Best Film Speeches and Monologues
||Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
Lampoon's) Animal House (1978)
Screenwriter(s): Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller
Is Over Until We Decide It Is!"
Play clip (excerpt):
A "psychotic" Bluto (John Belushi) gave a factually
inaccurate motivational speech to his frat brothers after the
Delta House Fraternity had been closed and they had all been
kicked out of school. When he was told by D-Day (Bruce McGill): "War's
over, man. Wormer dropped the big one," he was incensed:
What? Over? Did you say 'over'? Nothing
is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans
bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!...
It ain't over now, 'cause
when the goin' gets tough, the tough get goin'. Who's with
me? Let's go! Come on!...(He ran to the front door but
no one followed him)
(He returned, chastising his frat brothers)
What the f--k happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's
the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest
night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst.
'Ooh, we're afraid to go with you, Bluto, we might get
in trouble.' (shouting) Well, just kiss my ass from
now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a
dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer...
Otter (Tim Matheson) agreed with Bluto: "Dead!
Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take
these bastards. Now, we could fight 'em with conventional weapons.
That could take years and cost millions of lives. No, in this
case, I think we have to go all out. I think this situation
absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done
on somebody's part."
We're just the guys to do it...LET'S DO IT!
Screenwriter(s): Waldo Salt, Robert C. Jones
a Choice to Be Made Here"
Disabled, wheelchair-bound, partially paralyzed
Vietnam vet Luke Martin (Jon Voight) gave an impassioned, tearful "there's
a choice to be made here" speech to high school students,
to provide a different perspective, after they listened to
a Marine recruiter. The scene was inter-cut with one of Marine
Corps Captain Bob Hyde (Bruce Dern), distraught and suffering
from post traumatic stress disorder, swimming out naked into
the ocean to commit suicide:
You know, you want to be a part of it, patriotic,
go out and get your licks in for the U.S. of A. And when
you get over there, it's a totally different situation.
I mean, you grow up real quick. Because all you're seeing
is, uhm, a lot of death. And I know some of you guys are
going to look at the uniformed man and you're going to
remember all the films and you're going to think about
the glory of other wars and think about some vague patriotic
feeling and go off and fight this turkey too. And I'm telling
you it ain't like it's in the movies. That's all I want
to tell you, because I didn't have a choice. When I was
your age, all I got was some guy standing up like that,
man, giving me a lot of bullshit, man, which I caught.
I was really in good shape then, man. I was captain of
the football team. And I wanted to be a war hero, man,
I wanted to go out and kill for my country.
And now I'm here to tell ya that I have killed
for my country, or whatever. And I don't feel good about
it. Because there's not enough reason, man, to feel a person
die in your hands or to see your best buddy get blown away.
I'm here to tell ya it's a lousy thing, man. I don't see
any reason for it. And there's a lot of s--t that I did over
there that I find f--king hard to live with. And I don't
want to see people like you, man, comin' back and having
to face the rest of your lives with that kind of s--t. It's
as simple as that. I don't feel sorry for myself. I'm a lot
f--kin' smarter now than when I went. And I'm just tellin'
ya, there's a choice to be made here.
Screenwriter(s): John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Chilling Description of the Evil Michael Myers
Play clip (excerpt):
Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) presented a
chilling description of the unredeemable, unreachable, and
evil mental patient, Michael Myers:
I met him fifteen years ago. I was told
there was nothing left. No reason, no, uh, conscience,
no understanding and even the most rudimentary sense of
life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this
six year-old child with this bland, pale, emotionless face,
and the blackest eyes - the Devil's eyes. I spent eight
years trying to reach him and then another seven trying
to keep him locked up because I realized that what was
living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply evil...
Midnight Express (1978)
Screenwriter: Oliver Stone
Hate You, I Hate Your Nation, and I Hate Your People"
In a second
trial scene, imprisoned drug-smuggler Billy Hayes (Brad Davis),
standing in the prisoner's dock, addressed the Turkish court
and argued for his release after incarceration for three and
a half years:
What is there for me to say? When I finish,
you'll sentence me for my crime. So let me ask you now: What
is a crime? What is punishment? It seems to vary from time
to time and place to place. What's legal today is suddenly
illegal tomorrow because some society says it's so, and what's
illegal yesterday is suddenly legal because everybody's doing
it, and you can't put everybody in jail. I'm not sayin' this
is right or wrong. I'm just saying that's the way it is. But
I've spent three and a half years of my life in your prison,
and I think I've paid for my error, and if it's your decision
today to sentence me to more years, then I...My lawyer, my
lawyer, that's a good one. He says, 'Just be cool, Billy. Don't
get angry. Don't get upset. Be good and I'll get you a pardon,
an amnesty, an appeal, or this or that or the other thing'
Well, this has been going on now for three and a half years.
And I have been playing it cool. I've been good. And now I'm
damn tired of being good because you people gave me the belief
that I had 53 days left. You, you hung 53 days in front of
my face, and then you just took those 53 days away. And you,
Booth! I just wish you could be standin' where I'm standin'
right now and feel what that feels like, because then you would
know something that you don't know, Mr. Prosecutor. Mercy!
You would know that the concept of a society is based on the
quality of that mercy, its sense of fair play, its sense of
justice. But I guess that's like askin' a bear to s--t in a
At the end of Billy's speech about mercy, he
was overcome and he angrily shrieked at the judge in the Turkish
For a nation of pigs,
it sure is funny you don't eat 'em. Jesus Christ forgave the
bastards, but I can't. I hate. I hate you, I hate your nation,
and I hate your people. And I f--k your sons and daughters
because they're pigs! You're a pig. You're all pigs!
His original sentence was overturned
and he was sentenced for further imprisonment "for
a term no less than 30 years."
The Movie (1978) (aka Superman)
Screenwriter(s): Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman, Robert
Over Metropolis with Superman
Reporter Lois Lane's (Margot Kidder) love-struck
internal monologue as she flew over Metropolis in Superman's
(Christopher Reeve) arms and next to him:
Can you read my mind? Do you know what it
is that you do to me? I don't know who you are. Just a
friend from another star. Here I am like a kid out of school.
Holding hands with a god. I'm a fool. Will you look at
me? Quivering. Like a little girl shivering. You can see
right through me. Can you read my mind? Can you picture
the things I'm thinking of? Wondering why you are all the
wonderful things you are. You can fly! You belong in the
sky. You and I could belong to each other. If you need
a friend, I'm the one to fly to. If you need to be loved,
here I am. Read my mind.
Screenwriter(s): Martin Rosen
Rabbit Creation Myth
Play clip (excerpt):
The opening narration (voice of Michael Hordern)
- a rabbit creation myth:
Long ago, the great Frith made the world.
He made all the stars, and the world lived among the stars.
Frith made all the animals and birds, and, at first, made
them all the same. Now, among the animals was El-ahrairah,
the Prince of Rabbits. He had many friends, and they all
ate grass together. But after a time, the rabbits wandered
everywhere, multiplied and eating as they went. Then, Frith
said to El-ahrairah: 'Prince Rabbit, if you cannot control
your people, I shall find ways to control them.' But El-ahrairah
would not listen and said to Frith: 'My people are the
strongest in the world.'
This angered Frith, so he determined to get
the better of El-ahrairah. He gave a present to every animal
and bird, making each one different from the rest. When the
fox came and others, like the dog and cat, hawk and weasel,
to each of them, Frith gave a fierce desire to hunt and slay
the children of El-ahrairah. Then, El-ahrairah knew that
Frith was too clever for him, and he was frightened. He had
never before seen the Black Rabbit of Death.
'My friend,' said Frith, 'Have you seen El-ahrairah?
For I wish to give him a gift.' 'No, I have not seen him.'
So Frith said, 'Come out, and I will bless you instead.'
'No, I cannot. I am busy. The fox and weasel are coming.
If you want to bless me, you will have to bless my bottom.'
'Very well, be it so.'
And El-ahrairah's tail grew shining white,
and it flashed like a star. And his back legs grew long and
powerful. And he tore across the hill, faster than any creature
in the world. 'All the world will be your enemy, Prince with
a Thousand Enemies. And whenever they catch you, they will
kill you. But first, they must catch you...digger, listener,
runner. Prince with the swift warren. Be cunning and full
of tricks and your people will never be destroyed.'
All That Jazz (1979)
Screenwriter(s): Robert Alan Aurthur, Bob Fosse
Joe Gideon in His Final Appearance "On the Great Stage
Director/choreographer Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider)
was introduced by ultimate variety show host and singer/dancer
O'Connor Flood (Ben Vereen) for his final performance:
Folks! What can I tell you about my next
guest? This cat allowed himself to be adored, but not loved.
And his success in show business was matched by failure
in his personal relationship bag, now - that's where he really bombed.
And he came to believe that work, show business, love,
his whole life, even himself and all that jazz, was bulls--t.
He became numero uno game player - uh, to the point
where he didn't know where the games ended and the reality
began. Like, for this cat, the only reality - is death,
man. Ladies and gentlemen, let me lay on you a so-so entertainer,
not much of a humanitarian, and this cat was never nobody's friend.
In his final appearance on the great stage of life - uh,
you can applaud if you wanna - Mr. Joe Gideon!
...And Justice For
Screenwriter(s): Valerie Curtin, Barry Levinson
Prisons - "We Need Unjust Punishment"
Loathsome, unethical Judge Henry T. Fleming (John
Forsythe), while swimming laps in his steamy enclosed outdoor
pool, argued with defense attorney Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino)
that prisons were appropriate places for punishment in the
Prison should be a frightening place. Let
those criminals create their own hellhole....I tell you,
Arthur, the idea of punishment to fit the crime doesn't
work. We need unjust punishment. Hang somebody for
armed robbery. Try it! We've got nothin' to lose. Do you
understand what I'm sayin' to you, for God's sake? You
don't, do you? Oh! You fellas with your fancy ideas of
rehabilitation. I tell you that the concept of rehabilitation
is a farce. Do you honestly think that, that bringing Johnny
Cash into prisons to sing railroad songs is gonna rehabilitate
anyone? Most people are sick and tired of mugging and crime
in the streets...(Arthur left the enclosure) Arthur?
...And Justice For
Screenwriter(s): Valerie Curtin, Barry Levinson
Out of Order! You're Out of Order! The Whole Trial is Out
of Order!" - A Riotous Opening Statement
Hot-headed, idealistic and ethical defense attorney
Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino) was forced into a defense case
by blackmail, to represent former hateful rival Judge Henry
T. Fleming (John Forsythe), who earlier had supported the wrongful
imprisonment of Kirkland's innocent defendant Jeff McCullaugh
(Thomas Waites) (who was subsequently killed).
Accused of rape, Fleming admitted to Kirkland,
with a sleazy comment just before the proceedings, that he
wanted to see the "attractive" rape victim again. During
the first part of the trial, it appeared that Kirkland was
properly defending his client with his opening statement, but
then turned on him with tremendous rage, condemning him for
abusing law and order and calling him 'guilty':
Your Honor, Mr. Foreman, ladies and gentlemen
of the jury, my name is Arthur Kirkland, and I am the defense
counsel for the defendant, Judge Henry T. Fleming. Now,
that man over there, he's the prosecuting attorney, and
he couldn't be happier today. He is a happy man today,
because today he's goin' after a judge, and if he gets
him, if he gets him, he's gonna be a star. He's gonna have
his name in this month's Law Review - Centerfold,
Lawyer of the Month. Now, in order to win this case, he
needs you, naturally. You're all he's got, believe
me. So he's counting on tapping that emotion in you which
says, 'Let's get somebody in power. Let's get a judge.'
However, these proceedings are not about that. These proceedings
are here to see that justice is done. And justice is, as
any reasonable person will tell ya, the finding of the
truth. And what is the truth today? One truth, a tragic
one, is that that girl has been beaten and raped. Another
truth is that the prosecution doesn't have a witness, does
not have one piece of substantiating evidence other than
the testimony of the victim herself. Another truth is that
my client, voluntarily, and the prosecution is well aware
of this fact, voluntarily took a lie detector test...and
told the truth...
Sorry, Your Honor. Let's get back to justice.
What is justice? What is the intention of justice? The intention
of justice is to see that the guilty people are proven guilty
and that the innocent are freed. Simple, isn't it? Only it's
not that simple. However, it is the defense counsel's duty
to protect the rights of the individual, as it is the prosecution's
duty to uphold and defend the laws of the State. Justice
for all. Only we have a problem here. And you know what it
is? Both sides wanna win. We wanna win. We wanna win regardless
of the truth. And we wanna win regardless of justice, regardless
of who's guilty or innocent. Winning is everything!
That man there wants a win so badly today, it means so much
to him, he is so carried away with the prospect of winning,
the idea, that he forgot something that's absolutely essential
to today's proceedings. He forgot his case. He forgot to
bring it. I don't know, I don't see it, do you? The prosecution's
case. He's gotta have one. Not a witness, not one piece of
substantiating evidence other than the testimony of the victim
herself. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a case
to end all cases. I have witnesses for my client, I have
character references, testimonials that are backed up from
here to Washington, DC! I got lie detector tests that are...
The one thing that bothered me, the one thing
that stayed in my mind and I couldn't get rid of it, that
haunted me, was 'why?' Why would she lie? What was her motive
for lyin'? If my client is innocent, she's lying. Why? Was
it blackmail? No. Was it jealousy? No. Yesterday, I found
out why. She doesn't have a motive. You know why? Because
she's not lying. And ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the
prosecution is not gonna get that man today. No! Because
I'm gonna get him! My client, the Honorable Henry T. Fleming,
should go right to f--kin' jail! The son of a bitch is guilty!
That man is guilty! That man there, that man
is a slime! He is a slime! If he's allowed to go free,
then something really wrong is goin' on here!...
You're out of order! You're out of order! The
whole trial is out of order! They're out of order! That man,
that sick, crazy depraved man raped and beat that woman there,
and he'd like to do it again! He told me so! It's just a
show! It's a show! It's 'Let's Make a Deal!' Let's make a
deal! (As he was dragged from the courtroom) Hey,
Frank, you want to make a deal? I got an insane judge who
likes to beat the s--t out of women! What do you want to
give me, Frank? Three weeks probation?...
You, you son of a bitch, you! You're supposed
to stand for somethin'! You're supposed to protect
people! But instead you f--kin' murder them! You killed McCullaugh!!
You killed him! Hold it! Hold it! I just completed my opening
Screenwriter(s): John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Herr
Love The Smell of Napalm in the Morning"
Play clip (excerpt):
Lt. Col. Kilgore (Robert Duvall) mused as he
gave a beachside monologue during a Vietnamese War raid about
the thrill of senseless murder, while shirtless and kneeling
on the besieged beachfront:
You smell that? Do you smell that? ... Napalm,
son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love
the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time
we had a hill bombed for twelve hours. When it was all
over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin'
dink body. But the smell - you know, that gasoline smell.
The whole hill smelled like victory. (A bomb exploded
behind him.) Someday this war's gonna end.
Screenwriter(s): John Milius, Francis
Ford Coppola, Michael Herr (narration)
Seen the Horrors"
Col. Kurtz' (Marlon Brando) 'horror' speech,
in which he spoke of the "horrors" that he had seen
in the bloody conflict, including the hacked-off arms of inoculated
South Vietnamese children by Vietcong guerrillas. He also denied
that Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) had any moral right to
judge his actions or behavior:
I've seen the horrors -- horrors that you've
seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You
have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to
kill me. You have a right to do that, but you have no right
to judge me.
It's impossible for words to describe what
is necessary to those who do not know what horror means.
Horror. Horror has a face. And you must make a friend of
horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they
are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly
I remember when I was with Special Forces.
Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate
some children. We'd left the camp after we had inoculated
the children for polio. And this old man came running after
us, and he was crying. He couldn't say. We went back there,
and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There
they were, in a pile - a pile of little arms. And I remember,
I...I...I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to
tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And
I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never
want to forget.
And then I realized - like I was shot, like
I was shot with a diamond, a diamond bullet right through
my forehead. And I thought, 'My God, the genius of that.
The genius.' The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete,
crystalline, pure! And then I realized, they were stronger
than me because they could stand it. These were not monsters.
These were men -- trained cadres. These men who fought with
their hearts who have families, who have children, who are
filled with love - that they had the strength, the strength
to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, then our
troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have
men who are moral and at the same time who are able to utilize
their primordial instincts to kill - without feeling, without
passion, without judgment - without judgment. Because it's
judgment that defeats us.
I worry that my son might not understand what
I've tried to be. And if I were to be killed, Willard, I
would want someone to go to my home and tell my son everything.
Everything I did, everything you saw. Because there's nothing
that I detest more than the stench of lies. And if you understand
me, Willard, you - you will do this for me.
Screenwriter(s): Jerzy Kosinski
Black cook Louise (Ruth Attaway) was contemptuous
as she watched TV and saw the adoration by society for Chance-Chauncey
Gardiner (Peter Sellers):
It's for sure a white man's world in America.
Look here: I raised that boy since he was the size of a
piss-ant. And I'll say right now, he never learned to read
and write. No, sir. Had no brains at all. Was stuffed with
rice pudding between th' ears. Shortchanged by the Lord,
and dumb as a jackass. Look at him now! Yes, sir, all you've
gotta be is white in America, to get whatever you want.