The art of film should be seen as one of the greatest modern forms of expression, valued and respected. Film can send us through a plethora of emotions and most importantly inspire thought and opinion. As much as I love Cinematography; the monologues written into the scripts can cement a film into pop culture history, Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan to name a few. Each have some iconic monologues that people can quote with ease, or that have been imitated or even recreated in other films and television. This wasn’t an easy list to make, I had to pick 5 out of the many I’ve heard and admired over the years, but after much consideration here are my Top 5 Movie Monologues.
“NO WIRE HANGERS” Faye Dunaway (Mommie Dearest 1981)
Mommie Dearest was seen as this grand biopic, a story of childhood abuse and the darker side to one of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses. It painted Ms Crawford as this overbearing, controlling and abusive Mother. We know much of that could be chalked up to Joan’s own childhood trauma, but I digress.
In reality the film was very campy and more dark comedy than disturbing truth. However the film is held in high regard for of course Faye Dunaway’s iconic “No wire hangers” Monologue.
Joan discovers a wire hanger in Christine’s closet and drags her out of bed to shriek at her with vengeance and beat her with said hanger. The scene shows Joan’s mental instability and the true horror it was living “In the most beautiful house in Brentwood”
“V Introduction” Hugo Weaving (V of Vendetta 2005)
I love alliteration, its one of my favourite things about the English language. There was no other perfect way to introduce the masked hero by using every kind of word that begins with the letter V. We know the character already, we know what he wants, but seeing this character come to life was something to marvel in.
Hugo Weaving’s delivery and perfect annunciation of every word is exactly how we all envisioned V would present himself. A gentlemen with a wide vocabulary and charm, alongside deadly precision with a blade, you can’t tear yourself away from his presence. Much like Evie herself, we are captivated.
V has many other iconic speeches and monologues throughout the film. The final scene as Parliament blows up is surely iconic, but you can never forget that kind of introduction.
“Opening Monologue” Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 1986)
Every wondered the perfect way to fool your parents into thinking your sick? Along with a young man’s ideals on why High School is childish and stupid, then watch Ferris Bueller’s Day off. My favourite feel good film of the 80’s.
Matthew Broderick brings charm and charisma to the Ferris character, and the delivery throughout the monologue is legendary in itself. In reality it’s just a teenager whining about the fact he doesn’t have a car, but he makes a pretty good argument….right?
This opening monologue has been replicated and parodied throughout the last 30 years, its a huge part of pop culture and can be quoted religiously. If you’re unsure about this film or even the capabilities of Matthew Broderick’s characterization, just watch this, and see if it changes your mind.
“The First Time” James Gandolfini (True Romance 1993)
True Romance actually has it’s fair share of fantastic monologues. Alabama’s opening and closing monologues by Patricia Arquette and Dennis Hopper’s Sicilian monologue to name a few. But the one I thought was best, was James Gandolfini’s “First Time” monologue.
After beating the beautiful Alabama into a bloody mess on the floor, Virgil with this air of contemplation, talks about how hard it is to kill for the first time. She lies on the floor coughing up blood, struggling for air listening to the man who is most certainly about to kill her talk about how he threw up the first time he killed someone.
Its such a unsettling scene, the gentle music playing the in background as he toys with her, much like a cat toys with a mouse before it kills it, then finishes with the statement that cements her fate. Its a short monologue, and most remember the scene for the brutal beating the heroine of the piece takes. However, that moment where he sits above his prey, just before he goes in for the kill….certainly chilling.
“Cool Girl” Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl 2014)
The “Cool Girl” monologue spoke to me on all levels. Torn straight from the pages of Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl, Amy Dunne recites what exactly is a cool girl, why she became cool girl and why eventually, another cool girl led to the demise of Nick and Amy’s relationship.
Amy Dunne is a marvelous anti-hero for the modern feminist age. Her almost psychotic precision in making the world believe that Nick murdered her was contemporary art in my opinion. No woman that ever has or ever will be scorned would live up to this amount of resentment and revenge.
Rosamund’s delivery makes the monologue just as much as the words themselves do, when she speaks about the different types of cool girls, and what she had to achieve to become Nick’s idea of cool girl, well, there was not only pain but rage, and a little sadness. She did love Nick, but there was only so much a woman like Amy could take
Did you agree with this weeks choices? Any monologues I completely and unfairly left out, or just forgot about? Leave a comment below or tweet me @Nellycoo and we’ll have it out! I hope you enjoyed this weeks listicle and as always thank you for reading.