29 Responses to “Top Ten Greatest Movie Monologues”

  1. JapanCinema says:

    WHHHAAAAAAAATTTTTTTT what about edward nortons rant on seterotypes in 25th hour? That scene was the shit. Great list though :)

    • Heather says:

      I agree with you on that one Cello. It was pretty kick ass and made my short list. I just liked the quiet punch of Williams moment in Good Will Hunting, and I couldn’t snub Ellen Burstyn once again, because that part haunts me just as much as any of the visual disturbances from that flick.

    • blake says:

      Here here. I’d rank that 25th Hour quite high on this list. Also, Julianne Moore from Magnolia.
      blake recently posted..Due Date

      • Jim says:

        I agree 25th Hour should have made the list. I say in place of Chaplin. I also liked Magnolia, there were some good monologues in that movie. Stand By Me is so underrated in lists when it comes to monologues. There are some gems there with the fireside scene.

  2. Univarn says:

    I absolutely adore the Great Dictator speech, so much message, morality, and hope all entangled into a beautifully captured moment.

    Other Ones I enjoy:

    The Trainspotting Monologue at the beginning:
    “Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home…. Choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”

    The Ferris Wheel speech from The Third Man
    The Final Address in The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951 original)
    Univarn recently posted..

  3. Dan says:

    It’s rather ironic that one of silent cinema’s greatest stars has one of the best monologues in movie history. Nice list.

  4. Castor says:

    Awesome list with most of the ones that would be on my top monologue lists most notably Apocalypse Now, Wall Street and A Few Good Men. Like they say, great minds think alike ;) One major omission though, Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross which is absolutely epic!

    Castor recently posted..

  5. rory dean says:

    I’m not even going to try at this level of consciousness (hey, give me a break I haven’t had my coffee yet) to add to this list but suffice to say you have some real winners on there. I’m not so sure I’d go with Good Will Hunting, I like that one but there are others that surpass it. Just off the top of my head I’d add the opening monologue (of sorts) from Vincent D’Onofrio in Antoine Fuqua’s Brooklyn’s Finest (2009) or Terrence Howard’s opening monologue in Hustle and Flow, and you just can’t forget the late great Dennis Hopper in True Romance’s monologue with Chris Walken – that is some serious, seriously top notch writing and acting.

    @Japancinema – if you want to see where Spike Lee started with those rants then you have to see Do The Right Thing – not only a superior film but an exceptional film period. One of Lee’s finest and filled with great lines – Sam Jackson is smoothe as the other side of your pillow as the DJ.

    @Univarn – OH OH OH – yes, the opening Trainspotting monologue is damn nice. And that reminds me of the opening monologue by Tom Wilkinson in Michael CLayton (with George Clooney) just sheer brilliant delivery and writing.

    @castor – another good pick, Baldwin in Glenngarry. Also Wallstreet and A Few Good Men.

    MUST SUGGEST if you haven’t already seen it, A Solitary Man (not to be confused with a single man) with Michael Douglas (I hope he gets well) – the opening monologue he delivers is superb.

    cheers all->
    rory dean recently posted..“La Maniere Que Nous Disons Au Revoir” Screens in Canada

  6. Fitz says:

    Outstanding list! At the end of the day I would pick Nicholson over 90% of actors and his monologue in A Few Good Men is evidence why.
    Fitz recently posted..

  7. Andrew says:

    Great list but of course I’ve got my own two cents…

    I’ll be predictable and throw in for Oh Dae-su’s monologue during his prison stint, just before he’s removed and unceremoniously dumped back in the real world, in Oldboy. And Guido’s ending monologue in 8 & 1/2; that one hits me every time. I also think a monologue list is generally incomplete without Robert Shaw’s bit from Jaws about the black eyes of the shark and, of course, Peter Finch getting mad as hell (and not taking it anymore) in Network.
    Andrew recently posted..Review- Nine- 2009- dir Rob Marshall

  8. Rodney says:

    heh heh, watched A Few Good Men a few nights ago – Nicholson nails that speech, even though the film isn’t as good as everybody thought back in the day….
    Rodney recently posted..Remembrance Day 2010

  9. John says:

    Ah, GREAT list. And a great idea for a list, too.

    If you like monologues, check out Robert Altman’s “Secret Honor”. It’s one gigantic (fictional) monologue from Richard Nixon. I realize how incredibly boring that might sound to someone but trust me on this… it’s worth it if for no other reason than the fantastic acting job by Phillip Baker Hall. And if you’re a history nerd, it’s great fun.
    John recently posted..How is John Wayne Spending His Time On-Screen

  10. Red says:

    Have been wanting to do a list like this for forever, but just not never got around to it. I think the Good Will Hunting speech (plus Damon’s) would be a bit higher on my list.

    Sam’s big speech at the end of TTT would be there.

    One of my favorites that seems to always get overlooked, and I think maybe it’s because her character is underdeveloped throughout most of the film and then just flat out nails you at the end, but Laura Linney’s speech at the end of Mystic River.
    Red recently posted..

    • Fitz says:

      Linney’s speech struck me as to ‘on the nose’ so to speak.
      Fitz recently posted..

      • I sort of agree with you. I love Mystic River but the Linney arc just does not work for me.

  11. Marc says:

    Great list top to bottom, but I may have to go out on a limb and say I’ve never seen A Few Good Men…or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington while we’re on the topic of great courtroom dramas. Yup Jack would be disappointed with me but I’ll get that fixed pronto.

    Great to see Patton on here (that movie had so many monologues to chose from) but as Castor pointed out, your omission of Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross could be considered criminal…but you know what? It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault:)
    Marc recently posted..The World’s End – Final Leg of the “The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy”

  12. Roy Batty does not approve of his exclusion.
    Jonathan Sullivan recently posted..Review- Morning Glory 2010

  13. Al K Hall says:

    Very good list and tricky ’cause there’s always gonna be people dropping in their 2 cents after the fact. For example, i think i’d have included Deniro’s “Are you talking to me” rant in Taxi Driver, especially as the entire thing was ad-libbed. But that’s just me.

    Tanks for the list, brother.
    Al K Hall recently posted..Booze Revooze- A Drinker’s Skewed View of THE SOCIAL NETWORK

  14. Nothing from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? That movie sometimes seems like one great monologue after another…after another. I’d also probably throw in something from either A Streetcar Named Desire or Suddenly Last Summer – depending on which Tennessee Williams you’re in the mood for. Of the lot you have there Brando wins for me. He’s just too brilliant.
    Encore Entertainment recently posted..The Kids Are All Right or is it The Kids Are Alright

  15. where woz this taken to ? and what event ?

  16. FRC Ruben says:

    I’ve been around this block twice now. Looking for something. A clue. I’ve been looking for clues and something led me back here. Yeah. So here I am. It could have been me, the one who was at Ringo’s place when the shit went down. Hey. I know how it is. I’ve been there. We’ve all done bad things. We’ve all had those guilty feelings in our heart. I’m going to take your brain out of your head and wash it and scrub it and make it clean. I don’t know. But I’m going to have to settle this. First we’re going to check the hole and see what we can find. We’re going to get nice and wet, and you’re going to spread your legs. Oh, that’s good. So you know me. You know my reputation. Thirteen inches of tough load, I don’t treat you gently. That’s right. I’m Brock Landers. So I’m going to be nice. So I’m going to be nice. So I’m going to be nice, I’m going to ask you one more time. Where the fuck is Ringo? [he stands, unzips his pants and pulls out his penis] I am a star. I’m a star, I’m a star, I’m a star. I am a big, bright, shining star. That’s right.
    FRC Ruben recently posted..Boogie Nights or Big Dick

  17. sundryandco says:

    Truly fantastic list! When I first watched Wall Street, I was surprised how much Gekko’s speech impacted on me – I think it was the delivery of it more than anything else. I’ll need to have a short think before I imagine my top 10 – I would agree with one of the people abov, that the Trainspotting monologue was another memorable one.

  18. Robert Lee says:

    Two worthy scenes in Reservoir Dogs didn’t make the list. I’m not a huge fan of the film but recognize great moments. Anyway, I thought I’d share:

    Mr. White: When you’re dealing with a store like this, they’re insured up the ass. They’re not supposed to give you any resistance whatsoever. If you get a customer, or an employee, who thinks he’s Charles Bronson, take the butt of your gun and smash their nose in. Everybody jumps. He falls down screaming, blood squirts out of his nose, nobody says fucking shit after that. You might get some bitch talk shit to you, but give her a look like you’re gonna smash her in the face next, watch her shut the fuck up. Now if it’s a manager, that’s a different story. Managers know better than to fuck around, so if you get one that’s giving you static, he probably thinks he’s a real cowboy, so you gotta break that son of a bitch in two. If you wanna know something and he won’t tell you, cut off one of his fingers. The little one. Then tell him his thumb’s next. After that he’ll tell you if he wears ladies underwear. I’m hungry. Let’s get a taco.

    And…. There is the hilarious scene where Mr. Orange is trying to deliver his humorous anecdote while Mr. White and Nice Guy Eddie keep interrupting.

    Mr. Orange: This is a very weird situation. ‘Cause I don’t know if you remember back in ’86 there was a major fucking drought. Nobody had anything. People were living on resin… -smoking the wood in their pipes for months. This chick had a bunch. And she’s begging me to sell it. So I told her I wasn’t going to be Joe the potman anymore, but I would take a little bit and sell it to my close, close, close friends. She agreed to that, said we’d keep the same arrangement as before; 10%, free pot for me, as long as I helped her out that weekend. She had a brick of weed she was selling, she didn’t want to go to the buy alone. Her brother usually goes with her, but he’s in county unexpectedly.
    Mr. White: What for?
    Mr. Orange: His traffic tickets. Got a warrant. They stopped him for something, found warrants on him, took him to county. Now she doesn’t walk around alone with all that weed. I don’t want to do this. I have a very bad feeling about it. But she keeps asking me, keeps asking me, keeps asking me, finally I said OK ’cause I’m sick of hearing it. Now, we’re picking the guy up at the train station…
    Nice Guy Eddie: Wait a minute. You go to the train station to pick up the buyer with the weed on you?
    Mr. Orange: The guy needed it right away. Don’t ask me why. Anyway, we’re get to the station and we’re waiting for the guy. I’m carrying the weed in one of those little carry-on bags. I got to take a piss. So I tell the connection I’ll be right back, I’m going to the boys’ room. So I walk in the mens’ room, and who’s standing there? Four Los Angeles county sheriffs and a German shepherd.
    Nice Guy Eddie: They’re waiting for you?
    Mr. Orange: No, they’re just a bunch of cops hanging out in the men’s room, talking. When I walked through the door, they all stopped what they were talking about and they looked at me.
    Mr. White: [laughs] That’s hard, man. That’s a fucking hard situation.
    Mr. Orange: German shepherd starts barking. He’s barking at me. I mean, it’s obvious. He’s barking at me. Every nerve-ending, all my senses, blood in my veins, everything I have is screaming, “Take off, man! Just bail, just get the fuck out of there!” Panic hits me like a bucket of water. First there’s the shock of it… -BAM!… -right in the face. I’m standing there drenched in panic. All these sheriffs looking at me, and they know, man. They can smell it. Sure as that fucking dog can, they can smell it on me.

    Award for longest comment ever is in order…

  19. Rodney says:

    Nobody mentioned Bill Pullman’s Presidential speech from Independence Day?

    For shame…..

  20. aaron says:

    what about the kevin costner dialogue in Bull Durham:
    “I believe in…the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball,…. long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days…”

  21. Duncan says:

    Great list, can’t argue with your choices at all but i think i’d have Tommy Lee Jones intro in No Country For Old Men in mine.

  22. Droid says:

    I’m astounded Baldwin’s brass balls aren’t topping this list.

    The good news is, you’re fired!

  23. Xiphos says:

    Vince Vaughn’s “just the tip” monolouge from Wedding Crashers should have made the list.

« Groovers and Mobsters Present: Top Ten Bond Girls – Heathers List