Best Film Speeches
and Monologues


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

The Crying Game (1992, UK)
Screenwriter(s): Neil Jordan

The Fable of the Scorpion and the Frog

Play clip (excerpt): The Crying Game

Doomed prisoner Jody (Forest Whitaker), with a bag over his head - delivered an impassioned retelling of the fable about the scorpion and the frog to sympathetic captor Fergus (Stephen Rea). After telling the story, Jody successfully implored Fergus to take off his hood and release him, claiming he had a kind nature:

The Scorpion and the Frog...A scorpion wants to cross a river, but he can't swim. Goes to the frog, who can, and asks for a ride. Frog says, 'If I give you a ride on my back, you'll go and sting me.' Scorpion replies, 'It would not be in my interest to sting you since as I'll be on your back, we both would drown.' Frog thinks about this logic for a while and accepts the deal. Takes the scorpion on his back. Braves the waters. Halfway over feels a burning spear in his side and realizes the scorpion has stung him after all. And as they both sink beneath the waves, the frog cries out, 'Why did you sting me, Mr. Scorpion, for now we both will drown?' Scorpion replies, 'I can't help it, it's in my nature.'

A reprise of the Scorpion and Frog fable occurred in the film's final lines, after Fergus was arrested and serving time in jail in place of his new lover Dil (Jaye Davidson), who had killed Jude (Miranda Richardson). As Fergus was visited in jail, Dil asked why Fergus had taken the rap for him ("I wish you'd tell me why"). Fergus replied (to the tune of "Stand By Your Man"):

As a man said, it's in my nature...Well, there's this scorpion, you see. And he wants to go across a river. Well, he can't swim. So he goes to this frog, who naturally enough can swim, and he says, 'Excuse me, Mr. Froggy. I want to go across the river'...

A Few Good Men (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Aaron Sorkin

Courtroom Defense about 'Code Red'

Top Pick

Play clips (excerpt): A Few Good Men (short) A Few Good Men (long)

Col. Nathan R. Jessup's (Jack Nicholson) courtroom tirade when asked by Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) if he gave the order for 'code red':

(Kaffee: "Colonel Jessup, did you order the code red?")
(Judge Randolph: "You don't have to answer the question")
I'll answer the question. You want answers?
(Kaffee: "I think I'm entitled")
You want answers?
(Kaffee: "I want the truth!")
You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like 'honor,' 'code,' 'loyalty.' We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said 'thank you' and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!
(Kaffee: "Did you order the 'code red'?")
I did the job I was...
(Kaffee: "Did you order the 'code red'?")
You're god-damn right I did!

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Screenwriter(s): David Mamet

"I'm Here On A Mission of Mercy" -- Sales Pitch: A-B-C ("Always Be Closing")

Top Pick

Play clips (excerpt): Glengarry Glen Ross Glengarry Glen Ross (both short)

Consulting super-salesman Blake's (Alec Baldwin) rousing, motivational, hostile, in-your-face, foul-mouthed, challenging ultimatum of a "sales contest" for real estate salesmen of Chicago's Premiere Properties, on closing a real estate deal:

Let me have your attention for a moment! So you're talking about what? You're talking about - bitchin' about that sale you shot, some son of a bitch don't want to buy land, somebody don't want what you're sellin', some broad you're trying to screw and so forth. Let's talk about something important. Are they all here?...Well, I'm going anyway. Let's talk about something important! (To Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon)) Put that coffee down!! Coffee's for closers only. Do you think I'm f--kin' with you? I am not f--kin' with you. I'm here from downtown. I'm here from Mitch and Murray. And I'm here on a mission of mercy. Your name's Levene?...You call yourself a salesman, you son of a bitch?
(Ed Moss (Ed Harris): "I don't got to listen to this s--t.")
You certainly don't, pal. 'Cause the good news is - you're fired. The bad news is - you've got, all of you got, just one week to regain your jobs, starting with tonight. Starting with tonight's sit. Oh, have I got your attention now? Good. 'Cause we're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize's a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. You get the picture? You laughing now? You got leads. Mitch and Murray paid good money. Get their names to sell them! You can't close the leads you're given, you can't close s--t, you are s--t. Hit the bricks, pal, and beat it 'cause you are going out!...
(Levene: 'The leads are weak.')
'The leads are weak.' Fucking leads are weak? You're weak. I've been in this business fifteen years. (Ed Moss: "What's your name?")
F--K YOU, that's my name!! You know why, Mister? 'Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, I drove an eighty thousand dollar BMW. That's my name!! And your name is 'you're wanting.' And you can't play in a man's game. You can't close them, (whispering) Then go home and tell your wife your troubles. Because only one thing counts in this life! Get them to sign on the line which is dotted! You hear me, you f--king faggots? (He displayed blackboard with words) A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing! Always be closing! A-I-D-A. Attention, interest, decision, action. Attention: do I have your attention? Interest: are you interested? I know you are 'cause it's f--k or walk. You close or you hit the bricks! Decision: have you made your decision for Christ?! And Action. A-I-D-A. Get out there! You got the prospects comin' in. You think they came in to get out of the rain? A guy don't walk on the lot lest he wants to buy. They're sitting out there waiting to give you their money! Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it? (To Moss) What's the problem, pal? You, Moss!
(Moss: "You're such a hero, you're so rich. How come you're comin' down here and waste your time with such a bunch of bums.") (Removing his gold watch)
You see this watch? You see this watch?...That watch cost more than your car. I made $970,000 last year. How much you make? You see, pal, that's who I am. And you're nothing. Nice guy? I don't give a s--t. Good father? F--k you -- go home and play with your kids!! You wanna work here? Close!! You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can't take this -- how can you take the abuse you get on a sit?! You don't like it -- leave. I can go out there tonight with the materials you got, make myself fifteen thousand dollars! Tonight! In two hours! Can you? Can you? Go and do likewise! A-I-D-A!! Get mad, you son of a bitches! Get mad!! You know what it takes to sell real estate? It takes brass balls to sell real estate. Go and do likewise, gents. The money's out there, you pick it up, it's yours. You don't -- I got no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on those sits tonight and close. Close! It's yours. If not, you're gonna be shinin' my shoes. And you know what you'll be sayin', a bunch of losers sitting around in a bar: 'Oh yeah, I used to be a salesman. It's a tough racket.' (He displayed a large stack of red index cards tied together with string) These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry leads. And to you, they're gold, and you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away. (He handed the cards to Williamson (Kevin Spacey)) They're for closers. I'd wish you good luck, but you wouldn't know what to do with it if you got it. (To Moss) And to answer your question, pal: 'Why am I here?' I came here because Mitch and Murray asked me to. They asked me for a favor. I said, the real favor, follow my advice and fire your f--kin' ass because a loser is a loser.

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Screenwriter(s): David Mamet

"When You Die, You're Gonna Regret the Things You Don't Do" - A Long-Winded Sales Pitch

In a restaurant booth, charismatic yet laconic top real-estate 'closer' Ricky Roma (Al Pacino) delivered a long-winded, disjointed, underhanded sales pitch about Glengarry Highlands real estate to timid, lonely, middle-aged James Lingk (Jonathan Pryce). After gaining the potential client's confidence, he advertised the land as an "opportunity" and as a way to "stave off insecurity":

All train compartments smell vaguely of s--t. It gets so you don't mind it. That's the worst thing that I can confess. You know how long it took me to get there? A long time. When you die, you're gonna regret the things you don't do. You think you're queer? I'm gonna tell ya something: we're all queer. You think you're a thief? So what? You get befuddled by a middle-class morality? Get shut of it. Shut it out. You cheat on your wife? You did it, live with it. You f--k little girls, so be it. There's an absolute morality? Maybe. And then what? If you think there is, go ahead, be that thing. Bad people go to hell? I don't think so. If you think that, act that way. A hell exists on earth? Yes. I won't live in it. That's me.

Did you ever take a dump - made you feel like you'd just slept for twelve hours?...Yes?...Or a piss? Great meals fade in reflection. Everything else gains. You know why? 'Cause it's only food. This s--t we put in us, it keeps us going. It's only food. The great f--ks you may have had. What do you remember about 'em?...I don't know. For me, I'm saying, what it is, it's probably not the orgasm. Some broads, forearm on your neck, something her eyes did. There was this sound she made...or, it's me in the, uh, I'm tellin' ya: I'm in bed the next day. She brought me café au lait. She gives me a cigarette, my balls feel like concrete. Eh?

What I'm saying, what is our life? Our life is looking forward or it's looking back. That's it. That's our life. Where's the moment? And what is it we're so afraid of? Loss. What else? The bank closes. We get sick, my wife died on a plane, the stock market collapsed. What if these happen? None of 'em. We worry anyway. Why?...What do ya keep? I mean, you don't keep anything. Security, things, things, you know? It's just, you try to stave off insecurity. You can't do it...

Stocks, bonds, objects of art, real estate. What are they? An opportunity. To what? To make money? Perhaps. To lose money? Perhaps. To 'indulge' and to 'learn' about ourselves? Perhaps. So f--king what? What isn't? They're an opportunity. That's all they are. They're an event. A guy comes to you, you make a call, you send in a card. 'I have these properties I would like for you to see.' What does it mean? What do you want it to mean. Do you see what I'm saying? Things happen to you.

Glad I met you. I'm glad I met you, James. I want to show you something. It may mean something to you, it may not. I don't know. I don't know anymore. (He took out a small brochure and put it on the table) What is that? Florida. Glengarry Highlands. Florida. Bulls--t. And maybe that's true, and that's what I said. But look at this. (He opened up the brochure, with the words: 'Make Your Dreams Come True').

Husbands and Wives (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Woody Allen

Hedgehogs and Foxes Speech

Neurotic Sally (Judy Davis) confessed her continued frigidity during frustrated lovemaking to her husband and also to romantic Irishman Michael (Liam Neeson) in her sublime "hedgehogs and foxes" speech. In the interview scene (with voice-over), she was asked: "Why were you able to have an orgasm with Michael and not with your husband?...What makes it so difficult for you?"

I didn't. I was trying very hard to go with it. I was tense. I came close...My mind just gets racing with thoughts. You'd laugh if I told you. I get so mentally hyperactive....I thought that I liked what Michael was doing to me, and it felt different from Jack. More gentle and more exciting. And I thought how different Michael was from Jack. How much deeper his vision of life was. And I thought Michael was a hedgehog and Jack was a fox. And then I thought Judy was a fox, and Gabe was a hedgehog. And I thought about all the people I knew, and which were hedgehogs, and which were foxes. Al Simon, a friend, was a hedgehog, and his wife Jenny was a hedgehog. And Cindy Salkind was a fox. And Lou Patrino was a hedgehog...

Husbands and Wives (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Woody Allen

Unfinished Novel About Marriage and Procreation

20 year-old student Rain (Juliette Lewis) read (in voice-over) writer Gabe Roth's (Woody Allen) brilliant, downbeat unfinished novel about sex and love:

The heart raged and demanded, grew melancholy and confused and toward what end? To articulate what nitwit strategy? Procreation? It told him something, this business of how mind-boggling numbers of sperm competed for a single egg. It was not the other way around. Of course, men would make love at any time and place with any number of women, including total strangers, while females were more selective. They were in each case catering to the demands of only one small egg, while each male had millions and millions of frantic sperms screaming wildly, 'Let us out! Please, let us out, NOW!' It was like those desperate ads in the Personals column, with a dozen requirements, and if they were not enough, there was added - 'Must be a non-smoker.'

Feldman longed to meet a woman who attracted him physically and had the following personality - a quick sense of humor equal to his, a love of sports equal to his, a love of classical music equal to his and with a particular fondness for Bach and balmy climates. In short, he wanted himself, but as a pretty woman. Pepkin married and raised a family. He led a warm, domestic life. Placid, but dull. Knapp was a swinger. He eschewed nuptial ties and bedded five different women a week. Students, housewives, nurses, actresses, a doctor, a salesgirl. You name it, it held Knapp between its legs. Pepkin, from the calm of his fidelity, envied Knapp. Knapp, lonely beyond belief, envied Pepkin. What happened after the honeymoon was over? Did desire really grow with the years, or did familiarity cause partners to long for other lovers? Was the notion of ever-deepening romance a myth we had grown up on, along with simultaneous orgasm? The only time Rifkin and his wife experienced a simultaneous orgasm was when the judge handed them their divorce. Maybe in the end, the idea was not to expect too much out of life.

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Michael Mann, Christopher Crowe

"I Will Find You!"

Nathaniel "Hawkeye" Poe (Daniel Day-Lewis), the European-born adopted son of a Mohican tribe, gave famous romantic instructions to love interest Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe), the headstrong daughter of a British officer.

In an emotional scene, they were in Glen Falls Cave beside a waterfall in the midst of being pursued by a bloodthirsty Huron war party led by Magua (Wes Studi). The roar of the waterfall nearby was so loud that they had to shout to be heard. With wet gunpowder, the small group could no longer defend themselves, but if Hawkeye left, they might find help.

After she encouraged him to go, he promised her, before leaving her and jumping through the waterfall that he would eventually find her:

Cora: "Go ahead."
Major Duncan Heyward: "What the bloody hell plan is this?"
Cora: "I want you to go."
Hawkeye: "If we go, there's a chance there won't be a fight. There's no powder. If we don't go in that, there's no chance. None. Do you understand?"
Major Duncan Heyward: "Coward!"
Cora: "You've done everything you can do. Save yourself. If the worst happens, and only one of us survives, something of the other does too."
Hawkeye: "No. You stay alive. If they don't kill you, they'll take you north, up to Huron land. Submit, do you hear? You're strong, you survive. You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you!"

Best Film Speeches and Monologues
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