Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Monster's Ball (2001)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Monster's Ball (2001)

In Marc Forster's compelling drama (the title referred to the party held by executioners for a condemned man on the night before his death), and Oscar-winning film about an unlikely, racially-charged romantic pairing:

  • the characterization of the racist state of Georgia family of Grotowskis: widowed, hard-drinking, emotionally-drained Georgia prison (death-row) guard Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton), Hank's corrections-officer son Sonny (Heath Ledger), and Hank's emphysema-stricken father Buck (Peter Boyle) whose wife had committed suicide
  • Hank often had sex with prostitutes (Vera (Amber Rules) in an early scene, favoring his accustomed position from behind
  • the lunch scene in which Buck expressed his bigoted attitudes to Hank when he saw two young African-American boys walking up to the house to speak to Sonny: ("What the hell those niggers doin' out there?...Damn porch monkeys. Be movin' in here soon. Sittin' next to me. Watchin' my TV. There was a time when they knew their place. Wasn't none of this mixin' goin' on. Your mother, she hated them niggers, too"); Hank went outside, confronted Sonny with the boys, and scared them off with two shotgun blasts into the air ("Tell them to get the hell off my property...I don't give a damn who you come by to see. Get 'em outta here right now")
  • the devastating goodbye scene between African-American waitress Leticia Musgrove (Oscar-winning Halle Berry), her about-to-be-executed (by electric chair) husband, Lawrence Musgrove (Sean Combs) (who had been on death row for 11 years), and their obese-overweight son Tyrell (Coronji Calhoun); and their small talk about her broken-down car and the loss of the house due to her inability to make the payments
Goodbye Scene Before Lawrence Musgrove's Execution
Leticia Musgrove
(Halle Berry)
(Coronji Calhoun)
  • the pre-execution sequence when Lawrence - awaiting his execution in his cell, drew portrait sketches of both Sonny and Hank - and he told them: "I've always believed that a portrait captures a person far better than a photograph. It truly takes a human bein' to really see a human bein'"
  • the displaced anger scene when abusive mother Leticia berated her son for being so fat, as she forced him to get on a scale - his weight was 189: ("What the hell is this, Tyrell? What'd I tell you about eating this s--t? Didn't I tell you don't be eating that s--t? Look at this! Look at all this fat! This fat, fat ass! Look at all this nasty fat! Where they at? Look at all this candy. You ain't gonna eat all this candy! You crazy? Look at this room. It's a mess. Why is it a mess, Tyrell? 'Cause a fat little piggy lives in this room! Get your ass on this scale. Get on the scale! What does it say? What's it say?...189. You ain't lost no weight!")
  • the sequence after the death row execution of Lawrence Musgrove, when Hank viciously attacked his son Sonny in the prison's bathroom for vomiting during the prisoner's last walk, for ruining everything, and for being a "pussy": ("Are you listenin' to me? Do you know what you did? Do you know what you did? You f--ked him up! You f--ked up that man's last walk! How would you like it if somebody f--ked up your last walk? You're like a goddamn woman. You're like your f--kin' mother! You shouldn't have done that, you son of a bitch! Get up, you f--kin' pussy! Come here! You are a piece of f--kin' s--t! Do you understand me?")
  • the scene of the sudden suicide of Hank's son Sonny, who brandished a gun and asked his hateful father in the living room: ("You lousy piece of s--t. Get up....See? How do you like that, huh? Huh? Come on! Are you a tough guy now? Are you tough? Say somethin'. Say somethin'! Get up. You hate me? Answer me. You hate me, don't you?"); Hank replied: ("Yeah, I hate you. I always did"), causing Sonny to lethally shoot himself directly in the chest with a gun after telling his father: ("Well, I always loved you")
  • the image of Hank's Department of Corrections uniform burning up in a backyard fire - after Hank resigned his job, and his admission to his Pop: ("I quit the team...I can't do it anymore"), although his father was disappointed and disapproved: ("That was a mistake...You're remindin' me of your mother....Your mother wasn't s--t. That woman failed me. I got more pussy after she killed herself than I did when she was livin' as my wife. The point is, she quit on me. You're doin' the same")
  • Hank's beginning of a relationship with the emotionally-devastated widow and now single-mom Leticia, after helping her on a very rainy night to drive her injured son to the hospital following a hit-and-run accident when the two were walking down the highway - and Leticia's intense hurt and pain (and banging on the glass: "That's my baby!") upon learning that her son died due to his injuries
  • the scene of Hank and Letitcia talking about her efforts to be a good mother to her very ravenous and fat deceased son, and then her raw, intensely sexual, animalistic and volatile request when she begged to have sex with him: ("I was a good mother. I was a really good mom. I didn't want him to be fat like that. I did not want my baby to be fat like that, 'cause I know, a black man in America, you can't be like that, and I tried to... I was just trying to tell him you can't be like that. You can't be like that in America and a black man. I was just... I'm not sure... I'm not sure what you want me to do. I want... You know what I want. I want you to make me feel better....Just make me feel good. I just want you to make me feel good. Can you make me feel good?...Just make me feel good...I want- I want to feel good. I want to feel. Fill me up. Fill me up. Fill me up. Oh, my God. Fill me. Fill me"
The "Make...Me...Feel...Good" Scene with Leticia
  • the racist insult scene, when Hank's father Buck told Leticia (who had brought a gift for Hank) that the only reason Hank was interested in her was for sex: ("Damn! Hank must've done somethin' right to deserve a fine hat like this....In my prime, I had a thing for nigger juice myself. Hank just like his daddy. He ain't a man till he split dark oak")
  • although broken apart by Buck's comment, the subsequent love scene after Hank and Leticia reconnected when he offered her oral sex ("Can I touch you?") after receiving permission
  • the final reconciliation scene between Hank and Leticia sitting on the front porch eating ice cream together; after offering her a bite of chocolate ice cream to eat, he assured her: "I think we're gonna be alright"
Hank's Racist Insults at Leticia ("Hank Just Like His Daddy...")
Oral Sex ("Can I Touch You?")
Ending: Eating Ice Cream Together

Hank with Prostitute
Vera (Amber Rules)

Hank's Racist Father Buck (Peter Boyle)

Hank Ordering Two Boys Off Property

"Lawrence Musgrove Dies Tonight"

Musgrove Sketching Sonny and Hank's Portraits

Leticia Berating Overweight Son

Musgrove's Electric Chair Execution

Hank's Attack on Sonny in Prison Bathroom For Wrecking Execution

Hank's Son Sonny (Heath Ledger) Taking His Own Life: "I Always Loved You"

Hank's Burning of His Prison Uniform: "I Quit the Team"

Leticia's Grief: "That's my baby!"

Hank's Start of a Relationship with Leticia


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