Acting

Movie Monologue Monday – Phoebe Cates in Gremlins

Phoebe Cates as Kate Beringer in Gremlins

Phoebe Cates as Kate Beringer in Gremlins

This week’s Movie Monologue Monday is going to look at Phoebe Cates in Gremlins.

It’s hard to believe that Gremlins, that 80’s-era sorta goofyish/scaryish movie has a monologue worth looking at.

The monologue is a vestige of the original script, which was much darker than the movie eventually became. The studio pressured director Joe Dante to cut the piece until Steven Spielberg stepped in to keep it intact.

The piece itself is a bit of a cliche. It’s a memory piece where the character recounts a traumatic event from her past with a bit of a surprise ending.

That said, I think Cates does a great job with the material. She plays it in the moment, not in the past. She plays the opposite towards the end, smiling and awkwardly laughing. She trusts the material, letting it do the heavy emotional lifting. She trusts in stillness, barely moving throughout the piece.

Perhaps the monologue should have been cut. It’s pretty out of place in the context of the movie. And whoever did the final cut surely did Cates no favours with those ridiculous reaction shots from Gizmo, the furry gremlin. Nonetheless, it’s a performance worthy of notice.

About the author

Craig Mason