I dedicate this article to Joshua James. As much as I preach about visual storytelling and “show, don’t tell,” Josh is quick to remind me that a lot of dialogue isn’t wrong so long as it’s good dialogue, and that’s very true. Today’s article will only reinforce his point.
A link on my sidebar that gets little love is Colin’s Movie Monologues, which is a collection of cinema’s great speeches. The list below, a smattering of samples from his website, does not represent the personal favorites of mine. But rather, I chose the widest variety I could – well-known, little-known, speeches, confessions, tirades, breakdowns, etc. I tried to look for a consistent pattern of how, when, and why they are used and ultimately concluded that to create a simple formula for monologues is to belittle their power. All I can say is that generally A) there should be strong emotion behind all the words or in the context of an emotionally charged moment, B) the character’s voice – not yours – should shine through the speech, C) you should have a damn good reason for having it, and D) you better knock that speech out of the ball park.
The list only goes up to films that begin with the letter “J.” In any case, I hope you enjoy them.
Charlie Kaufman: Do I have an original thought in my head, my bald head? Maybe if I were happier, my hair wouldn’t be falling out. Life is short; I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I’m a walking cliché. I really need to go to the doctor and have my leg checked. There's something wrong. Oh well. The dentist called again, I'm way overdue. If I stopped putting things off, I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass, if my ass wasn’t fat, I would be happier. I wouldn’t have to wear these shirts with the tails out all the time; like that’s fooling anyone. Fat ass. I should start jogging again. Five miles a day; really do it this time. Maybe rock climbing; I need to turn my life around. What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need to have a girlfriend. I need to read more; improve myself. Maybe I should learn Russian or something. Or take up an instrument. I could speak Chinese. I could be the screenwriter who speaks Chinese and plays the oboe. That would be cool. I should get my hair cut short; stop trying to fool myself and everyone else into thinking I have a full head of hair. How pathetic is that? Just be real. Confident. Isn't that what women are attracted to? Men don’t have to be attractive. But that's not true, ''specially these days. There's almost as much pressure on men as there is on women these days. Why should I be made to feel like I should apologize for my existence? Maybe it's my brain chemistry. Maybe that’s what's wrong with me. Bad chemistry... all my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help from them; but I'll still be ugly though. Nothing is going to change that.
Charlie Allnutt: Well, Miss, 'ere we are, everything ship-shape, like they say. Great thing to 'ave, a lyedy, with clean 'abits. Sets me a good example. A man alone, 'e gets to livin' like a bloomin' og. Then, too, with me, it's always -- put things orf. Never do todye wot ya can put orf til tomorrer. (he chuckles and looks at her, expecting her to smile; no reaction from Rose) But you: business afore pleasure, every time. Do yer pers'nal laundry, make yerself spic an' span, get all the mendin' out o' the way, an' then, an ' hone-ly then, set down to a nice quiet hour with the Good-Book. (he watches for something; still no response from Rose) I tell you, it's a model for me, like. An inspiration. I ain't got that ole engine so clean in years; inside an' out, Miss. Just look at 'er, Miss! She practically sparkles. Myself too. Guess you ain't never 'ad a look at me without whiskers an' all cleaned up, 'ave you, Miss? Freshens you up, too; if I only 'ad clean clothes, like you. Now you: why you could be at 'igh tea. (no recognition from Rose, as if she doesn't hear him at all) 'Ow 'bout some tea, Miss, come to think of it? Don't you stir; I'll get it ready. (a pause) 'Ow's the book, Miss? (no answer) Not that I ain't read it, some -- that is to say, me ole lyedy read me stories out of it. (no response; another pause) 'Ow 'bout reading it out loud, eh, Miss? (silence) I'd like to 'ave a little spiritual comfort m'self. (Charlie loses his patience with her silence, he flares up, frustrated) An' you call yerself a Christian! You 'ear me, Miss. (he leans in toward her, getting louder and louder, until he's yelling at the top of his lungs) Don't yer?! Don't yer?! HUH??
Salieri: My plan was so simple that it terrified me. First I must get the death mass and then I, I must achieve his death. His funeral! Imagine it, all of Vienna there, Mozart's coffin, Mozart's little coffin in the middle, and then suddenly, in that silence, music! A divine music bursts out over them all. A great mass of death! Requiem mass for Wolfgang Mozart, composed by his dear friend, Antonio Salieri! Oh what sublimity, what depth, what passion in the music! Salieri has been touched by God at last. And God is forced to listen!! Powerless, powerless to stop it! I, for once in the end, laughing at him!! The only thing that bothered me was the actual killing. How does one do that? Hmmm? How does one kill a man? Well it's one thing to dream about it; very different when you, when you have to do it with your own hands.
Patrick Bateman: Do you like Phil Collins? I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn't understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where, uh, Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think Invisible Touch was the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. Christy, take off your robe. Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. Sabrina, remove your dress. In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. Sabrina, why don't you, uh, dance a little. Take the lyrics to Land of Confusion. In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. In Too Deep is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as, uh, anything I've heard in rock. Christy, get down on your knees so Sabrina can see your ass. Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way. Especially songs like In the Air Tonight and, uh, Against All Odds. Sabrina, don't just stare at it, eat it. But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, than as a solo artist, and I stress the word artist. This is Sussudio, a great, great song, a personal favorite.
Kurtz: I've seen the horror. Horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that, but you have no right to judge me . It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face, and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and mortal terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces--it seems a thousand centuries ago--we went into a camp to inoculate it. The children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us, and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile--a pile of little arms. And I remember...I...I...I cried, I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out, I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it, I never want to forget. And then I realized--like I was shot...like I was shot with a diamond...a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, "My God, the genius of that, the genius, the will to do that." Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they could stand that--these were not monsters, these were men, trained cadres, these men who fought with their hearts, who have families, who have children, who are filled wi th love--that they had this strength, the strength to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, then our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral and at the same time were able to utilize their primordial i nstincts to kill without feeling, without passion, without judgment--without judgment. Because it's judgment that defeats us. I worry that my son might not understand what I've tried to be, and if I were to be killed, Willard, I would want someone to go to my home and tell my son everything. Everything I did, everything you saw, because there's nothing that I detest more than t he stench of lies. And if you understand me, Willard, you...you will do this for me.
Therapist: Oh no, please, please, let's hear about your childhood.
Dr Evil: Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink, he would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Some times he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy, the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical, summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds, pretty standard really. At the age of 12 I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen, a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum, it's breathtaking, I suggest you try it.
Therapist: You know, we have to stop.
Jim: Yeah, I was the kid...it got so that every pissant prairie punk who thought he could shoot a gun would ride into town to try out the Waco Kid. I must've killed more men than Cecil B Demille. Got pretty gritty. I started to hear the word draw in my sleep. Then one day, I was just walking down the street, and I heard a voice behind me say, "Reach for it Mister!" I spun around and there I was face to face with a six-year-old kid. Well I just threw my guns down and walked away....little bastard shot me in the ass!! So I limped to the nearest saloon, crawled into a whiskey bottle, and I've been there ever since.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Paul Varjak: You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, "Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to eachother, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness." You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.
The Breakfast Club
Andy: Do you guys know what I did to get in here? I taped Larry Lester's buns together. Yeah, you know him? Well then, you know how hairy he is, right? Well, when they pulled the tape off, most of his hair came off and some skin too. And the bizarre thing is, is that I did it for my old man. I tortured this poor kid because I wanted him to think I was cool. He's always going off about, you know, when he was in school, all the wild things he used to do, and I got the feeling that he was disappointed that I never cut loose on anyone, right? So, I'm sitting in the locker room and I'm taping up my knee and Larry's undressing a couple lockers down from me and he's kinda, kinda skinny, weak, and I started thinking about my father and his attitude about weakness, and the next thing I knew I, I jumped on top of him and started wailing on him. Then my friends, they just laughed and cheered me on. And afterwards, when I was sittin' in Vernon's office, all I could think about was Larry's father and Larry having to go home and explain what happened to him. And the humiliation, the fucking humiliation he must have felt. It must have been unreal. I mean, how do you apologize for something like that? There's no way. It's all because of me and my old man. God, I fucking hate him. He's like, he's like this mindless machine I can't even relate to anymore. "Andrew, you've got to be number one. I won't tolerate any losers in this family. Your intensity is for shit." You son of a bitch. You know, sometimes I wish my knee would give and I wouldn't be able to wrestle anymore. He could forget all about me.
Holden: I love you. And not in a friendly way, although I think we're great friends. And not in a misplaced affection, puppy-dog way, although I'm sure that's what you'll call it. And it's not because you're unattainable. I love you. Very simple, very truly. You're the epitome of every attribute and quality I've ever looked for in another person. I know you think of me as just a friend, and crossing that line is the furthest thing from an option you'd ever consider. But I had to say it. I can't take this anymore. I can't stand next to you without wanting to hold you. I can't look into your eyes without feeling that longing you only read about in trashy romance novels. I can't talk to you without wanting to express my love for everything you are. I know this will probably queer our friendship -no pun intended- but I had to say it, because I've never felt this before, and I like who I am because of it. And if bringing it to light means we can't hang out anymore, then that hurts me. But I couldn't allow another day to go by without getting it out there, regardless of the outcome, which by the look on your face is to be the inevitable shoot-down. And I'll accept that. But I know some part of you is hesitating for a moment, and if there is a moment of hesitation, that means you feel something too. All I ask is that you not dismiss that -at least for ten seconds- and try to dwell in it. Alyssa, there isn't another soul on this fucking planet who's ever made me half the person I am when I'm with you, and I would risk this friendship for the chance to take it to the next plateau. Because it's there between you and me. you can't deny that. And even if we never speak again after tonight, please know that I'm forever changed because of who you are and what you've meant to me, which -while I do appreciate it- I'd never need a painting of birds bought at a diner to remind me of.(Alyssa exits the car) Was it something I said?
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Professor Levy: We're all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices. Some are on a grand scale, most of these choices are on lesser points. But we define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly. Human happiness does not seem to have been included in the design of creation. It is only we, with our capacity to love, that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying and even to find joy from simple things, like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more.
Beatrice Venier: When my daughter is old enough, I want you to make her a courtesan. … The life you live, the freedom that you have! Would you deny my daughter the same chance? … Do you know what my daughter's nurse told her this morning? That "in a girl's voice lies temptation -- a known fact: eloquence in a woman means promiscuity. Promiscuity of the mind leads to promiscuity of the body." She doesn’t believe her yet, but she will. She'll grow up just like her mother. She'll marry. Bear children and honor her family. Spend her youth at needlepoint and rue the day she was born a girl. And when she dies, she'll wonder why she obeyed all the rules of God and country, because no Biblical hell could ever be worse than this state of perpetual inconsequence.
Dead Poets Society
Mr. Keating: In my class, you will learn to think for yourselves again. You will learn to savor words and languages. No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world. I see that look in Mr Pitts' eyes like 19th century literature has nothing to do with going to business school or medical school, right? Maybe. You may agree and think yes, we should study our Mr. Pritcher and learn our rhyme and meter and go quietly about the business of achieving other ambitions. Well, I have a secret for you. Huddle Up...Huddle UP! We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business these are all noble pursuits necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, and love; these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman "Oh me, Oh life of the question of these recurring. of the endless trains of the faithless of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these? Oh me, Oh life." "Answer...that you are here and life exists....You are here. Life exists, and identity. The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse." The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
President Merkin Muffley: [to Kissoff] Hello? ... Ah ... I can't hear too well. Do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little? ... Oh-ho, that's much better. ... yeah ... huh ... yes ... Fine, I can hear you now, Dmitri. ... Clear and plain and coming through fine....I'm coming through fine, too, eh? ... Good, then ... well, then, as you say, we're both coming through fine. ... Good. ... Well, it's good that you're fine and ... and I'm fine. ... I agree with you, it's great to be fine. ... a-ha-ha-ha-ha ... Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the Bomb. ...The *Bomb*, Dmitri.... The *hydrogen* bomb! ... Well now, what happened is ... ah ... one of our base commanders, he had a sort of ... well, he went a little funny in the head ... you know ... just a little ... funny. And, ah ... he went and did a silly thing. ... Well, I'll tell you what he did. He ordered his planes ... to attack your country... Ah... Well, let me finish, Dmitri. ... Let me finish, Dmitri. ... Well listen, how do you think I feel about it?! ...Can you *imagine* how I feel about it, Dmitri? ... Why do you think I'm calling you? Just to say hello? ... *Of course* I like to speak to you! ... *Of course* I like to say hello! ... Not now, but anytime, Dmitri. I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened... It's a *friendly* call. Of course it's a friendly call. ... Listen, if it wasn't friendly ... you probably wouldn't have even got it. ... They will *not* reach their targets for at least another hour. ... I am ... I am positive, Dmitri. ... Listen, I've been all over this with your ambassador. It is not a trick. ... Well, I'll tell you. We'd like to give your air staff a complete run-down on the targets, the flight plans, and the defensive systems of the planes. ... Yes! I mean i-i-i-if we're unable to recall the planes, then ... I'd say that, ah ... well, ah ... we're just gonna have to help you destroy them, Dmitri. ... I know they're our boys. ... All right, well listen now. Who should we call? ...*Who* should we call, Dmitri? The ... wha-whe, the People... you, sorry, you faded away there.... The People's Central Air Defense Headquarters. ... Where is that, Dmitri? ... In Omsk. ... Right. ... Yes. ...Oh, you'll call them first, will you? ... Uh-hu ... Listen, do you happen to have the phone number on you, Dmitri? ... Whe-ah, what? I see, just ask for Omsk information. ...Ah-ah-eh-uhm-hm ... I'm sorry, too, Dmitri. ...I'm very sorry. ... *All right*, you're sorrier than I am, but I am as sorry as well. ... I am as sorry as you are, Dmitri! Don't say that you're more sorry than I am, because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are. ... So we're both sorry, all right?! ... All right.
Empire Strikes Back
Luke: I can't. It's too big.
Yoda: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere. Yes, even between the land and the ship.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Mike Damone: First of all Rat, you never let on how much you like a girl. "Oh, Debbie. Hi." Two, you always call the shots. "Kiss me. You won't regret it." Now three, act like wherever you are, that's the place to be. "Isn't this great?" Four, when ordering food, you find out what she wants, then order for the both of you. It's a classy move. "Now, the lady will have the linguini and white clam sauce, and a Coke with no ice." And five, now this is the most important, Rat. When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.
A Few Good Men
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: 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? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can 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 to a life spent defending something. You use 'em 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 I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd 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're entitled to!
The Fisher King
Jack: Do you believe in God?
Anne: Ohh! You gotta believe in God! But I don't believe God created Man in His image. 'Cause most the shit that happens is because of men. Men were made in the devil's image. And women were created outta God. 'Cause, after all, women can have babies--which is kinda like creating. And which also accounts for the fact that women are so attracted to men. 'Cause let's face it, the devil is a helluva lot more interesting. I slept with some saints in my day, believe me, I know. Eegh-boy! So, the whole point of life, the whole point of life is for men and women to get married so God and the Devil can get together--and work it out. Not that we have to get married or anything. God forbid.
Fanny Brice: Suppose all ya ever had for breakfast was onion rolls. Then one day, in walks (gasp) a bagel! You'd say, 'Ugh, what's that?' Until you tried it! That's my problem - I'm a bagel on a plate full of onion rolls. Nobody recognizes me! Listen, I got 36 expressions. Sweet as pie and tough as leather. And that's six expressions more than all those...Barrymores put together. Instead of just kicking me, why don't they give me a lift? Well, it must be a plot, 'cause they're scared that I got...such a gift! 'Cause I'm the greatest star, I am by far, but no one knows it. Wait - they're gonna hear a voice, a silver flute. They'll cheer each toot, hey, she's terrific!, when I expose it. Now can't you see to look at me that I'm a natural Camille, and as Camille, I just feel, I've so much to offer. Kid, I know I'd be divine because I'm a natural cougher (coughs) - some ain't got it, not a lump. I'm a great big clump of talent! Laugh, they'll bend in half. Did you ever hear the story about the travelling salesman? A thousand jokes, stick around for the jokes. A thousand faces. I reiterate. When you're gifted, then you're gifted. These are facts, I've got no axe to grind. Ay! What are ya, blind? In all of the world so far, I'm the greatest star! No autographs, please. What? You think beautiful girls are gonna stay in style forever? I should say not! Any minute now they're gonna be out! FINISHED! Then it'll be my turn!
Glengarry Glen Ross
Roma: All train compartments smell vaguely of shit. It gets so you don't mind it. That's the worst thing that I can confess. You know how long it took me to get there? A long time. When you die you're going to regret the things you don't do. You think you're queer? I'm going to tell you something: we're all queer. You think you're a thief? So what? You get befuddled by a middle-class morality? Get shut of it. Shut it out. You cheated on your wife? You did it, live with it. You fuck little girls, so be it.There's an absolute morality? Maybe. And then what? If you think there is, then be that thing. Bad people go to hell? I don't think so. If you think that, act that way. A hell exists on earth? Yes. I won't live in it. That's me. You ever take a dump made you feel like you'd just slept for twelve hours?
Will: Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll take a shot. Say I'm working at the N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people that I never met and that I never had no problem with get killed. Now the politicians are sayin', "Send in the marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number was called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some kid from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. They're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin' play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive, so he's walking to the fuckin' job interviews, which sucks 'cause the schrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorroids. And meanwhile he's starvin' 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what did I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure, fuck it, while I'm at it, why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.
The Goodbye Girl
Elliott: Will you listen very, very carefully to me? Just for once--This may be the last time I ever talk to you. Not everyone in this world is after your magnificent body, lady. In the first place, it's not so magnificent. It's fair, but it ain't keeping me up nights, you know? I don't even think you're very pretty. Maybe if you smiled once and awhile, okay, but I don't want you to do anything against your religion. And you are not the only person in this city ever to get dumped on. I myself am a recent dumpee. I am a dedicated actor, Paula, you know? I am dedicated to my art and my craft. I value what I do. And because of a mentally arthritic director, I am about to play the second greatest role in the history of the English-speaking theater like a double order of fresh California fruit salad. When I say "nice," I mean "nice"--ya know, decent, fair. I deserve it, because I'm a nice, decent and fair person. I don't wanna jump on your bones. I don't even want to see you in the morning. But I'll tell you what I do like about you, Paula: Lucy. Lucy's your best part. Lucy is worth putting up with you for. So here is fourteen dollars for the care and feeding of that terrific kid. You get zippity-doo-dah! You want any money? Borrow it from your ten-year-old daughter. I am now going inside my room to meditate away my hostility toward you. Personally, I don't think it can be done.
Hooper: You were on the Indianapolis?
Brody: What happened?
Quint: Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, chief. It was comin' back, from the island of Tinian Delady, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen footer. You know, you know that when you're in the water, chief? You tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. Well, we didn't know. `Cause our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Huh huh. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, chief. The sharks come cruisin'. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know it's... kinda like `ol squares in battle like a, you see on a calendar, like the battle of Waterloo. And the idea was, the shark would go for nearest man and then he'd start poundin' and hollerin' and screamin' and sometimes the shark would go away. Sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a shark, he's got...lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eye. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin' and the ocean turns red and spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin' they all come in and rip you to pieces. Y'know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men! I don't know how many sharks, maybe a thousand! I don't know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin' chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player, boson's mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up and down in the water, just like a kinda top. Up ended. Well... he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us. He'd a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper, anyway he saw us and come in low. And three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened? Waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, the sharks ttook the rest, June the 29, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.
Navin: And I don't need any of this! I don't need this stuff, (pushes all of the letters off the desk), and I don't need you. I don't need anything except this (picks up an ashtray) and that's it and that's the only thing I need, is this. I don't need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game (picks it up), the ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game and the remote control, and that's all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that's all I need. And that's all I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one - (sees something) I need this! The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. Well what are you looking at? What do you think I am, some kind of a jerk or something? And this! And that's all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair. And I don't need one other thing except my dog. (Shithead, the dog, growls) Well I don't need my dog.
And finally, Goodwill Hunting again
Sean: So 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 orientation, 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.....If I asked you about women you'd probably give me a syllabus of your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. I ask you about war, and you'd probably--uh--throw Shakespeare at me, right? "Once more into the breach, dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap and watched him gasp his last breath, looking to you for help. And if I asked you about love y'probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone could level you with her eyes. Feeling like! God put an angel on earth just for you...who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it’s like to be her angel and to have that love for her to be there forever. Through anything. Through cancer. You wouldn't know about sleeping sittin’ up in a hospital room for two months holding her hand because the doctors could see in your eyes that the term visiting hours don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, because that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself. I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. I look at you; I don't see an intelligent, confident man; I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius, Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine and you ripped my fuckin' life apart. You're an orphan right? Do you think I'd know the first thing about how hard ! your life has been, how you feel, who you are because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally, I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what? I can't learn anything from you I can't read in some fuckin' book. Unless you wanna talk about you, who you are. And I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't wanna do that, do you, sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.