Extras applauded Gregory Peck when he finished the entire scene in one take.
Network (1976) board room speech
Jensen: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it!! Is that clear?! You think you’ve merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance!
You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels.
It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. 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?
You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.
What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state — Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do.
We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality — one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.
And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.
Beale: But why me?
Jensen: Because you’re on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
Beale: I have seen the face of God.
Jensen: You just might be right, Mr. Beale.
The best, interestingly enough, can’t be claimed by any screenwriter but has the heartbreaking, authentic poignancy of real life:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3UjGxJFSuU (embedding disabled)
I’m raised on a farm, we had chickens and pigs and cows and sheep and everything. But down here I’ve been lost. Now they’ve taken them all away from here up to that – What’s the name of that place? Up above here a little ways? That town? Commences with a ‘B.’ Blue. It’s – Blue Hill Cemetery, I think the name of it is. Not too far, I guess, about maybe twenty miles from here. A little town there, a little place. You know where it’s at. But I was really surprised when I heard they were getting rid of the cemetery over here. Gonna put in buildings or something over there. Ah well, I know people been very good to me, you know. Well, they see my condition, I guess, must of felt sorry for me. But it’s real, my condition is. It’s not put on. That’s for sure! Boy, if I could only walk. If I could only get out. Drive my car. I’d get another car. Ya… and my son, if he was only better to me. After I bought him that car. He’s got a nice car. I bought it myself just a short time ago. I don’t know. These kids – the more you do for them… He’ s my grandson, but I raised him from two years old… I don’t see him very often. And he just got the car. I didn’t pay for all of it. I gave him four hundred dollars. Pretty good! His boss knows it. Well, he’s not working for that outfit now. He’s changed. He’s gone back on his old job – hauling sand. No, not hauling sand; he’s working in the office. That’s right. He took over the office job. His boss told me that on the phone. But, you know, he should help me more. He’s all I got. He’s the one who brought me up here. And then put me here by myself among strangers. It’s terrible, you stop and think of it. I’ve been without so much, when I first come up here. Ya. It’s what half of my trouble is from – him not being home with me. Didn’t cost him nothing to stay here. Every time he need money, he’d always come, ‘Mom, can I have this? Can I have that?’ But he never pays back. Too good, too easy – that’s what everybody tells me. I quit now. I quit. Now he’s got the office job, I’m going after him. I’m going after him good, too – if I have to go in… in a different way. He’s going to pay that money. He’s got the office job now. And he makes good money anyway. And he has no kids. He has not married. Never get married, he says. He was married once – they’re divorced. Well, she tried to take him for the kid, but she didn’t. They went to court. It was somebody else’s kid. She was nothing but a tramp in the first place. I told him that. He wouldn’t listen to me. I says, ‘I know what she is.’ I said, ‘Richard, please, listen to me.’ He wouldn’t listen. He knew all, he knew everything. Big shot! But he soon found out. Now that’s all over with. I’ve been through so much I don’t know how I’m staying alive. Really, for my age… if you’re young, it’s different. But I’ve always said I’m never going to grow old. I’ve always had that, and the people that I tell how old I am, they don’t believe me, because people my age as a rule don’t get around like I do.
@Kilgore Trout: I think you’ve found it. Watching this with the right audience is a real experience: laughter at first, then everyone quiets down and she takes over. Beautiful.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I give you Donald Sutherland in Alan Arkin’s Little Murders (1971):
DADA WEATHERMAN used the Tom Joad monologue from THE GRAPES OF WRATH that I was going to post. Bravo!
Re: the monologue from the Erroll Morris film above. Ebert talks about the scene, saying there is a shocking revelation. I never could figured out what the relevation was. Anyone?
Not one of the best monologues in film ever, but very memorable -
One of the best in the last 5 years IMO:
Jazzahola, I was curious and just read Ebert’s review (it’s one of his best I’ve come across). I found no mention of a revelation. Here’s what he said:
In his “Great Movies” review:
“The centerpiece of the film is an extended monologue spoken by a woman named Florence Rasmussen, who sits in the doorway of her home, overlooking the first pet cemetery. William Faulkner or Mark Twain would have wept with joy to have created such words as fall from her mouth, as she tells the camera the story of her life: She paints the details in quick, vivid sketches, and then contradicts every single thing she says.”
In his original 1980 review, his only mention is to say:
“an unforgettable old woman named Florence Rasmussen, who starts on the subject of pets, and switches, with considerable fire, to her no-account son.”
Are you sure about the shocking revelation one? I can’t think of one in the scene and can’t find him saying anything of the sort.
What I did find, and found interesting, was that apparently Rasmussen was the first subject Morris ever interviewed.
‘He was ashamed of his , his boasting, his pretensions of courage and ruthlessness; he was sorry about his cold-bloodedness, his dispassion, his inability to express what he now believed was the case- that he truly regretted killing Jesse, that he missed the man as much as anybody and wished his murder hadn’t been necessary. Even as he circulated his saloon he knew that the smiles disappeared when he passed by. He received so many menacing letters that he could read them without any reaction except curiosity. He kept to his apartment all day, flipping over playing cards, looking at his destiny in every King and Jack. Edward O’Kelly came up from Bachelor at one P.M. on the 8th. He had no grand scheme. No strategy. No agreement with higher authorities. Nothing but a vague longing for glory, and a generalized wish for revenge against Robert Ford. Edward O’Kelly would be ordered to serve a life sentence in the Colorado Penitentiary for second degree murder. Over seven thousand signatures would eventually be gathered in a petition asking for O’Kelly’s release, and in 1902, Governor James B. Ullman would pardon the man. There would be no eulogies for Bob, no photographs of his body would be sold in sundries stores, no people would crowd the streets in the rain to see his funeral cortege, no biographies would be written about him, no children named after him, no one would ever pay twenty-five cents to stand in the rooms he grew up in. The shotgun would ignite, and Ella Mae would scream, but Robert Ford would only lay on the floor and look at the ceiling, the light going out of his eyes before he could find the right words. ’
jimmy stewart as jeff smith in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON
hands fucking down
Well, don’t be too upset. It’s an amicable separation. Nobody’s mad at anyone, and the marriage itself was sufferable, as sufferable as any of the others around. I think I’ve played my part well. I take the kids to the zoo. I stay up with them when they’re ill, I romp with them when they’re well. I sit around the living rooms of other young married faculty members talking infantile masturbation, who’s sucking up to the head of the department and whose tenure is hanging by a thread. Emily’s quite content to go on with this life. She insists she’s in love with me — whatever that is. What she means is she prefers the senseless pain we inflict on each other to the
pain we would otherwise inflict on ourselves. But I’m not afraid of that solitary pain. In fact, if I don’t strip myself of all this clatter and clutter and ridiculous ritual, I shall go out of my fucking mind. Does that answer your question, Arthur?
What question was that?
You asked me why I was getting divorced?
Listen, it’s your life. I’m sorry I
This is the “high water mark” monologue from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
A touching introspective moment in a wild and crazy film, and a nice piece of writing by Hunter S. Thompson.
So true but I don’t think Depp pulled it off. One of those situations where you had to be there.
One of many great scenes from Dog Day Afternoon.
Underrated, under seen, but truly one of Chayevsky’s best. Previews what’s to come in “Network.”
Not to mention George C. Scott’s brilliant performance.
Also, Monica Vitti near the end of “Red Desert” when she talks to the stranger/sailor about “what is reality.” Chilling, moving, and profound.
Nick: Thanks for bringing up “The Hospital.” Saw it when I was 14, and its image of completely ruined adults was scary—but at 15, one has one’s suspicions that it’s all true. Scary picture—and a full-steam-ahead Scott performance.
brilliant choice of THE HOSPITAL Nick
we can dream….
A shorty, but a goody.
What are you sorry about? Sit down…I’m angry. I’m very angry, Ralph. You know, you can ball my wife, if she wants you to. You can lounge around here on her…sofa. In her ex-husband’s…dead-tech post-modernistic bullshit house, if you want to. But you do not! Get to watch! My! Fucking! Television set!
Genevieve Bujold in Anne Of A Thousand Days- counting the keys & remembering her 1000 days with Henry VIII, and toward the end of the video her sticking it to him
Cosmo’s phone call back to the club after his car breaks down in the middle of the highway in KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE.
Veronika (Françoise Lebrun), near the tail end of The Mother and the Whore:
And that one, looking at me slyly with his beady eyes, thinking: Chat
away, baby, I’ll get you. Please, Alexandre, I’m not playing a role.
What do you think? For me, there are no whores. For me, a girl
who lets anyone fuck her, any way, is no whore. The woman who’s
married, and who dreams of getting fucked by anyone, by her
husband’s boss, or by some shitty actor, or by her milkman, by her
plumber . . . is she a whore? There are no whores. What does that
mean, whore? There are just cunts, genitals. It’s not sad, it’s superhappy.
Why put so much importance on these fuck stories? Only you
can fuck me like that. How horrible and sordid! I lost my virginity
at 20. And afterwards, I got fucked. I took a maximum number of
lovers and got fucked. It may be a chronic disease: chronic fucking.
But I don’t give a fuck about fucking. Just one thing is beautiful:
fucking because you’re so in love that you want to make a baby who
looks like you. And I’m not drunk. If I’m crying, it’s for my whole
life. I’ve been fucked a lot, meaninglessly. Desired a lot, and fucked,
meaninglessly. I’m not dramatizing, Marie, I’m not drunk. Some day
a man will come along and make me a baby, out of love. Love is
nothing unless you want to make a baby together. A couple that
doesn’t want a baby is no couple, it’s shit, it’s dust. I’m not
reproaching you. My sadness is not a reproach. It’s a sadness I’ve
carried around for five years. You’re going to be happy.