Best Film Speeches
and Monologues


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

Female Trouble (1974)
Screenwriter(s): John Waters

Freakish "Nightclub Act"

Grotesquely disfigured Dawn Davenport's (drag queen Divine) bizarre, freakish "nightclub act," when she was introduced as the "most beautiful woman in the world." During her act, she jumped up and down on a trampoline, tore up a book, rolled around on stage, sat in a small crib and pretended to masturbate, fondled her body with a fish, made some lewd gestures with a gun, and then told the audience:

Thank you! I love you! Thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my black little heart! You came here for some excitement tonight and that's just what you're going to get! Take a good look at ME because I'm going to be on the front of every newspaper in this country tomorrow! You're looking at crime personified AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT! I framed Leslie Bacon! I called the heroin hot line on Abby Hoffman! I bought the gun that Bremmer used to shoot Wallace! I had an affair with Juan Corona! I blew Richard Speck! And I'm so f--kin' beautiful I can't stand it myself! (She shot her gun into the air) Now, everybody freeze! (She pointed the gun at the audience) Who wants to be famous? Who wants to DIE for art?!

When an audience member lept up and replied: "I do!", she shot him, and when the audience fled, she continued to fire on them maniacally.

Female Trouble (1974)
Screenwriter(s): John Waters

Astonishing "Execution Speech"

The disfigured, glory-seeking serial killer mom Dawn Davenport (Divine) was to be executed on the electric chair. She considered that the execution ("a big news-event") was her greatest accomplishment and believed that her legend would live on:

"My fans want me to die in the electric chair. It will be my final curtain call - the most theatrical moment of my life."

She delivered an astonishing "acceptance speech" before the execution (she called the execution chamber the 'green room') that featured a shockingly prescient speech on the cult of media criminal celebrity:

I'd like to thank all the wonderful people that made this great moment in my life come true. My daughter Taffy, who died in order to further my career. My friends Chicklette and Concetta who should be here with me today. All the fans that died so fashionably and gallantly at my nightclub act. And especially all those wonderful people who were kind enough to read about me in the newspapers and watch me on the television news shows. Without all of you, my career could never have gotten this far. It is you that I burn for and it is you that I will die for! Please remember, I love every f--king one of you!

The Godfather, Part 2 (1974)
Screenwriter(s): Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo

"I Was Stepped Over" - Fredo's Lamenting Complaints, and Michael's Response: "You're Nothing to Me Now"

Suspecting that he knew something, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) spoke to his weakling, often-neglected brother Fredo (John Cazale) on the lanai. Although Fredo was "kept pretty much in the dark" and "didn't know all that much," he explained how he was lured to help knock off Frankie Pentangeli with the promise of a deal for himself. Resentful of being treated like the perennial errand boy, and being "stepped over" in the succession of power, he sought to establish his separate identity through betrayal:

I didn't know it was gonna be a hit, Mike. I swear to God I didn't know it was gonna be a hit. Johnny Ola bumped into me in Beverly Hills and he said that he wanted to talk. He said that you and Roth were in on a big deal together and that there was something in it for me if I could help him out. He said that you were being tough on the negotiations. But if they could get a little help and close the deal fast, it'd be good for the family...He said there was something in it for me - on my own!

When Michael asserted, "I've always taken care of you, Fredo," Fredo exploded:

Taken care of me! You're my kid brother, and you take care of me? Did you ever think about that, huh? Did you ever once think about that? Send Fredo off to do this, send Fredo off to do that! Let Fredo take care of some Mickey Mouse nightclub somewhere! Send Fredo to pick somebody up at the airport! I'm your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over...It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says. Like dumb. I'm smart, and I want respect!

Fredo eventually revealed that Senator Questadt was on Roth's payroll and was the one responsible for orchestrating Michael's exposure before the Congressional committee. Michael issued an ultimatum to his older brother:

Fredo, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother, you're not a friend. I don't wanna know you or what you do. I don't wanna see you at the hotels. I don't want you near my house. When you see our mother, I wanna know a day in advance so I won't be there. You understand?

The Godfather, Part 2 (1974)
Screenwriter(s): Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo

"This Must All End" Speech

In a Hotel Washington fourth floor suite, abused and embittered wife Kay Corleone (Diane Keaton) congratulated her crime boss husband Michael (Al Pacino) for being let off during a Congressional investigation: "I suppose I always knew you were too smart to let any of them ever beat you." She announced that she was not going back to Nevada and that she was leaving him (with the children) because "it's too late" and because he had become "blind" to "what's happened" to them and to their son Anthony:

He promised to change:

What do you want from me? Do you expect me to let you go? Do you expect me to let you take my children from me? Don't you know me? Don't you know that that's an impossibility? That that could never happen? That I'd use all my power to keep something like that from happening? Don't you know that? Kay, now in time, you'll feel differently. You'll be glad I stopped you now. I know that. I know you blame me for losing the baby. Yes. I know what that meant to you. I'll make it up to you, Kay. I swear I'll make it up to you. I'm gonna change. I'll change. I've learned that I have the strength to change. And you'll forget about this miscarriage. And we'll have another child. And we'll go on, you and I. We'll go on.

But she had lost all love for her husband and willingly performed a vengeful abortion (it wasn't a miscarriage) to kill their expected child in their already-dead marriage (to prevent the raising of another son in an atmosphere of crime):

Oh! Oh, Michael, Michael, you are blind. It wasn't a miscarriage. It was an abortion. An abortion, Michael. Just like our marriage is an abortion. Something that's unholy and evil! I didn't want your son, Michael. I wouldn't bring another one of your sons into this world! It was an abortion, Michael! It was a son! A son! And I had it killed because this must all end!

I know now that it's over. I knew it then. There would be no way, Michael, no way you could ever forgive me. Not with this Sicilian thing that's been going on for 2,000 years (losing control in a violent rage, Michael viciously struck her and slapped her back onto the couch, yelling out "BITCH!") - OH!

Jaws (1975)
Screenwriter(s): Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb; Indianapolis Monologue (John Milius, Howard Sackler, Robert Shaw)

Harrowing Recollection of Sharks After the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis

Top Pick

In a long and memorable monologue, Quint (Robert Shaw) recollected how he was a World War II sailor, and his carrier was delivering the Hiroshima A-bomb to Japan, and was en-route home. The Ill-fated USS Indianapolis was sunk in 12 minutes by two torpedoes shot from a Japanese submarine and about 1,100 men went into the shark-infested water for about 4 days. He remembered the grisly, hideous story of the ill-fated crew during an attack of swarming sharks that began a half-hour later - in which 800 sailors perished (and only 316 men survived) in shark-infested waters:

A Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte - just delivered the bomb, the Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about half an hour - a tiger - thirteen footer. You know how you know that when you're in the water, Chief? You tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn't know was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin'. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know, it was kinda like old squares in the battle like that you see in the calendar named 'The Battle of Waterloo.' And the idea was, the shark comes to the nearest man and he starts poundin' and hollerin' and screamin'. Sometimes the shark go away. Sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into ya, right into your eyes. Y'know, the thing about a shark, he's got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes. When he comes after ya, he doesn't seem to be livin' until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white, and then - aww, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin', the ocean turns red, and in spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin', they all come in and rip ya to pieces.

You know, by the end of that first dawn, we lost a hundred men. I don't know how many sharks, maybe a thousand. I don't know how many men. They averaged six an hour. On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boatswain's mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up, down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us. He swung in low and he saw us. He was a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and he come in low and three hours later, a big fat PBY [seaplane] comes down and start to pick us up. You know, that was the time I was most frightened - waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a life jacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.

Love and Death (1975)
Screenwriter(s): Woody Allen

Final Thoughts on Life, Love and Death

Play clip (excerpt): Love and Death

Boris Grushenko's (Woody Allen) rambling, final thoughts on life and death:

The question is - have I learned anything about life? Only that, only that human beings are divided into mind and body. The mind embraces all the nobler aspirations, like poetry and philosophy, but the body has all the fun. The important thing, I think, is not to be bitter. You know, if it turns out that there is a god, I don't think that he's evil, I think that, that the worst you can say about him is that, basically, he's an under-achiever. After all, you know, there are worse things in life than death. I mean, If you've ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman, you know exactly what I mean. The key here I think is to, to not think of death as an end, but think of it more as a very effective way of cutting down on your expenses. Regarding love, heh, you know, uh, what can you say? It's not the quantity of your sexual relations that count. It's the quality. On the other hand, if the quantity drops below once every eight months, I would definitely look into it. Well, that's about it for me folks. Goodbye.

Shivers (1975, Can.) (aka They Came From Within, The Parasite Murders)
Screenwriter(s): David Cronenberg

A Sex Dream

The infected Nurse Forsythe's (Lynn Lowry) description of her "disturbing dream" to resident physician Roger St. Luc (Paul Hampton) after he had rescued her from a second sexual assault in the underground parking lot. In the basement of the complex, she began to describe the dream in which a repulsive old man told her how everything in life was sexual:

In this dream, I found myself making love to a strange man. Only I'm having trouble you see, because he's old... and dying... and he smells bad, and I find him repulsive. But then he tells me that everything is erotic, that everything is sexual, you know what I mean? He tells me that even old flesh is erotic flesh. That disease is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other, that even dying is an act of eroticism, that talking is sexual, that breathing is sexual, that even to physically exist is sexual. And I believe him, and we make love beautifully.

She leaned forward to kiss St. Luc, then arched back and hissed, and opened her mouth to reveal her own parasitic infection as one of the slug-like creatures wriggled out. He punched her in the jaw and bound her mouth with a white cloth (which soon became a bloody mouth bandage).

Best Film Speeches and Monologues
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