So ideally a monologue should tell us the essentials about the character giving it, their motivations, personality, etc, and it should also help set the story, amirite? Well, here are some of my faves (I also believe this is the first thread of it's kind on DiS. If it goes tits up I'll be gutted):
Bonasera: "I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom but I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a "boy friend," not an Italian. She went to the movies with him. She stayed out late. I didn't protest. Two months ago he took her for a drive, with another boy friend. They made her drink whiskey and then they tried to take advantage of her. She resisted. She kept her honor. So they beat her. Like an animal. When I went to the hospital her nose was broken. Her jaw was shattered, held together by wire. She couldn't even weep because of the pain. But I wept. Why did I weep? She was the light of my life. A beautiful girl. Now she will never be beautiful again."
^We know the film will be about Italian-Americans and the conflict between the "old" country and the "new" country. We know that the judicial system of the "new" country failed this man, and so he's turning to the shadow state of the "old" country. And he don't take too kindly to them thar woman beaters.
Frank Costello: "I don't wanna be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me. Years ago we had the church. That was only a way of saying...we had each other. The Knights Of Columbus were real headbreakers; true guineas. They took over their piece of the city. Twenty years after an Irishman couldn't get a fuckin' job, we had the presidency, may he rest in peace. That's what the niggers don't realize. If I got one thing against the black chappies, it's this: No-one gives it to - you have to take it."
^So we know Costello is willfully shaping the course of Boston history, he's somewhat nostalgic for the old values of community and tradition, is proud of being Irish, and is, um, really, really racist.
Photojournalist: "Hey, man, you don't talk to the Colonel. You listen to him. The man's enlarged my mind. He's a poet-warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he'll... uh... well, you'll say "hello" to him, right? And he'll just walk right by you. He won't even notice you. And suddenly he'll grab you, and he'll throw you in a corner, and he'll say, "do you know that 'if' is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you"... I mean I'm no, I can't... I'm a little man, I'm a little man, he's... he's a great man. I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas..."
^So we know that this guy is out of his mind. For this guy, truly, is Dennis Hopper.