Best Film Speeches
and Monologues


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

Be Cool (2005)
Screenwriter(s): Peter Steinfeld

"Have You Lost Your Mind?"

Gangster/record producer Sin LaSalle (Cedric the Entertainer) pointed a gun at Russian Mafia head Roman Bulkin (Alex Kubik) who offensively used the racist N-word, as he spouted off on all the positive contributions of African-Americans to culture and society:

Have you lost your mind? I mean, how is it that you can disrespect a man's ethnicity when you know we've influenced nearly every facet of white America. From our music to our style of dress, not to mention your basic imitation of our sense of cool - walk, talk, dress, mannerisms. We enrich your very existence, all the while contributing to the gross national product through our achievements in corporate America.

It's these conceits that comfort me when I'm faced with the ignorant, cowardly, bitter and bigoted who have no talent, no guts. People like you who desecrate things they don't understand when the truth is you should say 'Thank you, man,' and go on about your way. But, apparently, you're incapable of doing that, so -- (he shot the man in the chest)...And don't tell me to be cool. I am cool! (Sin shot the man a second time) Racial epithets. Why does it always come down to that? Makes me sad for my daughter.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Screenwriter(s): Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana

"I Wish I Knew How to Quit You"

Play clip (excerpt): Brokeback Mountain
Play clip (excerpt): Brokeback Mountain

At the end of a fishing trip together, rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) was speaking to his gay lover ranch-hand Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) - the two had fallen in love at Brokeback Mountain (Wyoming) years earlier in 1963. Ennis dealt harshly with his former lover:

I'm gonna tell you this one time, Jack f--kin' Twist, an' I ain't foolin'. What I don't know - all them things that I don't know - could get you killed if I come to know them. I ain't jokin'.

Twist responded that he was sexually frustrated that they weren't seeing each other very much:

Well, try this one and I'll say it just once....Tell you what, we could've had a good life together! F--kin' real good life! Had us a place of our own. But you didn't want it, Ennis! So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain! Everything's built on that! That's all we got, boy, f--kin' all. So I hope you know that, even if you don't never know the rest! You count the damn few times that we have been together in nearly twenty years and you measure the short f--kin' leash you keep me on - and then you ask me about Mexico and you tell me you'll kill me for needing somethin' that I don't hardly never get. You have no idea how bad it gets! And I'm not you - I can't make it on a coupla high-altitude f--ks once or twice a year! You are too much for me, Ennis, you sonofawhoreson bitch! I wish I knew how to quit you.

Ennis responded, while crying, telling Jack that he was the source of his conflicted emotions:

Well, why don't you? Why don't you just let me be? It's because of you, Jack, that I'm like this! I'm nothin'... I'm nowhere... Get the f--k off me!.. (They struggled against each other, and ended up embracing) I can't stand it any more, Jack.

The Girl in the Cafe (2005, UK) (TV)
Screenwriter(s): Richard Curtis

Response to the British Prime Minister's Dinner Speech at G8 Summit: "That's Not True!"

Play clip (excerpt): The Girl in the Cafe

Free-spirited, idealistic, undiplomatic young female Gina (Kelly Macdonald) contradicted the Prime Minister's (Corin Redgrave) assertion, during a dinner speech at the G8 Economic Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland that they were effectively combating the "extreme curses of poverty" in the world.

She accused them of "ignoring the poor" by denying enormous financial aid - and reflected how she would probably be thrown out for "heckling" - so she opted to immediately speak out about the issue:

That's not true. That's not true...What are the traditions, then? Well crafted compromise and just sort of ignoring the poor?...I doubt it. I imagine I'll be thrown out later so it's probably got to be now. I don't know how much the rest of you ladies know about what's going on, but my friend here tells me that while we are eating, a hundred million children are nearly starving. There's just millions of kids who'd kill for the amount of food that fat old me left on the side of my plate - children who are then so weak they'll die if a mosquito bites them. And so, they do die, one every three seconds. [She snapped her fingers]

There they go. And another one.

Anyone who has kids knows that every mother and father in Africa must love their children as much as they do. And to watch your kids die, to watch them die and then to die yourself in trying to protect them - that's not right. And tomorrow, eight of the men sitting 'round this table actually have the ability to sort this out by making a few great decisions. And if they don't, someday, someone else will, and they'll look back on us lot and say: 'People were actually dying in their millions unnecessarily, in front of you, on your TV screens. What were you thinking? You knew what to do to stop it happening and you didn't do those things. Shame on you.'

So that's what you have to do tomorrow. Be great, instead of being ashamed. It can't be impossible. It must be possible...

Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
Screenwriter(s): George Clooney, Grant Heslov

Murrow's Attack on Senator McCarthy, and his Support of Freedom of Speech

In a powerful speech spoken directly into the camera on his television show See It Now, legendary reporter Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) attacked Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy's (Himself) methods:

No one familiar with the history of his country, can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating. But the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the Junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been confusing the public mind as between the internal and the external threats of communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine. And remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to associate, to speak and to defend the causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

This is no time for men who oppose Sen. McCarthy's methods to keep silent or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history but we cannot escape responsibility for the results. We proclaim ourselves, indeed we are, the defenders of freedom wherever it continues to exist in the world. But we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.

The actions of the Junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn't create this situation of fear -- he merely exploited it, and rather successfully. Cassius was right: the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Good night, and good luck.

Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
Screenwriter(s): George Clooney, Grant Heslov

"What is Happening to Radio and Television"

Play clip (excerpt): Good Night, and Good Luck

Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) also delivered a speech on October 25, 1958, to RTNDA (Radio-Television News Directors Association) - news professionals who were honoring his notable career, about the positive good of television:

This might just do nobody any good. At the end of this discourse, a few people may accuse this reporter of fouling his own comfortable nest, and your organization may be accused of having given hospitality to heretical and even dangerous ideas. But the elaborate structure of networks, advertising agencies, and sponsors will not be shaken or altered. It is my desire if not my duty to try to talk to you journeymen with some candor about what is happening to radio and television, and if what I say is responsible, I alone am responsible for the saying of it.

Our history will be what we make of it. And if there are any historians about fifty or a hundred years from now, and there should be preserved the kinescopes of one week of all three networks, they will there find, recorded in black and white and in color, evidence of decadence, escapism, and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live. We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable, and complacent. We have a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information - our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses, and recognize that television, in the main, is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture, too late.

Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
Screenwriter(s): George Clooney, Grant Heslov

"It is Merely Wires and Lights in a Box"

Play clip (excerpt): Good Night, and Good Luck

The film concluded with the second part of Murrow's (David Strathairn) speech to the news professionals:

...I began by saying that our history will be what we make it. If we go on as we are, then history will take its revenge and retribution will not limp in catching up with us. Just once in awhile, let us exalt the importance of ideas and information. Let us dream to the extent of saying that on a given Sunday night, a time normally occupied by Ed Sullivan, is given over to a clinical survey on the state of American education. And a week or two later, a time normally used by Steve Allen, is devoted to a thorough-going study of American policy in the Middle East. Would the corporate image of their respective sponsors be damaged? Would the shareholders rise up in their wrath and complain? Would anything happen, other than a few million people would have received a little illumination on subjects that may well determine the future of this country - and therefore the future of the corporations?

To those who say people wouldn't look, they wouldn't be interested, they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply -- there is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate - and yes, it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it towards those ends. Otherwise, it is merely wires and lights in a box. Good night, and good luck.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Screenwriter(s): Steve Kloves

Challenging The Boy-Who-Lived

The resurrected Dark Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) confronted his long-time famous nemesis Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), "the boy who lived." He spoke of the legend of Harry's parents' death that occurred thirteen years earlier, when he truly lost his powers, due to the protective sacrifice of Harry's "dear sweet" mother Lily:

Harry. I'd almost forgotten you were here. Standing on the bones of my father. Yeah. I'd introduce you, but word has it you're almost as famous as me these days. The Boy-Who-Lived. How lies have fed your legend, Harry! Shall I reveal what really happened that night 13 years ago? Shall I divulge how I truly lost my powers? Yes, shall I. It was love. You see, when dear, sweet Lily Potter gave her life for her only son, she provided the ultimate protection. I could not touch him. It was old magic. Something I should have foreseen. But no matter, no matter. Things have changed. I CAN TOUCH YOU NOW!
(He placed the pad of his finger on Harry's forehead lightning bolt scar, and Harry immediately screamed out in agony)
Yeah! Astonishing what a few drops of your blood will do, eh, Harry?

Voldemort challenged Harry to a duel of wills and wands and threatened death:

Pick up your wand, Potter! I said, pick it up. Get up! Get up! You've been taught how to duel, I presume, yes? First, we bow to each other. Come on now, Harry. The niceties must be observed. Dumbledore wouldn't want you to forget your manners, would he? I said, BOW! That's better, and now: Crucio! Crucio! Attaboy, Harry! Your parents would be proud. Especially your filthy Muggle mother...I'm going to kill you, Harry Potter. I'm going to destroy you. After tonight, no one will ever again question my powers. After tonight, if they speak of you, they'll speak only of how you begged for death. And I, being a merciful Lord, obliged. Get up ! Don't you turn your back on me, Harry Potter! I want you to look at me when I kill you. I want to see the light leave your eyes.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Screenwriter(s): Douglas Adams, Karey Kirkpatrick

Sperm Whale and Bowl of Petunias Ruminations

The humorous speech by The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - known as the Book, the Narrator or The Guide (voice of Stephen Fry) regarding how the orbiting spaceship Heart of Gold, powered by the Infinite Probability Drive, suddenly transformed two nuclear missiles into a giant sperm whale and a bowl of petunias.

As the sperm whale fell out of orbit through the Magrathean atmosphere toward the alien planet, its thought processes were described:

It is important to note that suddenly, and against all probability, a sperm whale had been called into existence, several miles above the surface of an alien planet. But since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity. This is what it thought as it fell: 'Ahhh! Whoa! What's happening? Who am I? Why am I here? What's my purpose in life? What do I mean by 'who am I'? Okay, okay, calm down, calm down, get a grip now. Ooh, this is an interesting sensation. What is it? It's a sort of a tingling in my... well, I suppose I better start finding names for things. Let's call it a... tail! Yeah! Tail! And hey, what's this roaring sound, whooshing past what I'm suddenly gonna call my head? Wind! Is that a good name? It'll do. Yeah, this is really exciting! I'm dizzy with anticipation! Or is it the wind? There's an awful lot of that now, isn't it? And what's this thing coming toward me very fast? So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like 'Ow', 'Ownge', 'Round', 'Ground'! That's it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it'll be friends with me? Hello Ground!'

The sperm whale crashed into the ground, viewed from a distance with a rising plume of ice/snow.

Curiously, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell, was: 'Oh no, not again.' Many have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that, we should know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.

Pride & Prejudice (2005, UK)
Screenwriter(s): Deborah Moggach

"I Never Wish to Be Parted From You From This Day On" - A Statement of Love

Reluctant at first to fall in love with spirited, lower-ranked Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley), the arrogant and conceited Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen) - for the second time - declared his love to her on the moors at dawn:

You must know, surely you must know, it was all for you. You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I'd scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.

Best Film Speeches and Monologues
(chronological, by film title)
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