Best Film Speeches
and Monologues


Best Film Speeches and Monologues
Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue

Addams Family Values (1993)
Screenwriter(s): Paul Rudnick

The Hypocrisy of Thanksgiving

Steely-glaring, contemptuous Wednesday Addams (Christina Ricci), participating in a summer camp play at Camp Chippewa about the "First Thanksgiving" feast as the lead Native American Pocahontas, lambasted the lead white Pilgrim character with this ad-libbed monologue to the stunned reactions of everyone:

Wait!.. We cannot break bread with you...You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now, my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans, and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the roadsides. You will play golf, and enjoy hot h'ors d'oeuvres. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts. The gods of my tribe have spoken. They have said: 'Do not trust the pilgrims, especially Sarah Miller'...And for all these reasons, I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground.

Falling Down (1993)
Screenwriter(s): Ebbe Roe Smith

"I Want Breakfast"

Frustrated, divorced, recently unemployed defense agency worker William 'D-Fens' Foster (Michael Douglas) demanded to have breakfast at 11:33 am in a Whammy-Burger fast-food restaurant from a patronizing manager named Rick (Brent Hinkley) and clerk Sheila (Dedee Pfeiffer), during his volatile trek across Los Angeles on foot:

I'd like a ham and cheese Whamlette, an order of Wham fries...
(Sheila: "I'm sorry, we stopped serving breakfast, but we are on lunch menu now.")
I want breakfast.
(Sheila: "Well, you can't have it. We're not serving it.")
So you said. Is that the manager?...Could I speak to him please?...Hi, I'd like some breakfast.
(Rick: "We stopped serving breakfast.")
I know you stopped serving breakfast, Rick. Sheila told me you stopped serving breakfast. Why am I calling you by your first names? I don't even know who you are. I still call my boss 'Mister,' and I worked for him for seven and a half years. But I walk in here, all of a sudden, a total stranger, I'm calling you Rick and Sheila like we're in some kind of AA meeting. I don't want to be your buddy, Rick. I just want a little breakfast.
(Sheila: "You can call me Miss Folsom if you want." Rick: "Sheila! We stopped serving breakfast at 11:30.")
Rick, have you ever heard the expression, 'The customer is always right'?...Yeah, well here I am. The customer.
(Rick: "That's not our policy. You have to order something from the lunch menu.")
I don't want lunch. I want breakfast.
(Rick: "Yeah, well hey, I'm really sorry.")
Yeah, well hey, I'm really sorry too. (He pulled out a semi-automatic weapon from his bag)

When he finally agreed to being served lunch (a double Whammyburger with cheese and an order of Whammy fries and a Choco-Wham shake) after accidentally shooting a hole in the restaurant's ceiling, he further complained about the size of the burger that he had been served, when compared to the marketing poster behind the counter:

(He opened the burger container with disgust) See, this is what I'm talkin' about. Turn around. Look at that. Do you see what I mean. It's, it's plump, it's juicy, it's three inches thick. Now, look at this sorry, miserable, squashed thing. Can anybody tell me what's wrong with this picture? Anybody? Anybody at all.

The Fugitive (1993)
Screenwriter(s): Jeb Stuart, David Twohy

"Your Fugitive's Name is Dr. Richard Kimble"

Single-minded US Marshal Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) instructed his men on how to look for escaped fugitive Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford):

Listen up, ladies and gentlemen. Our fugitive has been on the run for 90 minutes. Average foot speed over uneven ground, barring injuries, is 4 miles-an-hour. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want out of each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your fugitive's name is Dr. Richard Kimble. Go get him.

Gettysburg (1993)
Screenwriter(s): Ronald F. Maxwell

"What We're Fighting For!"

Play clip (excerpt): Gettysburg

The address of Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) to the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment about freedom, and his need for them to fight with him at the Battle of Gettysburg:

...You know who we are and what we're doing here, but if you want to fight along side us, there's some things I want you to know. This regiment was formed last summer in Maine. There were a thousand of us then. There are less than three hundred of us now. All of us volunteered to fight for the Union, just as you did. Some came mainly because we were bored at home, thought this looked like it might be fun. Some came because we were ashamed not to. Many of us came because it was the right thing to do. All of us have seen men die. This is a different kind of army. If you look back through history, you will see men fighting for pay, for women, for some other kind of loot. They fight for land, power, because a king leads them or, or just because they like killing. But we are here for something new. This has not happened much in the history of the world. We are an army out to set other men free.

America should be free ground - all of it. Not divided by a line between slave state and free, all the way from here to the Pacific Ocean. No man has to bow. No man born to royalty. Here, we judge you by what you do, not by who your father was. Here, you can be something. Here, is the place to build a home. But it's not the land. There's always more land. It's the idea that we all have value - you and me. What we're fighting for, in the end, we're fighting for each other. Sorry, I, uh, didn't mean to preach. You, uh, you go ahead. You talk for awhile. Uh, if you, uh, if you choose to join us, you want your muskets back, you can have 'em. Nothing more will be said by anybody anywhere. If you, uh, choose not to join us, well you can come along under guard, and when this is all over I will do what I can to see you get a fair treatment. But for now, we're moving out. Gentlemen, I think if we lose this fight, we lose the war. So if you choose to join us, I'll be personally very grateful.

In the Line of Fire (1993)
Screenwriter(s): Jeff Maguire

"I Shoulda Reacted"

Guilt-ridden and haunted Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) recalled to fellow agent Lilly Raines (Rene Russo) how he couldn't save President Kennedy on the fateful day of November 22, 1963, when he failed to act quickly enough after the first shot:

For years, I've been listenin' to all these idiots on barstools with all their pet theories on Dallas. How it was the Cubans, or the CIA, or the white supremacists, or the Mob. Whether there was one weapon, or whether there was five. None of that's meant too much to me. But Leary, he questioned whether I had the guts to take that fatal bullet.

God, that was a beautiful day. The sun was out, been raining all morning, the air was... First shot, sounded like a firecracker. I looked over, I saw him, I could tell he was hit. I don't know why I didn't react. I shoulda reacted. I shoulda been running flat out. I just couldn't believe it. If only I reacted, I coulda taken that shot.

That woulda been alright with me.

Indecent Proposal (1993)
Screenwriter(s): Amy Holden Jones

The Girl That Got Away

Businessman billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford), when asking for "just one dance" from financially-strapped married female Diana Murphy (Demi Moore), recalled a "beautiful" girl he had fleetingly seen on the subway - borrowing a scene of a recollection by Mr. Bernstein (Everett Sloane) from Citizen Kane (1941):

I remember once when I was young, and I was coming back from some place, a movie or something. I was on the subway. And there was a girl sitting across from me, and she was wearing this dress that was buttoned clear up right to here. She was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. And I was shy then, so when she would look at me, I would look away. Then afterwards, when I would look back, she would look away. Then I got to where I was gonna get off, and got off. The doors closed. And as the train was pulling away, she looked right at me and gave me the most incredible smile.

It was awful. I wanted to tear the doors open. I went back every night, same time, for two weeks, but she never showed up. That was 30 years ago, and I don't think that there's a day that goes by that I don't think about her. I don't want that to happen again. Just one dance?

Malice (1993)
Screenwriter(s): Aaron Sorkin, Scott Frank

"Do I Have a God Complex?"

Play clip (excerpt): Malice

Sued for malpractice, pompous and narcissistic St. Agnes Hospital surgeon Dr. Jed Hill (Alec Baldwin) responded (off-the-record) to the question of whether he had a "God Complex" or not:

The question is, 'Do I have a 'God Complex'?...which makes me wonder if this lawyer has any idea as to the kind of grades one has to receive in college to be accepted at a top medical school. Or if you have the vaguest clue as to how talented someone has to be to lead a surgical team. I have an M.D. from Harvard. I am board certified in cardio-thoracic medicine and trauma surgery. I have been awarded citations from seven different medical boards in New England. And I am never, ever sick at sea. So I ask you, when someone goes into that chapel and they fall on their knees and they pray to God that their wife doesn't miscarry, or that their daughter doesn't bleed to death, or that their mother doesn't suffer acute neural trauma from post-operative shock, who do you think they're praying to? Now, go ahead and read your Bible, Dennis, and you go to your church - and with any luck you might win the annual raffle. But if you're looking for God, he was in operating room number two on November 17th, and he doesn't like to be second-guessed. You ask me if I have a God complex? Let me tell you something: I Am God - and this side show is over.

Philadelphia (1993)
Screenwriter(s): Ron Nyswaner

Opening Statement to Jury

Homophobic attorney Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) made an opening statement to the jury to defend his AIDS-afflicted client Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) - allegedly fired from his prestigious Philadelphia law firm for having AIDS, but protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act:

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Forget everything you've seen on television and in the movies. There's not gonna be any last minute surprise witnesses. Nobody's gonna break down on the stand with a tearful confession. You're gonna be presented with a simple fact: Andrew Beckett was fired. You'll hear two explanations for why he was fired: ours and theirs. It is up to you to sift through layer upon layer of truth until you determine for yourselves which version sounds the most true. There are certain points that I must prove to you.

Point number one, Andrew Beckett was - is a brilliant lawyer, great lawyer. Point number two, Andrew Beckett, afflicted with a debilitating disease, made the understandable, the personal, the legal choice to keep the fact of his illness to himself. Point number three, his employers discovered his illness, and ladies and gentlemen, the illness I am referring to is AIDS. Point number four, they panicked. And in their panic, they did what most of us would like to do with AIDS, which is just get it, and everybody who has it, as far away from the rest of us as possible.

Now, the behavior of Andrew Beckett's employers may seem reasonable to you. It does to me. After all, AIDS is a deadly, incurable disease. But no matter how you come to judge Charles Wheeler and his partners in ethical, moral, and inhuman terms, the fact of the matter is, when they fired Andrew Beckett because he had AIDS, they broke the law.

Philadelphia (1993)
Screenwriter(s): Ron Nyswaner

"I Am Love!"

Dying AIDS patient Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) gave a powerfully transcendental, impassioned interpretation/translation of a Maria Callas opera to his lawyer Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), while speaking over the music and pulling his IV with him as he accepted his own impending death:

Do you mind this music? Do you like opera?... This is my favorite aria. It's Maria Callas. It's Andrea Chenier, Umberto Giordano. This is Madeleine. She's saying how, during the French Revolution, a mob set fire to her house. And her mother died, saving her. 'Look, the place that cradled me is burning!' Do you hear the heartache in her voice? Can you feel it, Joe? Now, in come the strings, and it changes everything. The music - it fills with a hope, and it'll change again, listen. Listen. 'I bring sorrow to those who love me.' Oh, that single cello! 'It was during this sorrow that Love came to me.' A voice filled with harmony, that said: 'Live still, I am Life! Heaven is in your eyes. Is everything around you just the blood and the mud? I am Divine. I am Oblivion. I am the God that comes down from the heavens to the Earth and makes of the Earth a Heaven. I am Love! I am Love!'

Rudy (1993)
Screenwriter(s): Angelo Pizzo

"You Don't Have to Prove Nothin' to Nobody - Except Yourself" - The Importance of Perspective

Mentor, former Notre Dame football player, and hard-working groundskeeper manager Fortune (Charles S. Dutton) encouraged small and unathletic football player Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger (Sean Astin) to remain on the team and persevere, after Rudy claimed he quit the Notre Dame football team (after already overcoming many adversities) because he wouldn't be able to prove to his father that he was "somebody" by running out of the tunnel at game time:

Since when are you the quitting kind?...So you didn't make the dress list. There are greater tragedies in the world...Oh, you are so full of crap. You're 5 feet nothin', a 100 and nothin', and you got hardly a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in with the best college football team in the land for two years. And you're also gonna walk outta here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this lifetime, you don't have to prove nothin' to nobody - except yourself. And after what you've gone through, if you haven't done that by now, it ain't gonna never happen. Now go on back...

Hell, I've seen too many games in this stadium...I've never seen a game from the stands...I rode the bench for two years. Thought I wasn't bein' played because of my color. I got filled up with a lotta attitude. So I quit. Still not a week goes by I don't regret it. And I guarantee a week won't go by in your life you won't regret walkin' out, letting them get the best of ya. You hear me clear enough?

Best Film Speeches and Monologues
(chronological, by film title)
1920-1931 | 1932-1935 | 1936-1937 | 1938-1939 | 1939
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943-1944 | 1945-1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952-1954
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