I’ve done a massive greatest movie quote list before and while this falls in the same family, the best monologues or speeches in films are a bit different. They are lengthy rants that could just as easily be regarded as a tangent. Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino are most notable for the having this kind of lengthy character dialogue in their films, and while real people may not generally speak like this, they mark epic and unforgettable moments in cinema history. Here, are my top ten greatest movie monologues.
|10. Robin Williams
Good Will Hunting
"If I asked you about art you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo. You know a lot about him. Life's work. Political aspirations. Him and the pope. Sexual orientations. The whole works, right? But I bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling, seen that."
|1. Jack Nicholson, A Few Good Men (1991):
“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.”
|9. Ellen Burstyn
Requiem For A Dream
"Soon, millions of people will see me and they'll all like me. I'll tell them about you, your father, how good he was to us. Remember? It's a reason to get up in the morning. It's a reason to lose weight. To fit in a red dress. It's a reason to smile. It makes tomorrow alright."
|8. Robert Duvall
"You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...”
|7. Michael Douglas
"The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA."
|6. Christopher Walken
“The way your dad looked at it, this watch was your birthright. He'd be damned if any slopes gonna put their greasy yellow hands on his boy's birthright, so he hid it, in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you. “
|5. Charlie Chaplin
The Great Dictator
"Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness."
|4. George C. Scott
“Men, all this stuff you've heard about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of horse dung. Americans traditionally love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, big league ball players, the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost, and will never lose a war... because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. “
|3. Clint Eastwood
“I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?”
|2. Marlon Brando
On The Waterfront
“Remember that night in the Garden? You came down to my dressing room and you said 'kid, this ain't your night. We're going for the price on Wilson'... You was my brother, Charlie. You shoulda looked out for me a little bit so I wouldn't have to take them dives for the short-end money. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum. Which is what I am. Let's face it.”