The most memorable speech I’ve ever seen in a film.
i don’t know what’s up with the video I posted but whatever.
“I’ve seen horrors… horrors that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that… but you have no right to judge me. It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face… and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn’t see. We went back there and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember… I… I… I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized… like I was shot… like I was shot with a diamond… a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought: My God… the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters. These were men… trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love… but they had the strength… the strength… to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral… and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling… without passion… without judgment… without judgment. Because it’s judgment that defeats us.”
Monologue? Looking for a monologue?
During the third hour of Sidney Lumet’s TV adaptation (broadcast in 1960) of Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”, Jason Robards enacts a shattering 40-minute-long monologue.
Available on DVD courtesy of the Broadway Theatre Archive, filmed with a 2-camera setup and featuring a 23-year-old Robert Redford, nothing else in this extensive and affectionate thread of 2 to 4-minute-long speeches can resemble more than a cake candle to the blazing torch of Robards’ soul-wrenching character, Hickey, as he tears apart his heart and mind for forty unforgettable minutes.
Now, there’s a monologue
Richard Linklater as “The Man Should Have Stayed at Bus Station” in Slacker.
I second Chaplin in The Great Dictator. Also, Brando’s tearful farewell to his dead wife in Last Tango in Paris and several of the monologues in Waking Life.
Ed Norton in 25th Hour.
Jason Robard’s 15 minute monlogue in Magnolia.
Interesting. I’ve always felt that Chaplin’s speech in The Great Dictator was the only bad part of the film. It’s where he stops using his art to criticize Hitler and just goes for a straightforward, preachy speech that doesn’t gel with the rest of the film. Given the time and place it was made, the speech is admirable, but when viewed with the rest of the film today, it just seems weak and contrived.
and this one is good, not great. the writing is okay, but the delivery is nice i think:
I’m to lazy to scroll through each page, but I’m sure somebody has already posted this….
For my money, best speech in movie history. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b5g1avyCSA&feature=youtube_gdata_player
And one more personal favorite
Harvey Keitel as Auggie told his christmas story to Paul. (“Smoke”, Paul Auster & Wayne Wang, 1995)
Two already posted that I’d like to make note of… first, Kurtz’s monologue in Apocalypse Now, my most memorable and affecting. I also thought that the entire script of Altered States had some terrific moments from Hurts character Jessup, and especially Blair Brown’s Emily Jessup, in the brief monologue which contains the words “there’s always this pain…I’m possessed by him…” Browns delivery was spot on perfect (… well ok, I’ll have to admit its part of a dialogue with Charles Haid’s character Mason Parrish). What a fantastic cast in that movie.
Kudos to you both for mentioning these.
@ Girlfriend In a Coma
Once, off the hump of Brazil I saw the ocean so darkened with blood it was black and the sun fainting away over the lip of the sky.
We’d put in at Fortaleza, and a few of us had lines out for a bit of idle fishing. It was me had the first strike. A shark it was. Then there was another, and another shark again, ‘till all about, the sea was made of sharks and more sharks still, and no water at all.
My shark had torn himself from the hook, and the scent, or maybe the stain it was, and him bleeding his life away drove the rest of them mad. Then the beasts to to eating each other.In their frenzy, they ate at themselves.You could feel the lust of murder like a wind stinging your eyes, and you could smell the death, reeking up out of the sea.
I never saw anything worse… until this little picnic tonight.And you know, there wasn’t one of them sharks in the whole crazy pack that survived.
I always enjoy Al Pacino ripping Kevin Spacey to pieces near the end of Glengarry Glen Ross. Rare is the individual who hasn’t wanted to vent with that speech to some fool of a boss.
I would say the initial monologue in “Veronika Decides To Die” is one of my favourites!
@CINEMATIC CTEVE (BTW, what kind of “handle” is that? It reads like a typo!):
I agree with your selection of Pacino’s monologue against Kevin Spacey toward the end of Glengarry Glen Ross. Just as impressive, though, is the semi-setup of that speech: Alec Baldwin’s earlier instructions to the realtors (“Always Be Selling!”), in which he spells out the metaphysics of capitalism (I’m paraphrasing): “Win the sales contest and you get a new Cadillac; finish second and you receive a set of steak knives; finish third, and you’re fired.”
Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, chief. It was comin’ back, from the of island Tinian to Leyte, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn’t see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen footer. You know, you know that when you’re in the water, chief? You tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. Well, we didn’t know. `Cause our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, chief. The sharks come cruisin’. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know it’s kinda like `ol squares in battle like a, you see on a calendar, like the battle of Waterloo. And the idea was, the shark nearest man and then he’d start poundin’ and hollerin’ and screamin’ and sometimes the shark would go away. Sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a shark, he’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin’ and the ocean turns red and spite of all the poundin’ and the hollerin’ they all come in and rip you to pieces. Y’know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don’t know how many sharks, maybe a thousand. I don’t know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin’ chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player, bosom’s mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up and down in the water, just like a kinda top. Up ended. Well, he’d been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us. He’d a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper, anyway he saw us and come in low. And three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened? Waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb."
-Robert Shaw, Jaws