Best Film Speeches
and Monologues


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

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Screenwriter(s): Jack B. Sowards, Nicholas Meyer

Spock's Final Words

Play clip (excerpt): Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

In the warp chamber, dying, radiation-poisoned Mr. Spock's (Leonard Nimoy) final words to Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) after giving his life for the crew of USS Enterprise, and being assured "Ship out of danger":

Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh (Kirk finished the line: 'the needs of the few'). Or the one. I never took the Kobayashi Maru test, until now. What do you think of my solution? (Spock knelt down) I have been, and always shall be, your friend. (Spock placed his hand on the chamber glass) Live long, and prosper.

Kirk placed his hand opposite Spock's hand as his friend slowly collapsed, slumped down and expired next to him. Overcome with emotion, Kirk quietly muttered: "No" as Spock died.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Screenwriter(s): Jack B. Sowards, Nicholas Meyer

Eulogy for Mr. Spock

Admiral James T. Kirk's (William Shatner) difficult eulogy for his best friend, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) who had sacrificed his life (by exposure to radiation) to save the doomed U.S.S. Enterprise from the Genesis Device explosion, although his death gave birth to a new planetoid around which his casket would orbit:

We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this. Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human.

Tootsie (1982)
Screenwriter(s): Murray Schisgal, Larry Gelbart

"It's Time to Set the Record Straight"

During a live broadcast of the soap opera show Southwest General, the strong-willed character played by Dorothy Michaels - Miss Emily Kimberly (both Dustin Hoffman) was introduced as the guest of honor. She concocted Emily Kimberly's over-the-top back-story before revealing her true identity as Emily's brother, Mr. Edward Kimberly -- AND -- as Michael Dorsey, to the consternation of the rest of the cast and the filming crew:

Dorothy: "Thank you, Gordon. I cannot tell you all how deeply moved I am. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be the object of so much genuine affection...It makes it all the more difficult for me to say what I'm now going to say. Yes. I do feel it's time to set the record straight. You see, I didn't come here just as an administrator, Dr. Brewster. I came to this hospital to settle an old score...Now you all know that my father was a brilliant man and he built this hospital. What you don't know is that to his family, he was an unmerciful tyrant. An absolute dodo bird...He drove my mother, his wife, to - to drink. In fact, she, uh, she went riding one time and lost all her teeth. The son Edward became a recluse, and the oldest daughter, the pretty one, the charming one - became pregnant when she was fifteen years old and was driven out of the house. In fact, she was so terrified that she would, uh, that, uh, that, that, that the baby daughter would bear the stigma of illegitimacy that she, she - she decided to change her name and she contracted a disfiguring disease... after moving to Tangiers, which is where she raised the, the, the little girl as her sister. But her one ambition in life - besides the child's happiness - was to become a nurse, so she returned to the States and joined the staff right here at Southwest General. When she worked here, she knew she had to speak out wherever she saw injustice and inhumanity. God save us. You do understand that, don't you, Dr. Brewster?"
John Van Horn (as Dr. Brewster): "I never laid a hand on her!"
Dorothy: "Yes, you did. And she was shunned by all you nurses, too...what do you call it, uh, like a pariah, to you doctors who found her outspokenness threatening. But she was deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply loved by her brother. It was this brother who, on the day of her death, swore to the good Lord above that he would follow in her footsteps, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, just, just, just, just, just, just, just, just, just, just owe it all up to her. But on her terms. As a woman. And just as proud to be a woman as she ever was. For I am not Emily Kimberly (removing her glasses), the daughter of Dwayne and Alma Kimberly (tearing off her false eyelashes). No, I'm not."

Dorothy's voice deepened as he tore off the rest of his feminine disguise - his wig - and unmasked himself:

"I'm Edward Kimberly, the reckless brother of my sister Anthea... Edward Kimberly, who has finally vindicated his sister's good name. I'm Edward Kimberly. Edward Kimberly. And I'm not mentally ill, but proud, and lucky, and strong enough to be the woman that was the best part of my manhood. The best part of myself."

At home watching the show on television, his roommate Jeff Slater (Bill Murray) exclaimed: "That is one nutty hospital!"

The Verdict (1982)
Screenwriter(s): David Mamet

"You Are the Law... I Believe There is Justice In Our Hearts"

Play clip (excerpt): The Verdict

Alcoholic, ambulance-chasing lawyer Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) presented a subdued closing summation-argument to the courtroom jury at the conclusion of a medical malpractice lawsuit, the case of his career:

So much of the time, we're just lost. We say, 'Please, God, tell us what is right. Tell us what is true.' I mean there is no justice. The rich win. The poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time we become dead, a little dead. We think of ourselves as victims, and we become victims.

We become, we become weak. We doubt ourselves. We doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions, and we doubt the law. But today, you are the law. You are the law, not some book, not the lawyers, not a marble statue, or the trappings of the court. See, those are just symbols of our desire to be just. They are, they are, in fact, a prayer, I mean a fervent and a frightened prayer. In my religion, they say, 'Act as if you had faith. Faith will be given to you.' If-if we are to have faith in justice, we need only to believe in ourselves and act with justice. See, I believe there is justice in our hearts.

Young Doctors in Love (1982)
Screenwriter(s): Michael Elias, Rich Eustis

Diagnosis by Tasting Bodily Fluids

Madly crazed scientist Doctor Oliver Ludwig (Harry Dean Stanton) instructed a Pathology class of young hospital interns, residents, and interns about body fluids and orifices:

Doctor Ludwig: "Here in Pathology, we consult the dead and ask them how we may cure the living. Here we interpret the messages the body sends us. Messages found in substances the uninformed find disgusting. They are not disgusting, they are beautiful. They are the ligature of pathology. Doctors, the human being emits, oozes, secretes, excretes, salivates, urinates, menstruates, lactates, evacuates, expectorates, and ejaculates." (Doctor Floyd Kurtzman (Saul Rubinek): "You left out regurgitates") "Don't, don't help me, Kurtzman. Now, there are more than twenty vital bodily fluids and I am proud to say that I have tasted every one of them. This, uh, urine, for example. What will it tell us?" (He dipped his finger in the solution and tasted it.) "Definite sugar taste. Now I don't need a battery of tests to tell me that the patient has a slight pre-diabetic condition. Doctor, will you confirm my findings?" (He forced one of the doctors to take a taste. Doctor Simon August (Michael McKean) declared: "No, no sugar.") "No sugar taste, the Doctor says. Just my little way of showing you that there's something far more important to the pathologist than taste. That is the power of observation! If you had been observing, Doctor, you would have seen that I put this finger in the urine (He held up his middle finger) but I put this finger in my mouth (He held up his index finger). Lesson number one, Doctor."
Doctor August: "Yes, but if you had tasted the specimen, Doctor, you would have noticed a dangerously high level of fractoids. This patient has pituitary glombosis."
Doctor Ludwig: "Oh, well, let me see that. (He took a real taste.) Tastes like plain old piss to me, Doctor. Ha, ha, ha. All right with a slight, uh, metallic flavor indicating a high level of zinc. Doctor, here, you try." (He extended the vial to Dr. Stephanie Brody (Sean Young). Doctor August stopped her from drinking from the beaker.)
Doctor August: "Wait, wait, wait, wait, just a minute. I didn't really taste the urine. I was just kidding. I did the same thing he did. I switched fingers. I thought it was obvious."
Doctor Ludwig: "Can I have a word with you, Doctor? Now listen here. You might have made a fool out of some of my colleagues, but you'll have to get up early in the morning to put one over on Doctor Oliver Wendell Ludwig. Now, you look at this face, what do you see?"
Doctor August: "I see alcohol poisoning and prosiasis in the tertiary stage."
Doctor Ludwig: "Get out, get out! Out! Out! Out! Out! All of you!"

The Big Chill (1983)
Screenwriter(s): Lawrence Kasdan, Barbara Benedek

Discouraged About the Unavailability of Eligible Men

In the kitchen while preparing food, real-estate attorney Meg Jones (Mary Kay Place), who had always wanted a child, commiserated with Sarah Cooper (Glenn Close) about the lack of available men, during a reunion with other Univ. of Michigan graduates:

They're either married or gay. And if they're not gay, they've just broken up with the most wonderful woman in the world, or they've just broken up with a bitch who looks exactly like me. They're in transition from a monogamous relationship and they need more space. Or they're tired of space, but they just can't commit. Or they want to commit, but they're afraid to get close. They want to get close, and you don't want to get near them. (Sarah: "It can't be that bad.") I don't know. I'm goin' easy. I've been out there dating for twenty years. I've gotten where I can tell in the first fifteen seconds if there's a chance in the world. (Sarah: "Well, at least you're giving them a fair shot.")

Yeah, that's easy for you to say. Married to Harold, the perfect man. I don't know. Sometimes, I think I don't even want a man anymore. So here I sit on my ticking biological clock, and the only thing I've known in my entire life is that I want to have a child. Don't remind me. This probably was the right thing to do at the time. (Sarah: "So, what do ya do?") I'm gonna have a baby. (Sarah: "What?")

She startled Sarah by telling her she was planning to get pregnant with LA TV actor Sam Weber (Tom Berenger):

Now, I've been taking my temperature and I know I'm ovulating right now. The ground is ready. I just need someone to plant the seed. (Sarah: "Yeah, but who's gonna be the lucky farmer?") These are the best guys I know. My favorite men in the world. Unfortunately, Nick, as I discover I'm the last to know, is no longer a candidate. Michael's a possibility, but considering everything, I think a fall-back position...So that leaves Sam...(Sarah: "Have you discussed this with Sam, or are you just gonna plan a surprise attack?") Why should he have a problem with it? I mean there won't be any obligations. I love him as a friend. I assume he loves me. He'd do anything for me. (Sarah: "You know, somehow, I feel it isn't quite this simple. You know, for one thing, it doesn't always happen the first time.") That's not what they told us in high school.

(National Lampoon's) Vacation (1983)
Screenwriter(s): John Hughes

"It's a Quest for Fun"

Play clip (excerpt): National Lampoon's Vacation

Half-crazed Clark Griswold's (Chevy Chase) deranged, foul-mouthed exhortation and rant to his beleaguered family to press on to Walley World amusement park in Southern California:

I think you're all f--ked in the head. We're ten hours from the f--kin' fun park and you want to bail out! Well, I'll tell you somethin'. This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much f--kin' fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our god-damn smiles. You'll be whistling 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah' out of your assholes! Ha, ha, ha. I gotta be crazy! I'm on a pilgrimage to see a moose. Praise Marty Moose! Holy S--t!

The Outsiders (1983)
Screenwriter(s): Kathleen Rowell

"When You're A Kid, Everything's New, Dawn"

The story revolved around two teenaged Greaser street gang members: Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell), and fellow gang member Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio). When the two were attacked in a park by rival Socs (or Socials) gang members, one of their group named Bob (Leif Garrett), who was attempting to drown Ponyboy, was stabbed to death by Johnny, who was then charged with manslaughter.

Afterwards, when Johnny heroically rescued children from a burning church, he suffered severe burns and a broken back, and died while hospitalized. He died after telling Ponyboy to 'stay gold,' referring to the Robert Frost poem Nothing Gold Can Stay. In the film's conclusion, Ponyboy found a letter in Johnny's paperback copy of Gone With the Wind. Ponyboy silently read the letter, in which Johnny (seen superimposed, and in voice-over) wrote that saving the children was worth sacrificing his own life:

Ponyboy, I asked the nurse to give you this book so you could finish it. It's worth saving those little kids. Their lives are worth more than mine, they have more to live for. Tell Dally I think it's worth it. I'm gonna miss you guys. I've been thinkin' about it, and that poem, that guy that wrote it, he meant you're gold when you're a kid, like green. When you're a kid, everything's new, dawn. Like the way you dig sunsets, Pony. That's Gold.

Keep it that way, it's a good way to be. I want you to ask Dally to look at one. I don't think he's ever seen a sunset. There's still lots of good in the world. Tell Dally. I don't think he knows. Your Buddy, Johnny

Risky Business (1983)
Screenwriter(s): Paul Brickman

"I Want You To Wash My Back"

Play clip (excerpt): Risky Business

The sex comedy's opening fantasy-dream sequence was narrated (in voice-over) by affluent college-bound, high-school senior Joel Goodson (Tom Cruise), living in the Chicago suburb of Glencoe. He saw a strange young girl (Francine Locke credited as "Shower Girl") soaping up in a steamy shower in his neighbor's house (and non-chalantly requesting: "I want you to wash my back") while he was three hours late to his college board SAT exam:

(voice-over) The dream is always the same. Instead of going home, I go to the neighbors'. I ring, but nobody answers. The door is open, so I go inside. I'm looking around for the people, but nobody seems to be there. And then I hear the shower running, so I go upstairs to see what's what. Then I see her. This girl! This incredible girl! I mean, what she's doing there, I don't know, because she doesn't live there. But it's a dream, so I go with it. 'Who's there?' she says. 'Joel,' I say. 'What are you doing here?' 'I don't know what I'm doing here. What are you doing here?' 'I'm taking a shower,' she says. Then I give her: 'Do you want me to go?' 'No,' she says. 'I want you to wash my back.' So now I'm getting enthusiastic about this dream. So, I go to her, but she's hard to find through all the steam and stuff. I keep losing her. Finally, I get to the door and I find myself in a room full of kids taking their College Boards. I'm over three hours late! I've got two minutes to take the whole test. I've just made a terrible mistake. I'll never get to college. My life is ruined.

Scarface (1983)
Screenwriter(s): Oliver Stone

"Political Prisoner From Cuba" Tony Montana Defending His Human Rights

In 1980 after being boat-lifted from Castro's Cuba to Miami, Florida, Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino) was interrogated by US immigration officials about his background when living in the Communist country. When suspected of being an ex-con, he demanded to ask questions of his own - and then demanded his rights before being sent to Freedomtown, a refugee camp located under freeway ramps:

You a communist? Huh? How'd you like it? They tell you all the time what to do, what to think, what to feel. Do you wanna be like a sheep? Like all those other people, man? Baah! Baah!...You wanna work eight, 10 f--kin' hours? You own nothin', you got nothin'! Do you want a chivato on every corner, man, looking after you? Watching everything you do? Everything you say, man? Do you know I eat octopus three times a day? I got f--king octopus coming out of my f--king ears, man. I got the f--kin' Russian shoes my feet's comin' through. How'd you like that?

What, you want me to stay there and do nothing? Hey, I'm no f--kin' criminal, man. I'm no puta or thief. I'm Tony Montana, a political prisoner from Cuba. And I want my f--kin' human rights, now! (He slammed the desk) Just like the President Jimmy Carter says. Okay?...You know somethin'? You can send me anywhere. Here, there, this, that. It don't matter. There's nothing you can do to me that Castro has not already done.

Scarface (1983)
Screenwriter(s): Oliver Stone

"This Is Paradise" - First Money, Then Power, Then Women

At an outdoor, beachside cafe with his best friend Manny (Stephen Bauer), recent Cuban immigrant Tony Montana (Al Pacino) explained his idea of "paradise."

This is paradise. This is paradise, I'm tellin' you. This town's like a great big pussy just waitin' to get f--ked. I'm tellin' you. I shoulda come here 10 years ago. I'd have been a millionaire by this time. By this time, I'd have had my own boat, my own car, my own golf course.

When an attempt to get some "action" failed and Tony was called a "greaseball," Manny suggested that he knew better how to "pick up chicks" - one had to perfect the practice of oral sex, and he followed after an attractive bikinied blonde ("I'm gonna get her"). When Manny flicked his tongue at her, he was slapped and called "sick." Tony advised Manny:

She's too big for you. Come on. 'Causin' trouble like that. Come on....What I try to tell you?...What I try to tell you? This country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the woman. That's why you gotta make your own moves.

Scarface (1983)
Screenwriter(s): Oliver Stone

"Is This What It's All About?"

After becoming a crime kingpin, cocaine-addicted Tony Montana's (Al Pacino) life was spiraling downward when he was arrested during a sting operation, and forced to make a deal (to assassinate a Bolivian journalist) to escape prison time. At a fancy dining table, a drunken Tony told his best friend Manny Ribera (Stephen Bauer) that he was disgusted by his decadent life and his junkie infertile wife Elvira (Michelle Pfeiffer):

Is this it? That's what it's all about, Manny? Eating, drinking, f--king, sucking?...Snorting? Then what? Tell me. Then what? You're 50. You got a bag for a belly. You got tits; you need a bra. They got hair on 'em. You got a liver, and they got spots on it, and you're eatin' this f--kin' s--t, and you're lookin' like these rich f--kin' mummies in here... Is this what it's all about?...This what I work for? Tell me. Look at that. A junkie. I got a f--kin' junkie for a wife. She don't eat nothin'. Sleeps all day with them black shades on. Wakes up with a Quaalude...and who won't f--k me 'cause she's in a coma. I can't even have a kid with her, Manny. Her womb is so polluted, I can't even have a f--kin' little baby with her!

She retaliated by harshly responding:

You son of a bitch! You f--k!...(She threw her water glass into his face) How dare you talk to me like that! What makes you so much better than me? What do you do?...You deal drugs and you kill people. Oh, that's wonderful, Tony. Real contribution to human history...You want a kid?...What kind of a father do you think you'd make?...Gonna drive him to school in the mornings? Are you even gonna be alive by the time the kid goes to school? You don't even know how to be a husband...Do we ever go anywhere without having six thugs hanging around all the time? I have Nick the Pig as a friend. What kind of life is that? Can't you see what we're becoming, Tony? We're losers. We're not winners; we're losers.

Best Film Speeches and Monologues
(chronological, by film title)
1920-1931 | 1932-1935 | 1936-1937 | 1938-1939 | 1939
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