Best Film Speeches and Monologues
||Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
Beauty and the Beast
Screenwriter(s): Linda Woolverton
Could Ever Learn to Love A Beast?"
The Narrator's (voice of David Ogden Stiers)
voice-over introduction to the fairy tale in the film's opening,
explaining how the Prince became a Beast and how he could remove
the enchantress' spell:
Once upon a time in a faraway land, a young
prince lived in a shining castle. Although he had everything
his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and
unkind. But then, one winter's night, an old beggar woman
came to the castle and offered him a single rose in return
for shelter from the bitter cold. Repulsed by her haggard
appearance, the prince sneered at the gift and turned the
old woman away, but she warned him not to be deceived by
appearances, for beauty is found within. And when he dismissed
her again, the old woman's ugliness melted away to reveal
a beautiful enchantress. The prince tried to apologize,
but it was too late, for she had seen that there was no
love in his heart. And as punishment, she transformed him
into a hideous beast and placed a powerful spell on the
castle and all who lived there.
Ashamed of his monstrous form, the beast concealed
himself inside his castle, with a magic mirror as his only
window to the outside world. The rose she had offered was
truly an enchanted rose which would bloom until his 21st
year. If he could learn to love another and earn her love
in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell
would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast
for all time. As the years passed, he fell into despair and
lost all hope for who could ever learn to love a beast?
Screenwriter(s): James Toback
Leap Ahead With Something on Faith"
Psychopathic, larger-than-life, flamboyant, and
visionary East Coast 40s Jewish gangster Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel
(Oscar-nominated Warren Beatty), wearing a ridiculous white
chef's hat, attempting to convince his East Coast mobster associates,
including long-time confidant Meyer Lansky (Ben Kingsley),
of the wisdom of building The Flamingo resort/casino in the
Nevada desert with $1 million of their financing, during his
daughter Millicent's birthday party:
It's like another state but it's not another
state. A foreign country, Meyer, can always throw you out.
Nevada is another state and it's open. If we do this thing
right, if we follow the hotel with schools and churches
and synagogues, and build all the things that give a city
backbone, we'll be in charge before you know it...If you
got a state, the whole country is within your reach...Why
be bogged down by petty limitations? Open your eyes to
the horizons...Since I'm going to be doin' all the work
and the partners will be sharing in the success, I think
the money should come from them...The Flamingo will make
all of our gambling interests legitimate. Meyer, listen,
we've known each other since we were too young to f---k.
When did I ever ask you to just close your eyes, shut off
the thinking, and just leap ahead with something on faith?
Never. But I'm asking you now. Do this!
Cape Fear (1991)
Screenwriter(s): Wesley Strick
Could You Be There?"
Convicted rapist and ex-con Max Cady (Robert
DeNiro) sought revenge against Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte), the
lawyer ("Counselor") who put him away 14 years earlier.
Reaching the end of his patience, Bowden eventually hired three
thugs to attack Cady one night to intimidate him with clubs
and knives, but the vengeful and brutish Cady turned the tables
on his attackers. He then heard Bowden hiding behind a car
to witness the brutality, and as Cady approached toward him,
he psychotically boasted of his prowess, greatness and determination:
Counselor? Counselor, is that you? Counselor,
come out, come out, wherever you are! I ain't no white
trash piece of s--t. I'm better than you all! I
can out-learn you. I can out-reach you. I can out-think
you. And I can out-philosophize you. And I'm gonna outlast
you. You think a couple whacks to my good ol' boy guts
is gonna get me down? It's gonna take a hell of a lot more
than that, Counselor, to prove you're better than me! I
am like God, and God like me. I am as large as God. He
is as small as I. He cannot above me, nor I beneath Him
be. Silesius, 17th Century. Counselor? Counselor, could
you be there? Could you be there? (He
whistled) Counselor. I wonder if you're here. Ah, f--k
City Slickers (1991)
Screenwriter(s): Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
Day - What is Life?
Play clip (excerpt):
During career day at his child's elementary school,
Mitch Robbins' (Billy Crystal) morose forecast of a bleak future
of aging for everyone:
Value this time in your life, kids, because
this is the time in your life when you still have your
choices, and it goes by so fast. When you're a teenager,
you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties
are a blur. Thirties - you raise your family, you make
a little money and you think to yourself: 'What happened
to my twenties?' Forties - you grow a little pot belly,
you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud
and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes
a grandmother. Fifties - you have a minor surgery. You'll
call it a 'procedure', but it's a surgery. Sixties
- you'll have a major surgery, the music is still loud
but it doesn't matter because you can't hear it anyway.
Seventies - you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale.
You start eating dinner at two o'clock in the afternoon,
you have lunch around ten, breakfast the night before.
You spend most of your time wandering around malls looking
for the ultimate soft yogurt and muttering: 'How come the
kids don't call?' 'How come the kids don't call?' The eighties,
you'll have a major stroke. You end up babbling to some
Jamaican nurse who your wife can't stand but who you call
mama. Any questions?
Defending Your Life
Screenwriter(s): Albert Brooks
Great People to Work With"
In this witty satire, the humorous opening speech
(before the title credits) in which divorced yuppie LA advertising
executive Daniel Miller (Albert Brooks) thanked his co-workers
during his office birthday party celebration - shortly later,
he died in a car accident (while driving his convertible and
reaching for falling CDs and running head-on into a city bus)
and was sent to the afterlife:
I was driving to work this morning thinking
I will be here, in two months, it'll be ten years. And,
you're like my real family. Isn't that tragic? (laughter)
I got a call from my mother this morning to wish me a Happy
Birthday, and hinted around the fact that I wasn't making
enough money, if you can call, 'Are you still making that
same salary, honey?' a hint. (laughter) And my ex-wife
used to say the same thing, although she never used the
word 'honey'. (laughter) So, maybe in three years
I can double my income?... Four years? Okay. So, you're
great people to work with, and this is a great present,
and I wish I could squeeze all of you into one pretty woman.
(laughter) And if you'd like to go to my office,
I'll try. (laughter) Thanks a lot.
The Fisher King (1991)
Screenwriter(s): Richard LaGravenese
Story of the Fool and the Fisher King, Told in Central Park
Disillusioned, half-insane ex-medieval history
professor at Hunter College, now homeless vagrant Parry's
(Robin Williams) telling of the legendary story of the simple-minded
Fool and the Fisher King involving the quest for the Holy Grail
(the cup from the Last Supper). He was lying naked on his back
on the grass in Central Park at night (doing what he called "cloud-busting"),
next to despairing, guilt-ridden, suicidally-despondent radio
DJ shock-jock Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges):
Did you ever hear the story of the Fisher
King? It begins with the king as a boy, having to spend
the night alone in the forest to prove his courage so he
can become king. Now while he's spending the night
alone, he's visited by a sacred vision. Out of the fire
appears the Holy Grail, symbol of God's divine grace. And
a voice said to the boy, 'You shall be keeper of the grail
so that it may heal the hearts of men.' But the boy was
blinded by greater visions of a life filled with power
and glory and beauty. And in this state of radical amazement,
he felt for a brief moment not like a boy, but invincible,
like God, so he reached in the fire to take the grail,
and the grail vanished, leaving him with his hand in the
fire to be terribly wounded. Now as this boy grew older,
his wound grew deeper. Until one day, life for him lost
its reason. He had no faith in any man, not even himself.
He couldn't love or feel loved. He was sick with experience.
He began to die.
One day, a Fool wandered into the castle
and found the king alone. Now being a Fool, he was simple-minded,
he didn't see a king. He only saw a man alone and in pain.
And he asked the king: 'What ails you, friend?' The king
replied: 'I'm thirsty. I need some water to cool my throat.'
So the Fool took a cup from beside his bed, filled it with
water, and handed it to the king. As the king began to drink,
he realized his wound was healed. He looked at his hands,
and there was the Holy Grail - that which he sought
all of his life! He turned to the Fool and said with amazement:
'How could you find that which my brightest and bravest
could not?' And the Fool replied: 'I don't know. I only knew
that you were thirsty.' It's very beautiful, isn't it?
I think I heard that at a lecture once. I
don't know. It was, uhm, a professor at Hunter.
The Fisher King (1991)
Screenwriter(s): Richard LaGravenese
Whole Point of Life
DJ Jack Lucas' (Jeff Bridges) tough, strong-willed
but devoted girlfriend Anne Napolitano (Oscar-winning Mercedes
Ruehl) responded to Jack's question ("Do you still believe
in God?"). She first said that she used to be a Catholic:
Oh! You gotta believe in God! But I don't
believe that God created Man in His image. 'Cause most
of the s--t that happens is because of men. Naw, I think
men was made in the Devil's image, and women were created
outta God. 'Cause, after all, women can have babies, which
is kinda like creating. And which also accounts for the
fact that women are so attracted to men. 'Cause let's face
it, the Devil is a helluva lot more interesting. I've slept
with some saints in my day, and believe me, I know what
I'm talking about. Egh-boy! So, the whole point of life,
the whole point of life, I think, is for men and
women to get married so that God and the Devil can get together
-- and work it out. Not that we have to get married or
anything. God forbid.