Best Film Speeches
and Monologues


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

Altered States (1980)
Screenwriter(s): Paddy Chayefsky (as Sidney Aaron)

"I'm a Man In Search of His True Self...And I'm Going to Find the F--ker"

In a barroom scene where he was called a "wacko" by his friend Mason Parrish (Charles Haid), abnormal psychology Harvard university professor Dr. Eddie Jessup (William Hurt) asserted that he was searching with various methods to find his "true self," after already dismissing Yoga:

What dignifies the Yogic practices is that the belief system itself is not truly religious. There is no Buddhist God per se. It is the Self, the individual Mind, that contains immortality and ultimate truth...At least I know where the Self is. It's in our own minds. It's a form of human energy. Our atoms are six billion years old. We've got six billion years of memory in our minds.

Memory is energy! It doesn't disappear - it's still in there. There's a physiological pathway to our earlier consciousnesses. There has to be. And I'm telling you, it's in the god-damned limbic system....

I'm a man in search of his true self. How archetypically American can you get? Everybody's looking for their true selves. We're all trying to fulfill ourselves, understand ourselves, get in touch with ourselves, face the reality of ourselves, explore ourselves, expand ourselves. Ever since we dispensed with God, we've got nothing but ourselves to explain this meaningless horror of life....Well, I think that that true self, that original self, that first self is a real, mensurate, quantifiable thing, tangible and incarnate. And I'm going to find the f--ker.

Altered States (1980)
Screenwriter(s): Paddy Chayefsky (as Sidney Aaron)

"It's Human Life That Is Real"

Jessup (William Hurt) finally admitted to his wife Emily (Blair Brown) that he found "no final truth" in his experimental search for the self with hallucinogenic drugs and a sensory deprivation tank:

I can't tell you how much you mean to me. How much I need you and the kids. I just wanted you to know that. You saved me. You redeemed me from the pit. I was in it, Emily! I was in that ultimate moment of terror that is the beginning of life. It is nothing. Simple, hideous nothing. The final truth of all things is that there is no final Truth. Truth is what's transitory. It's human life that is real. I don't want to frighten you, Emily, but what I'm trying to tell you is that that moment of terror is a real and living horror, living and growing within me now, and the only thing that keeps it from devouring me is you.

Emily responded: "Why don't you just come back to us?" He continued:

It's too late. I don't think I can get out of it anymore. I can't live with it. The pain is too great.

As he went down the hallway, he was again shockingly regressed - he morphed and transformed into a proto-plasmic half-man/half blob-lava mass of cosmic energy (changing in color and form as he banged on the wall), and only through Emily's intervention in his final hallucinatory trip was she able to bring him back, as they embraced and the film concluded.

Caddyshack (1980)
Screenwriter(s): Brian Doyle-Murray, Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney

"It's In the Hole!" Cinderella Story

Play clip (excerpt): Caddyshack

Lowly country club groundskeeper Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) pretending to be an announcer and player, imagining himself at Augusta in a championship Masters golf game, while practicing teeing off on rows of planted flowers:

What an incredible Cinderella story, this unknown comes outta nowhere to lead the pack, at Augusta. He's on his final hole. He's about 455 yards away. He's gonna hit about a 2-iron, I think. Oh, he got all of that! The crowd is standing on its feet here at Augusta, the normally reserved Augusta crowd, going wild, for this young Cinderella. He's come outta nowhere. He's got about 350 yards left. He's gonna hit about a 5-iron, I expect, don't you think? He's got a beautiful backswing -- that's -- oh, he got all of that one! He's gotta be pleased with that. The crowd is just on its feet here. He's the Cinderella boy, uh -- tears in his eyes I guess, as he lines up this last shot, he's got about 195 yards left. And he's got about a -- it looks like he's got about an 8-iron. This crowd has gone deathly silent, the Cinderella story, outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper and now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac- it's in the hole! It's in the hole!

Caddyshack (1980)
Screenwriter(s): Brian Doyle-Murray, Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney

Caddying for The Dalai Lama

Play clip (excerpt): Caddyshack (short)
Play clip (excerpt): Caddyshack (long)

Speech-impaired, wacky Bushwood Country Club greenskeeper Carl Spackler's (Bill Murray) recounting, to another incredulous caddy, of how he once caddied for the Dalai Lama in Tibet:

So I jump ship in Hong Kong and I make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over there in the Himalayas...A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell 'em I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald, striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one -- big hitter, the Lama -- long, into a ten-thousand foot crevice, right at the base of this glacier. And do you know what the Lama says?... Gunga galunga... gunga -- gunga galunga. So we finish 18, and he's gonna stiff me. And I say: 'Hey, Lama! Hey, how about a little somethin', you know, for the effort, you know.' And he says: 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

The Dalai Lama Tale

9 to 5 (1980) (aka Nine to Five)
Screenwriter(s): Colin Higgins, Patricia Resnick

Threatening Words Toward a Chauvinistic Office Boss

Doralee's (Dolly Parton) threatening words to her chauvinistic office boss Franklin Hart (Dabney Coleman) about her compromised reputation and his bragging about their having an affair:

Well, that explains it. That's why these people treat me like some dime store floozy...They think I'm screwin' the boss...And you just love it, don't you? It gives you some sort of cheap thrill like knockin' over pencils and pickin' up papers...Get your scummy hands off of me. Look, I've been straight with you from the first day I got here. And I put up with all your pinchin' and starin' and chasin' me around the desk 'cause I need this job, but this is the last straw...Look, I got a gun out there in my purse, and up until now, I've been forgivin' and forgettin' because of the way I was brought up. But I'll tell you one thing: if you ever say another word about me or make another indecent proposal, I'm gonna get that gun of mine and I'm gonna change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot! Don't think I can't do it.

His one word response after she left his office: "S--t!"

The Shining (1980)
Screenwriter(s): Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson

"You're Distracting Me"

Jack Torrance's (Jack Nicholson) foul-mouthed, annoyed reaction to wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) invading his personal space while writing on his typewriter:

Wendy, let me explain something to you. Whenever you come in here and interrupt me, you're breaking my concentration. You're distracting me. And it will then take me time to get back to where I was. Understand?...I'm gonna make a new rule. Whenever I'm in here, and you hear me typing, whether you don't hear me typing, whatever the f--k you hear me doing in here, when I'm in here, that means that I am working. That means don't come in. Now do you think you can handle that?...Why don't you start right now and get the f--k out of here?

The Shining (1980)
Screenwriter(s): Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson

"I'm Not Gonna Hurt Ya"

Play clip (excerpt): The Shining

Jack's infamous giggling, murderous reaction to Wendy swinging at him with a bat on the stairwell:

...I'm not gonna hurt ya...Wendy...darling, 'light of my life'. I'm not gonna hurt ya. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said, 'I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just gonna bash your brains in. I'm gonna bash 'em right the f--k in!'

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Screenwriter(s): Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan

"My Ally is the Force"

Jedi Master Yoda (voice of Frank Oz) responded to young Jedi trainee Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) claim that his submerged X-wing fighter ship was too large to levitate with the Force:

Yoda: "Use the force. Yes. Now, the stone...Feel it. Concentrate!.."
Luke: "Oh, no. We'll never get it out now."
Yoda: "So certain are you. (sighs) Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?"
Luke: "Master, moving stones around is one thing. This is totally different."
Yoda: "No! No different! Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned."
Luke: "All right, I'll give it a try."
Yoda: "No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try."
Luke: (failing) "I can't. It's too big."
Yoda: "Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmph! And well you should not, for my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere! Yes, even between the land and the ship."
Luke: "You want the impossible."
Yoda: (He levitated the ship and set it on dry land) Mmm.
Luke: "I don't, I don't believe it."
Yoda: "That is why you fail."

Best Film Speeches and Monologues
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