Best Film Speeches and Monologues
|Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
The Crying Game (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Neil Jordan
Fable of the Scorpion and the Frog
Doomed prisoner Jody (Forest Whitaker), with
a bag over his head - delivered an impassioned retelling of
the fable about the scorpion and the frog to sympathetic captor
Fergus (Stephen Rea). After telling the story, Jody successfully
implored Fergus to take off his hood and release him, claiming
he had a kind nature:
The Scorpion and the Frog...A scorpion wants
to cross a river, but he can't swim. Goes to the frog,
who can, and asks for a ride. Frog says, 'If I give you
a ride on my back, you'll go and sting me.' Scorpion replies,
'It would not be in my interest to sting you since as I'll
be on your back, we both would drown.' Frog thinks about
this logic for a while and accepts the deal. Takes the
scorpion on his back. Braves the waters. Halfway over feels
a burning spear in his side and realizes the scorpion has
stung him after all. And as they both sink beneath the
waves, the frog cries out, 'Why did you sting me, Mr. Scorpion,
for now we both will drown?' Scorpion replies, 'I can't
help it, it's in my nature.'
A reprise of the Scorpion and Frog fable occurred
in the film's final lines, after Fergus was arrested and
serving time in jail in place of his new lover Dil (Jaye Davidson),
who had killed Jude (Miranda Richardson). As Fergus was visited
in jail, Dil asked why Fergus had taken the rap for him ("I wish
you'd tell me why"). Fergus replied (to the tune of "Stand
By Your Man"):
As a man said, it's in my nature...Well,
there's this scorpion, you see. And he wants to go across
a river. Well, he can't swim. So he goes to this frog, who
naturally enough can swim, and he says, 'Excuse me, Mr. Froggy.
I want to go across the river'...
A Few Good Men (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Aaron Sorkin
Defense about 'Code Red'
Play clip (excerpt): (short)
Play clip (excerpt): (long)
Col. Nathan R. Jessup's (Jack Nicholson) courtroom
tirade when asked by Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) if he gave
the order for 'code red':
(Kaffee: "Colonel Jessup, did you order
the code red?")
(Judge Randolph: "You don't have to answer the question")
I'll answer the question. You want answers?
(Kaffee: "I think I'm entitled")
You want answers?
(Kaffee: "I want the truth!")
You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that
has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with
guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a
greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.
You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have
that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know:
that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives.
And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to
you, saves lives. You don't want the truth. Because deep
down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me
on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words
like 'honor,' 'code,' 'loyalty.' We use these words as the
backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them
as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination
to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the
blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions
the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just
said 'thank you' and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest
you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't
give a damn what you think you are entitled to!
(Kaffee: "Did you order the 'code red'?")
I did the job I was...
(Kaffee: "Did you order the 'code red'?")
You're god-damn right I did!
Glengarry Glen Ross
Screenwriter(s): David Mamet
Here On A Mission of Mercy" -- Sales Pitch: A-B-C ("Always
Consulting super-salesman Blake's (Alec Baldwin)
rousing, motivational, hostile, in-your-face, foul-mouthed,
challenging ultimatum of a "sales contest"
for real estate salesmen of Chicago's Premiere Properties, on
closing a real estate deal:
Let me have your attention for a moment!
So you're talking about what? You're talking about - bitchin'
about that sale you shot, some son of a bitch don't want
to buy land, somebody don't want what you're sellin', some
broad you're trying to screw and so forth. Let's talk about
something important. Are they all here?...Well, I'm going
anyway. Let's talk about something important! (To Shelley
Levene (Jack Lemmon)) Put that coffee down!! Coffee's
for closers only. Do you think I'm f--kin' with you? I
am not f--kin' with you. I'm here from downtown. I'm here
from Mitch and Murray. And I'm here on a mission of mercy.
Your name's Levene?...You call yourself a salesman, you
son of a bitch?
(Ed Moss (Ed Harris): "I don't got to listen to this
You certainly don't, pal. 'Cause the good news is - you're
fired. The bad news is - you've got, all of you got, just
one week to regain your jobs, starting with tonight. Starting
with tonight's sit. Oh, have I got your attention now? Good.
'Cause we're adding a little something to this month's sales
contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado.
Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize's a set of
steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. You get the picture?
You laughing now? You got leads. Mitch and Murray paid good
money. Get their names to sell them! You can't close the
leads you're given, you can't close s--t, you are s--t.
Hit the bricks, pal, and beat it 'cause you are going out!...
(Levene: 'The leads are weak.')
'The leads are weak.' Fucking leads are weak? You're weak.
I've been in this business fifteen years. (Ed Moss:
"What's your name?")
F--K YOU, that's my name!! You know why, Mister? 'Cause you
drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, I drove an eighty thousand
dollar BMW. That's my name!! And your name is 'you're wanting.'
And you can't play in a man's game. You can't close them,
(whispering) Then go home and tell your wife your
troubles. Because only one thing counts in this life! Get
them to sign on the line which is dotted! You hear me, you
f--king faggots? (He displayed blackboard with words)
A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing! Always
be closing! A-I-D-A. Attention, interest, decision, action.
Attention: do I have your attention? Interest: are you interested?
I know you are 'cause it's f--k or walk. You close or you
hit the bricks! Decision: have you made your decision for
Christ?! And Action. A-I-D-A. Get out there! You got the
prospects comin' in. You think they came in to get out of
the rain? A guy don't walk on the lot lest he wants to buy.
They're sitting out there waiting to give you their money!
Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it? (To
Moss) What's the problem, pal? You, Moss!
(Moss: "You're such a hero, you're so rich. How come
you're comin' down here and waste your time with such a bunch
(Removing his gold watch)
You see this watch? You see this watch?...That watch cost
more than your car. I made $970,000 last year. How much you
make? You see, pal, that's who I am. And you're nothing.
Nice guy? I don't give a s--t. Good father? F--k you -- go
home and play with your kids!! You wanna work here? Close!!
You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker?
You can't take this -- how can you take the abuse you get
on a sit?! You don't like it -- leave. I can go out
there tonight with the materials you got, make myself fifteen
thousand dollars! Tonight! In two hours! Can you? Can you?
Go and do likewise! A-I-D-A!! Get mad, you son of a bitches!
Get mad!! You know what it takes to sell real estate? It
takes brass balls to sell real estate. Go and do likewise,
gents. The money's out there, you pick it up, it's yours.
You don't -- I got no sympathy for you. You wanna go out
on those sits tonight and close. Close! It's yours. If not,
you're gonna be shinin' my shoes. And you know what you'll
be sayin', a bunch of losers sitting around in a bar: 'Oh
yeah, I used to be a salesman. It's a tough racket.' (He
displayed a large stack of red index cards tied together
with string) These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry
leads. And to you, they're gold, and you don't get them.
Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away.
(He handed the cards to Williamson (Kevin Spacey))
They're for closers. I'd wish you good luck, but you wouldn't
know what to do with it if you got it. (To Moss) And
to answer your question, pal: 'Why am I here?' I came here
because Mitch and Murray asked me to. They asked me for a
favor. I said, the real favor, follow my advice and fire
your f--kin' ass because a loser is a loser.
Glengarry Glen Ross
Screenwriter(s): David Mamet
You Die, You're Gonna Regret the Things You Don't Do" -
A Long-Winded Sales Pitch
In a restaurant booth, charismatic yet laconic
top real-estate 'closer' Ricky Roma (Al Pacino) delivered a
long-winded, disjointed, underhanded sales pitch about Glengarry
Highlands real estate to timid, lonely, middle-aged James Lingk
(Jonathan Pryce). After gaining the potential client's confidence,
he advertised the land as an "opportunity" and as
a way to
"stave off insecurity":
All train compartments smell vaguely of s--t.
It gets so you don't mind it. That's the worst thing that
I can confess. You know how long it took me to get there?
A long time. When you die, you're gonna regret the things
you don't do. You think you're queer? I'm gonna tell ya
something: we're all queer. You think you're a thief? So
what? You get befuddled by a middle-class morality? Get
shut of it. Shut it out. You cheat on your wife? You did
it, live with it. You f--k little girls, so be it. There's
an absolute morality? Maybe. And then what? If you think
there is, go ahead, be that thing. Bad people go to hell?
I don't think so. If you think that, act that way. A hell
exists on earth? Yes. I won't live in it. That's me.
Did you ever take a dump - made you feel like
you'd just slept for twelve hours?...Yes?...Or a piss? Great
meals fade in reflection. Everything else gains. You know
why? 'Cause it's only food. This s--t we put in us, it keeps
us going. It's only food. The great f--ks you may have had.
What do you remember about 'em?...I don't know. For me, I'm
saying, what it is, it's probably not the orgasm. Some broads,
forearm on your neck, something her eyes did. There was this
sound she made...or, it's me in the, uh, I'm tellin' ya:
I'm in bed the next day. She brought me café au lait.
She gives me a cigarette, my balls feel like concrete. Eh?
What I'm saying, what is our life? Our life
is looking forward or it's looking back. That's it. That's
our life. Where's the moment? And what is it we're so afraid
of? Loss. What else? The bank closes. We get sick, my wife
died on a plane, the stock market collapsed. What if these
happen? None of 'em. We worry anyway. Why?...What do ya keep?
I mean, you don't keep anything. Security, things, things,
you know? It's just, you try to stave off insecurity. You
can't do it...
Stocks, bonds, objects of art, real estate.
What are they? An opportunity. To what? To make money? Perhaps.
To lose money? Perhaps. To 'indulge' and to 'learn' about
ourselves? Perhaps. So f--king what? What isn't? They're
an opportunity. That's all they are. They're an event. A
guy comes to you, you make a call, you send in a card. 'I
have these properties I would like for you to see.' What
does it mean? What do you want it to mean. Do you see what
I'm saying? Things happen to you.
Glad I met you. I'm glad I met you, James.
I want to show you something. It may mean something to you,
it may not. I don't know. I don't know anymore. (He took
out a small brochure and put it on the table) What is
that? Florida. Glengarry Highlands. Florida. Bulls--t. And
maybe that's true, and that's what I said. But look at this.
(He opened up the brochure, with the words: 'Make Your
Dreams Come True').
Husbands and Wives
Screenwriter(s): Woody Allen
and Foxes Speech
Neurotic Sally (Judy Davis) confessed her continued
frigidity during frustrated lovemaking to her husband and also
to romantic Irishman Michael (Liam Neeson) in her sublime "hedgehogs
and foxes" speech. In the interview scene (with voice-over),
she was asked: "Why were you able to have an orgasm with
Michael and not with your husband?...What makes it so difficult
I didn't. I was trying to trying very hard
to go with it. I was tense. I came close...My mind just
gets racing with thoughts. You'd laugh if I told you. I
get so mentally hyperactive....I thought that I liked what
Michael was doing to me, and it felt different from Jack.
More gentle and more exciting. And I thought how different
Michael was from Jack. How much deeper his vision of life
was. And I thought Michael was a hedgehog and Jack was
a fox. And then I thought Judy was a fox, and Gabe was
a hedgehog. And I thought about all the people I knew,
and which were hedgehogs, and which were foxes. Al Simon,
a friend, was a hedgehog, and his wife Jenny was a hedgehog.
And Cindy Salkind was a fox. And Lou Patrino was a hedgehog...
Husbands and Wives
Screenwriter(s): Woody Allen
Novel About Marriage and Procreation
20 year-old student Rain (Juliette Lewis) read
(in voice-over) writer Gabe Roth's (Woody Allen) brilliant,
downbeat unfinished novel about sex and love:
The heart raged and demanded, grew melancholy
and confused and toward what end? To articulate what nitwit
strategy? Procreation? It told him something, this business
of how mind-boggling numbers of sperm competed for a single
egg. It was not the other way around. Of course, men would
make love at any time and place with any number of women,
including total strangers, while females were more selective.
They were in each case catering to the demands of only
one small egg, while each male had millions and millions
of frantic sperms screaming wildly, 'Let us out! Please,
let us out, NOW!' It was like those desperate ads in the
Personals column, with a dozen requirements, and if they
were not enough, there was added - 'Must be a non-smoker.'
Feldman longed to meet a woman who attracted
him physically and had the following personality - a quick
sense of humor equal to his, a love of sports equal to his,
a love of classical music equal to his and with a particular
fondness for Bach and balmy climates. In short, he wanted
himself, but as a pretty woman. Pepkin married and raised
a family. He led a warm, domestic life. Placid, but dull.
Knapp was a swinger. He eschewed nuptial ties and bedded
five different women a week. Students, housewives, nurses,
actresses, a doctor, a salesgirl. You name it, it held Knapp
between its legs. Pepkin, from the calm of his fidelity,
envied Knapp. Knapp, lonely beyond belief, envied Pepkin.
What happened after the honeymoon was over? Did desire really
grow with the years, or did familiarity cause partners to
long for other lovers? Was the notion of ever-deepening romance
a myth we had grown up on, along with simultaneous orgasm?
The only time Rifkin and his wife experienced a simultaneous
orgasm was when the judge handed them their divorce. Maybe
in the end, the idea was not to expect too much out of life.
The Last of the Mohicans
Screenwriter(s): Michael Mann, Christopher Crowe
Will Find You!"
"Hawkeye" Poe (Daniel Day-Lewis), the European-born
adopted son of a Mohican tribe, gave famous romantic instructions
to love interest Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe), the headstrong
daughter of a British officer.
In an emotional scene, they were in Glen
Falls Cave beside a waterfall in the midst of being pursued
by a bloodthirsty Huron war party led by Magua (Wes Studi).
The roar of the waterfall nearby was so loud that they had
to shout to be heard. With wet gunpowder, the small group could
no longer defend themselves, but if Hawkeye left, they might
After she encouraged him to go, he promised
her, before leaving her and jumping through the waterfall that
he would eventually find her:
Cora: "Go ahead."
Major Duncan Heyward: "What the bloody hell plan is this?"
Cora: "I want you to go."
Hawkeye: "If we go, there's a chance there won't be a
fight. There's no powder. If we don't go in that, there's no
chance. None. Do you understand?"
Major Duncan Heyward: "Coward!"
Cora: "You've done everything you can do. Save
yourself. If the worst happens, and only one of us survives,
something of the other does too."
Hawkeye: "No. You stay alive. If they don't kill
you, they'll take you north, up to Huron land. Submit,
do you hear? You're strong, you survive. You stay alive,
no matter what occurs! I will find
you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I
will find you!"