10 best monologues from Martin Scorsese movies


There are plenty of recurring tropes in Martin Scorsese films, from Catholic guilt to needlepoint soundtracks to the inevitable traps of a life of crime. Scorsese films are first character studies and then stories. In several of his films, Scorsese complements his characters with a monologue verbalizing their internal struggles.

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Scorsese is known for his deeply cinematic presentation of monologues, usually delivered by one of his main men, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, but sometimes played by other actors, such as Jack Nicholson or Joe Pesci.

ten A product of my environment (the missing)

Jack Nicholson in The Departed

the Goodfellas– voiceover narration The dead is delivered by Jack Nicholson’s Irish Mafia boss Frank Costello. Nicholson recounts the opening of the film with a heavy monologue: “I don’t want to be a product of my surroundings. I want my environment to be a product of me.

This narration instantly establishes Costello’s thirst for power, which ends up becoming his downfall when he is revealed to be an FBI informer (much like the character’s actual inspiration, Whitey Bulger).

9 Are you too good for that 10 bucks? (My streets)

Robert De Niro in Mean Streets

Scorsese’s escape movie Middle streets contrasts Charlie, the remorseful Mafioso of Harvey Keitel, with his younger and more savage friend, Johnny Boy, played by Robert De Niro. When Johnny Boy is confronted with one of his many creditors, he insultingly offers him $ 10, then gives a long speech that sums up his reckless lifestyle perfectly.

RELATED: How Mean Streets Established Scorsese’s Style

“I borrow money all over this neighborhood, to everyone’s left and right – I never pay them back.” Johnny Boy sets his 10 dollars on fire and his creditor pounces on him furiously. Charlie breaks but, true to his habits, the irresponsible Johnny Boy still feels the need to draw his gun.


8 It’s Gonna Happen (The Irishman)

The framing story of Scorsese’s Netflix crime epic Irish sees Frank Sheeran, De Niro’s hitman, attend a wedding with his partner Russell, played by Joe Pesci. Along the way, Russell charges Frank with killing his best friend, Jimmy Hoffa.

In a haunting monologue delivered by a subversive Pesci, Russell essentially tells Frank that his friend’s murder is happening, whether or not he accepts the job to happen. Either way, he’s going.

seven How Vegas (Casino) works

Scorsese and writer Nicholas Pileggi continued the triumphant success of Goodfellas with another sprawling mafia saga, Casino. De Niro plays Ace Rothstein, an expert gamer, who explains the shady inner workings of Las Vegas in a gripping voice-over narration.

According to Rothstein, “In Vegas, everyone has to watch everyone. Since the players are looking to beat the casino, the dealers are watching the players. The box-men keep an eye on the dealers. The men on the ground watch the men in the box. The managers of the stands keep an eye on the men on the ground. The shift supervisors supervise the pit supervisors. The casino manager oversees the shift supervisors. I watch the casino manager. And the eye in the sky is watching us all.

6 Dr Cawley Explains The Twist (Shutter Island)

Teddy Daniels at Shutter Island

At the climax of Scorsese’s psychological thriller gem Shutter island, Leonardo DiCaprio’s disturbed US Marshal goes to the lighthouse where he believes his partner has been taken. There, Ben Kingsley’s Dr Cawley explains the twist in a lengthy monologue.

This type of exposure-based revelation can be difficult to pull off, but thanks to Kingsley’s monologue abilities, he lands in Shutter island. Dr Cawley explains that he is not a marshal at all; he is the establishment’s “most dangerous patient”, caught up in a complicated psychological experience. He murdered his manic-depressed wife after she drowned all of their children.

5 Act of Rupert Pupkin (The King of Comedy)

Robert DeNiro in a stand-up act in The King Of Comedy.

One of Scorsese’s most underrated films, The king of comedy, is a biting celebrity cult satire starring De Niro as a struggling comedian who kidnaps a famous late-night host just for the chance to perform his act on the air.

In the end of The king of comedy, Rupert Pupkin takes over The Jerry Langford Show, tells all his jokes and amazingly kills with live audiences. In a classic “15 minutes of fame” moment, Rupert enjoys a fleeting stint at the top before being whisked away to jail.

4 Henry Hill breaks fourth wall in court (Goodfellas)

Goodfellas Henry Hill Courtroom

Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill speaks to the public throughout Goodfellas in the form of a voiceover. After the tense helicopter sequence, Scorsese’s thought-provoking musicless finale culminates when Henry mocks all his friends to keep himself from going back to jail.

In the courtroom, Henry speaks directly to the camera, succinctly explaining how the Mafia lifestyle appealed to him and why it all fell apart.

3 I’m not leaving F ****** (The Wolf of Wall Street)

DiCaprio gave one of his most hilarious performances in the wolf of Wall Street, the black Scorsese comic biopic of stockbroker Jordan Belfort. He performs a few monologues in the film, usually as encouraging gatherings for his employees in the offices.

RELATED: 5 Ways The Wolf of Wall Street Is Great Satire (& 5 Ways He Glorifies Jordan Belfort’s Lifestyle)

In the middle of the film, he gives what is supposed to be a farewell speech as he steps down to comply with the federal inquiry. In the middle of his speech, he decides to stay (with great legal risk) and says: “I am not going to leave!

2 I could have been a competitor (Raging Bull)

Robert De Niro looking in the mirror for the last shot of Raging Bull.

There are a few layers in De Niro’s final monologue “I Could Have Been a Contestant” in Angry bull: De Niro as Jake LaMotta impersonates Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy in At the water’s edge.

This scene provides the perfect and heartfelt ending to the tragic saga of the rage-filled middleweight boxer turned nightclub performer. LaMotta ended up talking to herself in the mirror after chasing everyone who loved her.

1 You are talking to me? (Taxi driver)

Best Unscripted Movie Scenes Taxi Driver Mirror

To underline Travis’ isolation, there are many monologues in Taxi driver. These monologues are mostly diary entries delivered in voice-over à la Robert Bresson Diary of a country priest. Travis’s journal traces his psychology and captures “bad ideas” in his head.

But Travis’ most famous monologue opens up to itself in the mirror: “Are you talking to me?” This scene shows that Travis is so alone that he talks to himself. He’s practicing shooting a gun at someone in the street. According to Business intern, this incredible scene was improvised by De Niro.

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