Best Film Speeches and Monologues
|Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
Screenwriter(s): Peter Shaffer
at Mozart's Genius
In flashback, aging Austrian court composer Antonio
Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) blissfully remembered when he first
examined Mozart's sheet music for Serenade for Thirteen
Wind Instruments and was amazed by its genius:
Extraordinary! On the page it looked nothing!
The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse. Bassoons,
basset horns - like a rusty squeezebox. And then, suddenly,
high above it, an oboe. A single note, hanging there, unwavering.
Until a clarinet took it over, sweetened it into a phrase
of such delight! This was no composition by a performing
monkey! This was a music I had never heard. Filled with
such longing, such unfulfillable longing. It seemed to
me that I was hearing the voice of God.
Screenwriter(s): Peter Shaffer
Again Was The Very Voice of God"
Play clips (excerpt):
Again in flashback, Italian court composer Antonio
Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) had an astonished and jealous reaction
to original samples of profligate Mozart's (Tom Hulce) work,
brought to him in secret by Mozart's Frau Constanze (Elizabeth
Berridge), so that he could be considered for a royal appointment:
Astounding! It was actually, it was beyond
belief. These were first and only drafts of music. But
they showed no corrections of any kind. Not one. He had
simply written down music already finished in his head!
Page after page of it, as if he were just taking dictation!
And music, finished as no music is ever finished.
Displace one note and there would be diminishment. Displace
one phrase and the structure would fall. It was clear to
me that sound I had heard in the Archbishop's palace had
been no accident. Here again was the very voice of God!
I was staring through the cage of those meticulous ink-strokes
at an absolute beauty.
When he dropped the sheaf of papers in amazement,
Constanze cried out: "Is it not good?"
It is miraculous!
Screenwriter(s): Peter Shaffer
Does One Kill A Man?"
Jealously plotting Mozart's death, Antonio Salieri
(F. Murray Abraham) spoke to Father Vogler (Richard Frank),
imagining himself at Mozart's (Tom Hulce) funeral, during which
Mozart's Requiem Death Mass (attributed to Salieri's composition)
would be performed. Salieri anticipated being admired by his
peers and the court, but worried if his plot to kill Mozart
would be successful:
My plan was so simple that it terrified me.
First, I must get the death mass and then I must achieve
his death....His funeral! Imagine it! The cathedral, all
Vienna sitting there. His coffin, Mozart's little coffin
in the middle. And then, in that silence, music! A divine
music bursts out over them all. A great mass of death!
Requiem mass for Wolfgang Mozart. Composed by his devoted
friend, Antonio Salieri! Oh what sublimity! What depth!
What passion in the music! Salieri has been touched by
God at last. And God forced to listen! Powerless, powerless
to stop it! I, for once, in the end, laughing at him! The
only thing that worried me was the actual killing. How
does one do that? Hmmm? How does one kill a man? It's one
thing to dream about it. Very different when, when you,
when you have to do it with your own hands.
Screenwriter(s): Daniel Petrie, Jr.
Foley's Method of Getting a Room Reservation in a Beverly
Hot-shot Detroit detective-cop Axel Foley's (Eddie
Murphy) words to a reluctant reservation clerk at the Beverly
Palm Hotel in California, where he had traveled (on vacation)
to solve the criminal murder of his friend. In order to acquire
a room and bypass the racist policy of the hotel, he raised
his voice and claimed he was a Rolling Stone Magazine
reporter there to interview Michael Jackson:
Do you have a reservation for an Axel Foley?...Ah,
check Rolling Stone Magazine's Axel Foley, that's
what it is...You guys probably just made some kind of mistake
in reservations. What don't you just give me another room
and I'll go up and go to sleep...Don't you think I realize
what's going on here, miss? Who do you think I am, huh?
Don't you think I know that if I was some hotshot from
out of town that pulled inside here and you guys made a
reservation mistake, I'd be the first one to get a room
and I'd be upstairs relaxing right now. But I'm not some
hotshot from out of town, I'm a small reporter from Rolling
Stone magazine that's in town to do an exclusive interview
with Michael Jackson that's gonna be picked up by every
major magazine in the country. I was gonna call the article
'Michael Jackson Is Sitting On Top of the World,' but now
I think I might as well just call it 'Michael Jackson Can
Sit On Top of the World Just As Long As He Doesn't Sit
in the Beverly Palm Hotel 'Cause There's No Niggers Allowed
Suddenly, a "last-minute cancellation" provided
Axel with a room - it was a suite, charged at the single-room
rate of $235 dollars a night!
of Wolves (1984)
Screenwriter(s): Angela Carter, Neil Jordan
The cautionary warning Granny (Angela Lansbury)
gave the innocent Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson), after earlier
You've got a lot to learn, child. Never
stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple and never
trust a man whose eyebrows meet!
She told her a story:
A wolf may be more than he seems. He may
come in many disguises. The wolf that ate your sister was
hairy on the outside, but when she died she went straight
to Heaven. The worst kind of wolves are hairy on
the inside, and when they bite you, they drag you with
them to Hell!
Screenwriter(s): Dean Pitchford
is Our Time To Dance"
Leading a rebellion of teens against the town's
fathers, Chicago-born rocker/dancer Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon)
addressed the ultra-conservative City Council in the small
town of Bomont, reading several passages from the Bible scriptures,
to justify and defend the right of the teens in the small town
to dance to rock music (during their upcoming prom):
From the oldest of times, people danced for
a number of reasons. They danced in prayer or so that their
crops would be plentiful, or so their hunt would be good.
And they danced to stay physically fit and show their community
spirit. And they danced to celebrate. And that, that is
the dancing that we're talking about. Aren't we told in
Psalm 149: 'Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new
song. Let them praise His name in the dance'?...It was
King David - King David, who we read about in Samuel -
and, and what did David do? What did David do? What did David
do? (laughter) 'David danced before the Lord with
all his might, leaping, leaping and dancing before the
(He pounded on the table) Leaping and dancing!
Ecclesiastes assures us that there is a time to every purpose
under heaven. A time to laugh and a time to weep. A time
to mourn and there is a time to dance. And there was a
time for this law, but not anymore. See, this is our time
to dance. It is our way of, of celebrating life. It's the
way it was in the beginning. It's the way it's always been.
It's the way it should be now.
Screenwriter(s): Chris Columbus
Death of Santa Claus
The tragic, black-comedy story that Kate Beringer
(Phoebe Cates) told her boyfriend bank clerk Billy Peltzer
(Zach Galligan) about how she found out that there was no Santa
Claus - another reason to hate Christmas:
The worst thing that ever happened to me
was on Christmas. Oh, God. It was so horrible. It was Christmas
Eve. I was 9 years old. Me and Mom were decorating the
tree, waiting for Dad to come home from work. A couple
of hours went by. Dad wasn't home. So Mom called the office.
No answer. Christmas Day came and went, and still nothing.
So the police began a search. Four or five days went by.
Neither one of us could eat or sleep. Everything was falling
apart. It was snowing outside. The house was freezing,
so I went to try to light up the fire. And that's when
I noticed the smell. The firemen came and broke through
the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to
pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled
out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd
been climbing down the chimney on Christmas Eve, his arms
loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped
and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I
found out there was no Santa Claus.
[The speech was parodied in the sequel Gremlins
II: The New Batch (1990) when Kate began a similar tale
about how she hated Lincoln's birthday (due to encountering
a strange man dressed as Lincoln)]
Please!...Don't mention Lincoln! Something
terrible happened to me once on Lincoln's birthday! I was
six or seven. I had the day off from school. Mama let me
go to the park. She made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich...
This man with a beard and a hat just like Abe Lincoln....I
remember, Oh, God!...
Screenwriter(s): Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer
Treat Your Kid Like Your Dog"
Neglected nine year-old Casey Brodsky's (Drew
Barrymore) "Don't treat your kid like your dog" speech
with a lawyer - about why she wanted to sue her parents Albert
and Lucy (Ryan O'Neal and Shelley Long), a bickering Hollywood
couple - for divorce:
I'm just a kid, and I don't know what I'm
doing sometimes. But I think you should know better when
you're all grown up. I think you should know how to act,
and how to treat people. And I think if you once loved
someone enough to marry them, you should at least be nice
to them, even if you don't love 'em any more. And I think
if you have a child, you should treat that child like a
human being and not like a pet. Not like you treat your
dog or somethin'. You know, when you have a dog sometimes
you forget he's there, and then when you get lonely suddenly
you remember him, and you remember how cute he is and stuff,
and you kiss him a lot, but then the next day when you're
busy again you don't notice him. That's how I've been treated
for the past four years, and you don't treat your kid like
your dog. It's not right.