Best Film Speeches
and Monologues

1994


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

Clerks (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Kevin Smith

Anti-Smoking Diatribe

The scene opened with a Chewlies Gum Representative (Scott Schiaffo) speaking to a convenience store customer, arguing that for his health's sake, he should buy gum instead of cigarettes and save his money ("This is where you're heading. Cruddy lung, smoking through a hole in your throat. Do you really want that?") His diatribe extended to a larger crowd of smokers, in which he railed against the cancer-causing smoking industry:

You're spending what? Twenty, maybe thirty dollars a week on your cigarettes?...Fifty-three dollars a week on cigarettes! Come on! Would you give somebody that much money each week to kill you? 'Cause that's what you're doing now, by paying for this so-called privilege to smoke... It's that kinda mentality that allows the cancer-producing industry to thrive. 'Course we're all gonna die some day. But do we have to pay for it? Do we have to actually throw hard-earned dollars down on the counter and say, 'Please Mr. Merchant-of-Death, sir, please, sell me something that'll stink up my breath and my clothes and fry my lungs'? ...Yeah. Yeah, and now here comes the speech about how he's just doing his job by following orders. Friends, let me tell you about another group of hate mongers that were just following orders. They were called Nazis!...Yeah, and they practically wiped an entire nation of people off the Earth just like your cigarettes are doing now.


Clerks (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Kevin Smith

"What Are We Doin' Working Here?" - In a Convenience Store

Play clip (excerpt): Clerks

Slacker Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) gave an uncensored reply to convenience store employee Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) when he claimed: "I'm not even supposed to be here today":

Dante: You get me slapped with a fine, you argue with the customers and I have to patch everything up. You get us thrown out of a funeral by violating a corpse, and then to top it all off, you ruin my relationship. I mean, what's your encore? Do you, like, anally rape my mother while pouring sugar in my gas tank? You know what the real tragedy about all this is? I'm not even supposed to be here today!

Randal: Oh f--k you! F--k you, pal! Jesus, there you go. Trying to pass the buck. I`m the source of all your misery. Who closed the store to play hockey? Who closed the store to go to a wake? Who tried to win back his ex-girlfriend without even discussing how he felt with his present one? You want to blame somebody? Blame yourself! (mimicking) 'I'm not even supposed to be here today.' You sound like an asshole! Jesus, nobody twisted your arm to be here. You're here of your own volition. You like to think the weight of the world rests on your shoulder, like this place would fall apart if Dante wasn't here. Jesus, you over-compensate for havin' what's basically a monkey's job. You push f--kin' buttons! Anybody could waltz in here and do our jobs. You, you're so obsessed with making it seem so much more epic, so much more important than it really is. Christ, you work in a convenience store, Dante, and badly I might add. I work in a s--tty video store, badly as well. You know, that guy Jay's got it right, man, he has no delusions about what he does. Us - we like to make ourselves seem so much more important than the people that come in here to buy a paper or God forbid, cigarettes. We look down on them as if we're so advanced. Well, if we're so f--kin' advanced, what are we doin' working here?


Ed Wood (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski

Introduction to the True Story

The parody of the opening speech from bad director Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), delivered by Dracula cape-wearing Criswell (Jeffrey Jones) as he sat up in a coffin on a rainy, stormy night:

Greetings, my friend. You are interested in the unknown, the mysterious, unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing you the full story of what happened. We are giving you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony of the miserable souls who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Can your heart stand the shocking facts of the true story of Edward D. Wood, Jr.?

Forrest Gump (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Eric Roth

Remembering the Death of Jenny: "If There's Anything You Need, I Won't Be Far Away"

With a combination of voice-over and actual dialogue, low-IQ Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) spoke to his deceased true love Jenny Curran (Robin Wright), who had died from an unknown virus shortly after they were married. He was left to raise their young son, also named Forrest (Haley Joel Osment), and he visited her grave marker under a tree to keep her up to date:

You died on a Saturday morning. And I had you placed here under our tree. And I had that house of your father's bulldozed to the ground. Momma always said dyin' was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn't. Little Forrest, he's doin' just fine. About to start school again soon. I make his breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I make sure he combs his hair and brushes his teeth every day. Teachin' him how to play ping-pong. He's really good. We fish a lot. And every night, we read a book. He's so smart, Jenny. You'd be so proud of him. I am. He, uh, wrote a letter, and he says I can't read it. I'm not supposed to, so I'll just leave it here for you. Jenny, I don't know if Momma was right or if, if it's Lieutenant Dan. I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floatin' around accidental-like on a breeze. But I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happenin' at the same time. I miss you, Jenny. If there's anything you need, I won't be far away.


Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994, UK)
Screenwriter(s): Richard Curtis

Funeral Speech Quoting from W.H. Auden - "Stop All the Clocks..."

Matthew's (John Hannah) poignant introduction and reading of W. H. Auden's Funeral Blues at the moving funeral of his "closest friend" - "jolly bugger" Gareth (Simon Callow), following his sudden heart attack:

Gareth used to prefer funerals to weddings. He said it was easier to get enthusiastic about a ceremony one had an outside chance of eventually being involved in. In order to prepare this speech, I rang a few people, to get a general picture of how Gareth was regarded by those who met him. Fat seems to be a word that people most connected with him. Terribly rude also rang a lot of bells. So very fat and very rude seems to have been a stranger's viewpoint. On the other hand, some of you have been kind enough to ring me and let me know that you loved him, which I know he'd have been thrilled to hear. You remember his fabulous hospitality, his strange experimental cooking. The recipe for 'Duck a la Banana' fortunately goes with him to his grave. Most of all, you tell me of his enormous capacity for joy. When joyful, when joyful for highly vocal drunkenness. But I hope joyful is how you will remember him. Not stuck in a box in a church. Pick your favorite of his waistcoats and remember him that way. The most splendid, replete, big-hearted, weak-hearted as it turned out, and jolly bugger most of us ever met. As for me, you may ask how I will remember him, what I thought of him. Unfortunately there, I don't have words. Perhaps you will forgive me if I turn from my own feelings to the words of another splendid bugger: W.H. Auden. This is actually what I wanted to say:

'Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum, Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let the aeroplanes circle, moaning overhead, Scribbling on the sky the message: He is Dead. Put crepe bows 'round the white necks of the public doves, Let traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West. My working week and my Sunday rest. My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song, I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now, put out every one. Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun. Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood, For nothing now can ever come to any good.'



Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Anne Rice

"I Was Born to Darkness" - How I Became a Vampire

200 year-old vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac (Brad Pitt), a New Orleans plantation owner in the late 1700s sought to die in any way possible after his wife's tragic demise during childbirth. He finally accepted a vampire's bite from Lestat de Lioncourt (Tom Cruise). He began his life-story, shown in flashback (he mourned, gambled recklessly in a tavern and invited death), during an interview with reporter Daniel Malloy (Christian Slater), about how he was "born to darkness":

I'm flesh and blood, but not human. I haven't been human for 200 years. Please, how shall I put you at ease? Shall we begin like David Copperfield? 'I am born...I grew up.' Or shall we begin when I was born to darkness, as I call it? That's really where we should start, don't you think?...

1791 was the year it happened. I was 24. Younger than you are now. But times were different then. I was a man at that age. The master of a large plantation, just south of New Orleans. I had lost my wife in childbirth. She and the infant had been buried less than half a year. I would've been happy to join them. I couldn't bear the pain of their loss. I longed to be released from it. I wanted to lose it all: my wealth, my estate, my sanity....Most of all, I longed for death. I know that now. I invited it. A release from the pain of living. My invitation was open to anyone. To the whore at my side. To the pimp that followed. But it was a vampire that accepted.



Pulp Fiction (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Quentin Tarantino

On Foot Massages

Play clip (excerpt): Pulp Fiction

Vincent Vega (John Travolta) spoke to his hitman partner Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) about the personal and erotic nature of foot massages, as they went about their nefarious business, going up an elevator and into an apartment hallway. Vincent claimed that gangster Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) became homicidally jealous when his new bride Mia (Uma Thurman) was given a foot massage by hoodlum Antwone - he threw him off a fourth-floor balcony into a glass-covered greenhouse, resulting in a permanent speech impediment:

Vincent: It's layin' your hands in a familiar way on Marsellus' new wife. I mean, is it as bad as eatin' her pussy out? No, but it's the same f--kin' ballpark.
Jules: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, stop right there. Eatin' a bitch out, and givin' a bitch a foot massage ain't even the same f--kin' thing.
Vincent: It's not. It's the same ballpark.
Jules: Ain't no f--kin' ballpark neither. Now look, maybe your method of massage differs from mine, but, you know, touchin' his wife's feet and stickin' your tongue in her Holiest of Holies ain't the same f--kin' ballpark; it ain't the same league; it ain't even the same f--kin' sport. Look, foot massages don't mean s--t...

Jules: Now look, just 'cause I wouldn't give no man a foot massage don't make it right for Marsellus to throw Antwone off a building into a glass motherf--kin' house, f--kin' up the way the nigger talks. That s--t ain't right. Motherf--ker do that s--t to me, he better paralyze my ass, 'cause I'd kill the motherf--ker, you know what I'm sayin'?
Vincent: I ain't sayin' it's right. But you're sayin' a foot massage don't mean nothin', and I'm sayin' it does. Now look, I've given a million ladies a million foot massages, and they all meant somethin'. We act like they don't, but they do, and that's what's so f--kin' cool about 'em. There's a sensuous thing goin' on where, where you know, you don't talk about it, but you know it, she knows it, f--kin' Marsellus knew it, and Antwone should have f--kin' better known better. I mean, that's his f--kin' wife, man. He ain't gonna have no sense of humor about this s--t. You know what I'm sayin'?


Pulp Fiction (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Quentin Tarantino

Executioner's "The Path of The Righteous Man" (Loosely Based on Ezekiel 25:17)

Top Pick

Play clip (excerpt): Pulp Fiction

Contract hitman killer Jules Winnfield's (Samuel L. Jackson) oft-repeated Bible quote, spoken to Brett (Frank Whaley), who had betrayed his business partner Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) by taking a briefcase, and was about to be executed:

You read the Bible, Brett?...Well, there's this passage I got memorized. Sort of fits this occasion. Ezekiel 25:17. 'The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee!'





Pulp Fiction (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Quentin Tarantino

A Incredulous Tale About Great-Grandfather's Gold War Watch

Play clip (excerpt): Pulp Fiction

The unforgettable speech (a childhood flashback) of "special visitor" Captain Koons (Christopher Walken) talking to Butch Coolidge as a young child (Chandler Lindauer) about an important heirloom - a gold watch - that had been in the Coolidge family for three generations. For five years, Koons claimed he had been with Butch's father when he died in a Hanoi POW camp:

Hello, little man. Boy, I sure heard a bunch about you. See, I was a good friend of your dad's. We were in that Hanoi pit of hell together over five years. Hopefully, you'll never have to experience this yourself, but when two men are in a situation like me and your dad were for as long as we were, you take on certain responsibilities of the other. If it'd been me who'd - not made it, Major Coolidge'd be talking right now to my son Jim. But the way it turned out, I'm talking to you. Butch. I got somethin' for ya. This watch I got here was first purchased by your great-grandfather during the first World War. It was bought in a little general store in Knoxville, Tennessee,. Made by the first company to ever make wrist watches. Up 'til then, people just carried pocket watches. It was bought by Private Doughboy Erine Coolidge on the day he set sail for Paris. This was your great-grandfather's war watch and he wore it everyday he was in that war, and when he'd done his duty, he went home to your great-grandmother, took the watch off, put it in an old coffee can, and in that can it stayed until your granddad, Dane Coolidge, was called upon by his country to go overseas and fight the Germans once again. This time they called it World War II.

Your great-grandfather gave this watch to your granddad for good luck. Unfortunately, Dane's luck wasn't as good as his old man's. Dane was a Marine and he was killed -- along with all the other Marines at the battle of Wake Island. Your granddad was facing death. He knew it. None of those boys had any illusions about ever leavin' that island alive, so three days before the Japanese took the island, your granddad asked a gunner on an Air Force transport, name of Winocki - a man he had never met before in his life - to deliver to his infant son who he'd never seen in the flesh, his gold watch. Three days later, your granddad was dead, but Winocki kept his word. After the war was over, he paid a visit to your grandmother, delivering to your infant father his dad's gold watch. This watch. (He held the watch up - and paused) This watch was on your daddy's wrist when he was shot down over Hanoi. He was captured, put in a Vietnamese prison camp. He knew that if the gooks ever saw the watch, it'd be confiscated and taken away. The way your Dad looked at it, this watch was your birthright. He'd be damned if any slope's gonna put their greasy, yellow hands on his boy's birthright, so he hid it in one place he knew he could hide something - his ass. Five long years he wore this watch up his ass. Then, he died of dysentery. He give me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. Now, little man, I give the watch to you.




Pulp Fiction (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Quentin Tarantino

"I'm Tryin' Real Hard to Be The Shepherd"

In the film's epilogue, while hitman Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) was eating breakfast in the Hawthorne Grill with partner Vincent Vega (John Travolta), he contemplated quitting the profession (during "a moment of clarity"). When he was confronted by two robbers: "Pumpkin"/Ringo (Tim Roth) and "Honey Bunny"/Yolanda (Amanda Plummer) (from the film's pre-credits prologue) stealing from the patrons, he held his gun on them, and reprised and reinterpreted his Biblical speech to "Ringo" - ultimately, to redeem himself, he decided to let the two go with $1,500 from his wallet (but not the briefcase), because he was in a "transitional period":

I'm givin' you that money so I don't have to kill your ass. You read the Bible, Ringo?...Well, there's this passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. 'The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.'

I been saying that s--t for years, and if you heard it, that meant your ass. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was some cold-blooded s--t to say to a mother f--ker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some s--t this mornin' made me think twice. See, now I'm thinkin' maybe it means you're the evil man and I'm the righteous man, and Mr. 9-millimeter here, he's the shepherd protectin' my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd, and it's the world that's evil and selfish. Now, I'd like that. But that s--t ain't the truth. The truth is, you're the weak and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd. Go.



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