Best Film Speeches
and Monologues


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

The Hours (2002)
Screenwriter(s): David Hare

"I Chose Life"

In the concluding scene after learning of her grown AIDS-stricken son's suicide, Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) recalled to New Yorker Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep) how in the 1950s, she was a troubled Los Angeles housewife who made a choice to escape from an unhappy marriage. Thinking that she would at first commit suicide, she then made a conscious decision (she had "no choice") to abandon her family after her second child (a daughter) was born, in order to maintain her sanity:

There are times when you don’t belong and you think you’re going to kill yourself. Once I went to a hotel. Later that night, I made a plan. The plan was I would leave my family when my second child was born. And that’s what I did. I got up one morning, made breakfast, went to the bus stop, got on a bus. I’d left a note. I got a job in a library in Canada. It would be wonderful to say you regretted it. It would be easy. But what does it mean? What does it mean to regret when you have no choice? It's what you can bear. There it is. No one's going to forgive me. It was death. I chose life.

The Laramie Project (2002)
Screenwriter(s): Moises Kaufman

"I Give You Life in the Memory of Someone Who No Longer Lives"

Play clip (excerpt): The Laramie Project

In the trial courtroom, father Dennis Shepard (Terry Kinney) read a tribute to his dead son Matthew Shepard, who in 1998 was brutally kidnapped, beaten and tied to a fence post in Laramie, Wyoming, and left to die. He waived the death penalty for the perpetrators, claiming it was "the time to begin the healing process":

My son, Matthew did not look like a winner. He was rather uncoordinated and wore braces from the age of 13 until the day he died. However, in his all-too-brief life, he proved that he was a winner. On October 6th, 1998, my son tried to show the world that he could win again. On October 12th, 1998, my first born son and my hero lost. On October 12th, 1998, my first born son and my hero died, 50 days before his 22nd birthday.

I keep wondering the same thing that I did when I first saw him in the hospital. What would he have become? How could he have changed his piece of the world to make it better? Matt officially died in a hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado. He actually died on the outskirts of Laramie, tied to a fence. You, Mr. McKinney, with your friend Mr. Henderson, left him there by himself. But he was not alone. There were his lifelong friends with him, friends that he had grown up with.

You're probably wondering who these friends were. First, he had the beautiful night sky and the same stars and moon we used to see through a telescope. Then he had the daylight and the sun to shine on him. And through it all, he was breathing in the scent of the pine trees from the snowy range. He heard the wind, the ever-present Wyoming wind for the last time. He had one more friend with him. He had God. And I feel better, knowing he wasn't alone.

Matt's beating, hospitalization, and funeral focused worldwide attention on hate. Good is coming out of evil. People have said, 'Enough is enough.'

I miss my son, but I am proud to be able to say that he was my son. Judy has been quoted as being against the death penalty. It has been stated that Matt was against the death penalty. Both of these statements are wrong. I too believe in the death penalty. I would like nothing better than to see you die, Mr. McKinney.

However, this is the time to begin the healing process, to show mercy to someone who refused to show any mercy. (crying) Mr. McKinney, I am going to grant you life, as hard as it is to do so, because of Matthew. Everytime you celebrate Christmas, a birthday, the 4th of July, remember that Matt isn't. Everytime you wake up in your prison cell, remember you had the opportunity and the ability to stop your actions that night. You robbed me of something very precious and I will never forgive you for that. Mr. McKinney, I give you life in the memory of someone who no longer lives. May you have a long life. And may you thank Matthew everyday for it.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Screenwriter(s): Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, Peter Jackson

Gollum's Schizo-phrenic Monologue with Himself

Smeagol (aka Gollum) (Andy Serkis) - originally a Hobbit, was a withered and piteous creature living in the caves beneath the Misty Mountains, who was driven mad and twisted by his loss of the One Ring (his 'precious') decades earlier in Middle-Earth. He found the Ring in Frodo Baggins's (Elijah Wood) possession and became his guide to return the ring to Mordor (to be placed in the fires of Mount Doom where it was forged).

In a nighttime scene while the two Hobbits Frodo (with the ring in his possession) and Sam (Sean Astin) were asleep, Gollum/Smeagol crouched nearby and talked to his original, sweet alter-ego Smeagol, who eventually banished his evil half - Gollum - from his personality:

Gollum: (with an evil expression) We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little Hobbitses. Wicked. Tricksy. False!
Smeagol: (sweetly) No. Not master.
Gollum: Yes, precious. False. They will cheat you, hurt you, LIE.
Smeagol: Master's my friend!
Gollum: You don't have any friends. Nobody likes you!
Smeagol: (covering his ears) Not listening, I'm not listening.
Gollum: You're a liar and a thief.
Smeagol: No.
Gollum: Mur-der-er.
Smeagol: Go away!
Gollum: Go away? (Gollum laughed manically as Smeagol began crying)
Smeagol: I hate you, I hate you.
Gollum: Where would you be without me? Gollum! Gollum! I saved us! It was me! We survived because of me! (Smeagol stopped crying)
Smeagol: Not anymore.
Gollum: What did you say?
Smeagol: Master looks after us now. We don't need you.
Gollum: What?
Smeagol: Leave now, and never come back!
Gollum: No!
Smeagol: LEAVE NOW AND NEVER COME BACK! (Gollum growled back in frustration) LEAVE NOW AND NEVER COME BACK! (Silence)
(Smeagol hesitated and looked around, then realized that Gollum had left, and he began to dance and jump around)
We told him to go away. And away he goes, precious! Gone! Gone! Gone! Smeagol is free!

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Screenwriter(s): Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, Peter Jackson

"There's Some Good in This World...And It's Worth Fighting For"

On a quest to destroy the One Ring at Mordor with hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) who was ready to give up, his loyal companion Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) reflected on how their story might have a happy ending, even though they had already faced so much adversity. He insisted that they must continue and hold onto what they were fighting for:

I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. And I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turnin' back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holdin' on to something.

Frodo asked: "What are we holdin' onto, Sam?" to which Sam replied:

That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for.

Minority Report (2002)
Screenwriter(s): Scott Frank, Jon Cohen

A Possible Life for His Son

Precog Agatha (Samantha Morton) gave a heartbreaking and beautiful description of the possible life for Chief John Anderton's (Tom Cruise) son named Sean, while she smiled and cried at the same time:

Sean... He's on the beach now, a toe in the water. He's asking you to come in with him. He's been racing his mother up and down the sand. There's so much love in this house. He's ten years old. He's surrounded by animals. He wants to be a vet. You keep a rabbit for him, a bird and a fox. He's in high school. He likes to run, like his father. He runs the two-mile and the long relay. He's 23. He's at a university. He makes love to a pretty girl named Claire. He asks her to be his wife. He calls here and tells Lara, who cries. He still runs across the university and in the stadium, where John watches. Oh God, he's running so fast, just like his Daddy. He sees his Daddy. He wants to run to him. But he's only six years old, and he can't do it. And the other men are so fast. There was so much love in this house.

Anderton responded, sobbing: "I want him back so bad." Agatha replied: "So did she. Can't you see? She just wanted her little girl back. But it was too late. Her little girl was already gone." He said: "She's still alive." Agatha continued: "She didn't die, but she's not alive." Anderton asked: "Agatha? Just tell me. Who killed your mother? Who killed Anne Lively?" She warned: "I'm sorry, John, but you're gonna have to run again...RUN!"

He was again assaulted by pre-crime cops.

One Hour Photo (2002)
Screenwriter(s): Mark Romanek

"People Take Pictures of the Happy Moments In Their Lives"

As the film opened, lonely, pride-filled, dedicated and creepily-dangerous psychopath Seymour "Sy" Parrish (Robin Williams) was interrogated in a white walled room, after pictures ("evidence") were found in his possession. As Yorkin family photos at young son Jake's (Dylan Smith) birthday party were being taken by his parents Will (Michael Vartan) and Nina (Connie Nielsen), he delivered a dead-pan, voice-over description of his fantasy views on picture-taking of idyllic family occasions:

Family photos depict smiling faces. Births. Weddings. Holidays. Children's birthday parties. People take pictures of the happy moments in their lives. Someone looking through our photo album would conclude that we had led a joyous, leisurely existence, free of tragedy. No one ever takes a photograph of something they want to forget...

During his typical workday - in voice-over - he also described the importance of his 20 year-plus job at a Savmart photo finishing mini-lab:

I've been doing P.O.S. mini-lab work for over 20 years now. I consider it an important job. When people's houses are on fire, what's the first thing they save after their pets and their loved ones are safe? The family photos. Some people think that this is a job for a clerk. They actually believe that any idiot that attends a two-day seminar can master the art of making beautiful prints in less than an hour. Of course, like most things, there's far more to it than meets the eye. I've seen the prints they fop off on people at the Rexall or Fotek, milky washed out prints, too dark prints. There's no sense of reverence for the service they're providing for people. I process these photos as if they were my own.

25th Hour (2002)
Screenwriter(s): David Benioff

Curse-Fest - A F-Bomb Rant Against Everybody and Everything, Including Himself

Top Pick

Brooklyn drug dealer Monty Brogan (Edward Norton) gave a profanity-rich bathroom mirror monologue - a long tirade and rant against everybody and everything - in front of a mirror with "F--k You!" written on it. It was delivered during his last day of freedom before a 7-year prison term for pushing heroin:

F--k me? F--k you! F--k you and this whole city and everyone in it...
F--k the panhandlers, grubbing for money, and smiling at me behind my back.
F--k the squeegee men dirtyin' up the clean windshield of my car. Get a f--kin' job.
F--k the Sikhs and the Pakistanis bombing down the avenues in decrepit cabs, curry steamin' out their pores, stinkin' up my day. Terrorists in f--kin' training. Slow the f--k down!
F--k the Chelsea boys with their waxed chests and pumped up biceps. Going down on each other in my parks and on my piers, jingling their dicks on my Channel 35.
F--k the Korean grocers with their pyramids of overpriced fruit and their tulips and roses wrapped in plastic. Ten years in the country, still no speaky English?
F--k the Russians in Brighton Beach. Mobster thugs sittin' in cafés, sippin' tea in little glasses, sugar cubes between their teeth. Wheelin' and dealin' and schemin'. Go back where you f--king came from!
F--k the black-hatted Hasidim, strolling up and down 47th Street in their dirty gabardine with their dandruff. Sellin' South African apartheid diamonds!
F--k the Wall Street brokers. Self-styled masters of the universe. Michael Douglas, Gordon Gekko wannabe mother f--kers, figurin' out new ways to rob hard working people blind. Send those Enron assholes to jail for F--KING LIFE! You think Bush and Cheney didn't know about that s--t? Give me a fu--kin' break! Tyco! ImClone! Adelphia! Worldcom!
F--k the Puerto Ricans. Twenty to a car, swellin' up the welfare rolls, worst f--kin' parade in the city. And don't even get me started on the Dom-in-i-cans, 'cause they make the Puerto Ricans look good....
F--k the Bensonhurst Italians with their pomaded hair, their nylon warm-up suits, their St. Anthony medallions, swingin' their Jason Giambi Louisville Slugger baseball bats, trying to audition for 'The Sopranos.'
F--k the Upper East Side wives with their Hermès scarves and their fifty-dollar Balducci artichokes. Over-fed faces getting pulled and lifted and stretched, all taut and shiny. You're not foolin' anybody, sweetheart!
F--k the uptown brothers. They never pass the ball, they don't want to play defense, they take five steps on every lay-up to the hoop. And then they want to turn around and blame everything on the white man. Slavery ended one hundred and thirty seven years ago. Move the f--k on!
F--k the corrupt cops with their anus-violating plungers and their 41 shots, standing behind a blue wall of silence. You betray our trust!
F--k the priests who put their hands down some innocent child's pants.
F--k the church that protects them, delivering us into evil.
And while you're at it, f--k J.C.! He got off easy! A day on the cross, a weekend in hell, and all the hallelujahs of the legioned angels for eternity! Try seven years in f--kin' Otisville, J.!
F--k Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and backward-ass cave-dwelling fundamentalist assholes everywhere. On the names of innocent thousands murdered, I pray you spend the rest of eternity with your seventy-two whores roasting in a jet-fuel fire in hell. You towel-headed camel jockeys can kiss my royal Irish ass!...
F--k Jacob Elinsky. Whining malcontent.
F--k Francis Xavier Slaughtery, my best friend, judging me while he stares at my girlfriend's ass.
F--k Naturelle Riviera, I gave her my trust and she stabbed me in the back, sold me up the river, f--kin' bitch.
F--k my father with his endless grief, standing behind that bar sipping on club sodas, selling whisky to firemen, and cheering the Bronx Bombers.
F--k this whole city and everyone in it. From the row-houses of Astoria to the penthouses on Park Avenue, from the projects in the Bronx to the lofts in Soho. From the tenements in Alphabet City to the brownstones in Park Slope to the split-levels in Staten Island. Let an earthquake crumble it. Let the fires rage, let it burn to f--kin' ash and then let the waters rise and submerge this whole rat-infested place.

After pausing, he included himself as the most major f--k-up of all:

No. No, f--k you, Montgomery Brogan. You had it all, and you threw it away, you Dumb F--k!

He attempted to rub away the "F--K YOU" written on the mirror.

We Were Soldiers (2002)
Screenwriter(s): Randall Wallace

"I Will Leave No One Behind"

Play clip (excerpt): We Were Soldiers

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hal Moore (Mel Gibson) vowed to his 7th Cavalry Regiment in a speech delivered in an outdoor high school football stadium. Just before being shipped out to Vietnam for combat in 1965, Moore promised that he would proudly stand by his men and bring everyone home, one way or the other:

Look around you. In the 7th Cavalry, we got a Captain from the Ukraine. Another from Puerto Rico. We've got Japanese, Chinese, Blacks, Hispanics, Cherokee Indians, Jews and Gentiles - all Americans. Now here in the States, some men in this unit may experience discrimination because of race or creed. But for you and me now, all that is gone. We're moving into the 'valley of the shadow of death' - where you will watch the back of the man next to you, as he will watch yours. And you won't care what color he is or by what name he calls God.

They say we're leavin' home. We're goin' to what home was always supposed to be. So let us understand the situation. We are goin' into battle against a tough and determined enemy. I can't promise you that I will bring you all home alive. But this I swear before you and before Almighty God that when we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off. And I will leave no one behind. Dead or alive, we will all come home together. So help me God.

Best Film Speeches and Monologues
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