Best Film Speeches
and Monologues

1997


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

Devil's Advocate (1997)
Screenwriter(s): Jonathan Lemkin, Tony Gilroy

Eddie Barzoon - "The Poster Child for the Next Millennium"

The satanic head of a NYC law firm John Milton (Al Pacino) spoke about the firm's managing attorney Eddie Barzoon (Jeffrey Jones), who suspected that young attorney Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) was "after his job." Barzoon was planning to testify about the firm's illegal activities. Milton lamented (partially in voice-over) over a dark world led by 'Eddie Barzoons' - and eliminated him. "Homeless crazies" (appearing as demonic figures, sent by Milton) attacked Barzoon as he was jogging in the park and they beat him to death:

Eddie's got himself in trouble again. And he wants me to save him. Only this time, I can't...You ever have any experience with manic depression?... Eddie Barzoon! Eddie Barzoon! Ha! I nursed him through two divorces, a cocaine rehab, and a pregnant receptionist. God's creature, right? God's special creature? Ha! And I've warned him, Kevin. I've warned him every step of the way. Watchin' him bounce around like a f--kin' game. Like a wind-up toy! Like 250 pounds of self-serving greed on wheels! The next thousand years is right around the corner, Kevin. Eddie Barzoon -- take a good look, because he's the poster child for the next millennium! These people - it's no mystery where they come from.

You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire. You build egos the size of cathedrals. Fiber-optically connect the world to every ego impulse. Grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green, gold-plated fantasies until every human becomes an aspiring emperor, becomes his own god! Where can you go from there? And as we're scramblin' from one deal to the next, who's got his eye on the planet? As the air thickens, the water sours. Even the bees' honey takes on the metallic taste of radioactivity -- and it just keeps comin', faster and faster! There's no chance to think, to prepare. It's 'buy futures, sell futures' when there is no future!! We got a runaway train, boy!! We got a billion Eddie Barzoons all joggin' into the future. Every one of 'em getting ready to fist-f--k God's ex-planet, lick their fingers clean as they reach out toward their pristine cybernetic keyboards to tote up their f--kin' billable hours!! And then it hits home! You gotta pay your own way, Eddie. It's a little late in the game to buy out now!! Your belly's too full, your dick is sore, your eyes are bloodshot, and you're screamin' for someone to help!! But guess what? There's no one there!! You're all alone, Eddie. You're God's special little creature! Maybe it's true. Maybe God threw the dice once too often. Maybe He let us all down.



Devil's Advocate (1997)
Screenwriter(s): Jonathan Lemkin, Tony Gilroy

A Denunciation of God - and an Assertion: "I'm a Fan of Man!"

Later in his office, John Milton (Al Pacino) - now revealed to be Satan and Kevin Lomax's (Keanu Reeves) father, continued by delivering an over-the-top rant about the nature of God. He was grooming Kevin to take over the firm after Barzoon's death. Lomax asked: "What do you want from me?" - he was told:

I want you to be yourself. You know, I'll tell you, boy. Guilt - it's like a bag of f--kin' bricks. All you gotta do is set it down....Who are you carrying all those bricks for anyway? God? Is that it? God? Well, I tell ya, let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do? I swear, for His own amusement, His own private cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look, but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Aha ha ha. And while you're jumpin' from one foot to the next, what is He doin'? He's laughin' His sick, f--kin' ass off. He's a tight-ass. He's a sadist. He's an absentee landlord. Worship that? Never!

(Kevin: "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven, is that it?")

Why not? I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began! (screaming) I've nurtured every sensation man has been inspired to have! I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him, in spite of all his imperfections! I'm a fan of man! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist. Who, in their right mind, Kevin, could possibly deny the 20th century was entirely mine? All of it, Kevin! All of it! Mine! I'm peaking, Kevin. It's my time now. It's our time.





The Fifth Element (1997)
Screenwriter(s): Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen

A Convincing Weapons Sales Pitch

Wealthy industrialist and Great Evil ally Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) spoke and demonstrated his weapon to a group of shape-shifting Mangalores. He fired the ZF-1 into a mannequin dressed in a police uniform, one by one showing off its features to the buyers:

Never be ashamed of who you are. You're warriors, be proud. So what if the Federal Government scattered your people to the wind? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Your time for revenge is at hand.

Voila! The ZF-1. It's light. Handle's adjustable for easy carrying, good for righties and lefties. Breaks down into four parts, undetectable by X-ray. Ideal for quick, discreet interventions. A word on firepower: Titanium recharger. 3,000-round clip with bursts of 3 to 300. With the Replay button, another Zorg invention - it's even easier. One shot and Replay sends every following shot to the same location.

And to finish the job, all the Zorg oldies but goldies. Rocket launcher. Arrow launcher with explodin' or poisonous gas heads - very practical. Our famous net launcher. And the always efficient flame thrower. (He winked) My favorite. And for the grand finale, the all-new ice-cube system! (Liquid-nitrogen froze the target)

Four full crates, delivered right on time. And what about you, my dear Aknot, did you bring me what I asked you for?




Good Will Hunting (1997)
Screenwriter(s): Matt Damon, Ben Affleck

Debate at the 'Bow and Arrow' (Harvard) Bar

Top Pick

Play clip (excerpt): Good Will Hunting (short)
Play clip (excerpt): Good Will Hunting (short)
Play clip (excerpt): Good Will Hunting (long)

Gifted genius and MIT janitor Will Hunting (Matt Damon) showed off his own intellect with debate words in a bar near Harvard University, in order to humiliate a pretentious student named Clark (Scott William Winters):

Of course that's your contention. You're a first year grad student. You just got finished readin' some Marxian historian, Pete Garrison probably. You're gonna be convinced of that 'til next month when you get to James Lemon, and then you're gonna be talkin' about how the economies of Virginia and Pennsylvania were entrepreneurial and capitalist way back in 1740. That's gonna last until next year. You're gonna be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood, talkin' about, you know, the Pre-Revolutionary utopia and the capital-forming effects of military mobilization...
(Clark: "Well, as a matter of fact, I won't because Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social...")
Wood drastically - 'Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social distinctions predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth.' You got that from Vickers, Work in Essex County, page 98, right? Yeah, I read that, too. Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter? Or do you - is that your thing? You come into a bar. You read some obscure passage and then pretend - you pawn it off as your own, as your own idea just to impress some girls and embarrass my friend? See, the sad thing about a guy like you is in 50 years, you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One: don't do that. And two: you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f--kin' education you coulda got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library...
(Clark: "Yeah, but I will have a degree, and you'll be serving my kids fries at a drive-thru on our way to a skiing trip.")
Yeah, maybe, but at least I won't be unoriginal.



Good Will Hunting (1997)
Screenwriter(s): Matt Damon, Ben Affleck

"I See a Cocky, Scared S--tless Kid"

Play clip (excerpt): Good Will Hunting
Play clip (excerpt): Good Will Hunting

On a park bench together by water, therapist Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) counseled genius-level Will Hunting (Matt Damon), providing advice about really living life instead of using intellectual defense mechanisms:

So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the Pope, sexual orientation, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. Seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right: 'Once more into the breach, dear friends.' But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, and watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on Earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of Hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sittin' up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes that the terms 'visiting hours' don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause that only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much.

I look at you. I don't see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared s--tless kid. But you're a genius, Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine. You ripped my f--kin' life apart. You're an orphan, right? (nodding) Do you think I'd know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, 'cause I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally, I don't give a s--t about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you I can't read in some f--kin' book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't wanna do that, do you, sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.

Sean stood up and walked away.




Good Will Hunting (1997)
Screenwriter(s): Matt Damon, Ben Affleck

"Why Shouldn't I Work for the NSA?"

Angry, paranoid, and delusional 20 year-old Will Hunting (Matt Damon), when offered a lucrative and promising job with the government intelligency agency, the NSA, had this tirade to offer - acting against his own self-interest:

Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll take a shot. Say I'm workin' at the N.S.A. and somebody puts a code on my desk, somethin' no one else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it, maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. And once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels are hidin'. Fifteen hundred people that I never met, I never had no problem with, get killed. Now the politicians are sayin', 'Oh, send in the Marines to secure the area,' 'cause they don't give a s--t. It won't be their kid over there gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number got called 'cause they were out pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some kid from Southie over there takin' shrapnel in the ass. He comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks.

Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so that we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the little skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain't helpin' my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. They're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, of course, maybe they even took the liberty of hirin' an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin' play slalom with the icebergs. It ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy's out of work. He can't afford to drive, so he's walkin' to the fuckin' job interviews, which sucks because the schrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorroids. And meanwhile he's starvin' 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat, the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State.

So what did I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure, f--k it, while I'm at it, why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.



Titanic (1997)
Screenwriter(s): James Cameron

"You Learn to Take Life As It Comes At You - To Make Each Day Count"

On board the RMS Titanic on its fateful voyage, third-class passenger drifter/artist Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) had an opportunity to eat in the first-class dining area. He was invited to join her family for a meal after saving high-class Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) from jumping and committing suicide. He explained that he worked from place to place, won his ticket on the Titanic with a "lucky hand at poker," and that he enjoyed his "rootless existence" - responding to a question from Rose's widowed mother Ruth (Frances Fisher):

Well, yes, ma'am, I do. I mean, got everything I need right here with me. Got air in my lungs and a few blank sheets of paper. I mean, I love wakin' up in the morning not knowin' what's gonna happen or, who I'm gonna meet, where I'm gonna wind up. Just the other night, I was sleepin' under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people...I figure life's a gift, and I don't intend on wasting it. You never know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you...To make each day count.

Rose proposed a toast: "To making it count."



Titanic (1997)
Screenwriter(s): James Cameron

"A Woman's Heart is a Deep Ocean of Secrets"

Near the end of the film, elderly (over a century old), wrinkle-faced Rose Dawson Calvert (Gloria Stuart) revealed as she narrated and remembered back (in flashbacks) that she was 17 year-old Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) when she boarded the Titanic ("The Ship of Dreams") in England, before its devastating sinking - 84 years earlier. She was one of the few survivors from the water:

1,500 people went into the sea when Titanic sank from under us. There were 20 boats floating nearby and only one came back. One. Six were saved from the water, myself included. Six - out of 1,500. Afterward, the 700 people in the boats had nothing to do but wait - wait to die, wait to live, wait for an absolution that would never come.

She was taken on board the rescue ship Carpathia which sailed to New York City, where she identified herself to an immigration officer as "Rose Dawson."

One of the treasure hunters accompanying Brock Lovett's (Bill Paxton) expedition, a skeptical Lewis Bodine (Lewis Abernathy), stated that there were no records of Jack's existence: "We never found anything on Jack. There's no record of him at all."

No, there wouldn't be, would there? And I've never spoken of him until now. Not to anyone - (To Lizzy Calvert (Suzy Amis), her granddaughter) not even your grandfather. A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets. But now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson and that he saved me in every way that a person can be saved. I don't even have a picture of him. He exists now only in my memory.





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