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 romantic drama and Oscar-winning film about an unlikely, racially-charged romantic pairing - the film's title referred to the party held by executioners for a condemned man on the night before his death; See Sex in Films - for uncensored version; it told about the unusual, inter-racial pairing of a racist Georgia prison corrections officer with the widowed, African-American wife of an executed death-row prisoner - his last and most recent execution:

  • the film presented a harrowing, racist portrayal of a Georgia family - the Grotowskis:
    • Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton), a widowed, hard-drinking, emotionally-drained Georgia prison (death-row) guard
    • Buck (Peter Boyle), Hank's sick, emphysema-stricken father whose wife had committed suicide
    • Sonny (Heath Ledger), Hank's co-worker son - a corrections-officer
  • during lunch, Hank's father Buck expressed his bigoted attitudes to Hank when he saw two young African-American boys, Willie and Darryl Cooper (Charles Cowan Jr. and Taylor LaGrange), walking up to the Grotowski house to speak to Sonny: ("What the hell those n-----s 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 n-----s, too"); Hank was pressured to go outside, confront Sonny with the boys, and scare 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")
  • in the film's most devastating scene, African-American diner waitress Leticia Musgrove (Best Actress Oscar-winning Halle Berry) said goodbye to her about-to-be-executed (by electric chair) husband, Lawrence Musgrove (Sean "Diddy" Combs), who had been on death row for 11 years; their obese-overweight son Tyrell (Coronji Calhoun) was also present; they made small talk about her broken-down car and their eviction and loss of the house due to her inability to make the payments
Goodbye Scene Before Lawrence Musgrove's Execution

Leticia Musgrove (Halle Berry)

Tyrell's (Coronji Calhoun) Last Hug For His Father
  • while awaiting his execution in his cell, Lawrence drew portrait sketches of both Sonny and Hank, guards in the prison - 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'"
  • abusive mother Leticia displaced her anger by berating 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!")

Musgrove's Electric Chair Execution

Hank's Attack on Sonny in the Prison Bathroom For Ruining Lawrence's Execution
  • after the intense death row execution of Lawrence Musgrove, 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' p---y! Come here! You are a piece of f--kin' s--t! Do you understand me?")
  • the film's most shocking sequence was the sudden suicide of Hank's estranged son Sonny in the Grotowski's living room; when Hank ordered Sonny to leave the house for good, Sonny brandished a gun and asked his hateful father: ("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 calmly that he had always hated his son: ("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")
  • afterwards, Hank buried Sonny's body in the backyard, and burned his Department of Corrections uniform in a fire - after resigning from his job as Deputy Warden; he admitted to his Pop: ("I quit the team...I can't do it anymore"), although his father was disappointed in him and disapproved of his decision to be a quitter: ("That was a mistake...You're remindin' me of your mother....Your mother wasn't s--t. That woman failed me. I got more p---y 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")
  • one very rainy night, Hank drove on the highway, passing by now single-mom Leticia who was cradling her mortally-injured son in her arms by the side of the road; they were the victims of a hit-and-run accident when the two were walking down the highway and no one would stop to help; Hank returned and drove them to the hospital, where Leticia expressed intense hurt and pain (and banged on the glass: "That's my baby!") upon learning that her son died due to his injuries
  • both Hank and Leticia were soon reunited by their common and respective grief for their deceased young sons; he tentatively began a relationship with the emotionally-devastated widow, who worked at a diner that he often frequented
  • while drinking together in her place, Hank and Leticia talked about her difficult life and her efforts to be a good mother to her very ravenous and fat deceased son: "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"
  • then, the emotionally-devastated widow expressed her raw, intensely sexual, animalistic and volatile nature by engaging in love-making after begging to be made to feel better: "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"
Hank's Start of a Relationship with Leticia:
The "Make...Me...Feel...Good" Scene with Leticia
  • when Leticia visited Hank's home to bring him a gift (an expensive white cowboy hat) after he had offered her Sonny's truck, Hank's extremely-racist father Buck fashioned the hat and then insultingly told Leticia that the only reason Hank was interested in her was for sex with a black female: ("Damn! Hank must've done somethin' right to deserve a fine hat like this....In my prime, I had a thing for n----r juice myself. Hank just like his daddy. He ain't a man till he split dark oak"); Buck's raw, offensive and racist comments caused Leticia to break up with Hank
  • angry with his father, Hank decided to cut off ties with his father by placing him in a nursing home; meanwhile, Leticia was evicted and was invited by Hank to live in his house; although Leticia discovered that Hank oversaw and participated in her husband's execution (she found her husband's drawings) and was deeply disturbed, the two were able to reconnect during a love scene when he offered to give her oral sex ("Can I touch you?"), and she gave her permission
  • in the film's final reconciliation scene, Hank and Leticia sat 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 Father Buck (Peter Boyle)

Due to His Father's Bigotry, Hank Ordered Two Black Boys Off His Property

"Lawrence Musgrove Dies Tonight"

Before His Execution, Musgrove Sketched Sonny's and Hank's Portraits

With Displaced Anger, Leticia Berated Her Overweight Son Tyrell

Hank's Son Sonny (Heath Ledger) Suicidally Took His Own Life in Front of His Father After Vowing: "I Always Loved You"

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

Leticia's Grief Over Her Son's Death: "That's my baby!"

Leticia - A Waitress

Buck's Racist Insults at Leticia: ("Hank Just Like His Daddy...")

Love Scene After Hank Asked Leticia: "Can I Touch You?"

Ending Porch Scene: Eating Ice Cream Together


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