Best Film Speeches and Monologues
|Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Screenwriter(s): Jack B. Sowards, Nicholas Meyer
Play clip (excerpt):
In the warp chamber, dying, radiation-poisoned
Mr. Spock's (Leonard Nimoy) final words to Admiral James T.
Kirk (William Shatner) after giving his life for the crew of USS
Enterprise, and being assured "Ship out of danger":
Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The
needs of the many outweigh (Kirk finished the line:
'the needs of the few'). Or the one. I never took the Kobayashi
Maru test, until now. What do you think of my solution?
(Spock knelt down) I have been, and always shall
be, your friend. (Spock placed his hand on the chamber
glass) Live long, and prosper.
Kirk placed his hand opposite Spock's hand as
his friend slowly collapsed, slumped down and expired next
to him. Overcome with emotion, Kirk quietly muttered: "No" as
Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Screenwriter(s): Jack B. Sowards, Nicholas
for Mr. Spock
Admiral James T. Kirk's (William Shatner) difficult
eulogy for his best friend, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) who had
sacrificed his life (by exposure to radiation) to save the
doomed U.S.S. Enterprise from the Genesis Device explosion,
although his death gave birth to a new planetoid around which
his casket would orbit:
We are assembled here today to pay final
respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted
that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place
in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world;
a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect
and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty
one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these
proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this. Of all
the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the
Screenwriter(s): Murray Schisgal, Larry Gelbart
Time to Set the Record Straight"
During a live broadcast of the
soap opera show Southwest General, the strong-willed
character played by Dorothy Michaels - Miss Emily Kimberly
(both Dustin Hoffman) was introduced as the guest of honor.
She concocted Emily Kimberly's over-the-top back-story before
revealing her true identity as Emily's brother, Mr. Edward
Kimberly -- AND -- as Michael Dorsey, to the consternation
of the rest of the cast and the filming crew:
Dorothy: "Thank you, Gordon. I cannot
tell you all how deeply moved I am. I never in my wildest
dreams imagined that I would be the object of so much genuine
affection...It makes it all the more difficult for me to
say what I'm now going to say. Yes. I do feel it's time
to set the record straight. You see, I didn't come here
just as an administrator, Dr. Brewster. I came to this
hospital to settle an old score...Now you all know that
my father was a brilliant man - he built this hospital.
What you don't know is that to his family, he was an unmerciful
tyrant. An absolute dodo bird...He drove my mother, his
wife, to - to drink. In fact, she, uh, she went riding
one time and lost all her teeth. The son Edward became
a recluse, and the oldest daughter, the pretty one, the
charming one - became pregnant when she was fifteen years
old and was driven out of the house. In fact, she was so
terrified that she would, uh, that, uh, that, that, that
the baby daughter would bear the stigma of illegitimacy
that she, she - she decided to change her name and she
contracted a disfiguring disease... after moving to Tangiers,
which is where she raised the, the, the little girl as
her sister. But her one ambition in life - besides the
child's happiness - was to become a nurse, so she returned
to the States and joined the staff right here at Southwest
General. When she worked here, she knew she had to speak
out wherever she saw injustice and inhumanity. God save
us. You do understand that, don't you, Dr. Brewster?"
(John Van Horn (George Gaynes): 'I never laid a hand on her!')
Dorothy: "Yes, you did. And she was shunned by all you
nurses, too...what do you call it, uh, like a pariah, to
you doctors who found her outspokenness threatening. But
she was deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply loved
by her brother. It was this brother who, on the day of her
death, swore to the good Lord above that he would follow
in her footsteps, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and,
and, and, and, just, just, just, just, just, just, just,
just, just, just owe it all up to her. But on her terms.
As a woman. And just as proud to be a woman as she ever was.
For I am not Emily Kimberly, the daughter of Dwayne and Alma
Kimberly. No, I'm not."
Dorothy's voice deepened as he ripped off his
feminine disguise - he removed his glasses, tore off his false
eyelashes and removed his wig:
I'm Edward Kimberly, the reckless brother
of my sister Anthea... Edward Kimberly, who has finally
vindicated his sister's good name. I'm Edward Kimberly.
Edward Kimberly. And I'm not mentally ill, but proud, and
lucky, and strong enough to be the woman that was the best
part of my manhood. The best part of myself.
At home watching the show
on television, his roommate Jeff Slater (Bill Murray) exclaimed: "That
is one nutty hospital!"
Screenwriter(s): David Mamet
Are the Law... I Believe There is Justice In Our Hearts"
Play clip (excerpt):
Alcoholic, ambulance-chasing lawyer Frank Galvin
(Paul Newman) presented a subdued closing summation-argument
to the courtroom jury at the conclusion of a medical malpractice
lawsuit, the case of his career:
So much of the time, we're just lost. We
say, 'Please, God, tell us what is right. Tell us what
is true.' I mean there is no justice. The rich win. The
poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie.
And after a time we become dead, a little dead. We think
of ourselves as victims, and we become victims.
We become, we become weak. We doubt ourselves.
We doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions, and we doubt
the law. But today, you are the law. You are the
law, not some book, not the lawyers, not a marble statue,
or the trappings of the court. See, those are just symbols
of our desire to be just. They are, they are, in fact, a
prayer, I mean a fervent and a frightened prayer. In my religion,
they say, 'Act as if you had faith. Faith will be given to
you.' If-if we are to have faith in justice, we need only
to believe in ourselves and act with justice. See,
I believe there is justice in our hearts.
Young Doctors in Love (1982)
Screenwriter(s): Michael Elias, Rich Eustis
by Tasting Bodily Fluids
Madly crazed scientist
Doctor Oliver Ludwig (Harry Dean Stanton) instructed a Pathology
class of young hospital interns, residents, and interns about
body fluids and orifices:
Doctor Ludwig: "Here in Pathology, we consult
the dead and ask
them how we may cure the living. Here we interpret the
messages the body sends us. Messages found in substances the
uninformed find disgusting. They are not disgusting,
they are beautiful. They are the ligature of pathology.
Doctors, the human being emits, oozes, secretes, excretes,
salivates, urinates, menstruates, lactates, evacuates, expectorates,
and ejaculates." (Doctor Floyd Kurtzman (Saul Rubinek): "You
left out regurgitates") "Don't, don't help me, Kurtzman.
Now, there are more than twenty vital bodily fluids and I am
proud to say that I have tasted every one of them. This, uh,
urine, for example. What will it tell us?" (He dipped his finger
in the solution and tasted it.) "Definite sugar taste. Now
I don't need a battery of tests to tell me that the patient
has a slight pre-diabetic condition. Doctor, will you confirm
my findings?" (He forced one of the doctors to take a taste.
Doctor Simon August (Michael McKean) declared: "No, no
"No sugar taste, the Doctor says. Just my little way of showing
you that there's something far more important to the pathologist
than taste. That is the power of observation! If you had been
observing, Doctor, you would have seen that I put this finger
in the urine (He held up his middle finger) but I put this finger
in my mouth (He held up his index finger). Lesson number one,
Doctor August: "Yes, but if you had tasted the specimen, Doctor,
you would have noticed a dangerously high level of fractoids. This
patient has pituitary glombosis."
Doctor Ludwig: "Oh, well, let me see that. (He took a real taste.)
Tastes like plain old piss to me, Doctor. Ha, ha, ha. All right
with a slight, uh, metallic flavor indicating a high level of zinc.
Doctor, here, you try." (He extended the vial to Dr. Stephanie
Brody (Sean Young). Doctor August stopped her from drinking from
Doctor August: "Wait, wait, wait, wait, just a minute. I didn't
really taste the urine. I was just kidding. I did the same thing
he did. I switched fingers. I thought it was obvious."
Doctor Ludwig: "Can I have a word with you,
Doctor? Now listen here. You might have made a fool out of some
of my colleagues, but you'll have to get up early in the morning
to put one over on Doctor Oliver Wendell Ludwig. Now, you look
at this face, what do you see?"
Doctor August: "I see alcohol
poisoning and prosiasis in the tertiary stage."
Doctor Ludwig: "Get out, get out! Out! Out! Out! Out! All of you!"
The Big Chill
Screenwriter(s): Lawrence Kasdan, Barbara Benedek
About the Unavailability of Eligible Men
In the kitchen while preparing food, real-estate
attorney Meg Jones (Mary Kay Place), who had always wanted
a child, commiserated with Sarah Cooper (Glenn Close) about
the lack of available men, during a reunion with other Univ.
of Michigan graduates:
They're either married or gay. And if they're
not gay, they've just broken up with the most wonderful
woman in the world, or they've just broken up with a bitch
who looks exactly like me. They're in transition from a
monogamous relationship and they need more space. Or they're
tired of space, but they just can't commit. Or they want
to commit, but they're afraid to get close. They want to
get close, and you don't want to get near them. (Sarah: "It
can't be that bad.") I don't know. I'm goin' easy.
I've been out there dating for twenty years. I've gotten
where I can tell in the first fifteen seconds if there's
a chance in the world. (Sarah: "Well, at least you're
giving them a fair shot.")
Yeah, that's easy for you to say. Married to
Harold, the perfect man. I don't know. Sometimes, I think
I don't even want a man anymore. So here I sit on my ticking
biological clock, and the only thing I've known in my entire
life is that I want to have a child. Don't remind me. This
probably was the right thing to do at the time. (Sarah: "So,
what do ya do?") I'm gonna have a baby. (Sarah: "What?")
She startled Sarah by telling her she was planning
to get pregnant with LA TV actor Sam Weber (Tom Berenger):
Now, I've been taking my temperature and
I know I'm ovulating right now. The ground is ready. I
just need someone to plant the seed. (Sarah:
"Yeah, but who's gonna be the lucky farmer?") These
are the best guys I know. My favorite men in the world. Unfortunately,
Nick, as I discover I'm the last to know, is no longer a
candidate. Michael's a possibility, but considering everything,
I think a fall-back position...So that leaves Sam...(Sarah: "Have
you discussed this with Sam, or are you just gonna plan a
surprise attack?") Why should he have a problem with
it? I mean there won't be any obligations. I love him as
a friend. I assume he loves me. He'd do anything for me.
(Sarah: "You know, somehow, I feel it isn't quite this
simple. You know, for one thing, it doesn't always happen
the first time.") That's not what they told us in high
Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Screenwriter(s): John Hughes
a Quest for Fun"
Play clip (excerpt):
Half-crazed Clark Griswold's (Chevy Chase) deranged,
foul-mouthed exhortation and rant to his beleaguered family
to press on to Wally World:
I think you're all f--ked in the head. We're
ten hours from the f--kin' fun park and you want to bail
out! Well, I'll tell you somethin'. This is no longer a
vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna
have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have
so much f--kin' fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove
our god-damn smiles. You'll be whistling 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah'
out of your assholes! Ha, ha, ha. I gotta be crazy! I'm
on a pilgrimage to see a moose. Praise Marty Moose! Holy
Screenwriter(s): Kathleen Rowell
You're A Kid, Everything's New, Dawn"
The story revolved around two teenaged Greaser
street gang members: Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell), and
fellow gang member Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio). When the two
were attacked in a park by rival Socs (or Socials) gang members,
one of their group named Bob (Leif Garrett), who was attempting
to drown Ponyboy, was stabbed to death by Johnny, who was then
charged with manslaughter.
Afterwards, when Johnny heroically rescued children
from a burning church, he suffered severe burns and a broken
back, and died while hospitalized. He died after telling Ponyboy
to 'stay gold,' referring to the Robert Frost poem Nothing
Gold Can Stay. In the film's conclusion, Ponyboy found
a letter in Johnny's paperback copy of Gone With the Wind.
Ponyboy silently read the letter, in which Johnny (seen superimposed,
and in voice-over) wrote that saving the children was worth
sacrificing his own life:
Ponyboy, I asked the nurse to give you this
book so you could finish it. It's worth saving those little
kids. Their lives are worth more than mine, they have more
to live for. Tell Dally I think it's worth it. I'm gonna
miss you guys. I've been thinkin' about it, and that poem,
that guy that wrote it, he meant you're gold when you're
a kid, like green. When you're a kid, everything's new,
dawn. Like the way you dig sunsets, Pony. That's Gold.
Keep it that way, it's a good way to be. I
want you to ask Dally to look at one. I don't think he's
ever seen a sunset. There's still lots of good in the world.
Tell Dally. I don't think he knows. Your Buddy, Johnny
Risky Business (1983)
Screenwriter(s): Paul Brickman
Want You To Wash My Back"
The sex comedy's opening fantasy-dream
sequence was narrated (in voice-over) by affluent college-bound,
high-school senior Joel Goodson (Tom Cruise), living in a Chicago
suburb. He saw a strange young girl (Francine Locke credited
soaping up in a steamy shower in his neighbor's house (and non-chalantly
"I want you to wash my back") while he was three hours
late to his college board SAT exam:
(voice-over) The dream is always the same.
Instead of going home, I go to the neighbors'. I ring, but
nobody answers. The door is open, so I go inside. I'm looking
around for the people, but nobody seems to be there. And then
I hear the shower running, so I go upstairs to see what's what.
Then I see her. This girl! This incredible girl! I mean, what
she's doing there, I don't know, because she doesn't live there.
But it's a dream, so I go with it. 'Who's there?' she says.
'Joel,' I say. 'What are you doing here?' 'I don't know what
I'm doing here. What are you doing here?' 'I'm taking a shower,'
she says. Then I give her: 'Do you want me to go?' 'No,' she
says. 'I want you to wash my back.' So now I'm getting enthusiastic
about this dream. So, I go to her, but she's hard to find through
all the steam and stuff. I keep losing her. Finally, I get
to the door and I find myself in a room full of kids taking
their College Boards. I'm over three hours late! I've got two
minutes to take the whole test. I've just made a terrible mistake.
I'll never get to college. My life is ruined.
Screenwriter(s): Oliver Stone
Prisoner From Cuba" Tony Montana Defending His Human
In 1980 after being boat-lifted from Castro's
Cuba to Miami, Florida, Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino)
was interrogated by US immigration officials about his background
when living in the Communist country. When suspected of being
an ex-con, he demanded to ask questions of his own - and then
demanded his rights before being sent to Freedomtown, a refugee
camp located under freeway ramps:
You a communist? Huh? How'd you like it?
They tell you all the time what to do, what to think, what
to feel. Do you wanna be like a sheep? Like all those other
people, man? Baah! Baah!...You wanna work eight, 10 f--kin'
hours? You own nothin', you got nothin'! Do you want a chivato on
every corner, man, looking after you? Watching everything
you do? Everything you say, man? Do you know I eat octopus
three times a day? I got f--king octopus coming out of
my f--king ears, man. I got the f--kin' Russian shoes my
feet's comin' through. How'd you like that?
What, you want me to stay there and do nothing?
Hey, I'm no f--kin' criminal, man. I'm no puta or
thief. I'm Tony Montana, a political prisoner from Cuba.
And I want my f--kin' human rights, now! (He slammed the
desk) Just like the President Jimmy Carter says. Okay?...You
know somethin'? You can send me anywhere. Here, there, this,
that. It don't matter. There's nothing you can do to me that
Castro has not already done.
Screenwriter(s): Oliver Stone
Is Paradise" - First Money, Then Power, Then Women
At an outdoor, beachside cafe with his best friend
Manny (Stephen Bauer), recent Cuban immigrant Tony Montana
(Al Pacino) explained his idea of "paradise."
This is paradise. This is paradise, I'm tellin'
you. This town's like a great big pussy just waitin' to
get f--ked. I'm tellin' you. I shoulda come here 10 years
ago. I'd have been a millionaire by this time. By this
time, I'd have had my own boat, my own car, my own golf
When an attempt to get some "action" failed
and Tony was called a "greaseball,"
Manny suggested that he knew better how to "pick up chicks"
- one had to perfect the practice of oral sex, and he followed
after an attractive bikinied blonde ("I'm gonna get her").
When Manny flicked his tongue at her, he was slapped and called "sick." Tony
She's too big for you. Come on. 'Causin'
trouble like that. Come on....What I try to tell you?...What
I try to tell you? This country, you gotta make the money
first. Then when you get the money, you get the power.
Then when you get the power, then you get the woman. That's
why you gotta make your own moves.
Screenwriter(s): Oliver Stone
This What It's All About?"
After becoming a crime kingpin, cocaine-addicted
Tony Montana's (Al Pacino) life was spiraling downward when
he was arrested during a sting operation, and forced to make
a deal (to assassinate a Bolivian journalist) to escape prison
time. At a fancy dining table, a drunken Tony told his best
friend Manny Ribera (Stephen Bauer) that he was disgusted by
his decadent life and his junkie infertile wife Elvira (Michelle
Is this it? That's what it's all about, Manny?
Eating, drinking, f--king, sucking?...Snorting? Then what?
Tell me. Then what? You're 50. You got a bag for a belly.
You got tits; you need a bra. They got hair on 'em. You
got a liver, and they got spots on it, and you're eatin'
this f--kin' s--t, and you're lookin' like these rich f--kin'
mummies in here... Is this what it's all about?...This
what I work for? Tell me. Look at that. A junkie. I got
a f--kin' junkie for a wife. She don't eat nothin'. Sleeps
all day with them black shades on. Wakes up with a Quaalude...and
who won't f--k me 'cause she's in a coma. I can't even
have a kid with her, Manny. Her womb is so polluted, I
can't even have a f--kin' little baby with her!
She retaliated by harshly responding:
You son of a bitch! You f--k!...(She threw
her water glass into his face) How dare you talk
to me like that! What makes you so much better than me?
What do you do?...You deal drugs and you kill people.
Oh, that's wonderful, Tony. Real contribution to human
history...You want a kid?...What kind of a father do
you think you'd make?...Gonna drive him to school in
the mornings? Are you even gonna be alive by the time
the kid goes to school? You don't even know how to be
a husband...Do we ever go anywhere without having six
thugs hanging around all the time? I have Nick the Pig
as a friend. What kind of life is that? Can't you see
what we're becoming, Tony? We're losers. We're not winners;