The 12 most deliciously-deranged movie monologues
|LISTS - MOVIE LISTS|
A dozen of the most spellbinding and unsettling cinematic speeches ever...
Let us all give a tip of the hat to the movie monologue - that venerated, but crafty, seductress of screenwriting. Done badly, the monologue can be a crushing and laughable blow to a film, a ruinous bore of a scene that can completely take the viewer 'out of the movie', as they say. But done properly, a monologue can be a tour de force of character development, character motive, and an enthralling and captivating spot that goes down in film history. Monologues are penciled into movies for a number of reasons - a passionate plea for justice (Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird), a rousing call to action (George Patton in Patton), or a wild-eyed act of comic lunacy ('Bluto' Blutarsky in Animal House). But perhaps the most mesmerizing form of cinematic soliloquy is that of the ominous kind. The 'creepy' speech, the unnerving harangue, can be a great film's greatest moment. Here now are 12 examples of the most wonderfully-demented monologues, both low-key and otherwise, in cinema.
**WARNING - SOME OF THE FOLLOWING CLIPS CONTAIN PROFANITY**
12. Monty Brogan - 25th Hour
Monty Brogan isn't having a good day. After being ratted out to the police for his drug dealing activities, Brogan spends the events of 25th Hour trying to enjoy his last day as a free man before a seven-year prison sentence. All of his frustration, fear, and guilt comes to a head via a vitriolic rant with his reflection in a bathroom mirror, where Brogan unleashes an obscenity-laced tirade against anyone and everyone under the sun. Eventually, Brogan reserves the last f-bomb for himself, as he comes to admit that he, and he alone, was really responsible for ruining his life.
Greatest Line: "No. No, fuck you, Montgomery Brogan. You had it all and you threw it away, you dumb fuck..."
11. HAL-9000 - 2001: A Space Odyssey
After HAL-9000 suffers an emotional breakdown when its supposed infallibility is disproven after a false equipment malfunction warning, the supercomputer begins killing off its astronaut crew. The last surviving crew member, David Bowman, floats into HAL's memory core and begins disabling it, all the while being pleaded with by HAL's disturbingly-monotonous computer voice. The scene plays as a monologue, as Bowman does not respond to HAL's soothing entreaties for a truce, and it is undoubtedly creepy, especially when 'Dave' begins removing HAL's memory inputs and the computer begins to regress in maturity and 'humanness' before our very eyes.
Greatest Line: "Stop, Dave. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going."
10. Joan Crawford - Mommie Dearest
An autobiographical take on Joan Crawford's life from the point of view of adopted daughter Christina, Mommie Dearest is primarily known for Faye Dunaway's over-the-top portrayal of the prominent Hollywood actress. Infamously playing Crawford as a bug-eyed font of insanity, Dunaway's coup de grace is her vein-popping tirade against Christina for committing the sin of hanging a dress on a *gasp* wire hanger. Alternately shouting, growling, and shaking, Crawford beats her daughter with the offending hanger and trashes the room in a whirling dervish of crazy.
Greatest Line: "No wire hangers! What's wire hangers doing in this closet when I told you no wire hangers?!? EVER!!!"
9. Hannibal Lecter - The Silence of the Lambs
A skin-slicing killer is on the loose and Agent Clarice Starling needs help from imprisoned cannibal killer/cultured doctor Hannibal Lecter to find him. Problem is that Lecter has no inclination to help Agent Starling with her mission and lets it be known on their first encounter. With dripping disdain, Hannibal mocks Clarice on her upbringing, her adolescence, her accent, and her wardrobe, all while cruelly smirking. The scene sets the stage for a battle of wills between the rookie FBI agent and maniacal murderer, as Starling's intellectual prowess slowly earns her Lecter's respect as an equal.
Greatest Line: "You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well-scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste."
8. Bill the Butcher - Gangs of New York
Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting is the undisputed king of New York's Five Points district in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York. The leader of the 'Nativists', a rabidly anti-foreigner gang, Cutting rules the region with an iron fist, its inhabitants perpetually terrified of Cutting's towering figure. With his ever-present top hat and a false eye engraved with a metal eagle, the Butcher rose to the top by killing his only real rival, Priest Vallon, years earlier. Now, Priest's son Amsterdam has come looking for revenge but, ironically, ends up in Cutting's inner circle, even saving his life on one occasion. It is after this deed that Amsterdam wakes up the next morning to find Cutting watching him sleep, draped in an American flag. Unaware of Amsterdam's lineage, Bill speaks of his rule of the Five Points through fear and of his admiration for the late Priest Vallon, all while the late Priest's son struggles to control his anger.
Greatest line: "Someone steals from me, I cut off his hands. He offends me, I cut out his tongue. He rises against me, I cut off his head and stick it on a pike. Hold it high in the streets so all can see. That's what preserves the order of things."
7. Eleanor Iselin - The Manchurian Candidate
Raymond Shaw is part of an American platoon captured by Soviet forces during the Korean War. The platoon ultimately makes it way back to America and Shaw is awarded the Medal of Honor for saving his fellow soldiers' lives during a daring rescue, but that version of events is a lie. The platoon was actually brainwashed by the Soviets and Shaw implanted with hypnotic suggestion in order to assassinate a United States Presidential candidate. And one of the architects of the entire affair is Shaw's own mother, Eleanor Iselin. Played by Angela Lansbury with shockingly-cold efficiency, Iselin dominates this scene while matter-of-factly explaining to her son how he will kill his target.
Greatest line: "There's a spotlight booth that won't be in use. It's up under the roof on the Eighth Avenue side of the Garden. You will have absolutely clear, protected shooting. You are to shoot the presidential nominee through the head."