Best Film Speeches and Monologues
|Film Title/Year and Description of Film Speech/Monologue
Almost Famous (2000)
Screenwriter(s): Cameron Crowe
About Being a True Rock Journalist - Be Honest and Unmerciful
Legendary writer and editor of Creem Lester Bangs
(Philip Seymour Hoffman) congratulated his 15 year-old idol,
aspiring rock journalist William Miller (Patrick Fugit), on
his "damn good" writing, although he felt rock 'n'
roll was in its "death rattle...last gasp" in the
early 1970s. After speaking briefly on the street, they continued
talking in a small cafe. Bangs tried to discourage the idealistic
and eagerly ambitious young William, but then gave him an "assignment"
to write about a Black Sabbath concert, urging him not to get
too cozy with the bands he's writing about:
You know, because once you go to L.A., you're
gonna have friends like crazy. But they're gonna be fake
friends. You know, they're gonna try to corrupt you. You
got an honest face, and they're gonna tell you everything.
But you cannot make friends with the rock stars...If
you're gonna be a true journalist -- you know, a rock journalist
-- first, you never get paid much. But you will get free
records from the record company. Jesus. F--king nothing
about you that is controversial, man. God, it's gonna get
ugly, man. They're gonna buy you drinks. You're gonna meet
girls, they're gonna try to fly you places for free, offer
you drugs. I know it sounds great, but these people are
not your friends. You know, these are people who want you
to write sanctimonious stories about the genius of rock
stars. And they will ruin rock 'n' roll, and strangle everything we
love about it, right? You know, because they're trying
to buy respectability for a form that is gloriously and
righteously dumb. Now, you're smart enough to know that.
And the day it ceases to be dumb is the day that it ceases
to be real, right? And then it just becomes an industry
I'm-I'm telling ya, you're comin' along at
a very dangerous time for rock 'n' roll. I mean, the war
is over. They won. And 99% of what passes for rock 'n' roll
these days, silence is more compelling. That's why I think
you should just turn around and go back, you know, and be
a lawyer or somethin'. But I can tell from your face that
you won't. I can give you 35 bucks. Give me a thousand words
on Black Sabbath...Hey, you have to make your reputation
on being honest and, uh, you know, unmerciful...If you get
into a jam, you can call me. I stay up late.
Then, later in the film, Lester spoke on the
phone to William, dismayed that he seemed to have sold himself
out, and reiterating that he should be "honest and unmerciful":
Oh, man, you made friends with ‘em.
See, friendship is the booze they feed ya 'cause they want
ya to get drunk on feeling like you belong....Because they
make you feel cool, and hey, I met you. You are not cool....Because
we are uncool. You know, while women will always be a problem
for guys like us. Most of the great art in the world is
about that very problem. Good-looking people - they got
no spine, their art never lasts. And they get the girls,
but we’re smarter....'cause great art is about guilt
and longing, and, you know, love disguised as sex, and
sex disguised as love, and hey, let’s face it, you've
got a big head start... I’m always home, I’m
uncool....You're doin' great. The only true currency in
this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else
when you’re uncool. My advice to you, I know you
think these guys are your friends, if you wanna be a true
friend to ‘em, be honest and unmerciful.
American Psycho (2000)
Screenwriter(s): Mary Harron, Guinevere Turner
is Sussudio, a Great, Great Song, a Personal Favorite"
As a prelude to sex with two hookers: blonde
Christie (Cara Seymour) and red-haired Sabrina (Krista Sutton),
delusional New York stock executive Patrick Bateman (Christian
Bale) babbled on about his love of the music of Genesis and
Phil Collins as foreplay to grisly violence. As they retreated
from the living room to the bedroom for a menage a trois,
Bateman rambled on about the lyrics of various songs, as he
interrupted himself often to have the two hookers strip and
perform oral sex on each other ("Don't just stare at it,
eat it"), before they had sex (as he videotaped himself)
to the tune of Collins' Sussudio:
Do you like Phil Collins? I've been a big
Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke.
Before that, I really didn't understand any of their work.
Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where,
uh, Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think Invisible
Touch is the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an
epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it
deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three
Christie, take off the robe.
Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of
Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every
nuance of every instrument.
Sabrina, remove your dress.
In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer
songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism.
Sabrina, why don't you, uh, dance a little.
Take the lyrics to Land of Confusion.
In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive
political authority. In Too Deep is the most moving
pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The
song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive,
affirmative, uh, as anything I've heard in rock.
Christie, get down on your knees so Sabrina
can see your asshole.
Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more
commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way.
Especially songs like In the Air Tonight and, uh, Against
Sabrina, don't just stare at it, eat it.
But I also think Phil Collins works best within
the confines of the group than as a solo artist, and I stress
the word artist. This is Sussudio, a great, great
song, a personal favorite.
American Psycho (2000)
Screenwriter(s): Mary Harron, Guinevere Turner
Is No Catharsis"
In the film's twisting ending, wealthy New York
stock executive Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), a delusional,
loathsome, 27 year-old narrator/yuppie and serial killer, blatantly
delivered a self-confession (in detached voice-over) during
a monologue, as the camera slowly panned toward his face. Whether
he had committed the many bloody murders during the film was
called into question (he had already admitted his crimes to
his disbelieving lawyer) - were the killings only in his warped
imagination? He surrendered to the insanity around him, as
he mused to himself:
There are no more barriers to cross. All
I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane,
the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused
and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed.
My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better
world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted
on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting
this, there is no catharsis. My punishment continues to
elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself. No new
knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession
has meant nothing.
Boiler Room (2000)
Screenwriter(s): Ben Younger
a F--king Millionaire"
27 year-old, arrogant suburban brokerage investment
firm Jim Young (Ben Affleck) spoke to new recruits on how to
become a fast-track millionaire:
Okay, here's the deal, I'm not here to waste
your time. Okay, I certainly hope you're not here to waste
mine, so I'm gonna keep this short. You become an employee
of this firm, you will make your first million within
three years. OK. I'm gonna repeat that - you will make
a million dollars within three years of your first day
of employment at JT Marlin. There is no question as to
whether or not you will become a millionaire working here,
the only question is how many times over. Do you think
I'm joking? I am not joking. I am a millionaire. It's a
weird thing to hear, right? I'll tell ya, it's a weird
thing to say. I am a f--king millionaire. And guess how
old I am? Twenty-seven. You know what that makes me here?
A f--king senior citizen. This firm is entirely comprised
of people your age, not mine. Lucky for me, I happen to
be very f--king good at my job or I'd be out of one.
You guys are the new blood. You're gonna go
home with the kesef. You are the future Big-Swinging-Dicks
of this firm. Now you all look money hungry and that's good.
Anybody tells you money is the root of all evil, doesn't
f--kin' have any! They say 'Money can't buy happiness'? Look
at the f--king smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby. You want
details? Fine. I drive a Ferrari 355 Cabriolet... (He
threw his car keys on the desk) I have a ridiculous house
on the South Fork. I have every toy you could possibly imagine.
And best of all, kids, I am liquid.
So, now you know what's possible, let me tell
you what's required. You are required to work your f--king
ass off at this firm. We want winners here, not pikers. A
piker walks at the bell. A piker asks how much vacation time
you get in the first year. Vacation time? People come and
work at this firm for one reason, to become filthy rich,
that's it. We're not here to make friends, we're not saving
the f--king manatees here, guys. You want vacation time,
go teach third grade public school.
Okay, first three months at the firm are as
a trainee. You make $150 dollars a week. After you've done
training, you take the series seven, you pass that, you become
a junior broker and you're opening accounts for your team
leader. You open forty accounts, you start workin' for yourself,
the sky's the limit. A word or two about being a trainee,
friends, parents, the other brokers, whoever, they're gonna
give you s--t about it, it's true, $150 dollars a week, not
a lot of money. Pay them no mind. You need to learn this
business and this is the time to do it. Once you pass the
test, none of that's gonna matter. Your friends are s--t.
You tell 'em you made 25 grand last month, they're not gonna
f--king believe you. F--k them! F--k 'em! Parents don't like
the life you lead? F--k you mom and dad! See how it feels
when you're making their f--kin' Lexus payments.
Now go home and think about it. Think about
whether or not this is really for you. If you decide it isn't,
listen, it's nothin' to be embarrassed about. It's not for
everyone...But if you really want this, you call me on Monday
and we'll talk. Just don't waste my f--kin' time. Okay, that's
The Contender (2000)
Screenwriter(s): Rod Lurie
I Stand For
Play clip (excerpt):
Vice Presidential nominee, Ohio Senator Laine
Hanson (Joan Allen) delivered an uncompromising address before
the House Judiciary Committee about her firm principles and
beliefs. When it was alleged that she was involved in a scandalous
sexual incident during her college years, she refused to have
her reputation dirtied, especially by the Chairman of the committee,
conservative Republican congressman Shelley Runyon (Gary Oldman).
She steered the conversation back to more pertinent political
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen of the
committee. Remarkably enough, it seems that I have some
explaining to do. So, let me be absolutely clear. I stand
for a woman's right to choose. I stand for the elimination
of the death penalty. I stand for a strong and growing
armed forces because we must stomp out genocide on this
planet, and I believe that that is a cause worth
dying for. I stand for seeing every gun taken out of every
home, period. I stand for making the selling of cigarettes
to our youth a federal offense. I stand for term limits
and campaign reform. And, Mr. Chairman, I stand for the
separation of church and state, and the reason that I stand
for that is the same reason that I believe our forefathers
did. It is not there to protect religion from the grasp
of government, but to protect our government from the grasp
of religious fanaticism. I may be an atheist, but that
does not mean I do not go to church. I do go to church.
The church I go to is the one that emancipated the slaves,
that gave women the right to vote, that gave us every freedom
that we hold dear. My church is this very chapel of Democracy
that we sit in together, and I do not need God to tell
me what are my moral absolutes. I need my heart, my brain,
and this church.
The Contender (2000)
Screenwriter(s): Rod Lurie
Woman Will Serve in the Highest Level of the Executive"
Play clip (excerpt):
Second-term Democratic President Jackson Evans
(Jeff Bridges) addressed Congress to gather support for his
Vice Presidential nominee, Senator Laine Hanson (Joan Allen),
whom Rep. Runyon (Gary Oldman) attempted to attack in unscrupulous
ways during the confirmation process:
Thank you. Napoleon once said when asked
to explain the lack of great statesmen in the world, that
'to get power, you need to display absolute pettiness.
To exercise power, you need to show true greatness.' Such
pettiness and such greatness are rarely found in one person.
I look upon the events of the past weeks and I've never
come so to grips with that quotation. So, ladies and gentlemen
of this Congress, it pains my soul to tell you that you
have brought blood and shame under this great dome. Your
leadership has raised the stakes of hate to a level where
we can no longer separate the demagogue from the truly
inspired. And believe this, there are traitors among us.
And I'm not talking about those of you who sided against
your party leadership. I'm talking about those of you who
were patriots to your party but traitors to the necessary
end result: That of righteousness, the truth, the concept
of making the American dream blind to gender.
And you know, I am not free of blame. Right
from the start, I should've come down here, pointed a finger
your way - pointed a finger your way (pointing
at Runyon), and asked you, 'Have you no decency, sir?'
Yesterday, I met (he noticed Runyon exiting) - Mr.
Runyon, you may walk out on me, you may walk out on this
body, but you cannot walk out on the will of the American
people. Americans are a good people. They're a just people,
Mr. Runyon, and they will forgive you, but they will not
forget. Hate and ego have no place residing in what my good
friend Laine Hanson calls the chapel of democracy.
So, let me make one thing clear. You come at
us with whatever weapons that you have in your arsenal, but
there is no weapon as powerful as that of an idea whose time
has come. A woman will serve in the highest level of the
Executive. Simple as that! Yesterday, I spoke with Laine
Hanson. I told her that she could decide her own destiny.
If she wanted to continue her fight for confirmation that
I would stand beside her. She has asked me to allow her to
step aside. She told me that she wanted my administration
to end on a note of triumph and not controversy. Understand,
those of you who worked to bring Laine Hanson down, that
she asked to have her name withdrawn from consideration,
not because she isn't great, but because she isn't petty.
Because those two conflicting leadership traits could not
live as one within her body or her soul. Greatness. It comes
in many forms. Sometimes, it comes in the form of sacrifice.
That's the loneliest form.
Now, it turns out that Laine Hanson is a woman,
an American of devout principle and she has inspired me to
act alike, and I cannot accept Senator Hanson's withdrawal.
And I'm now calling for an immediate vote of confirmation
of Laine Hanson. And, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make this
a live roll call. I want to see the faces of those of you
who would eliminate the possibility of greatness in American
leadership because of half-truths, lies, and innuendoes.
I will not be deterred by partisanship. I will not be deterred
by misogyny. I will not be deterred by hate. You have now
come face-to-face with my will. Confirm my nominee, heal
this nation, and let the American people explode into this
new millennium with the exhilaration of being true to the
glory of this democracy. Thank you.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon (2000, HK)
Screenwriter(s): Hui-Ling Wang, James Schamus, Kuo Jung Tsai
Outlaw horde leader Lo (Chen Chang) responded
to lover Jen Yu (Ziyi Zhang), when she pleaded not to be sent
back to her family: "Don't send me back!" He told
her a mystical legend about a man who jumped from a mountain
cliff to make his wish come true. He was saved, and did not
die because his heart was faithful and pure:
You must decide. You might get tired of
this life. You might begin to miss your family. If it were
our daughter, we'd look for her too. She would miss us.
Jen. I want you to be mine forever. I will make my mark
on the world. I will earn your parents' respect. We have
a legend. Anyone who dares to jump from the mountain, God
will grant his wish. Long ago, a young man's parents were
ill, so he jumped. He didn't die. He wasn't even hurt.
He floated away, far away, never to return. He knew his
wish had come true. If you believe, it will happen. The
elders say, 'A faithful heart makes wishes come true.'
At the end of the film, after spending one last
night with Lo, Jen reminded him, "Do you remember the
legend of the young man?" He responded:
"A faithful heart makes wishes come true." Jen then
"Make a wish, Lo." He replied: "To be back in
the desert, together again." Afterwards, she lept over the
side of the balcony and floated away into the sky.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
Screenwriter(s): Susannah Grant
Lame Ass Offer"
During a meeting with lawyers from the Pacific,
Gas & Electric (PG&E) energy company about a settlement
regarding contamination of the water supply of the town of
Hinkley, California, legal assistant, environmental activist,
and single mother Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) spoke harshly.
She was reacting to a statement by Ms. Sanchez (Gina Gallego),
one of the lawyers, that $20 million was more than any of the
defendants had ever dreamed of:
Oh see, now that pisses me off. First of
all, since the demur we have more than 400 plaintiffs and,
let's be honest, we all know there are more out there.
They may not be the most sophisticated people, but they
do know how to divide and $20 million isn't s--t when you
split it between them. Second of all, these people don't
dream about being rich. They dream about being able to
watch their kids swim in a pool without worrying that they'll
have to have a hysterectomy at the age of twenty.
Like Rosa Diaz, a client of ours. Or have their spine deteriorate,
like Stan Blume, another client of ours.
So before you come back here with another lame-ass
offer, I want you to think real hard about what your spine
is worth, Mr. Walker. Or what you might expect someone to
pay you for your uterus, Ms. Sanchez? Then you take out your
calculator and you multiply that number by a hundred. Anything
less than that is a waste of our time. By the way, we had
that water brought in special for you folks. It came from
a well in Hinkley.
Screenwriter(s): David Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson
We Do In Life Echoes in Eternity" - Address to His Troops
of the Roman Cavalry
Play clip (excerpt): (short)
Play clip (excerpt): (long)
Roman army General Maximus Decimus Meridius
(Russell Crowe) addressed his
troops before battling Germanic barbarians:
Fratres! Three weeks from now, I will be
harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it
will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself
alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face,
do not be troubled, for you are in Elysium, and you're
already dead! Brothers: What we do in life echoes in Eternity.
Screenwriter(s): David Franzoni, John Logan, William
Spaniard Gladiator's Introduction in the Colosseum to Commodus
Play clip (excerpt):
In the Roman Colosseum, Spaniard gladiator (Russell
Crowe), former loyal General Meridius, gave a short introduction
to treacherous Caesar Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) when ordered
to remove his helmet and reveal his true identity - he declared
vengeance for the assassination of the elderly Emperor Marcus
Aurelius (Richard Harris) and the brutal murder of his family:
My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander
of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions,
loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father
to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will
have my vengeance, in this life or the next.