Best Film Speeches and Monologues
||Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
A League of Their Own
Screenwriter(s): Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
No Crying in Baseball!"
Play clip (excerpt): (short)
Baseball team manager Jimmy Dugan's (Tom Hanks)
tirade at his female right-fielder Evelyn Gardner (Bitty Schram)
for making a stupid play:
Which team do you play for?...Well, I was
just wondering, 'cause I couldn't figure out why you'd
throw home when we've got a two-run lead! You let the tying
run get on second and we lost the lead because of you.
Now you start usin' your head! That's that lump that's
three feet above your ass!...Are you crying?... Are you
crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying! There's no crying
in baseball!...Rogers Hornsby was my manager, and he called
me a talking pile of pigs--t, and that was when my parents
drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play the
game! And did I cry?... No! No! And do you know why?...
Because there's no crying in baseball! There's no crying
in baseball, no crying!
Like Water for Chocolate
(1992, Mex.) (aka Como agua para chocolate)
Screenwriter(s): Laura Esquivel
The kindly Dr. John Brown (Mario Ivan Martinez)
treated unfulfilled-in-love ranch cook Tita (Lumi Cavazos),
and explained, prophetically, about how each person has an
inner box of matches that potentially can ignite through emotions:
My grandmother, Morning Star -- she was
a Kikapu Indian -- she used to say that we're all born
with a box of matches inside. We can't light them by ourselves.
Just like in this experiment, we need oxygen and the help
of a candle. Except that in our case, the oxygen has to
come, for example, from a lover's breath. The candle can
be anything: a melody, a word, a caress, a sound. Anything
that pulls the trigger and sets off one of the matches.
Every person has to discover what will pull his trigger
to enable him to live. Because it is the explosive flare
of a match that feeds our souls. If there's nothing to
trigger the explosion, our box of matches becomes damp
and then we'll never be able to light any of them. There
are many ways to dry a damp match box. You can rest assured
there is a cure. Of course, it's important to light the
matches one at a time. Because if an intense burst of emotion
were to ignite them all at once, they would produce such
a strong brilliance that before our eyes there would appear
a tunnel of such radiance showing us the path we forgot
at birth, the same path that calls us back to our divine
Screenwriter(s): Arnold Perl, Spike Lee
Been Had! Ya Been Took! Ya Been Hoodwinked!"
Play clip (excerpt):
Controversial black nationalist leader Malcolm
X's (Denzel Washington) angry Harlem speech to residents against
the 'white man':
I must emphasize at the outstart that the
Honorable Elijah Muhammad is not a politician. So I'm not
here this afternoon as a Republican, nor as a Democrat;
not as a Mason, nor as an Elk; not as a Protestant, nor
a Catholic; not as a Christian, nor a Jew; not as a Baptist,
nor a Methodist. In fact, not even as an American, because
if I was an American, the problem that confronts our people
today wouldn't even exist. So I have to stand here today
as what I was when I was born: a black man. Before there
was any such thing as a Republican or a Democrat, we were
black. Before there was any such thing as a Mason or an
Elk, we were black. Before there was any such thing as
a Jew or a Christian, we were black people! In fact, before
there was any such place as America, we were black! And
after America has long passed from the scene, there will still be
I'm gonna tell you like it really is. Every
election year these politicians are sent up here to pacify
us! They're sent here and setup here by the White Man! This
is what they do! They send drugs in Harlem down here to pacify
us! They send alcohol down here to pacify us! They send prostitution
down here to pacify us! Why you can't even get drugs in Harlem
without the White Man's permission! You can't get prostitution
in Harlem without the White Man's permission! You can't get gambling
in Harlem without the White Man's permission! Every time
you break the seal on that liquor bottle, that's a Government
seal that you're breaking! Oh, I say and I say it again,
ya been had! Ya been took! Ya been hoodwinked! Bamboozled!
Led astray! Run amok! This is what He does....
Screenwriter(s): Arnold Perl, Spike Lee
Was Our Manhood, Our Living, Black Manhood!"
After the assassination of controversial black
rights activist Malcolm X (Denzel Washington) in late February
1965, friend, actor and fellow revolutionary-activist Ossie Davis
(Himself) was quoted (in voice-over) from the eulogy he presented
at the funeral. A montage of photographs (archival as well as
portrayed) were shown during the speech:
Here, at this final hour, in this quiet place,
Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes.
Extinguished now, and gone from us forever. It is not in the
memory of man that this beleaguered, unfortunate, but nonetheless
proud community, has found a braver, more gallant young champion
than this Afro-American who lies before us - unconquered still.
I say the word again, as he would want me to: Afro-American. Afro-American
Malcolm. Malcolm had stopped being Negro years ago. It had become
too small, too puny, too weak a word for him. Malcolm was bigger
than that. Malcolm had become an Afro-American, and he wanted
so desperately that we, that all his people, would become Afro-Americans,
There are those who still consider it their duty,
as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to
flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves
by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. And
we will smile. They will say that he is of hate, a fanatic,
a racist who can only bring evil to the cause for which you
struggle! And we will answer and say unto them:
Did you ever
talk to Brother Malcolm?
Did you ever touch him or have him
smile at you?
Did you ever really listen to him?
ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance?
if you did, you would know him. And if you knew him, you would
know why we must honor him: Malcolm was our manhood, our living,
black manhood! This was his meaning to his people. And, in honoring
him, we honor the best in ourselves.
much we may have differed with him or with each other about
him and his value as a man, let his going from us serve only
to bring us together now. Consigning these mortal remains
to earth, the common mother of all, secure in the knowledge
that what we place in the ground is no more now a man, but
a seed which, after the winter of our discontent, will come
forth again to meet us. And we shall know him then for what
he was, and is: a prince! Our own black shining prince who
didn’t hesitate to die, because he loved us so.
Passion Fish (1992)
Screenwriter: John Sayles
Didn't Ask for the Anal Probe"
Seated around outdoors in rural Louisiana, a
group of soap opera actresses discussed their careers, when
Nina (Nancy Mette) described her first experience as a movie
actress - with only one line of dialogue that she made the
'I didn't ask for the anal probe.' Four years
starving in New York, doing showcases I had to pay for myself.
That was my first big break. My first feature, this like
zero-budget movie about people who are taken up into alien
spaceships and given physicals against their will. I go in
for the audition, and the director is really intense and
mysterious and he has me sit with my eyes closed and free-associate,
right? We do these improvs about the aliens representing
our most primal fears. And it's great. Finally some real
acting. And they tell me before I leave that I've got the
part. Only I don't know what it is yet, but I'm so thrilled
because it's this feature, you know. It's not a student film
or anything. So the agent gives me my script, and I go through
it Iooking tor Margaret, the part that they say I have. And
I've got my yellow underliner marker in my hand, only it's
drying out. And finally I find only one page with the corner
folded over. And I'm in this therapy group of these people
who have had these alien physicals. And I've, I've got only
one line: 'I didn't ask for the anal probe.'...
But I'm a professional, right? I prepared.
I had back story on this woman. I knew that she had been
to the hairdresser betore she came to the therapy group.
I knew that she dldn't trust that guy who sat next to the
fuchsia. I knew that, uhm, she, she turned the TV set on the
minute she got back to her apartment, just for the sound
of it. And I even had my uhm, my boyfriend, my boyfriend
at the time, with a thermometer, you know, uhm, for the sense
memory, right? I was loaded for f--king bear.
it comes time to shoot the scene. And they do one take of the
wide shot, and they stop before
my line. I was, I was terrified that they were gonna cut it.
They move in for reaction shots, close-ups. Mostly things that
mean that I have to go and sit outside because the camera is
set up where my chair is. Well, by the time they get to me,
the crew is grumpy because it's late and they're non-union
and they don't get paid extra for overtime. The lead actor
is gone. He's got his shrink appointment. And I'm, I'm alone.
And I'm staring at this piece of tape stuck to a stand next
to the camera. And the director says, 'Okay, uh, let's try
it a few times without cutting and, uh, show me a few different
colors.' --- (with different emphases on various words) 'I
didn't ask for the anal probe.' 'I didn't ask for the anal
probe.' 'I didn't ask for the anal probe.' 'I didn't
ask for the anal probe.' That was it"
The Player (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Michael Tolkin
Key to Hollywood Script-Movie Success: "Mainly Happy
While slow-dancing with her at a Desert Hot Springs
(CA) resort/spa, Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) described to new
girlfriend June Gudmundsdottir (Greta Sacchi) his occupation
as a Hollywood film executive/producer, when she asked: "Tell
me about the movies you make...because I want to know what
had assumed that after he rejected the pitch of disgruntled,
aspiring screenwriter David Kahane (Vincent D'Onofrio), the
writer had sent him death threats by postcard. When Kahane
and Griffin met at a movie theatre in Pasadena, Griffin killed
him in a violent scuffle in the parking lot alley.
And now, Griffin was romancing Kahane's girlfriend June -
a happy ending:
I listen to stories and decide if they'll
make good movies or not. I get 125 phone calls a day, and
if I let that slip to 100, I know I'm not doing my job.
Everyone that calls - they want to know one thing. They
want me to say yes to them and make their movie. If I say
yes to them and make their movie, they think that come
New Year's, it's just gonna be them and Jack Nicholson
on the slopes of Aspen. That's what they think. The problem
is, I can only say yes, my studio can only say yes 12 times
a year. And collectively we hear about 50,000 stories a
year. So it's hard. And, I guess sometimes I'm not nice
and make enemies. And that's what I was to David. Enemy.
He then told her why David Kahane's story wasn't
one of the 12 chosen:
It lacked certain elements that we need to
market a film successfully... Suspense, laughter, violence,
hope, heart, nudity, sex, happy endings. Mainly happy endings.
Screenwriter(s): Quentin Tarantino
Meaning of "Like a Virgin"
Play clip (excerpt):
The film's opening scene, in which various characters
(mostly Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino)) talked back and forth
about the meaning of Madonna's tune Like a Virgin:
Let me tell you what Like a Virgin's
about. It's all about a girl who digs a guy with a big
dick. The entire song, it's a metaphor for big dicks...Like
a Virgin's not about some sensitive girl who meets
a nice fella. That's what True Blue's about. Now,
granted, no argument about that...Let me tell you what Like
a Virgin's about. It's all about this cooze who's a
regular f--k machine. I'm talkin' morning, day, night,
afternoon . . . dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick,
dick, dick... Then one day, she meets this John Holmes
motherf--ker, and it's like, whoa baby. I mean, this cat
is like Charles Bronson in The Great Escape. He's
digging tunnels. She's getting this serious dick action
and she's feelin' something she ain't felt since forever
. . . Pain. Pain... It hurts. It hurts her. It shouldn't
hurt her. You know, her pussy should be Bubble Yum by now,
but when this cat f--ks her, it hurts. It hurts just like
it did the first time. You see, the pain is reminding a
f--k machine what it was once like to be a virgin. Hence
. . . Like a Virgin.
Screenwriter(s): Quentin Tarantino
the Practice of Tipping: "I Don't Tip Because Society
Says I Have To"
When the group of criminals were all contributing
to the bill, Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) complained about the
waitress service, and argued that he didn't believe in the
practice of tipping:
Uh uh, I don't tip...No, I don't believe
in it...Don't give me that, if she don't make enough money,
she can quit....I don't tip because society says I have
to. All right, I mean I'll tip if somebody really deserves
a tip, if they really put forth the effort, I'll give them
something extra, but I mean this tipping automatically,
uh, it's for the birds. I mean, as far as I'm concerned,
they're just doing their job...She was okay. She wasn't
anything special...Look, I ordered coffee, right? Now we've
been here a long f--kin' time and she's only filled my
cup three times. I mean, when I order coffee, I want it
filled six times...The words 'too f--king busy'
shouldn't be in a waitress' vocabulary...
Jesus Christ, I mean, these ladies aren't starvin'
to death. They make minimum wage. You know, I used to work
minimum wage and when I did, I wasn't lucky enough to have
a job that society deemed tip-worthy... You know what this
is? It's the world's smallest violin playing just for the
waitresses...So's workin' at McDonald's, but you don't feel
the need to tip them, do ya? Well, why not? They're serving
you food. But no, society says - don't tip these guys over
here, but tip these guys over here. That's bulls--t...
F--k all that...I mean, I'm very sorry the
government taxes their tips. That's f--ked up. That ain't
my fault. I mean, it would appear that waitresses are one
of the many groups the government f--ks in the ass on a regular
basis. I mean, if you show me a piece of paper that says
the government shouldn't do that, I'll sign it. Put it to
a vote, I'll vote for it, but what I won't do is play ball.
And this non-college bulls--t you're givin' me, I got two
words for that: learn to f--kin' type, 'cause if you're expectin'
me to help out with the rent, you're in for a big f--kin'
a Woman (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Bo Goldman
Givin' Ya Pearls Here" - The Beauty of Women
Play clip (excerpt):
Lt. Col. Frank Slade's (Al Pacino) tribute to
women, delivered to young student Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell)
while seated on an airplane:
Ooh, but I still smell her... Women! What
could you say? Who made 'em? God must have been a f--kin'
genius. The hair - they say the hair is everything, you
know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls,
just wanted to go to sleep forever? Or lips - and when
they touched yours were like that first swallow of wine
after you just crossed the desert. Tits. Hoo-hah! Big ones,
little ones, nipples starin' right out at ya, like secret
searchlights. Mmm. Legs. I don't care if they're Greek
columns or secondhand Steinways. What's between 'em - passport
to heaven. I need a drink. Yes, Mr. Simms, there's only
two syllables in this whole wide world worth hearin': pussy.
Hah! Are you listenin' to me, son? I'm givin' ya pearls
a Woman (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Bo Goldman
Show You Out of Order!"
Play clip (excerpt):
Lt. Col. Frank Slade's (Al Pacino) 'Out of Order'
speech to Mr. Trask (James Rebhorn) to defend high school student
Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell) at a disciplinary hearing and
about to be expelled for being a "snitch" - for not
revealing what he saw:
...No, I'm just gettin' warmed up. I don't
know who went to this place - William Howard Taft, William
Jennings Bryan, William Tell, whoever. Their spirit is
dead, if they ever had one. It's gone. You're buildin'
a rat ship here. A vessel for sea-goin' snitches. And if
you think you're preparin' these minnows for manhood, you
better think again. Because I say you are killin' the very
spirit this institution proclaims it instills! What a sham!
What kind of a show are you guys puttin' on here today.
I mean, the only class in this act is sittin' next to me.
And I'm here to tell ya, this boy's soul is intact. It's
non-negotiable. You know how I know? Someone here, and
I'm not gonna say who, offered to buy it. Only Charlie
here wasn't sellin'....
Out of order, I'll show you out of order! You
don't know what out of order is, Mr.Trask! I'd show you,
but I'm too old, I'm too tired, I'm too f--kin' blind. If
I were the man I was five years ago, I'd take a flame-thrower to
this place. Out of order, who the hell do you think you're
talking to? I've been around, you know? There was a time
I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than
these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there
isn't nothin' like the sight of an amputated spirit. There
is no prosthetic for that. You think you're merely sending
this splendid foot soldier back home to Oregon with his tail
between his legs, but I say you are executin' his soul! And
why? Because he's not a Baird man. Baird men. You hurt
this boy, you're gonna be Baird bums, the lot of ya. And
Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are out there, F--k
I'm not finished! As I came in here, I heard
those words - 'Cradle of Leadership.' Well, when the bow
breaks, the cradle will fall. And it has fallen here. It
has fallen. Makers of men. Creators of leaders. Be careful
what kind of leaders you're producin' here. I don't know
if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong. I'm not
a judge or jury. But I can tell you this. He won't sell anybody
out to buy his future! And that, my friends, is called integrity!
That's called courage! Now that's the stuff leaders should
be made of. Now I have come to the crossroads in my life.
I always knew what the right path was. Without exception,
I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn
hard. Now here's Charlie. He's come to the crossroads. He
has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made
of principle that leads to character. Let him continue on
his journey. You hold this boy's future in your hands, Committee.
It's a valuable future. Believe me. Don't destroy it! Protect
it. Embrace it. It's gonna make ya proud one day, I promise