I always find it fascinating when I watch someone delivers a speech or just a monologue in a film. Whether it’s short or long.
I’m looking for any input about films that have great scenes where someone does that.
1: A nine minute clip from Tarr’s The Man from London; most of it takes the form of a long monologue delivered by one character to another. It’s a fascinating and meticulously structured scene from a film I’ve never been able to love as much as I wanted to…
2: Hurt’s histrionics aside, I’ve always found this speech incredibly moving, and despite the claims to Shyamalan’s supposed incompetence as a screenwriter, beautifully written. I suppose, like the dialogue in John Ford movies, something like this appeals to the romantic idealist in me…
“The world moves for love; it kneels before it in awe.”
Both are possibly contentious examples, but they’re the best I could find for now.
[Christ, why can’t I just DELETE my post.]
In Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, Solveig Dommartin’s character Marion speaks the prose of Peter Handke to Bruno Ganz’s character Damiel.
Reviled by some as crypto-fascist hegemony, it is about the love between a man and a woman.
easy. the speech by erland josephson’s “holy fool” character in tarkovsky’s nostalghia.
There are many in Network and of course there is the opening scene of Patton
“In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed. But they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love. They had five hundred years of democracy and peace; and what did that produce? …. The cuckoo clock.”
The Third Man (1949)
Maybe not the best monologue EVER but damn fine writing by any measure.
They had five hundred years of democracy and peace; and what did that produce? …. The cuckoo clock.
Conflict and its relation to art – the source?
Ned Beatty’s big speech in NETWORK — "You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations, there are no peoples, there is no third world, there is no west. There is only one holistic system of systems — one vast and immane, interwoven, interactive, multivaried, multi-national dominion of DOLLARS. Petro-dollars, electrodollars, reichmarks rubles pounds and schekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the atomic, and subatomic, and galactic structure of things today. And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature. And you will atone!
Am I getting through to you Mr. Beale?"
Spartan Council Loyalist: May I give the floor now to the wife of Leonidas and Queen of Sparta.
Queen Gorgo: Councilmen, I stand before you today not only as your Queen: I come to you as a mother; I come to you as a wife; I come to you as a Spartan woman; I come to you with great humility.
I am not here to represent Leonidas; his actions speak louder than my words ever could. I am here for all those voices which cannot be heard: mothers, daughters, fathers, sons — 300 families that bleed for our rights, and for the very principles this room was built upon.
We are at war, gentlemen. We must send the entire Spartan army to aid our King in the preservation of not just ourselves, but of our children.
Send the army for the preservation of liberty.
Send it for justice.
Send it for law and order.
Send it for reason.
But most importantly, send our army for hope — hope that a king and his men have not been wasted to the pages of history — that their courage bonds us together, that we are made stronger by their actions, and that your choices today reflect their bravery.
Dilios: Long I pondered my King’s cryptic talk of victory. Time has proven him wise. For from free Greek to free Greek, the word was spread that bold Leonidas and his 300, so far from home, laid down their lives; not just for Sparta, but for all Greece and the promise this country holds. Now, here on this ragged patch of earth called Plataea, let his hordes face obliteration!
Spartan Army: HA-OOH!!
Dilios: Just there the barbarians huddle, sheer terror gripping tight their hearts with icy fingers — knowing full well what merciless horrors they suffered at the swords and spears of 300.Yet they stare now across the plain at 10,000 Spartans commanding 30,000 free Greeks: HA-OOH!
Spartan Army: HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH!
Dilios: The enemy outnumber us a paltry 3 to 1, good odds for any Greek. This day we rescue a world from mysticism and tyranny and usher in a future brighter than anything we can imagine.
Richard E. Grant’s ending monologue for How to Get Ahead in Advertising is one of my personal favorites.
Sorry I don’t have a clip to embed, but believe me, it blows the socks right outta yr ass.
Ah yeah, I’ve seen Network and it’s full of good speeches. I also remember a scene from Devil Wears Prada where Meryl Streep gives a monologue about fashion. Good stuff too.
I should start watching those films you all post here.
Someone just posted this earlier and deleted it, but I found it to be really good.
Naked Lunch has a lot of great monlogues.
The great deconstruction of the Momentous Monologue is delivered by Peter Boyle’s Wizard in “Taxi Driver”: “Look at it this way. A man takes a job, you know? And that job – I mean, like that – That becomes what he is. You know, like – You do a thing and that’s what you are. Like I’ve been a cabbie for thirteen years. Ten years at night. I still don’t own my own cab. You know why? Because I don’t want to. That must be what I want. To be on the night shift drivin’ somebody else’s cab. You understand? I mean, you become – You get a job, you become the job. One guy lives in Brooklyn. One guy lives in Sutton Place. You got a lawyer. Another guy’s a doctor. Another guy dies. Another guy gets well. People are born, y’know? I envy you, your youth. Go on, get laid, get drunk. Do anything. You got no choice, anyway. I mean, we’re all fucked. More or less, ya know.” Even Travis Bickle is able to note, “That’s about the dumbest thing I ever heard.”
NOTE: Boyle and Ray Romano do a great parody of this at the tail-end of an “Everybody Loves Raymond” episode.
HAL in “2001” trying to convince Dave not to kill him; breaks my heart every time—especially the winding-down song at the end.
Bogart explaining to Mary Astor in “The Maltese Falcon” why he has to turn her in.
Bill Murray rallying the recruits in “Stripes”: "The hell’s the matter with you? Stupid! We’re all very different people. We’re not Watusi. We’re not Spartans. We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts! Here’s proof: his nose is cold! But there’s no animal that’s more faithful, that’s more loyal, more lovable than the mutt. Who saw “Old Yeller?” Who cried when Old Yeller got shot at the end? … I cried my eyes out. So we’re all dogfaces, we’re all very, very different, but there is one thing that we all have in common: we were all stupid enough to enlist in the Army. We’re mutants. There’s something wrong with us, something very, very wrong with us. Something seriously wrong with us—we’re soldiers. But we’re American soldiers! We’ve been kicking ass for 200 years! We’re 10 and 1! Now we don’t have to worry about whether or not we practiced. We don’t have to worry about whether Captain Stillman wants to have us hung. All we have to do is to be the great American fighting soldier that is inside each one of us. Now do what I do, and say what I say. And make me proud."
Tarkovsky again: Alexander’s long opening talk to his young son in “The Sacrifice.” In the beginning was the Word—and at the end, too.
25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
There’s a set of heartbreaking monologues by the film’s actors (not the characters) at the end of Amos Gitai’s Esther. I really wish that film was more well-known, it’s enormous.
This is well known
casablanca: ’we’ll always have paris’ speech. gets me every time
The opening scene in The King of Marvin Gardens (Bob Rafelson, 1972)
The ones back-to-back near the end of Paris, Texas are my absolute favorites.
“Every man has your voice.”
Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society
Travis’s I knew these people monologue in Paris-Texas
Al Pacino, political opportunism in City Hall:
also Brando at the end of Apocalypse Now.
the opening monologue from sunset blvd- ‘he always wanted a pool’
and of course ms desmond’s ’i’m ready for my close-up’ speech
and brando’s ‘i coulda been a contender’ from on the waterfront