitic
infection as one of the slug-like creatures wriggled out. He
punched her in the jaw and bound her mouth with a white cloth
(which soon became a bloody mouth bandage).