The 10 best dramatic movie monologues offer a choice of films over several decades from a variety of directors. A monologue is a single person speaking for a lengthy period of time without interruption from other characters. This list of the best dramatic speeches include some historic classics from the film world. The best dramatic movie monologues are also the stuff of famous popular quotes from being a contender to doing what's right.
- Court statement from Midshipman/Ensign Roger Byam in "Mutiny on the Bounty" Actor Franchot Tone closes the court case in his defense in this 1935 film. It's too late to save his life, but the impact is made to the court and viewers in this classic dramatic movie monologue.
- Court statement of Longfellow Deeds in "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" After sitting in court to watch the parade of witnesses call his behavior peculiar, Mr. Deeds finally takes up his own cause in a statement to the judge and jury. Gary Cooper is quite persuasive in showing how others should mind their own business. Also good advice for modern life, even though the film was made in 1936.
- Filibuster by Senator Jefferson Smith in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" Jimmy Stewart plays the lead character in this 1939 film that should be shown to all new U.S. Senators, and maybe a few who have sat in the seat so long they forget why they're there. The basics of Smith's speech have to do with the fundamentals of public service.
- The "Call to Arms" speech from "Foreign Correspondent" This 1940s best dramatic movie monologue has Johnnie Jones, played by Joel McCrea, broadcasting during the bombings in World War II in a call to American citizens to come to the aid of their country. The world was torn by war and the U.S. was evaluating its defense position. This rally encouraged the side wishing to assist U.S. allies.
- Speech against fascism in "The Great Dictator" Ironically, the U.S. House on Un-American activities failed to remember Adenoid Hynkel's speech in this film about a fictional dictator. Charlie Chaplin, the star of this 1940 film, left the United States for exile after red-baiters challenged his patriotism.
- Radio address from "Meet John Doe" Gary Cooper does it again in this best dramatic film monologue as John Doe in 1941. He calls on all just folks to get out in society to make a difference. Another fine movie monologue for current times.
- Rick's goodbye to Ilsa in "Casablanca" This 1942 heartbreaker saw a woman leave with her husband to provide him support in his underground efforts against the enemy in World War II. She leaves her true love behind in the name of patriotism.
- Speech against world violence from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" Rather than remembering the words to activate the movie robot, Klaatu's speech to Earth warning against the tolls of war is certainly more significant. This best dramatic movie monologue was given by Michael Rennie in the 1951 film release. Klaatu Barada Nikto, in case anyone cares.
- Assessment of his sons from "Death of a Salesman" The original movie monologue from 1951 saw Fredric March in the role of delusional Willy Loman, the salesman with more problems than his infidelity. Willy unfortunately misjudges his son, much the way his misjudges his work and his wife.
- The contender speech from "On the Waterfront" Marlon Brando's character Terry Malloy finally figures out the score in life in this film about taking a fall in the boxing ring and losing your chance in life. It's been a best monologue since it was released in 1954.
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