Best Film Speeches
and Monologues

1996


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

Beautiful Girls (1996)
Screenwriter(s): Scott Rosenberg

"A Beautiful Girl Can Make You Dizzy"

Paul Kirkwood (Michael Rapaport) was rapturous about "supermodels" and "beautiful girls" that surrounded him - pinups tacked on the wall:

Supermodels are beautiful girls, Will. A beautiful girl can make you dizzy, like you've been drinkin' Jack and Coke all morning. She can make you feel high - full of the single greatest commodity known to man - promise. Promise of a better day. Promise of a greater hope. Promise of a new tomorrow. This particular aura can be found in the gait of a beautiful girl. In her smile, and in her soul, and the way she makes every rotten little thing about life seem like it's gonna be okay. The supermodels, Willy? That's all they are. Bottled promise. Scenes from a brand new day. Hope dancing in stiletto heels.

Beautiful Girls (1996)
Screenwriter(s): Scott Rosenberg

"These Are Not Real Women, All Right?"

Gina Barrisano (Rosie O'Donnell) delivered a tirade to Tommy "Birdland" Rowland (Matt Dillon) and Willie Conway (Timothy Hutton). She spoke out about the unreal "beautiful" portrayal of unreal women in the media, men's magazines, etc, as compared to real women. It was a running dialogue as they crossed the street and entered a store:

Hey, you're both f--kin' insane. You wanna know what your problem is? MTV, Playboy, and Madison f--king Avenue. Yes. Let me explain something to you, OK? Girls with big tits have big asses, girls with little tits have little asses. That's the way it goes. God doesn't f--k around, he's a fair guy. He gave the fatties big, beautiful tits and the skinnies little, tiny niddlers. It's not my rule. If you don't like it, call them... Oh, guys, look what we have here. (She picked up and looked at a Penthouse Magazine) Look at this, your favorite. Oh, you like that?...Yeah, that's nice, right? Well, it doesn't exist, OK. Look at the hair. The hair is long, it's flowing, it's like a river. Well, it's a f--kin' weave, OK? And the tits, please! I could hang my overcoat on them. Tits, by design, were invented to be suckled by babies. Yes, they're purely functional. These are silicon city. And look, my favorite, the shaved pubis. Pubic hair being so unruly and all. Very key.

This is a mockery, this is a sham, this is bulls--t. Implants, collagen, plastic, capped teeth, the fat sucked out, the hair extended, the nose fixed, the bush shaved...These are not real women, all right? They're beauty freaks. And they make all us normal women with our wrinkles, our puckered boobs - hi Bob - our cellulite, feel somehow inadequate. Well, I don't buy it, all right? But you f--kin' mooks, you think if there's a chance in hell that you'll end up with one of these women, you don't give us real women anything approaching a commitment. It's pathetic. I don't know what you think you're gonna do. You're gonna end up eighty-years old, drooling in some nursing home, then you're gonna decide, it's time to settle down, get married, have kids? What, are you gonna find a cheerleader?...

Look at Paul. With his models on the wall, his dog named Elle McPherson. He's insane. He's obsessed. You're all obsessed. If you had an ounce of self-esteem, of self-worth, of self-confidence, you would realize that as trite as it may sound, beauty is truly skin-deep. And you know what, if you ever did hook one of those girls, I guarantee you'd be sick of her... No matter how perfect the nipple, how supple the thigh, unless there's some other s--t going on in the relationship besides the physical, it's gonna get old, OK? And you guys, as a gender, have got to get a grip. Otherwise, the future of the human race is in jeopardy.




City Hall (1996)
Screenwriter(s): Ken Lipper, Paul Schrader, Nicholas Pileggi, Bo Goldman

"I Choose to Fight Back!"

Play clip (excerpt): City Hall

New York Mayor John Pappas (Al Pacino) delivered the eulogy during a service for an accidentally-slain 6 year-old New York black boy named James Bone, an innocent victim caught in crossfire between a paroled drug dealer and a NYPD cop in a North Brooklyn street shooting:

I was warned not to come here. I was warned. They warned me: 'Don't stand behind that coffin.' But why should I heed such a warning, when a heartbeat is silent and a child lies dead? 'Don't stand behind this coffin.' That boy was as pure and as innocent as the driven snow. But I must stand here because I have not given you what you should have. Until we can walk abroad and recreate ourselves, until we can stroll along the streets like boulevards, congregate in parks free from fear, our families mingling, our children laughing, our hearts joined - until that day, we have no city. You can label me a failure until that day. The first and perhaps only great mayor was Greek. He was Pericles of Athens, and he lived some 2,500 years ago, and he said: 'All things good of this Earth flow into the City, because of the City's greatness.' Well, we were great once. Can we not be great again?

Now, I put that question to James Bone, and there's only silence. Yet could not something pass from this sweet youth to me? Could he not empower me to find in myself the strength to have the knowledge to summon up the courage to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable task of making a city livable? Just livable. There was a palace that was a city. It was a palace! It was a palace, and it can be a palace again! A palace, in which there is no king or queen, or dukes or earls or princes, but subjects all. Subjects beholden to each other, to make a better place to live. Is that too much to ask?... Are we asking too much for this?...Is it beyond our reach?... Because if it is, then we are nothing but sheep being herded to the final slaughterhouse! I will not go down, that way! I choose to fight back! I choose to rise, not fall! I choose to live, not die! And I know, I know that what's within me is also within you. That's why I ask you now to join me. Join me, rise up with me, rise up on the wings of this slain angel...We'll rebuild on the soul of this little warrior. We will pick up his standard and raise it high! Carry it forward until this city - your city - our city - his city - is a palace of God! Is a palace of God! I am with you, little James. I am you.

He kissed the coffin.


Crash (1996)
Screenwriter(s): David Cronenberg

"There's a Benevolent Psychopathology That Beckons Towards Us"

In David Cronenberg's coldly-erotic, dark and disturbing NC-17 rated drama that examined the lives of a subculture of individuals who had passionate sexual fetishes about deadly car crashes, crash-enthusiast leader Vaughan (Elias Koteas) described his philosophy (and next project) to recently-scarred and injured accident victim James Ballard (James Spader). Vaughan was driving, while passenger Ballard was looking at car-crash photographs, and commenting: "It's all very satisfying. I'm not sure I understand why." Vaughan replied:

That's the future, Ballard, and you're already a part of it. You're beginning to see that for the first time, there's a benevolent psychopathology that beckons towards us. For example, the car crash is a fertilizing rather than a destructive event. A liberation of sexual energy, mediating the sexuality of those who have died with an intensity that's impossible in any other form. Now, to experience that, to live that, that's my project.

The Crucible (1996)
Screenwriter(s): Arthur Miller

John Proctor's Witchcraft Confession and Refusal ("Because It Is My Name!")

In the 17th century, when accused of witchcraft by judges in the town led by Judge Thomas Danforth (Paul Scofield), John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis) was forced to sign a proclamation to be publicly displayed, to legally prove his guilt and to convince others to confess - and to save himself from the gallows. But he angrily refused after signing, angrily tore up the false confession - and vowed to keep his good name pure:

You are the high court. Your word is good enough. Tell them Proctor broke to his knees and wept like a woman. My, my name I cannot sign...I mean to deny nothing...Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them you have hanged! I have given you my soul. Leave me my name!

In defiance, Proctor tore up the confession, dooming him to be sentenced to hang, with his reputation intact.



The English Patient (1996)
Screenwriter(s): Anthony Minghella

"I'm Waiting For You" - Katharine's Letter

After a plane crash, seriously-injured Katharine Clifton (Kristin Scott Thomas) - in the midst of a passionate affair with geographer Count Laszlo de Almásy (Ralph Fiennes) (aka The English Patient) - was taken to a cave where the Count promised that he would soon return, after a 3-day trek to Cairo to secure help. She wrote to him before dying in the darkness of the cave before he could save her.

Later in the film, the Count's French-Canadian nurse Hana (Juliette Binoche) read Katharine's letter (during a flashback, with both Hana's and Katharine's voices) to the critically-burned Count who also suffered burns from his own plane crash soon after Katharine's death. He requested two things of Hana - a morphine overdose to be administered, and the words "Read me to sleep" - the reading of Katharine's letter before she died as he also slipped away to death to join her:

[Hana] My darling, I'm waiting for you. How long is the day in the dark? Or a week? The fire is gone now, and I'm horr- horribly cold. [Katharine] I really ought to drag myself outside, but then there'd be the sun. I'm afraid I waste the light on the paintings and on writing these words. We die. [Hana] We die. We die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have entered and swum up like rivers. [Katharine] Fears we've hidden in, like this wretched cave. I want all this marked on my body. We're the real countries. Not the boundaries drawn on maps, the names of powerful men. I know you'll come and carry me out into the palace of winds. That's all I've wanted, to walk in such a place with you, with friends. An Earth without maps. [Hana] The lamp's gone out and I'm writing in the darkness.




Fargo (1996)
Screenwriter(s): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

"It's a Beautiful Day"

Pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson (Oscar-winning Frances McDormand) expressed her weariness, disappointment, and bitterness at captured murderer/kidnapper Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare), who was handcuffed in the back of her police car:

So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don't you know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well, I just don't understand it.


From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Screenwriter(s): Quentin Tarantino

All Kinds of Pussies

Play clip (excerpt): From Dusk Till Dawn

Barker Chet Pussy (Cheech Marin) gave a sales pitch to customers about the varieties of pussies available for purchase at the Mexican nightclub The Titty Twister - open from dusk to dawn:

All right, pussy, pussy, pussy! Come on in pussy lovers! Here at the Titty Twister we're slashing pussy in half! Give us an offer on our vast selection of pussy. This is a pussy blow out! All right, we got white pussy, black pussy, Spanish pussy, yellow pussy, we got hot pussy, cold pussy, we got wet pussy, we got [sniffs] smelly pussy, we got hairy pussy, bloody pussy, we got snappin' pussy, we got silk pussy, velvet pussy, Naugahyde pussy, we even got horse pussy, dog pussy, chicken pussy! Come on, you want pussy, come on in, pussy lovers! If we don't got it, you don't want it! Come on in, pussy lovers!...


Independence Day (1996)
Screenwriter(s): Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich

"Our Independence Day"

Play clip (excerpt): Independence Day

President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) delivered a speech to US fighter pilot crews before their final attack:

Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. Mankind - that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: 'We will not go quietly into the night!' 'We will not vanish without a fight!' 'We're going to live on!' 'We're going to survive!' Today we celebrate our Independence Day! (Cheers)



Jack (1996)
Screenwriter(s): James DeMonaco, Gary Nadeau

"Life is Fleeting"

Play clip (excerpt): Jack

Suffering from Werner syndrome, an aging disease (at 17 years old, he looked like he was 68), elderly-looking Jack Charles Powell (Robin Williams) gave the valedictorian high school graduation speech, urging his classmates to make their lives "spectacular":

I got it, Eric. I'm cool...my speech. I don't have very much time these days, so I'll make it quick, like my life. You know, as we come to the end of this phase of our life, we find ourselves trying to remember the good times and trying to forget the bad times. And we find ourselves thinking about the future. We start to worry, thinking: 'What am I gonna do? Where am I gonna be in ten years?' But I say to you: 'Hey, look at me.' Please, don't worry so much 'cause in the end none of us have very long on this earth. Life is fleeting. And if you're ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky, when the stars are strung across the velvety night, and when a shooting star streaks through the blackness turning night into day. Make a wish think of me. And make your life spectacular. I know I did. I made it, Mom. I'm a grown-up. Thank you.

Jerry Maguire (1996)
Screenwriter(s): Cameron Crowe

Jerry Maguire's Mission Statement ("It Was the Me I'd Always Wanted To Be") - Be Client-Driven Rather Than Money-Driven

Suffering from stress, guilt, and burnout, 35 year-old Sports Management International (SMI) sports promoter Jerry Maguire (Tom Maguire) had a revelation or "breakthrough" about his life, and he produced a 25 page mission statement - described in the film's opening voice-over under the credits. Unfortunately, his statement got him fired:

Who had I become? Just another shark in a suit? Two days later at our corporate conference in Miami, a breakthrough. Breakdown? Breakthrough. I couldn't escape one simple thought: I hated myself. No, no, no, here's what it was: I hated my place in the world. I had so much to say and no one to listen. And then it happened. It was the oddest, most unexpected thing. I began writing what they call a mission statement. Not a memo, a mission statement. You know, a suggestion for the future of our company. A night like this doesn't come along very often. I seized it. What started out as one page became twenty-five. Suddenly, I was my father's son again. I was remembering the simple pleasures of this job, how I ended up here out of law school, the way a stadium sounds when one of my players performs well on the field. The way we are meant to protect them in health and in injury. With so many clients, we had forgotten what was important.

I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and I'm not even a writer. I was remembering even the words of the original sports agent, my mentor, the late great Dickie Fox who said: 'The key to this business is personal relationships.' Suddenly, it was all pretty clear. The answer was fewer clients. Less money. More attention. Caring for them, caring for ourselves and the games, too. Just starting our lives, really. Hey - I'll be the first to admit, what I was writing was somewhat touchy feely. I didn't care. I have lost the ability to bulls--t. It was the me I'd always wanted to be. I took it in a bag to a Copymat in the middle of the night and printed up a hundred and ten copies. Even the cover looked like The Catcher in the Rye. I entitled it 'The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business.'...Everybody got a copy...I was 35. I had started my life.



Jerry Maguire (1996)
Screenwriter(s): Cameron Crowe

'Flipper' Speech - and "Who's Coming With Me?"

Play clip (excerpt): Jerry Maguire

Sports promoter Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) lectured his co-workers regarding proper manners as he exited the office:

Well, don't worry. Don't worry. I'm not gonna do what you all think I'm gonna do, which is just Flip Out! But let me just, let me just say, as I ease out of the office I helped build - I'm sorry, but it's a Fact! - - that there is such a thing as manners, a way of treating people. (He then referred to an aquarium fish tank in the office) These fish have manners. These fish have manners. In fact, they're coming with me. I'm starting a new company, and the fish will come with me. You can call me sentimental. The fish - they're coming with me.

(Jerry netted one of the gold fishes and placed it inside a clear baggie)

Okay. If anybody else wants to come with me, this moment will be the moment of something real and fun and inspiring in this God-forsaken business, and we will do it together. Who's comin' with me? Who's coming with me? Who's coming with me besides 'Flipper' here? This is embarrassing.

Only 26 year-old single mother Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) responded and was willing to join him: "I will go with you" (but then when she was uncertain about things, she whispered: "Right now?")




Best Film Speeches and Monologues
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