Dustin Hoffman Monologues

Midnight Cowboy (Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo)

Look, with these gals that want to buy it, most of ‘em are old and dignified. Social register types you know what I mean? They can’t be trotting down to Times Square to pick out the merchandise, they gotta have some kind of a middle man and that’s where old Daniel comes in you know what I mean? Hey! What’s the matter! I’m walking here! I’m walking here! Up yours you sonofabitch you don’t talk to me that way, you get outta here! Don’t worry about that, actually that ain’t a bad way to pick up insurance you know?

Kramer vs. Kramer (Ted Kramer)

Some things, once they are done, can’t be undone. My wife, ex-wife, says she loves Billy. I believe she does. But I don’t think that’s the issue here. If I understand it correctly, what means the most here is what’s best for or son, what’s best for Billy. My wife used to always say to me why can’t a woman have the same ambitions as a man, I think you’re right and maybe I learned that much. But by the same token what law is it that says a woman is a better parent simply by virtue of her sex? You know a lot of times, think about it. What is it that makes somebody a good parent? You know, it has to do with constancy, it has to with patience, It has to do with listening to them. It has to do with pretending to listen to them when you can’t even listen any more. And it has to do with love, like she was saying. And I don’t know where it is written that says a woman has a corner on that market. That a man has any less of those emotions than a woman does? Billy has a home with me, I’ve tried to make it the best I could. It’s not perfect. I’m not a perfect parent. I don’t have enough patience. I forget he’s just a little kid. But then I get up in the morning. And we eat breakfast, and he talks to me. And we go to school, and at night we eat dinner together, and we talk then and I read to him. And we built a life together and we love each other. If you destroy that it, it may be irreparable. Joanna, don’t do that, please. Don’t do it twice to me.

Death of a Salesman (Willy Loman)

Business is definitely business, but just listen for a minute. You don’t understand this. When I was a boy, eighteen, nineteen, I was already on the road. And there was a question in my mind as to whether selling had a future for me. Because in those days I had a yearning to go to Alaska. See, there were three gold strikes in one month in Alaska, and I felt like going out. Just for the ride, you might say. Oh, yeah, my father lived many years in Alaska. He was an adventurous man. We’ve got quite a little streak of self-reliance in our family. I thought I’d go out with my older brother and try to locate him, and maybe settle in the North with the old man. And I was almost decided to go, when I met a salesman in the Parker House. His name was Dave Singleman. And he was eighty-four years old, and he’d drummed merchandise in thirty-one states. And old Dave, he’d go up to his room, you understand, put on his green velvet slippers, I’ll never forget, and pick up his phone and call the buyers, and without ever leaving his room, at the age of eighty-four, he made his living. And when I say that, I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want. ‘Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eight-four, into twenty of thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people? Do you know? When he died, and by the way he died the death of a salesman, in his green velvet slippers in the smoker of the New York, New Haven and Hartford, going into Boston, when he died, hundreds of salesman and buyers were at his funeral. Things were sad on a lotta trains for months after that. See in those days there was personality in it, Howard. There was respect, and comradeship, and gratitude in it. Today, it’s all cut and dried and there’s no chance for bringing friendship to bear or personality. You see what I mean? They don’t know me anymore!