10 Great Movie Monologues

Saturday, March 5 by Tom Gordon

Some of the most memorable scenes in movie history include these 10 great movie monologues. Some of cinema's greatest actors are among those who delivered these great speeches. If you're looking for a little inspiration, comic relief or thought-provoking words, check out these great movie monologues.

  1. "Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."—"Patton" Standing before an immense American flag, Gen. Patton (George C. Scott in an Oscar-winning performance) gives a slightly cleaned-up version of a famous speech Patton actually gave to his troops. It’s an iconic moment in movie history and was particularly noteworthy since the movie was released at the height of the Vietnam War.
  2. "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.”—"Pulp Fiction" Christopher Walken delivers this out-of-nowhere, but very funny monologue about how he and his father hid a special watch while they were prisoners of war.
  3. "Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch…"—"Bull Durham" Kevin Costner lists his core beliefs and those of many guys before he walks out on Susan Sarandon early in the film.
  4. "The game's afoot: Follow your spirit, and upon this charge cry, 'God for Harry, England and Saint George!'"—"Henry V" As King Henry V, Kenneth Branagh rallies the troops with one of a few inspirational monologues in one of the best adaptations of Shakespeare ever put on film.
  5. "Where John made his mistake I think was in attaching so much importance to what her mother and I might think… because in the final analysis it doesn't matter a damn what we think"—"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" Spencer Tracy gives his blessing to his daughter’s engagement in one of the most heartfelt movie monologues of all time.
  6. "What we've got here is… failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach."—"Cool Hand Luke" Strother Martin lays down the law in one what became one of the most quoted movie monologues in history.
  7. “I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build—I'll be there, too.”—"The Grapes of Wrath" Henry Fonda as Tom Joad tries to paint an optimistic picture of happier times during this Depression-era story. The sincerity with which Fonda delivers this classic movie monologue is amazing to watch.
  8. “You was my brother, Charley, you shoulda looked out for me a little bit.”—"On the Waterfront" In the famous “I coulda been a contender” monologue, Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) tells his brother (Rod Steiger) that he stood in Terry's way of being a champion.
  9. "Would you pay more to save a fish who thinks?"—"Heaven Can Wait" In a great scene from a movie full of them, Warren Beatty gives a pep talk to a company’s board of directors, urging them to do the right thing in order to make it to the Super Bowl of business.
  10. "You can't handle the truth! 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?”—"A Few Good Men" Jack Nicholson, who has delivered more than his share of awesome movie monologues in his long career, offers up one of the best film speeches from the '90s.