Best Film Speeches
and Monologues


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

A League of Their Own (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel

"There's No Crying in Baseball!"

Play clip (excerpt): A League of Their Own (short)

Baseball team manager Jimmy Dugan's (Tom Hanks) tirade at his female right-fielder Evelyn Gardner (Bitty Schram) for making a stupid play:

Which team do you play for?...Well, I was just wondering, 'cause I couldn't figure out why you'd throw home when we've got a two-run lead! You let the tying run get on second and we lost the lead because of you. Now you start usin' your head! That's that lump that's three feet above your ass!...Are you crying?... Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying! There's no crying in baseball!...Rogers Hornsby was my manager, and he called me a talking pile of pigs--t, and that was when my parents drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play the game! And did I cry?... No! No! And do you know why?... Because there's no crying in baseball! There's no crying in baseball, no crying!

Like Water for Chocolate (1992, Mex.) (aka Como agua para chocolate)
Screenwriter(s): Laura Esquivel

Our "Inner Matches"

The kindly Dr. John Brown (Mario Ivan Martinez) treated unfulfilled-in-love ranch cook Tita (Lumi Cavazos), and explained, prophetically, about how each person has an inner box of matches that potentially can ignite through emotions:

My grandmother, Morning Star -- she was a Kikapu Indian -- she used to say that we're all born with a box of matches inside. We can't light them by ourselves. Just like in this experiment, we need oxygen and the help of a candle. Except that in our case, the oxygen has to come, for example, from a lover's breath. The candle can be anything: a melody, a word, a caress, a sound. Anything that pulls the trigger and sets off one of the matches. Every person has to discover what will pull his trigger to enable him to live. Because it is the explosive flare of a match that feeds our souls. If there's nothing to trigger the explosion, our box of matches becomes damp and then we'll never be able to light any of them. There are many ways to dry a damp match box. You can rest assured there is a cure. Of course, it's important to light the matches one at a time. Because if an intense burst of emotion were to ignite them all at once, they would produce such a strong brilliance that before our eyes there would appear a tunnel of such radiance showing us the path we forgot at birth, the same path that calls us back to our divine origins.

Malcolm X (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Arnold Perl, Spike Lee

"Ya Been Had! Ya Been Took! Ya Been Hoodwinked!"

Play clip (excerpt): Malcolm X

Controversial black nationalist leader Malcolm X's (Denzel Washington) angry Harlem speech to residents against the 'white man':

I must emphasize at the outstart that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is not a politician. So I'm not here this afternoon as a Republican, nor as a Democrat; not as a Mason, nor as an Elk; not as a Protestant, nor a Catholic; not as a Christian, nor a Jew; not as a Baptist, nor a Methodist. In fact, not even as an American, because if I was an American, the problem that confronts our people today wouldn't even exist. So I have to stand here today as what I was when I was born: a black man. Before there was any such thing as a Republican or a Democrat, we were black. Before there was any such thing as a Mason or an Elk, we were black. Before there was any such thing as a Jew or a Christian, we were black people! In fact, before there was any such place as America, we were black! And after America has long passed from the scene, there will still be black people.

I'm gonna tell you like it really is. Every election year these politicians are sent up here to pacify us! They're sent here and setup here by the White Man! This is what they do! They send drugs in Harlem down here to pacify us! They send alcohol down here to pacify us! They send prostitution down here to pacify us! Why you can't even get drugs in Harlem without the White Man's permission! You can't get prostitution in Harlem without the White Man's permission! You can't get gambling in Harlem without the White Man's permission! Every time you break the seal on that liquor bottle, that's a Government seal that you're breaking! Oh, I say and I say it again, ya been had! Ya been took! Ya been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led astray! Run amok! This is what He does....

Malcolm X (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Arnold Perl, Spike Lee

"Malcolm Was Our Manhood, Our Living, Black Manhood!"

After the assassination of controversial black rights activist Malcolm X (Denzel Washington) in late February 1965, friend, actor and fellow revolutionary-activist Ossie Davis (Himself) was quoted (in voice-over) from the eulogy he presented at the funeral. A montage of photographs (archival as well as portrayed) were shown during the speech:

Here, at this final hour, in this quiet place, Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes. Extinguished now, and gone from us forever. It is not in the memory of man that this beleaguered, unfortunate, but nonetheless proud community, has found a braver, more gallant young champion than this Afro-American who lies before us - unconquered still. I say the word again, as he would want me to: Afro-American. Afro-American Malcolm. Malcolm had stopped being Negro years ago. It had become too small, too puny, too weak a word for him. Malcolm was bigger than that. Malcolm had become an Afro-American, and he wanted so desperately that we, that all his people, would become Afro-Americans, too.

There are those who still consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. And we will smile. They will say that he is of hate, a fanatic, a racist who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle! And we will answer and say unto them:

Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm?
Did you ever touch him or have him smile at you?
Did you ever really listen to him?
Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance?

For if you did, you would know him. And if you knew him, you would know why we must honor him: Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood! This was his meaning to his people. And, in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves.

However much we may have differed with him or with each other about him and his value as a man, let his going from us serve only to bring us together now. Consigning these mortal remains to earth, the common mother of all, secure in the knowledge that what we place in the ground is no more now a man, but a seed which, after the winter of our discontent, will come forth again to meet us. And we shall know him then for what he was, and is: a prince! Our own black shining prince who didn’t hesitate to die, because he loved us so.

Passion Fish (1992)
Screenwriter: John Sayles

"I Didn't Ask for the Anal Probe"

Seated around outdoors in rural Louisiana, a group of soap opera actresses discussed their careers, when Nina (Nancy Mette) described her first experience as a movie actress - with only one line of dialogue that she made the most of:

'I didn't ask for the anal probe.' Four years starving in New York, doing showcases I had to pay for myself. That was my first big break. My first feature, this like zero-budget movie about people who are taken up into alien spaceships and given physicals against their will. I go in for the audition, and the director is really intense and mysterious and he has me sit with my eyes closed and free-associate, right? We do these improvs about the aliens representing our most primal fears. And it's great. Finally some real acting. And they tell me before I leave that I've got the part. Only I don't know what it is yet, but I'm so thrilled because it's this feature, you know. It's not a student film or anything. So the agent gives me my script, and I go through it Iooking tor Margaret, the part that they say I have. And I've got my yellow underliner marker in my hand, only it's drying out. And finally I find only one page with the corner folded over. And I'm in this therapy group of these people who have had these alien physicals. And I've, I've got only one line: 'I didn't ask for the anal probe.'...

But I'm a professional, right? I prepared. I had back story on this woman. I knew that she had been to the hairdresser betore she came to the therapy group. I knew that she dldn't trust that guy who sat next to the fuchsia. I knew that, uhm, she, she turned the TV set on the minute she got back to her apartment, just for the sound of it. And I even had my uhm, my boyfriend, my boyfriend at the time, with a thermometer, you know, uhm, for the sense memory, right? I was loaded for f--king bear.

So finally it comes time to shoot the scene. And they do one take of the wide shot, and they stop before my line. I was, I was terrified that they were gonna cut it. They move in for reaction shots, close-ups. Mostly things that mean that I have to go and sit outside because the camera is set up where my chair is. Well, by the time they get to me, the crew is grumpy because it's late and they're non-union and they don't get paid extra for overtime. The lead actor is gone. He's got his shrink appointment. And I'm, I'm alone. And I'm staring at this piece of tape stuck to a stand next to the camera. And the director says, 'Okay, uh, let's try it a few times without cutting and, uh, show me a few different colors.' --- (with different emphases on various words) 'I didn't ask for the anal probe.' 'I didn't ask for the anal probe.' 'I didn't ask for the anal probe.' 'I didn't ask for the anal probe.' That was it"

The Player (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Michael Tolkin

The Key to Hollywood Script-Movie Success: "Mainly Happy Endings"

While slow-dancing with her at a Desert Hot Springs (CA) resort/spa, Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) described to new girlfriend June Gudmundsdottir (Greta Sacchi) his occupation as a Hollywood film executive/producer, when she asked: "Tell me about the movies you make...because I want to know what you do."

Griffin had assumed that after he rejected the pitch of disgruntled, aspiring screenwriter David Kahane (Vincent D'Onofrio), the writer had sent him death threats by postcard. When Kahane and Griffin met at a movie theatre in Pasadena, Griffin killed him in a violent scuffle in the parking lot alley. And now, Griffin was romancing Kahane's girlfriend June - a happy ending:

I listen to stories and decide if they'll make good movies or not. I get 125 phone calls a day, and if I let that slip to 100, I know I'm not doing my job. Everyone that calls - they want to know one thing. They want me to say yes to them and make their movie. If I say yes to them and make their movie, they think that come New Year's, it's just gonna be them and Jack Nicholson on the slopes of Aspen. That's what they think. The problem is, I can only say yes, my studio can only say yes 12 times a year. And collectively we hear about 50,000 stories a year. So it's hard. And, I guess sometimes I'm not nice and make enemies. And that's what I was to David. Enemy.

He then told her why David Kahane's story wasn't one of the 12 chosen:

It lacked certain elements that we need to market a film successfully... Suspense, laughter, violence, hope, heart, nudity, sex, happy endings. Mainly happy endings.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Quentin Tarantino

The Meaning of "Like a Virgin"

Play clip (excerpt): Reservoir Dogs (1992)

The film's opening breakfast scene, in which various characters (mostly Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino)) talked back and forth about the meaning of Madonna's tune Like a Virgin:

Let me tell you what Like a Virgin's about. It's all about a girl who digs a guy with a big dick. The entire song, it's a metaphor for big dicks...Like a Virgin's not about some sensitive girl who meets a nice fella. That's what True Blue's about. Now, granted, no argument about that...Let me tell you what Like a Virgin's about. It's all about this cooze who's a regular f--k machine. I'm talkin' morning, day, night, afternoon . . . dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick... Then one day, she meets this John Holmes motherf--ker, and it's like, whoa baby. I mean, this cat is like Charles Bronson in The Great Escape. He's digging tunnels. She's getting this serious dick action and she's feelin' something she ain't felt since forever . . . Pain. Pain... It hurts. It hurts her. It shouldn't hurt her. You know, her pussy should be Bubble Yum by now, but when this cat f--ks her, it hurts. It hurts just like it did the first time. You see, the pain is reminding a f--k machine what it was once like to be a virgin. Hence . . . Like a Virgin.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Quentin Tarantino

On the Practice of Tipping: "I Don't Tip Because Society Says I Have To"

When the group of criminals were all contributing to the bill, Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) complained about the waitress service, and argued that he didn't believe in the practice of tipping:

Uh uh, I don't tip...No, I don't believe in it...Don't give me that, if she don't make enough money, she can quit....I don't tip because society says I have to. All right, I mean I'll tip if somebody really deserves a tip, if they really put forth the effort, I'll give them something extra, but I mean this tipping automatically, uh, it's for the birds. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, they're just doing their job...She was okay. She wasn't anything special...Look, I ordered coffee, right? Now we've been here a long f--kin' time and she's only filled my cup three times. I mean, when I order coffee, I want it filled six times...The words 'too f--king busy' shouldn't be in a waitress' vocabulary...

Jesus Christ, I mean, these ladies aren't starvin' to death. They make minimum wage. You know, I used to work minimum wage and when I did, I wasn't lucky enough to have a job that society deemed tip-worthy... You know what this is? It's the world's smallest violin playing just for the waitresses...So's workin' at McDonald's, but you don't feel the need to tip them, do ya? Well, why not? They're serving you food. But no, society says - don't tip these guys over here, but tip these guys over here. That's bulls--t...

F--k all that...I mean, I'm very sorry the government taxes their tips. That's f--ked up. That ain't my fault. I mean, it would appear that waitresses are one of the many groups the government f--ks in the ass on a regular basis. I mean, if you show me a piece of paper that says the government shouldn't do that, I'll sign it. Put it to a vote, I'll vote for it, but what I won't do is play ball. And this non-college bulls--t you're givin' me, I got two words for that: learn to f--kin' type, 'cause if you're expectin' me to help out with the rent, you're in for a big f--kin' surprise.

Scent of a Woman (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Bo Goldman

"I'm Givin' Ya Pearls Here" - The Beauty of Women

Play clip (excerpt): Scent of a Woman

Lt. Col. Frank Slade's (Al Pacino) tribute to women, delivered to young student Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell) while seated on an airplane:

Ooh, but I still smell her... Women! What could you say? Who made 'em? God must have been a f--kin' genius. The hair - they say the hair is everything, you know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls, just wanted to go to sleep forever? Or lips - and when they touched yours were like that first swallow of wine after you just crossed the desert. Tits. Hoo-hah! Big ones, little ones, nipples starin' right out at ya, like secret searchlights. Mmm. Legs. I don't care if they're Greek columns or secondhand Steinways. What's between 'em - passport to heaven. I need a drink. Yes, Mr. Simms, there's only two syllables in this whole wide world worth hearin': pussy. Hah! Are you listenin' to me, son? I'm givin' ya pearls here.

Scent of a Woman (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Bo Goldman

"I'll Show You Out of Order!"

Play clip (excerpt): Scent of a Woman

Lt. Col. Frank Slade's (Al Pacino) 'Out of Order' speech to Mr. Trask (James Rebhorn) to defend high school student Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell) at a disciplinary hearing and about to be expelled for being a "snitch" - for not revealing what he saw:

...No, I'm just gettin' warmed up. I don't know who went to this place - William Howard Taft, William Jennings Bryan, William Tell, whoever. Their spirit is dead, if they ever had one. It's gone. You're buildin' a rat ship here. A vessel for sea-goin' snitches. And if you think you're preparin' these minnows for manhood, you better think again. Because I say you are killin' the very spirit this institution proclaims it instills! What a sham! What kind of a show are you guys puttin' on here today. I mean, the only class in this act is sittin' next to me. And I'm here to tell ya, this boy's soul is intact. It's non-negotiable. You know how I know? Someone here, and I'm not gonna say who, offered to buy it. Only Charlie here wasn't sellin'....

Out of order, I'll show you out of order! You don't know what out of order is, Mr.Trask! I'd show you, but I'm too old, I'm too tired, I'm too f--kin' blind. If I were the man I was five years ago, I'd take a flame-thrower to this place. Out of order, who the hell do you think you're talking to? I've been around, you know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there isn't nothin' like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that. You think you're merely sending this splendid foot soldier back home to Oregon with his tail between his legs, but I say you are executin' his soul! And why? Because he's not a Baird man. Baird men. You hurt this boy, you're gonna be Baird bums, the lot of ya. And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are out there, F--k You Too!...

I'm not finished! As I came in here, I heard those words - 'Cradle of Leadership.' Well, when the bow breaks, the cradle will fall. And it has fallen here. It has fallen. Makers of men. Creators of leaders. Be careful what kind of leaders you're producin' here. I don't know if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong. I'm not a judge or jury. But I can tell you this. He won't sell anybody out to buy his future! And that, my friends, is called integrity! That's called courage! Now that's the stuff leaders should be made of. Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here's Charlie. He's come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey. You hold this boy's future in your hands, Committee. It's a valuable future. Believe me. Don't destroy it! Protect it. Embrace it. It's gonna make ya proud one day, I promise you.

Best Film Speeches and Monologues
(chronological, by film title)
1920-1931 | 1932-1935 | 1936-1937 | 1938-1939 | 1939
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943-1944 | 1945-1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952-1954
1955 | 1956-1957 | 1958-1959 | 1960 | 1961-1962 | 1963-1964 | 1965-1967 | 1968-1969
1970 | 1971 | 1972-1973 | 1974-1975 | 1976 | 1976-1977 | 1978-1979 | 1979 | 1980
1981 | 1982 | 1982-1983 | 1984 | 1984-1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1989
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