Best Film Speeches
and Monologues

2006


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

Away From Her (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Sarah Polley

The Pain of Alzheimer's and Remembering

Suffering from declining health due to dementia, Alzheimer's-stricken wife Fiona Anderson (Julie Christie) spoke to her husband Grant (Gordon Pinsent) on their drive to a nursing facility, realizing that her memory was fading ("I'm not all gone...just going"), and acknowledging that he had been unfaithful in the past, as a former university professor. During a 44 year marital union, and even though their life had its ups and downs, they didn't separate ("You never left me"). He had promised her a "new life" start twenty years earlier and they had retired to Ontario, Canada:

I'm not all gone, Grant. Just, going. There are things I wish would go away. But won't. You know. Things we don't talk about. You never left me. You still made love to me, despite disturbing demands elsewhere. But all those sandals, Grant. All those bare female toes. What could you do but be a part of the time you were a part of? All those pretty girls. Didn't seem like anyone was willing to be left out. I think you did all right, compared to some of your colleagues. Those who left their wives and the women who wouldn't put up with it. I think people are too demanding. People want to be in love every single day. What a liability. And then that silly girl. That silly girl Veronica. Girls that age are always going around saying they're going to kill themselves. But that was that. Promised me a new life. We moved out here, that is exactly what you gave me. How long ago was that?...I'm going, but I'm not gone yet.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Aline Brosh McKenna

About Fashion "Stuff"

While deciding between two belts for an outfit, recent college grad and co-assistant Andrea "Andy" Sachs (Anne Hathaway) mentioned that they both looked exactly the same and that she was still learning about "this stuff." Ruthless, powerful, demanding and cynical fashion magazine Runway editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) responded to directly humiliate her:

'This... stuff'? Oh, ok. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select, I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin.

However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs, and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.




Flags Of Our Fathers (2006)
Screenwriter(s): William Broyles Jr., Paul Haggis

"Maybe There's No Such Thing As Heroes"

Book author James Bradley (Tom McCarthy), the son of one of the six famously-immortalized flag-raisers during World War II's Battle of Iwo Jima, offered closing last lines - an epistemological conclusion about revering the dead as heroes - the term he was labeled with. He mused that the men admired their fallen buddies the most and were "uncomfortable being called heroes." He had just spoken to his aging father (Harve Presnell) on his death bed in 1994, who told him about the aftermath of the flag-raising. The ending scene was of the men stripping down on a beach and swimming in the ocean after raising the flag in 1945, as Captain Severance (Neal McDonough) looked on:

I finally came to the conclusion that he maybe he was right. Maybe there's no such thing as heroes. Maybe there are just people like my dad. I finally came to understand why they were so uncomfortable being called heroes. Heroes are something we create, something we need. It's a way for us to understand what's almost incomprehensible, how people could sacrifice so much for us, but for my dad and these men, the risks they took, the wounds they suffered, they did that for their buddies. They may have fought for their country but they died for their friends. For the man in front, for the man beside him, and if we wish to truly honor these men we should remember them the way they really were, the way my dad remembered them.



Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Iris Yamashita

Pre-Battle Speech to Soldiers

Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) delivered a grim pre-battle speech to his doomed soldiers:

Men, the time has come to show your true colors. As a member of the Honorable Imperial Army, I trust that you will fight with honor. This island is of utmost importance to Japan. Should the island fall, the enemy will use it as their base to attack our homeland. For the mainland...For our homeland...Until the very last man..Our duty is to stop the enemy right here. Not one of you is allowed to die until you have killed ten enemy soldiers. Do not expect to return home alive. I will always be in front of you.

He removed his cap and bowed.

Long live the Emperor.

He raised both arms in a rousing salute with his troops.

Notes on a Scandal (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Patrick Marber

"I Risked Everything For You... There's Nothing Crueler Than the Adolescent Boy"

Spinster and veteran high school teacher Barbara Covett (Judi Dench) in London had befriended younger art teacher Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett) while she was having an affair with Steven Connolly (Andrew Simpson), one of her 15-year-old students. Barbara promised that she wouldn't reveal anything - if Sheba promised to end the relationship. But then Sheba didn't end things as she had vowed, and Barbara (with veiled feelings of her own) lashed out at her:

I risked everything for you and in return you humiliate me...You promised to end it. Why didn't you? ...What? You're in love? And the child. Do you imagine he reciprocates your soppy feelings? Oh, I dare say he's fascinated by the neurotic compulsions of a middle-class lady with marital problems. There's nothing crueler than the adolescent boy, I know them. Once he's had his fill, he'll discard you like an old rag. You're not young! I say this to help you.


The Queen (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Peter Morgan

Defense of the Queen Speech

Toward his mocking staff, UK Labour Party's Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) gave an angry defense of the royals - and Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren). He spoke out when his director of communications Alastair Campbell (Mark Bazeley) begrudged: "The old bat's finally agreed to visit Diana's coffin":

You know, when you get it wrong, you really get it wrong! That woman has given her whole life in service to her people. Fifty years doing a job SHE never wanted! A job she watched kill her father. She's executed it with honor, dignity, and, as far as I can tell, without a single blemish, and now we're all baying for her blood! All because she's struggling to lead the world in mourning for someone who... who threw everything she offered back in her face. And who, for the last few years, seemed committed 24-7 to destroying everything she holds most dear!

Rocky Balboa (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Sylvester Stallone

Inspirational Talk with Son

60-ish year-old widower and ex-boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) was struggling to keep up a relationship with his disconnected son Robert (Milo Ventimiglia), a struggling corporate employee. Later in the film, outside his Italian restaurant, Rocky spoke to Robert about his upcoming fight - something Robert discouraged him from doing. He understood the problems of growing up under Rocky's celebrity shadow ("People see me but they think of you...This is only gonna end up bad for you, and it's gonna end up bad for me"). Rocky realized his son blamed all his hardships and personal problems on him: "And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow." Rocky rebuked his son and told him how to win and succeed in life, and not be cowardly:

You ain't gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here. (He gestured about how his son as an infant would fit in the palm of his hand) I'd hold you up to say to your mother, 'This kid's gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid's gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.' And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watchin' you, every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you're no good. And when things got hard, you started lookin' for something to blame, like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know.

The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!

Now if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain't gonna have a life.

Rocky ended by expressing his love for his son, and urging him to believe in himself to begin truly living. He ended his words about a grave visit: "Don't forget to visit your mother."




300 (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Michael B. Gordon

"Send Our Army For Hope"

Play clip (excerpt): 300

While the three-day long Battle at Thermopylae raged, Spartan Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) delivered a "moving" and "eloquent" speech to the Spartan Council, attempting to unite them and rally support for sending reinforcements to her husband King Leonidas (Gerard Butler), who was leading 300 Spartans (and other Greeks) against Persian King Xerxes:

Councilmen, I stand before you not only as your queen. I come to you as a mother. I come to you as a wife. I come to you as a Spartan woman. I come to you with great humility. I am not here to represent Leonidas. His actions speak louder than my words ever could. I am here for all those voices which cannot be heard. Mothers, daughters, fathers, sons. Three hundred families that bleed for our rights. And for the very principles this room was built upon.

We are at war, gentlemen. We must send the entire Spartan army to aid our king in the preservation of not just ourselves, but of our children. Send the army for the preservation of liberty. Send it for justice. Send it for law and order. Send it for reason. But most importantly, send our army for hope. Hope that a king and his men have not been wasted to the pages of history. That their courage bonds us together. That we are made stronger by their actions, and that your choices today reflect their bravery.

Her enemy on the skeptical council, the devious Theron (Dominic West), had just forced her to sleep with him in exchange for his support. At the meeting, he first applauded her speech, but then became accusatory ("Moving, eloquent, passionate, but it doesn't change the fact that your husband has brought war upon us."). He personally accused her of adultery ("You speak of Honor, Duty, and Glory, but what of adultery?...She is a trickster in true form. Do not play with the members of this sacred chamber, my Queen. Just hours ago, you offered yourself to me. Were I a weaker man, I would have her scent on me still") - a "bribe of the flesh," and even called her "my little whore queen." She drew a sword and stabbed the traitor (Persian gold coins fell from his robe) and then used the same words he had said to her before sex:

This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this. I am not your Queen [King]!


300 (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Michael B. Gordon

Battle Call to Victory Speech Given to Spartan Soldiers: "Xerxes' Hordes Face Obliteration!"

Play clip (excerpt): 300

In the film's final lines, Spartan soldier Dilios (David Wenham) delivered a stirring motivational speech to his warriors before the Battle of Plataea against Persian King Xerxes' hordes. He recalled how the Persian army was now gripped by fear, and that they had suffered heavy casualties at the hands of only 300 Spartans at the earlier Battle of Thermopylae.

Now, although still outnumbered 3-1, 10,000 Spartans were leading 30,000 free Greeks to face the Persians - he predicted that the Greeks would again be victorious:

And so my king died, and my brothers died, barely a year ago. Long I pondered my King's cryptic talk of victory. Time has proven him wise. For from free Greek to free Greek, the word was spread that bold Leonidas and his 300, so far from home, laid down their lives. Not just for Sparta, but for all Greece and the promise this country holds. Now, here on this ragged patch of earth called Plataea, Xerxes' hordes face obliteration! Just there the barbarians huddle, sheer terror gripping tight their hearts with icy fingers - knowing full well what merciless horrors they suffered at the swords and spears of 300. Yet they stare now across the plain at 10,000 Spartans commanding 30,000 free Greeks!...

The enemy outnumber us a paltry 3 to 1, good odds for any Greek. This day, we rescue a world from mysticism and tyranny and usher in a future brighter than anything we can imagine. Give thanks, men, to Leonidas and the brave 300. TO VICTORY!


Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Zach Helm

A Man Named Harold Crick

In the film's opening, blocked writer Karen "Kay" Eiffel's (Emma Thompson) described neurotic, obsessive-compulsive, regimented, numbers-infatuated IRS auditor Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) in her soon-to-be-completed novel, accompanied by on-screen numbers:

This is a story about a man named Harold Crick, and his wristwatch. Harold Crick was a man of infinite numbers, endless calculations, and remarkably few words, and his wristwatch said even less. Every weekday for twelve years, Harold would brush each of his 32 teeth, 76 times. 38 times back and forth, 38 times up and down. Every weekday for 12 years, Harold would tie his tie in a single Windsor knot, instead of the double, thereby saving up to 43 seconds. His wristwatch thought the single Windsor made his neck look fat, but said nothing. Every weekday for 12 years, Harold would run at a rate of nearly 57 steps per block for 6 blocks, barely catching the 8:17 Kronecker bus. His wristwatch would delight in feeling the crisp wind rushing over its face.

And every weekday for 12 years, Harold would review 7.134 tax files as a senior auditor for the Internal Revenue Service... only taking a 45.7 minute lunch break, and a 4.3 minute coffee break, timed precisely by his wristwatch. Beyond that, Harold lived a life of soltitude. Harold would walk home alone. He would eat alone. And at precisely 11:13 every night, Harold would go to bed alone, placing his wristwatch to rest on the night stand beside him. That was, of course, before Wednesday. On Wednesday, Harold's wristwatch changed everything.


Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Zach Helm

The Importance of Small Things in Life

The film's ending gave the last poignant, narrated words of Karen Eiffel's typewritten novel about the importance of the small things in life. After Harold had been struck by a bus (he pushed a little boy away to avoid getting hit) and luckily survived, he found out his continued existence was solely due to a piece of shard metal from his wristwatch which had obstructed a severed artery in his right arm and prevented him from bleeding to death.

Her voice-over was accompanied by a montage of scenes of the film's cast of characters (both major and minor):

As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be okay. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort - not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction.

And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true. And so it was: a wristwatch saved Harold Crick.



Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Will Ferrell, Adam McKay

Baby Jesus Grace

Play clip (excerpt): Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Low brow Southern NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) humorously offered grace at the family dinner table over a spread of Domino's Pizza, KFC, Wonder Bread, Coca-Cola and beer. He was interrupted by his wife Carley (Leslie Bibb), who interjected and argued with him about which Jesus to pray to:

Ricky: 'Dear Lord Baby Jesus, or as our brothers in the South call you: 'Hey-suz'. We thank you so much for this bountiful harvest of Dominos, KFC, and the always delicious Taco Bell. I just want to take time to say thank you for my family: my two beautiful, beautiful, handsome striking sons, Walker and Texas Ranger, or TR as we call him. And, of course, my red hot smokin' wife Carley, who is a stone cold fox, who if you would rate her ass on 100, it would easily be a 94. I also want to thank you for my best friend and teammate, Cal Naughton Jr, who's got my back no matter what...Dear Lord Baby Jesus, we also thank you for my wife's father Chip. We hope that you can use your Baby Jesus powers to heal him and his horrible leg. It smells terrible and the dogs are always botherin' with it. Dear Tiny Infant Jesus...'
Carley: 'Hey, um... you know, sweetie, Jesus did grow up. You don't always have to call him baby. It's a bit odd and off puttin' to pray to a baby.'
Ricky: 'Well, look, I like the Christmas Jesus best when I'm sayin' grace. When you say grace, you can say it to Grown-up Jesus, or Teenage Jesus, or Bearded Jesus, or whoever you want.'
Carley: 'You know what I want? I want you to do this grace good so that God will let us win tomorrow.'
Ricky: 'Dear Tiny Jesus, in your golden fleece diapers with your tiny, little fat balled up fists...Look, I like the baby version the best, do you hear me? I win the races and I get the money.'
Carley: 'Ricky, finish the damn grace!'...
Ricky: 'OK. Dear Eight Pound, Six Ounce, Newborn Infant Jesus, don't even know a word yet, just a little infant, so cuddly, but still omnipotent. We just thank you for all the races I've won and the $21.2 million dollars... LOVE THAT MONEY that I have accrued over this past season. Also due to a binding endorsement contract that stipulates I mention PowerAde at each grace, I just wanna say that PowerAde is delicious and it cools you off on a hot summer day and we look forward to PowerAde's release of mystic mountain blueberry. Thank you, for all your power and your grace, Dear Baby God, Amen.'

During the latter part of the prayer, Ricky's best friend Cal (John C. Reilly) inserted his own views on which type of Jesus he preferred:

I like to picture Jesus in a Tuxedo T-shirt, 'cause it says, like, 'I wanna be formal, but I'm here to party, too.' I like to party, so I like my Jesus to party.... I like to think of Jesus like, with giant eagles' wings and singin' lead vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd with like an Angel Band, and I'm in the front row, and I'm hammered drunk...


V for Vendetta (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

V's Introduction to Evey

Mysterious "man in a mask" vigilante and anarchistic freedom fighter V (Hugo Weaving) gave a verbose introduction of himself to rescued Evey ("E-V") Hammond (Natalie Portman) after a rape attempt by police agents.

His speech included about 50 words starting with the letter V:

But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace sobriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona. Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.

V carved a V into a poster on the wall.

The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. [He giggled] Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.


V for Vendetta (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

"Words Offer...The Enunciation of Truth"

Bold, anarchistic freedom fighter V (Hugo Weaving) took over the state television broadcast a day after destroying the Old Bailey. He offered the people of London in the UK reasons to ignite a revolution against oppressive, totalitarian (fascist) government. He urged the people of Britain to rise up and meet him on November 5th one year later outside the gates of Parliament, which he promised would also be destroyed:

Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine - the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?

Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night, I sought to end that silence. Last night, I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago, a great citizen wished to embed the 5th of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words - they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest you allow the 5th of November to pass unmarked.

But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a 5th of November that shall never, ever be forgot.




We Are Marshall (2006)
Screenwriter(s): Jamie Linden

"The Funerals End Today"

New coach Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey) delivered a graveyard site eulogy and pre-game pep talk to a new squad of members of the Marshall University football team (the "Thundering Herd"), after the original team died in a plane crash November 14, 1970:

For those of you who may not know, this is the final resting place for six members of the 1970 Thundering Herd. The plane crash that took their lives was so severe, so, so absolute, that their bodies were unable to be identified. So they were buried here, together. Six players, six teammates, six Sons of Marshall. This is our past, gentlemen. This is where we have been. This is how we got here. This is who we are. Today, I want to talk about our opponent this afternoon. They're bigger, faster, stronger, more experienced and on paper, they're just better. And they know it, too. But I wanna tell you something that they don't know. They don't know your heart. I do. I've seen it. You have shown it to me. You have shown this coaching staff, your teammates. You have shown yourselves just exactly who you are in here. (Pounds chest)

When you take that field today, you've gotta lay that heart on the line, men. From the souls of your feet, with every ounce of blood you've got in your body, lay it on the line until the final whistle blows. And if you do that, if you do that, we cannot lose. We may be behind on the scoreboard at the end of the game but if you play like that we cannot be defeated. Now we came here today to remember six young men and sixty-nine others who will not be on the field with you today, but they will be watching. You can bet your ass that they'll be gritting their teeth with every snap of that football. You understand me? How you play today, from this moment on, is how you will be remembered. This is your opportunity to rise from these ashes and grab glory.

We are...Marshall (everyone) We are...Marshall (everyone) We are...Marshall (everyone) The funerals end today!



Best Film Speeches and Monologues
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