Best Film Speeches
and Monologues


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

Bananas (1971)
Screenwriter(s): Woody Allen, Mickey Rose

Inappropriate Fundraising "Keynote Speech"

In Woody Allen's irreverent, and slapstick political satire, Fielding Mellish (Woody Allen), as accidental leader of the tiny (fictional) Central American island nation of San Marcos, delivered a stuttering, outrageously inappropriate keynote speech at a high society fundraiser:

Although the United States is, uh, a very rich country and San Marcos is a very poor one, there are a great many things we have to offer your country in return for aid. For instance, there, uh, there are locusts. Uh, we have more locusts than...uh, locusts of all races and creeds. These, these locusts, incidentally, are available at popular prices. And so, by the way, are most of the women of San Marcos...despite the tiny size of our nation, few people realize that we lead the world in hernias. They also fail to realize that before Columbus discovered your country, he stopped in San Marcos and contracted a disease which today can be cured with one shot of penicillin...

Brian's Song (1971)
Screenwriter(s): William Blinn

Locker Room Address

Play clip (excerpt): Brian's Song

Gale Sayers' (Billy Dee Williams) haltingly spoken locker-room address to his fellow players on Brian Piccolo's (James Caan) cancer, breaking down into uncontrollable sobs that caused him to prematurely end his speech:

Uhm, you uh, all know that we hand out a game ball to the outstanding player. Well, I'd like to change that. We just got word that Brian Piccolo is - that's he's sick, very sick. And, uh, it looks like, uhm, he might never play football again, or, uh, a long time. And, I think we should dedicate ourselves to, uh, give our maximum effort to win this game and give the game ball to 'Pic'. We can all sign it. And take it up. Aw, sh -- Oh, my God

Brian's Song (1971)
Screenwriter(s): William Blinn

Award Acceptance Speech

Play clip (excerpt): Brian's Song

Gale Sayers' tear-jerking acceptance speech for the George S. Halas Award for Courage:

I'd like to say a few words about a guy I know, a friend of mine. His name is Brian Piccolo, and he has the heart of a giant and that rare form of courage which allows him to kid himself and his opponent - cancer. He has a mental attitude which makes me proud to have a friend who spells out 'courage' 24 hours a day every day of his life. Now you flatter me by giving me this award. But I say to you here and now, Brian Piccolo is the man of courage who should receive the George S. Halas award. It's mine tonight and Brian Piccolo's tomorrow. I love Brian Piccolo. And I'd like all of you to love him, too. And tonight, (when) you hit your knees - please ask God to love him.

Carnal Knowledge (1971)
Screenwriter(s): Jules Feiffer

"It's Up, in the Air!"

Play clip (excerpt): Carnal Knowledge

The reassuring speech of paid prostitute Louise (Rita Moreno in a cameo) to massage dysfunctionally-impotent Jonathan's (Jack Nicholson) ego (and more) in the film's final scene. Obsessively, he had her recite a carefully-worded script while kneeling between his legs. (he yelled at her - "God-damn it! You're doing it all wrong" - when she deviated). After accepting payment of $100, and as he reclined back on a couch, she reassured him as she stroked his thighs: "I don't think we're gonna have any trouble tonight." She called him "a real man, a kind man" and then went on:

A real man, a kind man...I don't mean weak kind the way so many men are. I mean the kindness that comes from enormous strength, from an inner power so strong that every act, no matter what, is more proof of that power. That's what all women resent. That's why they try to cut ya down, because your knowledge of yourself and them is so right, so true, that it exposes the lies which they, every scheming one of them, live by. It takes a true woman to understand that the purest form of love is to love a man who denies himself to her - a man who inspires worship, because he has no need for any woman, because he has himself. And who is better, more beautiful, more powerful, more perfect... you're getting hard... more strong, more masculine, extraordinary, more... bust. It's rising, it's rising... more virile, domineering, more irresistible. It's up - in the air...

A Clockwork Orange (1971, UK)
Screenwriter(s): Stanley Kubrick

"There Was Me, that is Alex" Voice-Over

Play clip (excerpt): A Clockwork Orange

After a reverse tracking shot, smirking punker Alex de Large (Malcolm McDowell) delivered a voice-over introductory speech in the Korova Milk Bar with his droog friends - accompanied by Walter Carlos' synthesized version of Purcell's Elegy for the Death of Queen Mary:

There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence...

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Screenwriter(s): Stanley Kubrick

Thoughts on Aversion Therapy Treatment

Alex's description of aversion therapy treatment with 'viddy films' (videos of sexual violence) with his eyes propped open during behavior modification:

And viddy films, I would. Where I was taken to, brothers, was like no sinny I ever viddied before. I was bound up in a straitjacket and my gulliver was strapped to a headrest with like wires running away from it. Then they clamped like lidlocks on my eyes so that I could not shut them no matter how hard I tried. It seemed a bit crazy to me, but I let them get on with what they wanted to get on with. If I was to be a free young malchick again in a fortnight's time, I would put up with much in the meantime, O my brothers. So far, the first film was a very good, professional piece of sinny, like it was done in Hollywood. The sounds were real horrorshow. You could slooshy the screams and moans very realistic, and you could even get the heavy breathing and panting of the tolchocking malchicks at the same time. And then, what do you know, soon our dear old friend, the red, red vino on tap, the same in all places like it's put out by the same big firm, began to flow. It was beautiful.

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen. Now all the time I was watching this, I was beginning to get very aware of like not feeling all that well, and this I put down to all the rich food and vitamins, but I tried to forget this, concentrating on the next film which jumped right away on a young devotchka who was being given the old in-out, in-out first by one malchick, then another, then another...When it came to the sixth or seventh malchick, leering and smecking and then going into it, I began to feel really sick. But I could not shut my glazzies. And even if I tried to move my glazz-balls about, I still could not get out of the line of fire of this picture.

Dirty Harry (1971)
Screenwriter(s): Harry Julian Fink, Rita M. Fink, Dean Riesner, John Milius (uncredited)

Taunting a Downed Bank Robber

Top Pick

Play clip (excerpt): Dirty Harry

Harry Callahan's (Clint Eastwood) taunting of a wounded black criminal-bank robber ( (Albert Popwell) on the ground, who thought about reaching for a gun on the sidewalk, but then had second thoughts:

I know what you're thinkin'. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?
(Harry picked up the gun)
Bank robber: "Hey, I gots to know."
(He pulled the trigger toward the bank robber's head, but it clicked empty. Harry chuckled.)

Harold and Maude (1971)
Screenwriter(s): Colin Higgins

An Overbearing Match-Making Mother Completing a Computer Dating Service Questionnaire For Her Son

Play clip (excerpt): Harold and Maude

19 year-old Harold's (Bud Cort) over-bearing, match-making mother Mrs. Chasen (Vivian Pickles) filled out his computer dating service questionnaire for him (she never let him answer a single question!), while he prepared to commit fake suicide. He calmly loaded a revolver and shot himself in front of her:

First, here is the personality interview which you are to fill out and return. Now then, are you ready, Harold? Here is the first question. 'Are you uncomfortable meeting new people?' Well, I think that's a yes, don't you agree, Harold? 'Should sex education be taught outside the home?' Oh, I would say no, wouldn't you, Harold? Yeah, we'll give a D there. Three: 'Should women run for president of the United States?' I don't see why not. Absolutely yes. 'Do you remember jokes and take pleasure in relating them to others?' Well, you don't do that, do you, Harold? No. Absolutely not. 'Do you often get the feeling that perhaps life isn't worth living?' Hmm, what is it, Harold? A? B? Oh, we'll put C - not sure. 'Is the subject of sex being overexploited by our mass media?' Well, that would have to be yes, wouldn't it? 'Is it difficult for you to accept criticism?' No. We'll mark D. 'Do you sometimes have headaches or backaches after a difficult day?' Yes, I do indeed. 'Do you go to sleep easily?' I'd say so. 'Do you believe in capital punishment for murder?' Oh, yes, I do indeed. 'In your opinion, are social affairs usually a waste of time?' Heavens, no! 'Can God influence our lives?' Oh, yes, absolutely yes. 'Does your personal religion or philosophy include a life after death?' (Harold points his gun at his mother) Oh, yes, indeed. That's absolutely. 'Did you enjoy life when you were a child?' Oh, yes, you were a wonderful baby, Harold. 'Do you think the sexual revolution has gone too far?' It certainly has. 'Do you find the idea of wife-swapping distasteful?' I even find the question distasteful. 'Do you...' (gunshot) Harold, please! 'Do you have ups and downs without obvious reason?' Oh, that's you, Harold!

Harold and Maude (1971)
Screenwriter(s): Colin Higgins

A Recommendation For Serving in the Army - "That's What This Country Needs - More Nathan Hales"

Death-obsessed young Harold (Bud Cort) was urged by his domineering mother (Vivian Pickles) to have a talk with hawkish, crazed, one-armed Uncle Victor (Charles Tyner), "General MacArthur's right-hand man," who recommended that he sign up for Army boot camp immediately, to "take on a man's job":

Well, what do you say, Harold? Ah, it's a great life. There's action, adventure, advising, and you'll get a chance to see the war first-hand. And there are plenty of slant-eyed girls. I'll make a man out of you, Harold. You'll travel the world, put on a uniform, and take on a man's job. You'll walk tall, with a glint in your eye and a spring in your step, and the knowledge in your heart that you are working for peace and are serving your country, just like Nathan Hale. Now, that's what this country needs - more Nathan Hales. (He saluted a picture of Nathan Hale) And, Harold, I think I can see a little Nathan Hale in you.

Harold and Maude (1971)
Screenwriter(s): Colin Higgins

A Warning About Having Sex With the Elderly

Play clip (excerpt): Harold and Maude

Young Harold (Bud Cort) was counseled by a priest (Eric Christmas) to steer away from having sex with life-affirming, 79 year-old Maude (Ruth Gordon), in a hilarious shot sequence (as the camera slowly panned toward his anxious, disgusted, trembling face):

I would be remiss in my duty if I did not tell you that the idea of intercourse: and the fact of your firm, young body co-mingling with the withered flesh, sagging breasts and flabby buttocks, makes me want to vomit.

The Hospital (1971)
Screenwriter(s): Paddy Chayefsky

A Monologue on Impotence

In this dark comedy, Dr. Herbert Bock (George C. Scott), Chief of Medicine in a large Manhattan hospital, was being seduced in his office by 25 year-old, pretty hippie Barbara Drummond (Diana Rigg), daughter of one of the patients. She told him candidly that she had a "thing about middle-aged men." He ranted about his own impotence and discussed the loss of his sole purpose in life:

You're wasting your time. I've been impotent for years. (Barbara: "Rubbish") What the hell is wrong with being impotent? Kids are more hung up on sex than the Victorians. I got a son, 23 years old. I threw him out of the house last year. Pietistic little humbug. He preached universal love, and he despised everyone. Had a blanket contempt for the middle class, even its decencies. He detested my mother because she had a petit bourgeois pride in her son, the doctor. I cannot tell you how brutishly he ignored that rather good lady. When she died, he didn't even come to the funeral. He felt the chapel service was an hypocrisy.

He told me his generation didn't live with lies. I said, 'Listen, everybody lives with lies.' I-I grabbed him by his poncho and I dragged him the length of our seven-room, despicably affluent, middle-class apartment, and I flung him - out! I haven't seen him since. You know what he said to me? He's standing there on the landing, you know, on the verge of tears. He shrieked at me: 'You old fink. You can't even get it up anymore.' That was it, you see. That was his real revolution. It wasn't racism, the oppressed poor, or the war in Vietnam. No, the ultimate American societal sickness was a limp dingus.

My God. If there is a despised, misunderstood minority in this country, it is us poor, impotent bastards. Well, I'm impotent, and I'm proud of it. Impotence is beautiful, baby! POWER TO THE IMPOTENT! RIGHT ON, BABY!...You know, when I say impotent, I don't mean merely limp. Disagreeable as it may be for a woman, a man may lust for other things, something a little less transient than an erection. A sense of permanent worth. That's what medicine was to me, my reason for being.

You know, Miss Drummond, when I was 34, I presented a paper before the annual convention of the Society of Clinical Investigation that pioneered the whole goddamn field of lmmunology. A breakthrough. I'm in all the textbooks. I happen to be an eminent man, Miss Drummond. You know something else, Miss Drummond? I don't give a goddamn. When I say impotent, I mean I've lost even my desire to work. That's a hell of a lot more primal passion than sex. I've lost my reason for being. My purpose. The only thing I ever truly loved. Well, it is all rubbish, isn't it?

I mean, transplants, anti-bodies. We manufacture genes. We can produce birth ecto-genetically. We can practically clone people like carrots, and half the kids in this ghetto haven't even been inoculated for polio! We have established the most enormous, medical entity ever conceived and people are sicker than ever! WE CURE NOTHING! WE HEAL NOTHING! The whole goddamn wretched world is strangulating in front of our eyes. That's what I mean when I say impotent. You don't know what the hell I'm talking about, do you?...I'm tired. I'm very tired, Miss Drummond. And I hurt. And I've got nothing going for me anymore. Can you understand that?...And you also understand that the only admissible matter left is death.

He blew up at her when she clinically analyzed him as having a "familiar case of morbid menopause. It's hard for me to take your despair seriously, doctor. You obviously enjoy it so much." He yelled at her: "Bugger off! That's all I need now is clinical insight. Some cockamamie 25 year-old acidhead is gonna reassure me about the menopause now!"

The Last Picture Show (1971)
Screenwriter(s): Larry McMurtry, Peter Bogdanovich

Nostalgia for the Old Times

The fishing scene of ex-cowboy Sam the Lion's (Best Supporting Actor winner Ben Johnson) nostalgic memories at the tank dam as the clouds shed interesting shadows on the overcast day, when he talked longingly about the idyllic "old times." The owner of the local pool hall delivered a monologue to Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) - he remembered a "crazy" youthful romance with a girl who swam nude with him in the water:

You wouldn't believe how this country's changed. First time I seen it, there wasn't a mesquite tree on it, or a prickly pear neither. I used to own this land, you know. First time I watered a horse at this tank was more than forty years ago. I reckon the reason why I always drag you out here is probably I'm just as sentimental as the next fella when it comes to old times. Old times. I brought a young lady swimmin' out here once, more than 20 years ago. Was after my wife had lost her mind and my boys was dead. Me and this young lady was pretty wild, I guess. In pretty deep. We used to come out here on horseback and go swimmin' without no bathing suits. One day, she wanted to swim the horses across this tank. Kind of a crazy thing to do, but we done it anyway. She bet me a silver dollar she could beat me across. She did. This old horse I was ridin' didn't want to take the water. But she was always lookin' for somethin' to do like that. Somethin' wild. I'll bet she's still got that silver dollar....Oh, she growed up. She was just a girl then, really...

At the end of the monologue, he explained why he didn't marry her:

She was already married. Her and her husband was young and miserable with one another like so many young married folks are. I thought they'd change with some age, but it didn't turn out that way.

He concluded that marriages were often miserable and failed: ("About eighty percent of the time, I guess"), and also lamented the coming of old age:

If she was here, I'd probably be just as crazy now as I was then in about five minutes. Ain't that ridiculous? Naw, it ain't really. 'Cause bein' crazy 'bout a woman like her's always the right thing to do. Bein' a decrepit old bag of bones - that's what's ridiculous - gettin' old.

The Last Picture Show (1971)
Screenwriter(s): Larry McMurtry, Peter Bogdanovich

Opposite Reactions

Play clip (excerpt): The Last Picture Show

Ruth Popper's (Best Supporting Actress winner Cloris Leachman) explosive tirade at Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) in her kitchen (with the TV blaring) after months of neglect:

What am I doing apologizin' to you? Why am I always apologizin' to you, ya little bastard? Three months I been apologizing to you, without you even bein' here. I haven't done anything wrong - why can't I quit apologizin'? You're the one oughta be sorry. I wouldn't still be in my bathrobe if it hadn't been for you. I'da had my clothes on hours ago. You're the one made me quit carin' if I got dressed or not. I guess just because your friend got killed you want me to forget what you did and make it all right. I'm not sorry for you. You'd've left Billy, too, just like you left me. I bet you left him plenty a nights, whenever Jacy whistled. I wouldn't treat a dog that way. I guess you thought I was so old and ugly you didn't owe me any explanation. You didn't need to be careful of me. There wasn't anythin' I could do about you and her - why should you be careful of me? You didn't love me. Look at me. Can't you even look at me? Y'see? You shouldn't have come here. I'm around that corner now. You've ruined it and it's lost completely. Just your needing me won't make it come back.

The scene ended with her forgiveness for him: "Never you mind, honey, never you mind."

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Screenwriter(s): Roald Dahl, David Seltzer (uncredited)

"You Lose! Good day, Sir!" Speech

Willy Wonka's (Gene Wilder) harsh dismissal of Grandpa Joe (Jack Albertson) and Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum) when they asked about his lifetime's supply of chocolate prize, and he angrily told them their contest contract was voided by their careless actions and violation of the fine print and the rules:

Wrong, sir! Wrong! Under section 37-B of the contract signed by him, it states quite clearly that all offers shall become null and void if - and you can read it for yourself in this photostatic copy - 'I, the undersigned, shall forfeit all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained', et cetera, et cetera...'Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum', et cetera, et cetera...'Memo bis punitor delicatum!'' It's all there! Black and white! Clear as crystal! You stole Fizzy-Lifting drinks! You bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized. So you get NOTHING! You lose! Good day, sir!
(Grandpa Joe: "You're a crook! You're a cheat and a swindler, that's what you are. How can you do a thing like this?! Build up a little boy's hopes and then smash all his dreams to pieces? You're an inhuman monster!")
Sir, I said, 'Good day!'

When Charlie gave Wonka the candy he was instructed to steal by competitor Slugworth (Günter Meisner) (Slugworth was revealed to be Mr. Wilkinson, a Wonka employee who was used to test Charlie's honesty), Wonka reversed his decision, calling Charlie "My boy," and telling him: "You won! You did it! You did it!" because of his honesty. Charlie was awarded the "grand and glorious jackpot" -- the chocolate factory and the entire business.

But Willy further cautioned the boy, with the film's last line:

But Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted... He lived happily ever after.

WR - Mysteries of the Organism (1971, Yugoslavia/W.Germ.) (aka W.R. - Misterije Organizma)
Screenwriter: Dusan Makavejev

"We must allow FREE LOVE!"

Yugoslavian director Dušan Makavejev's controversial, X-rated, montage-filled, avante-garde work was a documentary-fiction film (dubbed a "sex film" in the countercultural era of the early 1970s).

The main character, Milena (Milena Dravić) - a beautiful, young red-haired Belgrade, Yugoslavian working class female - and an assistant beautician, was a newly-freed feminist and an enthusiastic follower of psychologist Wilhelm Reich who mostly preached defiantly about the advocacy of free love, but was also curious about sex.

At one point, Milena emerged onto her outside 3rd floor porch and lectured to fellow communal apartment dwellers within the courtyard, while her sex obsessed roommate Jagoda (Jagoda Kaloper) was having sexual intercourse all over their apartment with her boyfriend Ljuba (Dragoljub Ivkov) who served in the Yugoslav People's Army.

The theme of her radical speech was that there was an obvious linkage between state repression and sexual neurosis. She preached the virtues of orgasmic liberation, free love, enlightenment, and power to encourage true revolution:

Sex writers foolishly debate which are better: short thick ones or long thin ones. I say it's a false dilemma. You can't trust the media. Joy is what counts. A joyful one is best. Any child must know what's sweetest: The crotch! Our road to the future must be life-positive. Comrades! Between Socialism and physical love there can be no conflict. Socialism must not exclude human pleasure from its program. The October Revolution was ruined when it rejected Free Love....Frustrate the young sexually and they'll recklessly take to other illicit thrills: Pilfering, burglary and assorted crimes, knifings, alcoholism, political riots with flags flying, battling the police like pre-war Communists! What we need is a free youth in a crime-free world! If we are to achieve this, we must allow FREE LOVE!...

There's your class-structured society. Males stop being men and turn into common swine!...Idiocy is the right word for your condition. You're resigned to your social and sexual misery!...You beasts! You screw drunken whores in toilets! You're under-payed! Your wives and children have no respect for you f--kless fools! You've taught your children that sex-play will rot their spines!...

No excitement can ever equal the elemental force of the orgasm. That's why politics attract those of us whose orgasm is sub-standard, defective, disturbed or premature... Shame on you! That's your problem! Real men know how to live their lives without asking anyone's permission. Sweet oblivion is the masses' demand! Deprive them of free love, and they'll seize everything else! That led to Revolution. It led to Fascism and Doomsday. "HOW MAN BECAME A GIANT" --- "DEUTSCHLAND UBER ALLES!" The goose-stepping, mass-marching orgasm! The bloodstream orgasm of the alcoholic, or the junkie! The cerebral orgasm of dogmatists or religious mystics! The muscular orgasm of compulsive workers, athletes and artists!

Deprive youth of their right to the sweet electricity of sex and you rob them of their mental health! Children and youth are entitled to the happiness of the genital embrace! Back to our own, our true human nature! Restore to every individual the right TO LOVE! Freedom for the individual is freedom for all!"

Some of her listeners joined her in forming a dance line around the apartment's 3rd floor terrace - while repeating her words in song.

Best Film Speeches and Monologues
(chronological, by film title)
1920-1931 | 1932-1935 | 1936-1937 | 1938-1939 | 1939
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943-1944 | 1945-1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952-1954
1955 | 1956-1957 | 1958-1959 | 1960 | 1961-1962 | 1963-1964 | 1965-1967 | 1968-1969
1970 | 1971 | 1972-1973 | 1974-1975 | 1976 | 1976-1977 | 1978-1979 | 1979 | 1980
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