The 10 greatest movie monologues of all time

“That’s one of the nice things about writing, or any other art; if the thing is real, it lives. – Woody Allen

Cinema comes to life thanks to the collaboration of a great screenplay and a quality actor, if these two aspects are well captured, everything else should follow. Sure, it’s much simpler in theory, with many movies falling apart due to shady editing or a persistent shaking camera, but just look over to Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, and Noah Baumbach for observe how simplicity of character and dialogue can be used well under confinement.

This has led to some of the greatest monologues in movie history where the character and the dialogue line up perfectly. The likes of Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Robin Williams were well known for their frequent speeches across film, their philosophical reflections becoming iconic quotes to forever inspire the minds of an eternally ambitious youth.

The finest examples of cinematic monologues can be found throughout the medium’s history, challenging genre, sentiment, and reason as the actors reveal the raw power of human emotion. A look back at the tastes of Francis Ford Coppola Apocalypse now, At Quentin Tarantino’s pulp Fiction and Ridley Scott Blade runner, Let’s take a look at ten of the best movie monologues of all time.

The 10 Greatest Movie Monologues of All Time:

10. Viola Davis – Fences (Denzel Washington, 2016)

In Fences, Denzil Washington’s moving historical drama, we follow a working-class African American trying to raise a family in the 1950s while reflecting on the misdeeds and successes of his life.

Starring Washington in the lead role, the monologue in question comes from Viola Davis, who won an Oscar for her incredible performance in the film. Visibly leaving all of her emotions on screen, Davis’ monologue is simply heartbreaking as she reacts to the news that her husband is having an affair.

“I took all of my feelings, my wants and needs, my dreams… and I buried them in you. I planted a seed, watched, and prayed for it. I planted myself in you and I waited to bloom ”.

9. Samuel L. Jackson – pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)

In one of the most iconic scenes from Quentin Tarantino’s most iconic film, Pulp Fiction, Jules and Vincent, played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, murder a man tied to a chair after a long speech.

Delivered by Samuel L. Jackson, the speech is the epitome of Tarantino, bursting with style and class as Jules announces the death of the man before him with the help of a Bible verse. It’s a spooky and intimidating watch, one that you can’t take your eyes off of.

“Those who try to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know that my name is the Lord. When I impose my vengeance on you “.

8. Grégory Peck – Kill a mockingbird (Robert Mulligan, 1962)

The long speeches of a courtroom drama make this the perfect place to invite a classic monologue, with people like A few good men and 12 angry men also featuring iconic acting exploits. It is however the flowing lyrics of Gregory Peck’s Atticus Finch that trump the rest.

Adapted from the iconic novel Kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee, the film of the same name revolves around a lawyer who sets out to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. Winning an Oscar for his role, Gregory Peck’s speech is truly inspiring, drawing inspiration from American freedom religion and justice in his classic monologue.

“In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe Tom Robinson “.

7. Lars Rodolphe – Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky, 2000)

Arousing ethereal magical beauty through its captivating soundtrack and fluid cinematography, Bela Tarr’s film follows a young man who witnesses escalating violence in his hometown following the arrival of a bizarre attraction from circus.

The young man in question is János Valuska, played by Lars Rudolph, a brave, curious and vulnerable young man who sees his city crumbling into chaos. At the start of the film, while entertaining a lively pub, Rudolph unfolds a monologue that deals with the wonders of the solar system. Strange and inextricably moving, it’s a truly inspiring scene that in itself is a magical ten minutes of cinema.

“Everything that lives is still. Will the hills recede? Will the sky fall on us? Will the Earth open up beneath us? We do not know. We do not know “.

6. Rutger Hauer – Blade runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)

A mind-boggling sci-fi classic that’s both spectacular and philosophically dense, Ridley Scott’s Blade runner stars Harrison Ford as ex-cop Rick Deckard on a mission to take down rogue androids.

One of those rogue androids is Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer, a sinister android with a punk aesthetic who dies after a fascinating monologue with Rick Deckard at the end of the Ridley Scott classic. Strange, existential and moving, Roy Batty’s speech is one of the most iconic in all of cinema, making you question the morals and feelings of a simple robotic creature.

“All those moments will be lost in time, like… tears in the rain. Time to die “.

5. Peter Finch – Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976)

One of the most beautiful monologues and diatribes in the history of cinema, the fury on the air of Peter Finch in Sidney Lumet Network is so iconic that it has permeated popular culture, with “I’m crazy as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” becoming synonymous with public outrage.

Furious news anchor Peter Finch’s Howard Beale is a deranged “prophet” who a cynical TV station takes advantage of before discovering his popularity has gone too far. Winning Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his influential speech, Finch’s monologue became a revealing indication of the turbulent 1970s era marked by frustration, protests and war.

“I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, pop your head out and scream, I’m crazy as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” .

4. David Thewlis – Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993)

Trample the streets of London in Mike Leigh’s 1993 pessimistic classic, Naked, David Thewlis’ Johnny unveils his observation philosophy to almost anyone willing to listen, his anger peaking when he meets a lone security guard.

Charged with tending to an empty office building, Johnny just can’t look past the futility of such work and begins to bark his feelings at the caretaker, Brian (Peter Wight). In a feat of extraordinary performance, David Thewlis fumes with terrifying conviction in a lengthy monologue that explores everything from existentialism to the impending demise of the human race. It is simply breathtaking.

“You don’t even have a fucking future, I don’t have a future. Nobody has a future. The party is over. Look around you man, everything is falling apart.”

3. Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski – Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984)

Discussing the greatest movie monologues, Wim Wender’s final act Paris, Texas just can’t be ignored, even though it’s actually a conversation between two characters separated by long individual speeches.

So close to each other, but forever separated by an irreconcilable past, Harry Dean Stanton’s Travis and Nastassja Kinski’s Jane engage in heartfelt speeches on either side of a mirror, the two never fully recording. the existence of each other. Transcending reality and operating on an illusory plane, the conversation is haunting, nostalgic and emotionally forged. It truly is one of the greatest scenes in cinema.

“I used to give you long speeches after you left.” I talked to you all the time, even though I was alone. I walked for months talking to you. Now I don’t know what to say.

2. Charlie Chaplin – The great dictator (Charlie Chaplin, 1940)

Released amid the terrors of WWII, the quick wit of Charlie Chaplin The great dictator sees the influential comedian portray a Jewish double of the tyrannical German leader, delivering an inspiring speech at the end of the film.

Long dissected and explored in Youtube breakdowns and academic articles, the speech itself is long and broad, talking about the great successes of the human race in light of the looming horrors of WWII. For an actor who had made a name for himself in the silent era, this was the very first time Charlie Chaplin was heard on screen, as well as one of the last as his notoriety declined rapidly after the 1940s. This only makes his mind-boggling speech all the more prophetic.

“Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to the happiness of all men. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite! “.

1. Marlon Brando – Apocalypse now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)

When you merge a breathtaking storyline with an extraordinary acting performance, Marlon Brando in Francis Ford Coppola Apocalypse now That’s what you get, delivering perhaps the best monologue ever as a lost and tormented Army Colonel.

Known as one of the most chaotic productions of all time, Francis Ford Coppola’s film follows a soldier sent on a dangerous mission to assassinate a rogue colonel who has won the trust of a local tribe. That colonel is Walter E. Kurtz of Marlon Brando, a possessed individual who has gone mad with existential pain and the horrors of war. Getting lost in the character’s mind, Brando’s performance is truly terrifying, as is Vittorio Storaro’s cinematography as the actor delivers one of the most profound speeches in all of cinema. Breathtaking, spellbinding, inspiring, call it what you want, it’s a classic.

Horror. Horror has a face… and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, they are enemies to be feared. really enemies ”.


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