Best Film Speeches
and Monologues


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

Raising Arizona (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Prophetic Dream With a Happy Ending

Play clip (excerpt): Raising Arizona (short) Raising Arizona (medium) Raising Arizona (full)

H.I. McDunnough (Nicolas Cage) gave a closing (voice-over) dream fantasy while in bed, first dreaming about the future of returned baby Nathan Junior (who received a football at Christmas (who then became a future Arizona football star) and the future of other characters. At the end of his dream, he envisioned future life with his wife Edwina (or "Ed") (Holly Hunter), dreaming of them living happily as an older couple - the parents of well-adjusted children who had children of their own, as they all sat down at a Thanksgiving table with a banner reading "WELCOME HOME KIDS":

That night I had a dream. I dreamt I was as light as the ether, a floatin' spirit visiting things to come. The shades and shadows of the people in my life wrassled their way into my slumber. I dreamt that Gale and Evelle had decided to return to prison. Probably that's just as well. I don't mean to sound superior, and they're a swell couple guys, but maybe they weren't ready yet to come out into the world.

And then I dreamed on, into the future, to a Christmas morn in the Arizona home where Nathan Junior was openin' a present from a kindly couple who preferred to remain unknown. I saw Glen a few years later, still havin' no luck getting the cops to listen to his wild tales about me and Ed. Maybe he threw in one Polack joke too many. I don't know. And still I dreamed on, further into the future than I'd ever dreamed before, watching Nathan Junior's progress from afar, taking pride in his accomplishments, as if he were our own, wonderin' if he ever thought of us, and hopin' that maybe we'd broadened his horizons a little, even if he couldn't remember just how they got broadened.

But still I hadn't dreamt nothin' about me 'n Ed, until the end. And this was cloudier, 'cause it was years, years away. But I saw an old couple bein' visited by their children, and all their grandchildren too. The old couple wasn't screwed up, and neither were their kids or their grandkids... And I don't know. You tell me. This whole dream, was it wishful thinkin'? Was I just fleeing reality like I know I'm liable to do? But me and Ed, we can be good, too. And it seemed real. It seemed like us, and it seemed like, well, our home. If not Arizona, then a land not too far away, where all parents are strong and wise and capable, and all children are happy and beloved. I don't know. (H.I. opened his eyes) Maybe it was Utah.

Roxanne (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Steve Martin

20 (Actually 25) Elongated Nose Joke Insults

Play clip (excerpt): Roxanne

Modern-day Cyrano - C.D. Bales (Steve Martin) suggested at least twenty better insults about his elongated nose, to an insulting, boorish, obnoxious, and drunken bullying customer named Jim (Thom Curley) in the crowded 279 bar after he name-called him "Big-Nose" - his response was listened to by the cheering crowd, as they counted out his 20 insults - actually 25!:

  1. Obvious: Excuse me, is that your nose, or did a bus park on your face
  2. Meteorological: Everybody take cover, she's going to blow!
  3. Fashionable: You know, you could de-emphasize your nose if you wore something larger, like Wyoming
  4. Personal: Well, here we are, just the three of us
  5. Punctual: All right, Dellman, your nose was on time, but you were fifteen minutes late
  6. Envious: Ooh, I wish I were you. Gosh, to be able to smell your own ear
  7. Naughty: Pardon me, sir, some of the ladies have asked if you wouldn't mind putting that thing away
  8. Philosophical: You know, it's not the size of a nose that's important, it's what's in it that matters
  9. Humorous: Laugh and the world laughs with you. Sneeze, and it's goodbye, Seattle!
  10. Commercial: Hi, I'm Earl Scheib, and I can paint that nose for $39.95!
  11. Polite: Uh, would you mind not bobbing your head? The, uh, orchestra keeps changing tempo
  12. Melodic: Everybody. He's got... (everyone singing) the whole world in his nose
  13. Sympathetic: Ooh, what happened? Did your parents lose a bet with God?
  14. Complimentary: You must love the little birdies to give them this to perch on
  15. Scientific: Say, does that thing there influence the tides?
  16. Obscure: Whoa, I'd hate to see the grindstone!...
  17. Inquiry: When you stop and smell the flowers, are they afraid?
  18. French: Zee pigs have refused to find any more truffles until you leave!
  19. Pornographic: Finally, a man who can satisfy two women at once!...
  20. Religious: The Lord giveth - and He just kept on giving, didn't He?
  21. Disgusting: Say, who mows your nose hair?
  22. Paranoid: Keep that guy away from my cocaine!
  23. Aromatic: It must wonderful to wake up in the morning and smell the coffee - in Brazil
  24. Appreciative: Oooh, how original! Most people just have their teeth capped
  25. (an insult for the bully): "Dirty: your name wouldn't be Dick, would it?"

He then added: "You flat-faced, flat-nosed, flat-head!", deflected a punch, then knocked him out (with a delayed response) to the floor, and asked: "Has he fallen yet?"

Roxanne (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Steve Martin

"I Love Your Nose!" Speech

Play clip (excerpt): Roxanne

Roxanne (Daryl Hannah) delivered a heartfelt, romantic speech in the film's happy ending, to profess her love to a disbelieving, long-nosed Fire Chief Charlie "C.D." Bales (Steve Martin), as he sat on her rooftop and listened. She started by expressing her love for CD and an appreciation of his true gifts:

When I close my eyes, I see you again and again. Your eyes, your face, the way you walk. Your style, your wit and your nose, Charlie.

She said she wasn't in love with hunky and handsome firefighter Chris McConnell (Rick Rossovich), but with the person who was the author of many love letters to her:

I went inside and I thought what it was about Chris that attracted me. It wasn't the way he looked. Well, that's not true, at first it was the way he looked. But it was how he made me feel. He made me feel romantic, intelligent, feminine. But it wasn't him doing that to me, it was you. All these other men, Charlie, they've got flat, featureless faces. No character, no fire, no nose. Charlie - you have a big nose. You have a beautiful, great, big, flesh and bone nose. I love your nose. I love your nose, Charlie. I love you, Charlie. (pause) Well?

In response, he told her: "Are you kidding?", then slid down her roof onto the porch and acrobatically performed a full body forward flip off the porch to the ground in front of her, where after a few awkward moments of finding the right angle and having him tilt his head to the right, she kissed him.

Reconciled With Roxanne on His Rooftop: "I love your nose, Charlie! I love you, Charlie!"

Tilted Kiss

Swimming to Cambodia (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Spalding Gray


From Spalding Gray's 85-minute monologue - the famous, dark "genocide" passage about the Cambodian holocaust, while sitting at a bare table with a microphone, a glass of water and a notebook - he ended with mention of the Khymer Rouge's slaughter of 2 million fellow Cambodians:

...this bombing went on for five years. The Supreme Court never passed any judgment on it and the military speaks with pride today that five years of the bombing of Cambodia killed 16,000 of the so-called enemy. That's 25% killed, and there's a military ruling that says you cannot kill more than 10% of the enemy without causing irreversible, psychological damage. So, five years of bombing, a diet of bark, bugs, lizards and leaves up in the Cambodian jungles, uh, an education in Paris environs in a strict Maoist doctrine with a touch of Rousseau, and other things that we will probably never know about in our lifetime -- including, perhaps, an invisible cloud of evil that circles the Earth and lands at random in places like Iran, Beirut, Germany, Cambodia, America -- set the Khymer Rouge out to carry out the worst auto-homeo genocide in modern history.

Swimming to Cambodia (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Spalding Gray


Play clip (excerpt): Swimming to Cambodia

The closing "Farewell" speech, in which Spalding Gray described his regretful departure from Southeast Asia (with intermittent clips shown from The Killing Fields (1984)), ending with a back-lit projection of an ocean:

Then I told him about my perfect woman in the Indian Ocean, and he listened, raising an eyebrow, and putting his pipe down, he turned to me and said: (imitating Athol Fugard) 'Spalding! The sea's a lovely lady when you play in her. But if you play with her, she's a BITCH! Play in the sea, yes, but never play with her. You're lucky to be here! You're lucky to be ALIVE!'

I believed him, and I went to bed and slept like a kid again in Jerusalem, Rhode Island, the entire bed rocking, sand in the bottom of the bed, wrapped in the arms of the sea, fantastic sleep. And the following day, I got up and the little kid was raging inside of me, and the adult was there too, saying I should go home. And the little kid is going, 'More, more. Get more where that came from. Stay, stay, stay.' And the adult is going, 'I've had my perfect moment. It's time to go.' And I thought, 'How will I get out of here? How will I be decisive?' Then I thought, 'You know, maybe I'll try acting like a decisive man. If I can't be one, I'll act like one.'

And I went out in the hotel, and said goodbye to all my mates as though I were going. 'Goodbye-mate. We'll work together again one day. Hey, you'd better believe I believe in this film. F--kin' A. 'Hey, big guy. Look out for those smores and don't you drink too much. We'll meet again. Alright!' I got to Athol Fugard and he looked right through me: 'So Spalding, you're leaving Paradise after all.' I said, 'Athol, you know, I woke up this morning...' 'Spalding! Go back to Renee. She's a lovely lady. Take what you've learned here in Thailand back to Crumbville. There is no difference between Thailand and Crumbville.'

I wanted to believe him. I also wondered who he'd been studying with. So I did it. I got in the car for the final ride to the airport. And as I was riding, I felt like I was going to the gallows. I couldn't believe it. Why was I doing this? Why did I feel, mainly, why did I feel so inflated. I'd been there eight weeks, and I'd worked eight days. Was waiting that difficult? I felt all puffed up, but on the way, I felt, my God, I will never see a little piece of heaven like this again. This is the end. And as I was riding, I said a silent benediction, a silent farewell to all that I had had and would miss.

Farewell, to the fantastic breakfasts, free every morning. You walked down and there they are waiting on you with the papaya, mango, and pineapple like I'd never tasted before. Farewell, to the Thai maids with the king-sized cotton sheets and the big king-sized beds. Farewell, to the lunches. Fresh meat flown in from America, daily. Roast potatoes, green beans and roast lamb, at 110 degrees under a circus tent, according to British Equity. Farewell to the drivers with the tinted glasses and the Mercedes with the tinted windows. Farewell to the cakes, and teas and ices every day exactly at four o'clock. Farewell to those beautiful smiling people. Farewell to that single, fresh rose in a vase on my bureau in the hotel every day. And just as I was climbing into that first-class seat, and wrapping myself in a blanket, just as I was adjusting the pillow from behind my head, and having a sip of that champagne, and just as I was adjusting and bringing down my Thai purple sleep mask, I had an inkling, I had a flash. I suddenly thought I knew what it was that had killed Marilyn Monroe.

Tin Men (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Barry Levinson

Sex on the TV Show "Bonanza"

Play clip (excerpt): Tin Men

While driving, Sam (Jackie Gayle) spoke to Ernest Tilley (Danny DeVito) about the popular western TV show "Bonanza." He felt it wasn't very realistic, because the four Ponderosa guys never discussed sex:

You know, when I saw 'Bonanza' the other day, something occurred to me...Ya got these four guys living on the Ponderosa and ya never hear them say anything about wanting to get laid...I mean ya never hear Hoss say to Little Joe, 'I had such a hard-on when I woke up this morning'...They don't talk about broads - nothin'...Ya never hear Little Joe say, 'Hey, Hoss, I went to Virginia City and I saw a girl with the greatest ass I've ever seen in my life.' They just walk around the Ponderosa: 'Yes, Pa, where's Little Joe?' Nothin' about broads. I don't think I'm bein' too picky. But, if at least once, they talked about getting horny. I don't care if you live on the Ponderosa or right here in Baltimore, guys talk about getting laid. I'm beginning to think that show doesn't have too much realism. What do you think?

Sam, I can't concentrate on the 'Bonanza' bulls--t. I got too much on my brain, what with that asshole and the Home Improvement Commission, I don't wanna have to worry about whether Little Joe got laid last night, alright? Come on, let's go and eat somethin'.

Wall Street (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Stanley Weiser, Oliver Stone

America Has Become a Second Rate Power: "Greed... is Good"

Top Pick

Play clips (excerpt): Wall Street (short) Wall Street (long)

Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) offered financial advice to the annual stockholder's meeting of Teldar Paper:

Well, I, uh, I appreciate the opportunity you're giving me, Mr. Cromwell, as the single largest shareholder in Teldar Paper, to speak. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we're not here to indulge in fantasy, but in political and economic reality.

America, America has become a second-rate power. Its trade deficit and its fiscal deficit are at nightmare proportions. Now, in the days of the free market, when our country was a top industrial power, there was accountability to the stockholder. The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company! All together, these men sitting up here own less than three percent of the company. And where does Mr. Cromwell put his million-dollar salary? Not in Teldar stock. He owns less than one percent. You own the company. That's right - you, the stockholder. And you are all being royally screwed over by these, these bureaucrats, with their, their steak lunches, their hunting and fishing trips, their, their corporate jets and golden parachutes...

Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has thirty-three different Vice Presidents, each earning over two hundred thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost a hundred and ten million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these Vice Presidents.

The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book, you either do it right or you get eliminated. In the last seven deals that I've been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pre-tax profit of 12 billion dollars. (applause) Thank you. I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them!

The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed - for lack of a better word - is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms - greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind. And Greed - you mark my words - will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.

The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Michael Cristofer

"I Always Like a Little Pussy After Lunch"

Following an outdoor lunch, mysterious and arrogant devil-like Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) with great bravado seduced witch/sculptress Alexandra Medford (Cher) in his bedroom, after touring her through his mansion:

Fidel, that's his name. Women love him. They're crazy about him. He has a big schlong. Huge. Well, there you are. Scale again. Size. I don't know, maybe it's a masculine thing. They say women don't care. I'm sort of in the middle myself. How about you?...You see, women are in touch with different things. That's my opinion. I know it's not a fashionable opinion right now, but (he banged his fist on the table) I know what I see.

I see men running around, trying to put their dicks into everything, trying to make something happen. But it's women who are the source, the only power. Nature. Birth. Rebirth. Cliché. Cliché, sure, but true. (Alexandra: "Why are you telling me this?") Because you're an honest woman and I'm being honest with you. (he stood up) I like women. I admire them. But if you want me to treat you like a dumb twit, I will. But what's the point? You have brains, Alex, more than brains. And you don't even know it, do you? Well, most women do not. (Alexandra: "Are you married?") Good question! You see? Brains. The answer is no. I don't believe in it. Good for the man. Lousy for the woman. She dies. She suffocates. I've seen it. And then the husband runs around complaining to everyone that he's f--king a dead person. And he's the one who killed her. (laughter).

Where is your husband? (Alexandra: "Dead") Well, sorry, but you're one of the lucky ones. When a woman unloads a husband, or a husband unloads a woman, however it happens - death, desertion, divorce - the three D's - when that happens, a woman blooms. She blossoms. Like flowers. Like fruit. She is ripe. That's the woman for me. (He lit his cigar)

Would you like to see my house?...In case anybody ever needed any exercise, the uh, pool's right over there, past the piano, where the, uh, ballroom used to be. Interesting word - 'ballroom.'... And, uh, over there is, uh, my study. Ah, this is my bedroom...The Borgias once owned the bed. Of course, you have to pay for it with your soul, but, uh, what the hell, I deserve a little luxury. You have to take care of yourself. No one's gonna do that for you, are they, hmm? (he reclined on the bed) (Alexandra: "What is it that you think you're doing?") Being as direct with you as I know how. I thought you might appreciate it. And, uhm, anyway, I always like a little pussy after lunch. Whaddya say? (Alexandra: "Are you trying to seduce me?") I wouldn't dream of seducing you, Alexandra. I wouldn't insult your intelligence with anything as trivial as seduction. But, uh, I would love to f--k you.

The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Michael Cristofer

A Rejection of Love-Making After Lunch

Alexandra (Cher) soundly rejected "average, horny little devil" Daryl Van Horne's (Jack Nicholson) blatant invitation for sex on his bed after hosting lunch for her at his mansion:

Well, you know, I have to admit that I appreciate your directness, Daryl. And I will try and be as direct and honest with you as I possibly can be. Uh, I think - no, I-I am positive that you are the most unattractive man I have ever met in my entire life. You know, in the short time we've been together, you have demonstrated every loathsome characteristic of the male personality and even discovered a few new ones. You are physically repulsive, intellectually retarded. You're morally reprehensible, vulgar, insensitive, selfish, stupid. You have no taste, a lousy sense of humor and you smell. You're, you're not even interesting enough to make me sick. (Daryl: "Uhm, would you like to be on the top or the bottom?") Good-bye Daryl, and thank you for a lovely lunch.

The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Michael Cristofer

A Denounciation of God for Creating Women

During a supernatural windstorm and after suffering a domestic problem (he was betrayed by his female lovers/students, played by Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon, all housewives in the New England town), devil-like Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) delivered a shouting rant to the crowded, small-town Eastwick church congregation to angrily denounce God and the opposite sex:

Sorry, uh, just having a little trouble, a little trouble at home. A little domestic problem. Nothing to be alarmed at. Just a little female problem. Hi. (He vomited) Don't pay any attention. It's a cheap trick. Anybody can do it. I taught it to them myself. Ungrateful little bitches, aren't they?

May I ask you something? You're all church-going folk. I really want to ask you something. Do you think God knew what He was doing when He created woman? Huh? No s--t! I really want to know. Or do you think it was just another one of his minor mistakes like tidal waves, earthquakes, floods! Do you think women are like that? (He puked again) What's the matter? You don't think God makes mistakes? Of course He does. We all make mistakes! Of course, when we make mistakes, they call it evil! When God makes mistakes, they call it nature! (He chuckled)

So whaddya think? Women. A mistake?! Or did He DO IT TO US ON PURPOSE!? Because I really want to know! Because if it's a mistake, maybe we can do somethin' about it! Find a cure! Invent a vaccine! Build up our immune systems! (More chuckling) Get a little exercise! You know, twenty push-ups a day, and you never have to be afflicted with women EVER AGAIN!

As he spoke the final words, the women, with a voodoo doll, poked his head with pins, causing him to fall backwards to the floor and convulse.

Withnail & I (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Bruce Robinson

Wine-Soaked Soliloquy - Quoting From Shakespeare's Hamlet

Top Pick

Play clip (excerpt): Withnail & I

Down-and-out actor Withnail (Richard E. Grant), while standing in the drenching rain, and drinking from a wine-bottle, quoted from Shakespeare's Hamlet:

I have of late, wherefore I know not, lost all of my mirth. And indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame here seems to me a sterile promontory. This most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'er-hanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire. Why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors.

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! How like an angel in apprehension, how like a God! The beauty of the world, paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me: no, nor women neither. Nor women neither.

Best Film Speeches and Monologues
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