Thursday, June 07, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks: Speeches, Soliloquies, & Monologues

For the 23rd week of 2018 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks series hosted by Wanderer. We focus on films with some form of soliloquy, speech, or a monologue. A moment in the film that could be inspiring or just downright silly. Here are my three picks:

1. Airplane!

From the trio of the Zucker brothers and Jim Abrahams comes one of the great film parodies ever made about a flight that goes horribly wrong all because the pilot, the co-pilots, and some passengers choose to eat fish and the only person that can save them is a traumatized war pilot with a drinking problem. Once he’s driven by fear and lets the inflatable co-pilot do the job for him, it’s up to Leslie Nielsen as a doctor to give him this great inspirational speech which is a great rip off of the Notre Dame speech in Knute Rockne, All American.

2. Scent of a Woman

OK, this is a film that has become polarizing in some respects even though it did give Al Pacino his long-awaited Oscar though it would also make him parody by doing “hoo-ha” in some of the films he does. Yet, there is this great speech that his character does in defending this young man who refuses to snitch against a trio of classmates over a prank on a professor at this prep school. This is one of Pacino’s finest moments as it play into what this school would do to make this young man to try and do things a certain way.

3. On Deadly Ground

Undoubtedly one of the worst films ever made by a fat, tubby, wife-beating, traitorous bitch in Steven Seagal comes a film about a whistleblower who teams with some Alaskan natives to fight off a bunch of oilmen led by Michael Caine (phoning it in and taking a paycheck) over environmental issues. As an action film, it’s just stupid as fuck with people like R. Lee Emrey and Billy Bob Thornton be used as Caine’s minions. Yet, the film is bogged down by one of the worst film speeches ever made that is nothing more than a heavy-handed and preachy speech that never has any heart. All it did was inspire this hilarious moment in South Park:

© thevoid99 2018


joel65913 said...

LOVE Airplane! which is full of so many memorable speeches and bits. It makes me terribly sad to know that with all the great work Pacino has done his showboating work in the wretched Scent of a Woman is what got him an Oscar. That speech is his one highlight. I know I saw On Dangerous but I've blissfully forgotten it.

The monologue or soliloquy is a great test of an actor's mettle so it's always terrific to find films with actors who meet the challenge. These are the three I came up with.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)-Idealistic greenhorn Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart) is selected by the political machine of his state to complete the term of a recently deceased senator. Arriving full of purpose and dreams of justice the bumpkin is taken under the wing of an esteemed but secretly crooked senior senator (Claude Rains) and guided by the at first cynical and doubtful reporter Diz Moore (Thomas Mitchell) and Smith’s secretary Clarissa Saunders (Jean Arthur). Won over by his honesty the pair try and help him when his awareness of the breathe of malfeasance in government threatens to crush his spirit. Attempting to right many wrongs this climaxes in a memorable filibuster.

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)-Ted and Joanna Kramer (Dustin Hoffman & Meryl Streep) are in a failing marriage. Feeling suffocated Joanna leaves not only Ted but deserts their young son Billy (Justin Henry) as well to find herself in parts unknown. Up to this point a distracted, obtuse father focused on his career Ted is required to assume all parental responsibilities and forges a strong bond with his young boy. Time passes and Joanna reappears wanting Billy back regardless of the fact that she abandoned him. Ted puts up a fight and in the court case that ensues there are several memorable monologues.

A Few Good Men (1992)-On the Guantanamo Bay military base two marines perform a Code Red on a fellow marine resulting in his death. Charged and moved to the nation’s capital their case is assigned to hotshot officer Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise). They affirm that they were under orders to perform the act while their superiors Lt. Kendrick (Keifer Sutherland) and Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) deny any involvement. Moving into the courtroom Kaffee takes drastic measures to uncover the truth leading to many confrontations and an epic showdown monologue.

Dell said...

Everything about Airplane! is great. Everything about On Deadly Ground is bad. That is all.

Sonia Cerca said...

Shame on me! I still haven't seen Airplane!.

Brittani Burnham said...

I always assumed Trey Parker and Matt Stone took inspiration from that internet speech from somewhere but I never knew exactly what film. Now I do, I've never seen it but that South Park ep was hilarious.

Birgit said...

I Love Airplane and Leslie Nielsen who is brilliant in any of the films he made. I loved him in this documentary he did about the critters one finds in one own's backyard and I loved hi m in Due South which is a fun Canadian TV series starring Paul Gross. Scent of a Woman is a good film but I hate..hate that title. The last one, is true but I can't stand Seagal for all that you wrote and I wish he was someone's bitch in prison. South park is hilarious

Vinnieh said...

Great choices, love Scent of a Woman.

thevoid99 said...

@joel65913-The monologue in A Few Good Men is awesome as it just shows how great Jack Nicholson is.

@Wendell-Airplane! rules.

@Sonia-See it. This is what a parody film is.

@Brittani-Don't ever watch that film by Steven Seagal. It's just awful all around and with a terrible environmental message.

@Birgit-I love Leslie Nielsen as well. Very funny man. I too hope Seagal becomes someone's bitch in prison though I prefer that he would be beaten to a bloody pulp by all of the women he abused, harassed, and insulted.

@vinnieh-It's a good film but that monologue is awesome.