Why couldn’t I have written King Of Comedy? I could croak in peace having penned that serious black comedy. Deniro as Rupert Pupkin, a loooooooong way from “you talking to me” Travis Bickle. I doubt this makes many people’s Top 3 Scorsese movies but it makes mine because, I’m mean– who thinks up a story like this? Sandra Bernhard tying up Jerry Lewis with gaffer tape and having an intimate dinner with him?! Tell me you’ve seen it… If not, get on it.
Pupkin’s lifelong dream, doing standup on a Johnny Carson-like Tonight Show leads off my Best Speeches V 1.0. These are classic movie monologues and I’ve accompanied the script with the clip to see the changes made from the original conception. Hope these inspire your own screenplay. Writing that key monologue is a bitch, but if you pull it off, you might just be remembered 100 years from now.
Also here, fav scenes from Amadeus and two different takes on Love and Hate. Vamos!
- KING OF COMEDY: PUPKIN DOES STAND-UP
133 INT: THE STAGE - NIGHT
Finally after what seems like an eternity, PUPKIN emerges,
straightening his jacket a bit and trying to crane the
kinks out of his neck. He is a bit tense but very high
and in full command. As he delivers his monologue, PUPKIN
is more confident, comfortable and self-assured than we
have ever seen him.
Good evening, ladies and gentleman.
Let me introduce myself. My name is
Rupert Pupkin. I was born in Clifton,
New Jersey, which was not, at that
time, a federal offense. (laughter)
Is there anyone here from Clifton?
(silence) Good. We can all relax.
Now, I'd like to begin by saying that
my parents were too poor to afford me
a childhood but the fact is nobody is
allowed to be really poor in Clifton.
Once you fall below eleven thousand
you're exiled to Passaic. My parents
did, in fact, put down the first two
payments on my childhood. Then they
tried to return me to the hospital
as defective. But, like everyone else
I grew up in large part thanks to my
mother. If she was only here today
I'd say, "Hey, mom. What are you
doing here? You've been dead for
nine years?" (laughter) You should
have seen my mother. She was wonderful
-- blonde, beautiful, intelligent,
alcoholic. (laughter) We used to
drink milk together after school.
Mine was homogenized. Hers was loaded.
(laughter) Once she was picked up for
speeding. They clocked her doing fifty
-- in our garage. (laughter) When
they tested her they found that her
alcohol was two per cent blood. They
took away her license and she died
shortly afterwards. We used to joke
together Mom and me, until the tears
would stream down her face and she'd
throw up. (laughter) And who would
clean it up? Not Dad. He was too
busy down at O'Grady's throwing up on
his own. In fact, until I was sixteen,
I thought throwing up was a sign of
maturity. While the other kids were
off in the woods sneaking cigarettes, I
was hiding behind the house with my
fingers down my throat. (laughter)
I never got anywhere until one day,
my father caught me. Just as he was
giving me a final kick in the stomach,
for luck, I managed to heave all
over his new shoes. "That's it,"
I thought. "I've made it. I'm
finally a man!" (laughter) As it
turned out, that was the only time my
father ever paid any real attention
to me. He was usually too busy out
in the park playing ball with my
sister, Rose. And, today thanks to
those many hours of practice, my
sister Rose has grown into a fine man.
(laughter) Me, I wasn't especially
interested in athletics. The only
exercise I ever got was when the
other kids picked on me. They used
to beat me up once a week, usually
Tuesday. After a while, the school
worked it into the curriculum. And,
if you knocked me out, you got extra
credit. (laughter) Except there was
this one kid who was afraid of me. I
kept telling him, "Hit me! Hit me!
What's the matter with you? Don't you
want graduate?" As for me, I was
the only kid in the history of the
school to graduate in traction. The
school nurse tucked my diploma into
my sling. But my only real interest,
right from the beginning, was show
business. Even as a young man, I
began at the very top, collecting
That's very tempting, but it's
impossible, I'm afraid. Wolfi would
be frantic if he found those were
missing. You see, they're all
A pause. He puts out his hand and takes up the portfolio
from the table. He opens it. He looks at the music. He is
These are originals?
Yes, sir. He doesn't make copies.
INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823
The old man faces the Priest.
Astounding! It was actually beyond
belief. These were first and only
drafts of music yet they showed no
corrections of any kind. Not one.
Do you realize what that meant?
Vogler stares at him.
He'd simply put down music already
finished in his head. Page after
page of it, as if he was just taking
dictation. And music finished as no
music is ever finished.
INT. SALIERI'S SALON - LATE AFTERNOON - 1780'S
CU, The manuscript in Mozart's handwriting. The music begins
to sound under the following:
OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
Displace one note and there would be
diminishment. Displace one phrase,
and the structure would fall. It was
clear to me. That sound I had heard
in the Archbishop's palace had been
no accident. Here again was the very
voice of God! I was staring through
the cage of those meticulous ink-
strokes at an absolute, inimitable
The music swells. What we now hear is an amazing collage of
great passages from Mozart's music, ravishing to Salieri and
to us. The Court Composer, oblivious to Constanze, who sits
happily chewing chestnuts, her mouth covered in sugar, walks
around and around his salon, reading the pages and dropping
them on the floor when he is done with them. We see his
agonized and wondering face: he shudders as if in a rough
and tumbling sea; he experiences the point where beauty and
great pain coalesce. More pages fall than he can read,
scattering across the floor in a white cascade, as he circles
Finally, we hear the tremendous Qui Tollis from the Mass in
C Minor. It seems to break over him like a wave and, unable
to bear any more of it, he slams the portfolio shut.
Instantly, the music breaks off, reverberating in his head.
He stands shaking, staring wildly. Constanze gets up,
Is it no good?
It is miraculous.
- LOVE AND HATE: NIGHT OF THE HUNTER
- LOVE AND HATE: DO THE RIGHT THING
Radio Raheem approaches Mookie.
I was going to buy a slice.
I'll be back after I make this
On the rebound.
Mookie stares at the gold "brass knuckles" rings Radio
Raheem wears on each hand. Spelled out across the rings are
the words "LOVE" on the right hand and "HATE" on the left
That's the dope.
I just copped them. Let me tell
you the story of Right-Hand--Left-
Hand--the tale of Good and Evil.
He thrusts up his left hand.
It was with this hand that Brother
Cain iced his brother. LOVE!
He thrusts up his right hand.
See these fingers, they lead
straight to the soul of man. The
right hand. The hand of LOVE!
Mookie is buggin'.
The story of Life is this...
He locks his fingers and writhes, cracking the joints.
STATIC! One hand is always fighting
the other. Left Hand Hate is
kicking much ass and it looks like
Right Hand Love is finished. Hold
up. Stop the presses! Love is
coming back, yes, it's Love. Love
has won. Left Hand Hate KO'ed by
Mookie doesn't know what to say, so he doesn't say anything.
Brother, Mookie, if I love you I
love you, but if I hate you...
I love you, my brother.
I love you, Black.