Best Film Speeches and Monologues
|Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
Screenwriter(s): Paul Attanasio
Was Involved, Deeply Involved, in a Deception"
Play clip (excerpt):
Patrician TV quiz show ("Twenty-One")
contestant Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes), a Columbia University
instructor, as he testified on the scandal before a House committee,
and finally told the truth about his role in the conspiracy:
I would give almost anything I have to reverse
the course of my life in the last year. The past doesn't
change for anyone. But at least I can learn from the past.
I've learned a lot about life. I've learned a lot about
myself and about the responsibilities any man has to his
fellow man. I've learned a lot about good and evil - they're
not always what they appear to be. I was involved, deeply
involved, in a deception. I have deceived my friends, and
I have millions of them. I lied to the American people.
I lied about what I knew and then I lied about what I did
not know. In a sense, I was like a child who refuses to
admit a fact in the hope that it will go away. Of course,
it did not go away. I was scared, scared to death. I had
no solid position, no basis to stand on for my self. There
was one way out and that was simply to tell the truth.
It may sound trite to you, but I've found myself again
after a number of years. I've been acting a role, maybe
all my life, of thinking that I've done more, accomplished
more, produced more than I have. I have had all the breaks.
I have stood on the shoulders of life, and I've never gotten
down into the dirt to build, to erect a foundation of my
own. I have flown too high on borrowed wings. Everything
came too easy. That is why I am here today.
Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Frank Darabont
Letter: "Not for an Old Crook Like Me"
Elderly released Shawshank prisoner Brooks (James
Whitmore) wrote a despairing letter, read in voice-over, to
his ex-fellow inmates about life outside of prison:
Dear Fellas. I can't believe how fast things
move on the outside. I saw an automobile once when I was
a kid, but now they're everywhere. The world went and got
itself in a big damn hurry. The parole board got me into
this halfway house called the Brewer, and a job bagging
groceries at the Food-Way. It's hard work. I try to keep
up, but my hands hurt most of the time. I don't think the
store manager likes me very much. Sometimes after work
I go to the park and feed the birds. I keep thinking Jake
might just show up and say hello. But he never does. I
hope wherever he is, he's doing okay and making new friends.
I have trouble sleeping at night. I have bad dreams,
like I'm falling. I wake up scared. Sometimes it takes
me a while to remember where I am. Maybe I should get me
a gun and rob the Food-Way, so they'd send me home. I could
shoot the manager while I was at it, sort of like a bonus.
I guess I'm too old for that sort of nonsense anymore.
I don't like it here. I'm tired of being afraid all the
time. I've decided not to stay. I doubt they'll kick up
any fuss. Not for an old crook like me.
He packed his few belongings into a bag and
said that he planned on leaving. He
climbed up onto a chair and then onto a table and carved a message
into the wall with his pocketknife: "BROOKS
WAS HERE." He kicked out the table
from under his weight and hanged himself - his feet dangling. The
entire montage was revealed to be the contents of Brooks' 'Dear
Fellas' note that was read outloud by prisoner Andy Dufresne (Tim
Robbins) in the prison yard following his death.
Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Frank Darabont
During the third, final
parole board meeting, Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding (Morgan
Freeman) was again wearily asked his thoughts on rehabilitation
(rejoining society), after serving 40 years of a life sentence:
Rehabilitated? Well, now, let me see. You
know, I don't have any idea what that means...I know what
you think it means, sonny. To me, it's just a made-up word.
A politician's word, so that young fellas like yourself
can wear a suit and a tie and have a job. What do you really
want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?...
a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here,
or because you think I should. I look back on the way I
was then, a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible
crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try to talk some sense
to him, tell him the way things are, but I can't. That
kid's long gone and this old man is all that's left. I
got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It's just a bulls--t
word. So you go on and stamp your forms, sonny, and stop
wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't
give a s--t.
Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Frank Darabont
Play clip 1 (excerpt):
Play clip 2 (excerpt):
Red (Morgan Freeman) gave an expectant
"Get busy livin'" closing voice-over monologue after
being paroled and invited to come to Mexico by fellow escaped
convict Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins). Rather than take Brooks' way out (by suicide), he broke parole and took a bus to a Texas
border town to cross over the border:
Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'. That's
god-damn right. For the second time in my life, I am guilty
of committing a crime. Parole violation. Of course, I doubt
they'll toss up any roadblocks for that. Not for an old
crook like me...
I find I'm so excited I can barely sit still
or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement
only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long
journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make
it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his
hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my
dreams. I hope.
The camera skimmed across the blue Pacific and
then dissolved to a wide shot of a bright, warm, sunlit beach,
where Red walked bare-footed on the sand toward an old wreck
of a boat. With simple hand tools (a hammer rested on the boat!),
Andy was patiently and meticulously sanding the old paint from
the boat's ancient surface. He slowly turned and saw his friend
approaching - and jumped off to greet him. The camera pulled
back, revealing the wide, distant horizon of the blue Pacific
with no end in sight.
Sleep With Me (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Duane Dell'Amico, Roger Hedden, Neal Jimenez, Joe
Keenan, Rory Kelly, Michael Steinberg
Analysis of Top Gun
Sid's (Quentin Tarantino) notorious monologue
in a conversation with Duane (Todd Field) in which he analyzed
and deconstructed Top Gun (1986) as having a homosexual
You want subversion on a massive level.
You know what one of the greatest f--kin' scripts ever
written in the history of Hollywood is?...Top Gun. Top
Gun is f--kin' great. What is Top Gun? You think
it's a story about a bunch of fighter pilots... It is a
story about a man's struggle with his own homosexuality.
It is! That is what Top Gun is about, man... They
are this gay fighting f--king force. All right, and they're
beating the Russians...And it's over, and they f--kin'
land, and Iceman's been tryin' to get Maverick the entire
time, and finally, he's got him, all right? And what is
the last f--king line that they have together? They're
all hugging and kissing and happy with each other, and
Ice comes up to Maverick, and he says: 'Man, you can ride
my tail, anytime!' And what does Maverick say? Remember?
'You can ride mine!' Swordfight! Swordfight! (gesturing
a masturbation duel) F--kin' A, man!
Street Fighter (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Steven E. de Souza
Not Going Home!"
After valiantly fighting against the tyranny
of middle-eastern warlord and dictator General M Bison (Raul
Julia), Allied Nations Forces Colonel William F. Guile (Jean-Claude
Van Damme) defied orders when he spoke solemnly to his A.N.
troopers. He challenged them to continue to pursue and ass-kick
Bison, and assemble a group of mercenaries and fighters to
aid his cause:
Troopers, I just received new orders. Our
superiors say the war is cancelled. We can all go home.
Bison is getting paid off for his crimes, and our friends
who have died here will have died for nothing. But, we
can all go home. Meanwhile, ideals like peace, freedom,
and justice, they get packed up. But, we can all go home.
(with anger) Well, I'm not going home. I'm gonna
get on my boat, and I'm going up river, and I'm going to
kick that son of a bitch Bison's ass so hard that
the next Bison wannabe is gonna feel it! Now, who wants
to go home - and who wants to go with me?
Swimming with Sharks (1994)
Screenwriter(s): George Huang
the Trouble With Your F--kin' MTV, Microwave-Dinner Generation"
Influential, abrasive and tyrannical movie mogul
and film producer Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey) verbally abused
his newly-hired, naive and gullible young assistant/writer
Guy (Frank Whaley), a recent college graduate, even remaining
belligerent when he was bound and Guy sought "payback
Buddy revealed how he had made it to the top by putting up with
tyrants, and suffering the senseless rape and death of his wife:
You think you know it all, don't you? You're
25 years old. You're a baby. You don't know s--t. Look,
I can appreciate this. I was young too, I felt just like
you. Hated authority, hated all my bosses, thought they
were full of shit. Look, it's like they say, 'If you're
not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if
you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains.'
Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale
endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask
yourself, 'What do you really want?'...
You were getting complacent, ungrateful, complete
and total job burnout, and don't think I didn't notice. You
just didn't give a s--t anymore. Draggin' your feet everywhere,
telling everybody you were doing my job. That you were running
the show. That without you, I was nothing. Yeah, people tell
So don't come preaching to me about your ideas
of what's fair. You're no martyr here. You're no hero. You're
just a f--kin' hypocrite. You're just like any other punk
kid out there, lookin' for a way in, any way in, and you
need me... Because I earned it. What, you think someone just
handed me this job? I've handled the phones. I've juggled
the bimbos. I've-I've put up with the tyrants, the yellers,
the screamers. I've done more than you can even imagine in
that small mind of yours. I paid my dues...and I spent ten.
Dammit - it's my turn to be selfish. It's my turn. See, that's
the trouble with your f--kin' MTV, microwave-dinner generation.
You all want it now. You think you deserve it just
because you want it? It doesn't work like that. You have
to earn it. You have to take it. You have to make it yours.
But first, Guy, you need to decide what it is you really
What life? What life? I gave you life. Before
me, you were nothing. Before me, you were an inkspot, and
now you're playing in the majors. I made you. You will always
be Guy from Buddy Ackerman's office. You wanna go back to
your s--tty little existence? Go ahead, leave. There's the
door. No one's stopping you. You could have left any day,
but you stayed. So let's forget the Dudley-damn-do-right-crap.
Because out here, it's kill your parents, f--k your friends,
and have a nice day!...
Look, I don't make the rules. I play by them.
What, your job is unfair to you? Grow up, way it goes. People
use you? Life's unfair? Grow up, way it goes. Your girlfriend
doesn't love you? Tough s--t, way it goes. Your wife gets
raped and shot, and they leave their unfinished beers...(weeping)
their, their stinking long-necks just lying there on the
ground? - So be it. Way it goes...
All right, Guy, come on, let's finish this.
Give it to me. Show me what you're made of. Show me what
you've learned. Don't let me down, son. Everything I've taught
you comes down to this. This is the only way that you can
hope to survive. Because life is not a movie. Everyone lies.
Good guys lose. And love does not conquer all. So let's do
this thing. Let's finish it...Do it! Come on, do it now!