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. PUPKIN 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 autographs. (laughter)
- AMADEUS: VOICE OF GOD
CONSTANZE 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 originals. SALIERI Originals? CONSTANZE Yes. 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 puzzled. SALIERI These are originals? CONSTANZE Yes, sir. He doesn't make copies. CUT TO: INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823 The old man faces the Priest. OLD SALIERI 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. OLD SALIERI 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 beauty. 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 the room. 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, perplexed. CONSTANZE Is it no good? A pause. SALIERI It is miraculous.
- LOVE AND HATE: NIGHT OF THE HUNTER
- LOVE AND HATE: DO THE RIGHT THING
Radio Raheem approaches Mookie. MOOKIE Whaddup. Money? RADIO RAHEEM I was going to buy a slice. MOOKIE I'll be back after I make this delivery. RADIO RAHEEM 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 hand. MOOKIE That's the dope. RADIO RAHEEM I just copped them. Let me tell you the story of Right-Hand--Left- Hand--the tale of Good and Evil. MOOKIE I'm listening. RADIO RAHEEM HATE! He thrusts up his left hand. RADIO RAHEEM It was with this hand that Brother Cain iced his brother. LOVE! He thrusts up his right hand. RADIO RAHEEM See these fingers, they lead straight to the soul of man. The right hand. The hand of LOVE! Mookie is buggin'. RADIO RAHEEM The story of Life is this... He locks his fingers and writhes, cracking the joints. 46. RADIO RAHEEM 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 Love. Mookie doesn't know what to say, so he doesn't say anything. RADIO RAHEEM Brother, Mookie, if I love you I love you, but if I hate you... MOOKIE I understand. RADIO RAHEEM I love you, my brother. MOOKIE I love you, Black.