This story is about Howard Beale,|the "Network News" anchorman on UBS TV.
In his time, Howard Beale had been|a mandarin of television...
the grand old man of news...
with a HUT rating of 16|and a 28 audience share.
In 1969, however, his fortunes|began to decline.
He fell to a 22 share.
The following year, his wife died,|and he was left a childless widower...
with an 8 rating|and a 12 share.
He became morose and isolated,|began to drink heavily.
On September 22, 1975,|he was fired...
effective in two weeks.
The news was broken to him|by Max Schumacher...
who was the president|of the News Division at UBS.
The two old friends|got properly pissed.
I was at CBS|with Ed Murrow in 1951.
Must've been 1950.
I was at NBC.|Associate producer.
Morning news.|I was just a kid... 26 years old.
Anyway, they were building the lower|level of the George Washington Bridge.
We were doing a remote from there.
And nobody told me.
7:00 a.m., I get a call.
"Where are you? You're supposed to be|on the George Washington Bridge?"
I jump out of bed,|throw my raincoat over my pajamas.
I run downstairs|and out into the street...
hail a cab and say to the cabbie...
"Take me to the middle|of the George Washington Bridge."
The cabbie turns around and says...
He says, "Don't do it, buddy.
You're a young man. You've got|your whole life ahead of you."
Didn't I tell you that before?
I'm gonna kill myself.
I'm gonna blow my brains out|right on the air...
right in the middle|of the seven o'clock news.
You'll get a hell of a rating,|I'll guarantee that.
Fifty share easy.
- You think so?|- Sure.
We could make a series out of it.|"Suicide of the Week."
Why limit ourselves?|"Execution of the Week."
"Terrorist of the Week."
They'll love it.
Mafia hit men.
"The Death Hour."
"A great Sunday night show|for the whole family."
Lt'd put fucking Disney|right off the air.
Let's do the Lenin deportation|at the end of three.
- Strong enough to bump?|- At one, then.
I'll do a lead on Sarah Jane Moore|to May Berry in San Francisco.
The film I saw|was of the chief of detectives.
I think we've got ten seconds|on the shooting itself.
The whole thing is 1:25.
- What does that come out?|- About 4:50.
- Can we use Squeaky Fromme?|- Let's do that at two.
Squeaky boarded the airport bus.
You using a map on him|for San Francisco?
I'd prefer newspapers.
What've we got left?
Gun control.|Patty Hearst affidavit.
Guerillas in Chad.|OPEC in Guiana.
Hello, Howard.|How are you?
Don't forget, Howard,|we're not using the 16.
The first attempt on President Ford's|life was 18 days ago...
and again yesterday in San Francisco.
In spite of the two attempts,|Mr. Ford says...
he will not become a prisoner|of the Oval Office...
a hostage|of would-be assassins.
The American people|are good people.
Democrats, Independents,|Republicans and others.
- How do you get mixed up that type?|- I don't know.
If you're so hot, why go to strangers?|What's wrong with me?
Two. Cue Howard.
Ladies and gentlemen,|I would like at this moment...
to announce that I will be retiring|from this program in two weeks' time...
because of poor ratings.
Since this show is the only thing|I had going for me in my life...
I have decided to kill myself.
I'm going to blow my brains out|on this program a week from today.
Ten seconds to commercial.
Tune in next Tuesday.
That should give the public relations|people a week to promote the show.
We oughta get a hell of a rating|out of that.
Fifty share easy.
- Listen. Did you hear that?|- What was that about?
Howard said he was going|to blow his brains out next Tuesday.
- What are you talking about?|- Didn't you hear him?
Howard said he was going|to kill himself next Tuesday.
What do you mean Howard said he|was going to kill himself next Tuesday?
He was supposed to do a tag.
He said, "Tune in next Tuesday.|I'm going to shoot myself."
What's going on?
He just said he was going|to blow his brains out.
What the fuck's going on?
- They wanna know what's going on.|- I can't hear you.
- Turn the studio mike on.|- We're on in 11 seconds.
- Ten seconds.|- What are you doing? Have you flipped?
- We better get him off.|- Get him off.
- Get your fucking hands off me!|- Turn the sound off!
He's going on live!
- Key two.|- We're in trouble down here.
Go to standby!
Lou, can't we clear out the lobby?|There must be 100 people there.
- How am I gonna clear 'em out?|- Every TV station and wire service!
I could barely get in.
- Arthur, anything?|- Not so far.
Frank Hackett just walked in.|We had to abort the show.
So far over 900|fucking phone calls...
complaining about the foul language.
- What page are you putting it on?|- Hackett just walked in.
- ABC again.|- Tell 'em to go fuck themselves.
That goes for you, too, Marty.
You're off the air.
- He wants to talk to you.|- Who's replacing Beale?
- We're flying Snowden up.|- Everybody hold it.
Let's see how the other networks|handle this.
- The ten o'clock news opened with it.|- Good evening. Howard Beale...
They'll all make it|their lead story.
Howard Beale interrupted|his "Network News" program tonight...
to announce he was going|to kill himself.
An unusual thing happened|at a sister network...
UBS, this evening.
- How are we handling it?|- Halloway will make a statement...
at the end of the show that Howard's|been under great personal stress.
We've got a stockholders' meeting|tomorrow...
at which we will announce|the restructuring of management plan.
I don't want this grotesque incident|to interfere with that.
I'll suggest Mr. Ruddy open with a short|statement washing this whole thing off.
You, Max, better have answers for those|nuts that always come to the meetings.
Mr. Beale has been under great|professional and personal strain.
I've got surprises for you, too!
I've had it up to here|with your division...
and it's annual|$33 million deficit!
Keep your hands off|my News Division, Frank.
We're responsible to corporate level,|not you.
We'll goddamn well see about that.
All right, take it easy.|How do we get Beale out of here?
I understand there are reporters|and camera crews in the lobby.
We've got a limo at the freight exit.
Howard, you'll spend the night at my|place. There'll be press around yours.
I want Snowden here by noon...
have Lester|cover the CIA hearings...
and give the White House|to Doris.
You're late for your screening, Max.
If John Wheeler calls,|switch him to projection room 7.
- I'm sorry, Bill. This Beale business.|- It's all right. Sit down.
Diana asked if she could sit in on this.
Fine. How's it going?
You'll like this footage better than|the stuff I showed you last time.
Goddamn it! When?
Did he say anything?
All right, thank you.
The Communist Party believes the most|pressing political necessity today...
is the consolidation|of the revolutionary...
radical and democratic movements...
Harry, Howard Beale left my house|20 minutes ago.
Has he come in yet?
Let me know when he arrives.
- That's Laureen Hobbs, isn't it?|- Yeah.
This is from a David Susskind thing|a while back.
I think we can use some of this stuff.
What we're going to see now|is something really sensational.
The Flagstaff Independent Bank|of Arizona was ripped off last week...
by a terrorist group called|the Ecumenical Liberation Army.
They themselves took movies of the|rip-off while they were ripping it off.
The Ecumenical Liberation Army is not|the one that kidnapped Patty Hearst?
No, that's the Symbionese|Liberation Army.
This is the Ecumenical|Liberation Army.
They're the ones who kidnapped|Mary Ann Gifford three weeks ago.
There's a lot of liberation armies|in the revolutionary underground...
and a lot of kidnapped heiresses.
This is Mary Ann Gifford.
That's the Great Ahmed Khan.|He's their leader.
They actually shot this film|while they were ripping off the bank?
Wait till you see it.
I don't know whether to edit|or leave it raw like this.
This is terrific stuff!|Where did you get it?
I got everything|through Laureen Hobbs.
She's my contact|for all this stuff.
- I've got Howard on the other line.|- Put him on.
I've got Max on four. Pick up.
I'd like another shot.
- Come on, Howard.|- I don't mean the whole show.
I'd like to come on,|make some brief farewell statement...
and then turn the show over|to Jack Snowden.
I have 11 years at this network.|I have some standing in the industry.
I just don't want to go out|like a clown.
It'll be simple, dignified.|You and Harry can check the copy.
I think it'll take the strain|off the show.
- What do you think?|- Well, okay.
And no booze today, Howard!
George, can you come into my office|for a minute?
Barbara, is Tommy around?|I'd like to see the two of you.
This is Bill Herron from our West Coast|Special Programs Department.
George Bosch. Barbara Schlesinger.|Tommy Pellegrino.
I just saw footage of a special Bill's|doing on the revolutionary underground.
Most of it's tedious stuff of|Laureen Hobbs and two fatigue jackets...
muttering mutilated Marxism...
but he's got eight minutes|of a bank robbery...
that is sensational!
Authentic stuff shot|while the robbery was going on.
Remember the Mary Ann Gifford|kidnapping?
It's that bunch of nuts. She's in|the movie shooting off machine guns.
This is really terrific footage.
We can get a movie of the week|out of it, maybe even a series.
A series?|What are we talking about?
We've got a bunch of hobgoblin radicals,|the Ecumenical Liberation Army...
who go around taking home movies|of themselves robbing banks.
Maybe they'll take movies of themselves|kidnapping heiresses...
hijacking 747 s...
bombing bridges,|assassinating ambassadors.
We'd open each week's segment|with their authentic footage...
hire writers to write a story behind|that footage, and we've got a series.
A series about a bunch|of bank-robbing guerrillas?
What will we call it,|the "Mao Tse-Tung Hour"?
They've got "Strike Force,"|"Task Force," "SWAT."
Why not Che Guevara|and his own little "Mod Squad"?
I sent you all a concept analysis report|yesterday. Did any of you read it?
Well, in a nutshell it said...
"The American people|are turning sullen."
They've been clobbered on all sides|by Vietnam, Watergate, inflation.
They've turned off, shot up, fucked|themselves limp, and nothing helps.
So this concept analysis report|concludes...
the American people want somebody|to articulate their rage for them.
I've told you since I took this job|six months ago that I want angry shows.
I don't want conventional programming.
I want counterculture.|I want antiestablishment.
I don't want to play butch boss|with you people...
but when I took over|this department...
it had the worst programming record|in television history.
This network hasn't one show|in the top 20.
This network is an industry joke.
We better start putting together|one winner for next September.
I want a show developed...
based on the activities|of a terrorist group.
"Joseph Stalin and His Merry Band|of Bolsheviks."
I want ideas from you.|That is what you're paid for.
By the way, the next time I send|an audience research report around...
you'd better read it,|or I'll sack the lot of you.
Is that clear?
I'll be on the coast in four weeks. Can|you set up a meeting with Laureen Hobbs?
The business of management|is management.
At the time CCA took control,|the UBS TV network was foundering...
with less than seven percent|of national television revenues...
most network programs being sold|at station rates.
I am pleased to announce I am submitting|to the board of directors a plan...
for the coordination|of the main profit centers...
and with the specific intention|of making each division...
more responsive to management.
"The division producing the lowest rate|of return has been the News Division...
with its $98 million budget and its|average annual deficit of $32 million."
I know, historically, news divisions|are expected to lose money.
To our minds, this philosophy|is a wanton fiscal affront...
to be resolutely resisted.
The new plan calls for local news to be|transferred to Owned Stations Divisions.
News Radio would be transferred to|the UBS Radio Division...
and the News Division would be reduced|from an independent division...
to a department accountable|to network.
- What was that all about, Ed?|- This is not the time.
Why wasn't I told about this?
Why was I led up onto that podium and|humiliated in front of the stockholders?
Goddamn it! I spoke to John Wheeler|this morning...
and he assured me|that the News Division was safe.
If you want me to resign,|that's a bad way to do it.
We'll talk about this tomorrow|at our regular morning meeting.
Bring it up on one.|Ready now.
In five, four, three, two...
- One.|- One TVA.
The "UBS Evening News"...
with Howard Beale.
Two. Cue power.
Good evening.|Today is Wednesday, September 24...
and this is my last broadcast.
Yesterday I announced|on this program...
that I was going to commit|public suicide...
admittedly an act of madness.
I'll tell you what happened.|I just ran out of bullshit.
- Cut him off.|- Leave him on.
Am I still on?
If this is how he wants to go out,|this is how he goes out.
I just ran out of bullshit.
Mr. Schumacher's here.|Do you want to talk to him?
Bullshit is all the reasons|we give for living.
If we can't think up reasons of our own,|we always have the God bullshit.
- We don't know why we go through...|- What is it?
Pointless pain,|humiliation and decay.
There better be someone, somewhere|who does know. That's the God bullshit.
He's saying that life is bullshit.|It is. What are you screaming about?
Man is a noble creature who can order|his own world. Who needs God?
If there's anybody who can look around|this demented world we live in...
and tell me man|is a noble creature...
believe me,|that man is full of bullshit.
- What's so goddamn funny?|- I can't help it. It's funny.
This is going out live|to 67 affiliates.
Leave him on.
And I was married for 33 years|of shrill, shrieking fraud.
- Mr. Hackett's trying to reach you.|- Tell Mr. Hackett to go fuck himself.
So I don't have any bullshit left.
I just ran out of it, you see.
Mr. Ruddy, could we have|one statement, please?
Sorry, I don't have|all the information yet.
If we could just have one statement|about Mr. Beale.
I'll want to see Mr. Beale|after this.
The way I hear it,|you were primarily responsible...
for this colossally|stupid prank.
- Is that the fact?|- That's the fact.
It was unconscionable.
- There is nothing more to say.|- I have something to say.
I want to know why that debasement|of the News Division...
announced at the meeting this afternoon|was kept secret from me?
You and I go back 20 years.
I took this job|with your personal assurance...
that you'd back my autonomy|against any encroachment.
But ever since CCA acquired control|of UBS Systems ten months ago...
Hackett's been taking over everything.
Who is running this network?|You or some conglomerate called CCA?
You're president|of the Systems Group.
Hackett's nothing|but a hatchet man for CCA.
Nelson here,|president of the network...
and he hasn't a damned thing to say|about anything anymore.
I told you|at the stockholders' meeting...
that we would discuss all that|at our regular meeting tomorrow morning.
If you had been patient,|I would have explained...
that I, too, thought|Frank Hackett precipitate...
and that the reorganization of the|News Division would not be executed...
until everyone,|specifically you, Max...
had been consulted and satisfied.
Instead, you sulked off|like a child...
and engaged this network|in a shocking and disgraceful episode.
Your position|is no longer tenable...
regardless of how management|is restructured.
I will expect your resignation|at 10:00 tomorrow morning.
We will coordinate our statements|to the least detriment of everyone.
Bob McDonough will take over the News|Division until we sort all this out.
I'd like to see Mr. Beale now.
They're looking for him.|They don't know where he is.
Well, every day, five days a week|for 15 years...
I've been sitting behind that desk,|the dispassionate pundit...
reporting with seemly detachment...
the daily parade of lunacies|that constitute the news.
I wanted to say|what I really felt.
Knock it off.
It was, after all, my last one.
- Have the overnight ratings come in?|- They're on your desk.
Have you got|yesterday's overnights?
- Shall I bring them in?|- Yeah.
These are the outlines submitted|by Universal for an hour series.
You needn't bother to read them.|I'll tell them to you.
The first one is set in an eastern|law school, presumably Harvard.
The series is irresistibly entitled|"The New Lawyers."
The running characters are: A crusty|but benign ex-Supreme Court justice...
presumably Oliver Wendell Holmes|by way of Dr. Zorba...
a beautiful girl graduate student,|and the local district attorney...
who is brilliant|and sometimes cuts corners.
The second one's called|"The Amazon Squad."
Running characters include a crusty|but benign police lieutenant...
who's always getting heat|from the commissioner...
a tough, hard-drinking detective who|thinks women belong in the kitchen...
and a brilliant, beautiful young cop|who's fighting the feminist battle.
We're up to our ears in lady cops.
Next is another one of those|investigative reporter shows.
A crusty but benign managing editor|who's always getting...
You know, Barbara...
the Arabs have decided to jack up|the price of oil another 20 percent.
The CIA has been caught opening|Senator Humphrey's mail.
There's a civil war in Angola.|Another one in Beirut.
New York City's still facing default.
They finally caught up|with Patricia Hearst.
And the whole front page|of the Daily News is Howard Beale.
There's also a two-column story|on page one of the Times.
Helen?|Call Mr. Hackett's office.
See if he can give me|a few minutes this morning.
KTNS Kansas City refuses to carry|our "Network News Show" anymore...
unless Beale is taken off the air.
Did you see the overnights|on the "Network News"?
It has an 8 in New York,|a 9 in L. A...
and a 27 share in both cities.
Last night, Howard Beale went on the air|and yelled "bullshit" for two minutes.
I can tell you tonight's show|will get a 30 share at least.
- I think we've lucked into something.|- For God sakes, Diana!
Are you suggesting we put that lunatic|back on the air yelling "bullshit"?
Yes, I think we should put Beale back|on the air tonight and keep him on.
Did you see the news this morning?|Did you see the Times?
We got press coverage on this|you couldn't buy for a million dollars.
That show jumped 5 points in one night.|Tonight's show will be at least 15.
We've just increased our audience by|20 or 30 million people in one night!
You won't get something like this dumped|into your lap the rest of your days.
You can't piss it away. Howard said|last night what every American feels.
He's tired of all the bullshit!|He's articulating the popular rage!
I want that show, Frank.
I can turn that show|into the biggest smash on TV.
It's a news show.|It's not your department.
I see Howard Beale|as a latter-day prophet...
a messianic figure inveighing|against the hypocrisies of our times!
A strip Savonarola|Monday through Friday...
that will just go through the roof!
And I'm talking about|a six-dollar cost per thousand show.
I'm talking about|130,000 dollar minutes.
Figure out the revenues of a strip show|that sells for $100,000 a minute!
One show like that could pull|this network out of the hole!
It's being handed to us on a plate.|Let's not blow it.
Tell him I'll be a few minutes.
- Let me think it over.|- Let's not go to committee on this.
It's 10:20. We want Beale in the studio|by 6:30. We don't want to lose momentum.
For God sakes, we're talking about|putting an irresponsible man...
on national television.
I'd like to talk to Legal Affairs,|Herb Thackery...
and Joe Donnelly|in Standards and Practices.
You know I'll be eyeball to eyeball|with Mr. Ruddy on this.
If I'm going to the mat with Ruddy,|I want to be sure of my ground.
My ass is going on the line.
I'll get back to you.
I don't believe the top brass...
of a national television network|is sitting around their Caesar salads...
Top brass of a bankrupt|national television network...
with projected losses|of $150 million.
I don't care!
You can't be seriously proposing,|and the rest of us considering...
putting on a pornographic|network news show.
- The FCC would kill us.|- Sit down, Nelson.
The FCC can't do anything|except rap our knuckles.
I don't even want to think about|the litigious possibilities.
- We could be up to our ears in lawsuits.|- The affiliates won't carry it.
The affiliates will kiss your ass|if you can hand them a hit show.
- But popular reaction...|- We don't know the popular reaction.
- That's what we have to find out.|- The New York Times...
The New York Times doesn't advertise|on our network.
All I know is, this violates|every canon of respectable broadcasting.
We're not a respectable network.|We're a whorehouse network.
We have to take whatever we can get.
I don't want any part of it.
I don't fancy myself|the president of a whorehouse.
That's commendable of you, Nelson.|Now sit down.
Your indignation|has been duly recorded.
You can always resign tomorrow.
What in substance are we proposing?
Merely to add editorial comment|to our network news show.
Brinkley, Sevareid, Reasoner|all have their comments.
Now Howard Beale will have his.
I think we ought to give it a shot,|see what happens tonight. Telephone.
I don't want to be the messenger|who has to tell Schumacher about this.
He doesn't work at this network anymore.|Mr. Ruddy fired him last night.
Bob McDonough is running|the News Division now.
Bob McDonough in News, please.
I don't know.
I may teach or write a book...
whatever the hell one does when one|approaches the autumn of one's years.
My God! Is that me?
Was I ever that young?
No, Howard brought in a picture|of Ed Murrow...
and the CBS gang|when we were there.
You wouldn't believe it!
Walter Cronkite, Harry Reasoner...
Hollenbeck, Bob Trout.
Is that you?
Yeah. Okay, Dick,|we'll be in touch.
Remember this kid you sent to interview|Cleveland Amory on vivisection?
What's so funny?
I jump out of bed in my pajamas,|I grab my raincoat, I run downstairs.
I run out to the street|and hail a cab.
I yell at the driver, "Take me to the|middle of the George Washington Bridge."
And the driver says,|"Don't do it, buddy. Don't do it!
You're young. You've got|your whole life ahead of you."
Wait a minute.
If you think that's funny,|wait till you hear this.
I've come from Hackett's office.
He wants to put Howard|back on the air tonight.
Apparently the ratings went up|five points last night...
and he wants Howard to go back on|and do his "angry man" thing.
What are you talking about?
They want Howard to go back on|and yell "bullshit."
They want Howard to go on...
spontaneously letting out|his anger.
A latter-day prophet|denouncing the hypocrisies of our times.
That sounds pretty good!
Hackett. Chaney was there.
The Legal Affairs guy.|Oh, and that girl from programming.
Christensen?|What's she got to do with this?
- Are you kidding?|- I'm not kidding.
I said, "We're running|a news department here, not a circus.
And Howard Beale's|not a bearded lady.
If you think I'll go along with|this bastardization of the news...
you can have my resignation|along with Max Schumacher's.
- I'm speaking for Howard Beale and..."|- That's my job you're turning down.
I'd go nuts|without some kind of work.
What's wrong with being an angry prophet|denouncing the hypocrisies of our times?
What do you think, Max?
Do you want to be an angry prophet|denouncing the hypocrisies of our times?
Yeah, I'd like to be an angry prophet|denouncing the hypocrisies of our times.
Then grab it!
- Afternoon, Mr. Ruddy.|- Afternoon.
Good afternoon, Mr. Ruddy.
- He's waiting for you.|- Thank you.
Nelson Chaney tells me Beale|may actually go on the air this evening.
As far as I know,|Howard's going to do it.
- Are you gonna sit still for this?|- Yes.
I think Hackett's overstepped himself.
There's some kind of|corporate maneuvering going on.
Hackett is clearly forcing|a confrontation.
That would account for his behavior|at the stockholders' meeting.
However, I think he's making a serious|mistake with this Beale business.
I suspect CCA will be upset...
at Hackett's presumptuousness.
Certainly Mr. Jensen will.
So I'm going to let Hackett|have his head for a while.
He just might lose it|over this Beale business.
I'd like you to reconsider|your resignation.
I assume Hackett|wouldn't take such steps...
without some support|on the CCA board.
I'll have to go directly to Mr. Jensen.
When that happens, I'm going to need|every friend I've got...
and I don't want Hackett's people|in all the divisional positions.
So I'd like you to stay on.
Thank you, Max.
This has been|the "UBS Evening News"...
with Howard Beale.
The initial response to the new|"Howard Beale Show"...
was not auspicatory.
The press was,|without exception, hostile...
and industry reaction negative.
The ratings for the Thursday|and Friday shows...
were both 14,|but Monday's rating dropped a point...
clearly suggesting the novelty|was wearing off.
Did you know there are|a number of psychics...
working as licensed brokers|on Wall Street?
Some counsel their clients|by use of tarot cards.
They're all pretty successful,|even in a bear market and selling short.
I met one of them last week|and thought of doing a show around her.
"The Wayward Witch of Wall Street."|Something like that.
But if her tips were any good,|she could wreck the market.
I called her this morning and asked her|how she was on predicting the future.
She said she was|occasionally prescient.
"For example," she said,|"I just had a vision of you...
sitting in an office|with a craggy, middle-aged man...
with whom you are|or will be emotionally involved."
And here I am.
She does all this with tarot cards?
This one operates|on parapsychology.
She has trance-like episodes|and feels things in her energy field.
- This lady could be very useful to you.|- In what way?
You put on a news show.
And here's somebody who can predict|tomorrow's news for you.
Her name, aptly enough, is Sibyl.
Sibyl the Soothsayer.
You could give her|two minutes of trance...
at the end of the "Howard Beale Show,"|say once a week, Friday...
which is suggestively occult,|and she could oraculate.
Then next week everyone tunes in to see|how good her predictions were.
Maybe she could do the weather.
Your "Network News Show" will need help|if it's going to hold.
Beale doesn't do the "angry man" thing|well at all.
He's too kvetchy.|He's being irascible.
We want a prophet, not a curmudgeon.|He should do more apocalyptic doom.
I think you should have some writers|write some jeremiads for him.
I see you don't fancy my suggestions.
You're not serious?
The fact is, I could make|your Beale show...
the highest-rated news show in TV|if you'd let me have a crack at it.
What do you mean,|"have a crack at it"?
I'd like to program it for you.
I wouldn't interfere with|the news itself, but TV is show biz...
and even the news has to have|a little showmanship.
My God, you are serious.
I watched your six o'clock news today.|It's straight tabloid.
You had a minute and a half of that lady|riding naked in Central Park...
but you had less than a minute|of hard national and international news.
It was all sex, scandal,|brutal crime, sports...
children with incurable diseases|and lost puppies.
So I won't listen to protestations|of high standards of journalism...
when you're on the streets, soliciting|audiences like the rest of us.
All I'm saying is, if you're going|to hustle, at least do it right.
I'm going to bring this up at tomorrow's|meeting, but I don't like hassles.
I was hoping we could work this out|between us. That's why I'm here.
And I was hoping you were looking for|an emotional involvement...
with a craggy, middle-aged man.
I wouldn't rule that out entirely.
All right, Diana...
bring up all your ideas at the meeting,|because if you don't, I will.
I think Howard's making|a goddamn fool of himself...
and so does everybody that Howard|and I know in this industry.
It was a fluke.|Didn't work.
So tomorrow, Howard goes back|to the old format...
and all of this gutter depravity|comes to an end.
I don't get it.
You hung around until 7:30|and then came down here...
just to pitch a couple|of loony show-biz ideas...
when you knew goddamn well|I'd laugh you right out of the office.
I don't get it.
What's your scam in this?
My visit here tonight was a gesture made|out of your stature in the industry...
and because I personally admired you|since I was a kid...
majoring in speech|at the University of Missouri.
Sooner or later, with or without you,|I'm going to take over your news show.
I figured I might as well start tonight.
I think I once gave a lecture...
at the University of Missouri.
I was in the audience. I had|a schoolgirl crush on you for months.
If we could get back for a moment|to that gypsy who predicted...
all that about emotional involvements|and middle-aged men...
what are you doing|for dinner tonight?
I can't make it tonight.|Call me tomorrow.
- Do you have a favorite restaurant?|- I eat anything.
I get a feeling I'm being made.
I've got to warn you.|I don't do anything on my first date.
Schmuck, what are you getting into?
I was married for four years|and pretended to be happy.
I had six years of analysis|and pretended to be sane.
My husband ran off|with his boyfriend...
and I had an affair with my analyst who|told me I was the worst lay he ever had.
I can't tell you how many men|have told me what a lousy lay I am.
I apparently have|a masculine temperament.
I arouse quickly,|consummate prematurely...
and I can't wait to get my clothes|back on and get out of that bedroom.
I seem to be inept at everything|except my work.
I'm good at my work.
So I confine myself to that.
All I want out of life|is a 30 share and a 20 rating.
You're married, surely?
I have a married daughter in Seattle|who's six months pregnant...
and a younger girl who's starting|at Northwestern in January.
Well, Max, here we are.
Middle-aged man reaffirming|his middle-aged manhood...
and a terrified young woman|with a father complex.
What sort of script|can we make out of this?
Corridor gossip says that you're|Frank Hackett's backstage girl.
Frank's a corporation man,|body and soul.
He has no loves, lusts|or allegiances...
that are not consummately directed|toward becoming a CCA board member.
Why should he bother with me?|I'm not even a stockholder.
What about your loves,|lusts and allegiances?
Is your wife in town?
Then we better go to my place.
I can't hear you.|You'll have to talk a little louder.
Yes, I hear you.
I said, "Why me?"
Howard in his office?
I'm killing this whole screwball|"angry prophet" thing.
Tonight we go back to straight news.
Yeah? Max, I'm telling you he's fine.
He's been sharp all day.|He's been as funny as hell.
Had everybody cracking up|at the rundown meeting.
I told him!
- Cue announcer.|- The "UBS Evening News"...
with Howard Beale.
Last night I was awakened|from a fitful sleep...
shortly after 2:00 in the morning...
by a shrill, sibilant,|faceless voice.
I couldn't make it out at first|in the dark bedroom.
I said, "I'm sorry.|You'll have to talk a little louder."
- What do you want me to do?|- Nothing.
The voice said to me,|"I want you to tell the truth.
Not easy to do, because the people|don't want to know the truth."
I said, "You're kidding?
What should I know about the truth?"
But the voice said to me,|"Don't worry about the truth."
I will put the words in your mouth."
I said,|"Is this the burning bush?
I'm not Moses."
The voice said, "I'm not God.|What has that got to do with it?"
The voice said, "We're not talking|about eternal, absolute truth.
We're talking about impermanent,|transient, human truth!
I don't expect people|to be capable of truth...
but at least you're capable|of self-preservation."
I said, "Why me?"
The voice said, "Because you're|on television, dummy."
"Forty million Americans listen to you,|and after the show, maybe 50 million.
I'm not asking you to walk the land|in sackcloth preaching the Armageddon.
You're on TV."
I thought about it for a moment.
Then I said, "Okay."
Close the door, Harry.
Howard, I'm taking you off the air.
I think you're having a breakdown,|require treatment.
This is not a psychotic episode.
This is a cleansing moment of clarity.
I'm imbued with some special spirit.|It's not a religious feeling at all.
It's a shocking eruption|of great electrical energy.
I feel vivid and flashing...
as if suddenly I'd been plugged|into a great electromagnetic field.
I feel connected to all living things.
To flowers, birds...
all the animals of the world...
and even to some great,|unseen living force...
what I think the Hindus|call "prana."
But it's not a breakdown.
I've never felt more orderly|in my life.
It is a shattering|and beautiful sensation.
It is the exalted flow|of the space-time continuum...
save that it is spaceless|and timeless...
and such loveliness.
I feel on the verge|of some great ultimate truth.
And you will not take me off the air|for now or any other spaceless time!
- Is he okay?|- He's just fainted.
I better get him back to my house|again tonight.
Help me get him up.
This is crazy.
The whole place has gone crazy.|They just seem to hassle me.
Wake up, Max,|because Howard's gone.
I'll make you some coffee.
You don't know where he is?|The son of a bitch is a hit!
Goddamn it!|Over 2,000 phone calls!
In the mail room, over 14,000 telegrams!|The response is sensational!
Tell him.|Herb's phone hasn't stopped ringing.
Every affiliate from Albuquerque|to Sandusky! Response is sensational!
Yes. All right.
For you, Herb.|Go to your office.
Moldanian called me. Joe Donnelly|called me. We've got a goddamn hit!
Show him the Times. We even got|an editorial in the New York Times.
- "A Call to Morality."|- I don't know where he is.
That crazy Beale has caught on. Don't|tell me you don't know where he is.
He could be jumping off a roof|for all I know!
The man is insane!|He's not responsible for himself!
He needs care and treatment.
All you grave robbers think about|is that he's a hit.
It's just possible|that he isn't insane...
that he is, in fact,|imbued with some special spirit.
I'm supposed to be the romantic!|You're the hard-bitten realist!
All right. Howard Beale|obviously fills a void.
The audience|obviously wants a prophet...
even a manufactured one...|even if he's as mad as Moses.
By tomorrow he'll have a 50 share,|maybe a 60.
Howard Beale|is processed instant God.
It looks like he may go over bigger|than Mary Tyler Moore.
I am not putting Howard|back on the air!
It's not your show anymore.|It's mine.
I gave her the show.
I'm putting the "Network News Show"|under programming.
Mr. Ruddy had a heart attack|and is not taking calls.
In his absence,|I'm making all network decisions...
including one I've been wanting to make|a long time: You're fired.
I want you out of this building|by noon.
I'll call security and have you|thrown out if you're still here.
Well, let's say|fuck you, Hackett.
You want me out of here...
you'll have to drag me and the whole|News Division out kicking and screaming.
You think they'll quit their jobs|for you? Not in this recession.
Ruddy will have your ass.
I got a hit!|Ruddy doesn't count anymore!
He was hoping I'd fall on my face|with this Beale show, but I didn't.
It's a big, fat, big-titted hit...
and I don't have to waffle around|with Ruddy anymore.
If he wants to take me before|the CCA board, let him.
Do you think Ruddy is stupid enough|to go to the CCA board and say...
"I'm taking our one hit show|off the air."
Come November 14, I'll be at the annual|CCA Management Review Meeting...
and I'll announce projected earnings|for this network...
for the first time in five years!
Believe me, Mr. Jensen will be|sitting there, rocking back and forth...
and he'll say, "That's very good, Frank.|Keep it up."
So don't have illusions about who's|running this network. You're fired.
I want you out of your office before|noon, or I'll have you thrown out.
You go along with this?
I told you I didn't want|a network hassle.
I told you I'd much rather|work the Beale show out between us.
Well, let's just say|fuck you, too, honey.
Howard Beale may be my best friend.|I'll go to court.
I'll put him in a hospital before I let|you exploit him like a carnival freak.
You get your psychiatrist.|I'll get mine.
I'm gonna spread this reeking business|in every newspaper...
on every network, group and affiliate|in this country!
I'm gonna make|a lot of noise about this!
We need all the press we can get!
Something going on|between you and Schumacher?
- How do you do, Mr. Beale?|- I must make my witness.
Sure thing, Mr. Beale.
Oil ministers of the OPEC nations|meeting in Vienna...
still haven't decided how much|to increase the price of oil.
Yeah? He came in the building|five minutes ago.
Tell Snowden when he comes in|to let him go on.
Did you get that, Paul?
More on that story|from Edward Fletcher in Vienna.
This has been the most divisive meeting|the oil states have ever had.
The 13 nations of OPEC|have still not...
been able to decide by how much|to increase the price of oil.
How much time we got?
We've got five seconds.|Hurry up.
Take two. Cue Howard.
I don't have to tell you things are bad.|Everybody knows things are bad.
It's a depression.
Everybody's out of work|or scared of losing their job.
The dollar buys a nickel's worth.|Banks are going bust.
Shopkeepers keep guns under the counter.|Punks are running wild in the street.
Nobody anywhere seems to know|what to do, and there's no end to it.
We know the air is unfit to breathe|and our food is unfit to eat.
We sit watching our TVs|while some newscaster tells us...
that today we had 15 homicides|and 63 violent crimes...
as if that's the way|it's supposed to be!
We know things are bad.|Worse than bad. They're crazy.
Everything everywhere is going crazy,|so we don't go out anymore.
We sit in the house. Slowly the world|we're living in is getting smaller.
All we say is, "Please. At least|leave us alone in our living rooms.
Let me have my toaster, my TV|my steel-belted radials.
I won't say anything|Just leave us alone."
I'm not gonna leave you alone.|I want you to get mad!
I don't want you to protest or riot.
Don't write to your congressman.|I don't know what to tell you to write.
I don't know what to do|about depression, inflation...
the Russians,|the crime in the streets.
All I know is that first|you've got to get mad!
You've got to say,|"I'm a human being, goddamn it!
My life has value!"
So, I want you to get up now.
I want all of you to get up|out of your chairs.
I want you to get up now|and go to the window...
open it,|stick your head out and yell...
"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm|not gonna take this anymore!"
I want you to get up right now.
- Stay with him.|- Sit up! Go to your windows.
Open them,|stick your head out and yell...
"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm|not gonna take this anymore!"
- How many stations does it go out live?|- Sixty-seven.
"I'm not gonna take this anymore."
Then we'll figure out what to do|about the depression and the oil crisis.
First, get out of your chairs...
open the window,|stick your head out and yell...
"I'm as mad as hell...
and I'm not gonna|take this anymore!"
- Who are you talking to?|- Atlanta.
Are they yelling in Atlanta?
But first you've gotta get mad.
You've gotta say, "I'm as mad as hell,|and I'm not gonna take this anymore!"
They're yelling in Baton Rouge.
Son of a bitch!|We've struck the mother lode!
Stick your head out of the window|and keep yelling.
Yell, "I'm as mad as hell.
I'm not gonna take this anymore."
Just get up from your chairs.
- Where you going?|- I want to see if anybody's yelling.
Open it and stick your head out.
Yell and keep yelling...
I'm mad as hell!
I'm not gonna take this anymore!
I'm mad as hell, and I'm|not gonna take it anymore!
I'm mad as hell, and I'm not|going to take this anymore!
By mid-October, the "Howard Beale Show"|had settled in at a 42 share...
more than equaling all the other|network news shows combined.
In the Nielsen ratings,|the "Howard Beale Show"...
was the fourth-highest-rated show|of the month...
surpassed only by "The Six Million|Dollar Man," "All in the Family"...
a phenomenal state of affairs|for a news show.
On October 15, Diana Christensen|flew to Los Angeles...
for what the trade calls|powwows and confabs...
with her West Coast|programming execs...
and to get production rolling|on the shows for the coming season.
Christ! You brought half the William|Morris West Coast Office along with you.
I'm Diana Christensen, a racist lackey|of the imperialist ruling circles.
I'm Laureen Hobbs,|a bad-ass commie nigger.
Sounds like the basis|of a firm friendship.
- We'll need more chairs.|- Anybody want coffee?
I'd love some.
This is my lawyer, Sam Haywood,|and his associate, Merrill Grant.
Miss Christensen, just what the hell's|this all about?
Because, when a national|television network...
in the person of booby here|comes to me and says...
they want to put the ongoing struggle|of the oppressed masses...
on prime-time television...
I have to regard this askance!
Mr. Haywood was saying|that our client, Miss Hobbs...
wants it up front that|the political content of the show...
has to be in her control.
She can have it. I don't give a damn|about the political content.
What kind of show?
I'm interested in doing|a weekly dramatic series...
based on the|Ecumenical Liberation Army...
and the first show has to be|a two-hour special on Mary Ann Gifford.
I want a lot more film like the bank|rip-off the Ecumenical sent in.
The way I see the series is...
each week we open with an authentic act|of political terrorism...
taken on the spot|and in the actual moment.
Then we go to the drama behind|the opening film footage.
That's your job, Miss Hobbs.
You've got to get the Ecumenicals|to bring in that film footage for us.
The network can't deal with them.|They are wanted criminals.
The Ecumenical Liberation Army|is an ultra-left sect...
creating political confusion...
with wildcat violence|and pseudo-insurrectionary acts...
which the Communist Party|does not endorse.
The American masses are not yet ready|for open revolt.
We would not want to produce|a television show...
celebrating historically|deviational terrorism.
I'm offering you an hour|of prime-time television every week...
into which you can stick|whatever propaganda you want.
The Ecumenicals are an undisciplined|ultra-left gang...
whose leader is an eccentric,|to say the least.
He calls himself the Great Ahmed Khan|and wears a hussar's shako.
We're talking about|30 to 50 million people a shot.
It's better than handing out...
mimeographed pamphlets|on ghetto street corners.
I'll have to take this matter|to the Central Committee.
And I'd better check it out|with the Great Ahmed Khan.
I'll be in L.A. Until Saturday,|and I'd like to get it rolling.
Well, Ahmed,|you ain't gonna believe this...
but I'm gonna make|a TV star outta you.
Just like Archie Bunker.
You gonna be a household word.
What the fuck are you talking about?
- Thirty seconds.|- Ready VTA.
One, you have the audience to pan.
Two, you have the window to pull.
Three, you're on the announcer.
Stand by VTA.
Fifteen, 14, 13, 12...
- Ready A.|- Roll VTA.
Nine, 8, 7...
6, 5, 4...
3, 2, 1.
Three, cue announcer!
Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it!|How do you feel?
We're mad as hell...
and we're not gonna take this anymore!
Ladies and gentlemen,|the "Network News Hour"...
with Sybil the Soothsayer...
Jim Webbing and his|It's-The-Emmes-Truth Department...
Miss Mata Hari|and her skeletons in the closet.
Plus tonight, another segment|of "Vox Populi."
And starring the Mad Prophet|of the Airways, Howard Beale!
Edward George Ruddy died today!
Edward George Ruddy|was the chairman of the board...
of the Union Broadcasting Systems...
and he died at 11:00 this morning|of a heart condition.
Woe is us!|We're in a lot of trouble!
So, a rich little man|with white hair died.
What does that got to do|with the price of rice, right?
And why is that woe to us?
Because you people...
and 62 million other Americans|are listening to me right now.
Because less than three percent|of you people read books.
Because less than 15 percent of you|read newspapers.
Because the only truth you know|is what you get over this tube.
Right now, there is a whole|and entire generation...
that never knew anything|that didn't come out of this tube!
This tube is the Gospel.|The ultimate revelation.
This tube can make or break...
presidents, popes, prime ministers.
This tube is the most awesome goddamn|force in the whole godless world...
and woe is us if it ever falls|into the hands of the wrong people!
And that's why woe is us|that Edward George Ruddy died.
Because this company is now|in the hands of CCA...
the Communication Corporation|of America.
There's a new chairman of the board,|a man called Frank Hackett...
sitting in Mr. Ruddy's office|on the 20th floor.
And when the 12th largest company|in the world...
controls the most awesome,|goddamn propaganda force...
in the whole godless world...
who knows what shit will be peddled|for truth on this network!
So you listen to me.|Listen to me!
Television is not the truth.
Television's|a goddamned amusement park!
Television is a circus, a carnival,|a traveling troupe of acrobats...
storytellers, dancers, singers,|jugglers, sideshow freaks...
lion tamers and football players.
We're in the boredom-killing business.
So if you want the truth,|go to God.
Go to your gurus.
Go to yourselves!
Because that's the only place|you're ever gonna find any real truth.
But, man, you're never gonna get|any truth from us.
We'll tell you anything you wanna hear.|We lie like hell.
We'll tell you that Kojak|always gets the killer...
and that nobody ever gets cancer|in Archie Bunker's house.
And no matter how much trouble|the hero is in, don't worry.
Look at your watch.|At the end of the hour he'll win!
We'll tell you any shit|you want to hear!
We deal in illusions.|None of it is true!
But you people sit there,|day after day, night after night.
You're all ages, colors, creeds.|We're all you know.
You're beginning to believe|the illusions we're spinning here.
You're beginning to think the tube is|reality and your own lives are unreal.
You do whatever the tube tells you!
You dress like the tube,|eat like the tube...
raise your children like the tube,|even think like the tube.
This is mass madness, you maniacs!
In God's name, you people|are the real thing!
We are the illusion!
So turn off your television sets.|Turn them off right now.
Turn them off and leave them off.
Turn them off in the middle|of this sentence.
Turn them off!
UBS was running at a cash flow|of break-even point...
after taking into account $110 million|of negative cash flow from the network.
It was clear the fat on the network|had to be flitched off.
Please note an increase in projected|initial programming revenues...
in the amount of $21 million...
due to the phenomenal success|of the "Howard Beale Show."
I expect a positive cash flow|for the entire complex of 45 million...
achievable in this fiscal year...
a year, in short,|ahead of schedule.
this network may be|the most significant profit center...
of the communications complex...
and based upon the projected rate|of return on invested capital...
and if merger is accomplished,|the communications complex...
may well become the towering|and most profitable center...
in the entire CCA empire.
I await your questions and comments.
Very good, Frank. Exemplary.|Keep it up.
Buy you a cup of coffee?
Do you have to get back|to the office?
Nothing that can't wait.
I drop down to the news studios|now and then...
and ask Howard Beale about you.
He says you're doing fine.|Are you?
Are you keeping busy?
In a fashion.
This is the third funeral|I've been to in two weeks.
I have two other friends in the hospital|whom I visit regularly.
I've been to a couple of christenings.
All my friends seem to be dying|or having grandchildren.
You should be a grandfather yourself|about now.
You have a pregnant daughter|in Seattle, don't you?
Any day now.
My wife's out there|for the occasion.
I've thought many times of calling you.
I wish you had.
I bumped into Sybil the Soothsayer|in the elevator last week.
I said, "You know, Sybil,|about four months ago...
you predicted I would get involved|with a craggy, middle-aged man.
So far, all that's happened|has been one many-splendored night.
I don't call that|getting involved."
She said,|"Don't worry. You will."
It was a many-splendored night,|wasn't it, Max?
Yes, it was.
Are we going to get involved?
Yes. I need to become involved|very much.
How about you?
I've reached for the phone to call you|a hundred times...
but I was sure you hated me for my part|in taking your news show away.
I probably did.|I don't know anymore.
All I know is,|I can't get you out of my mind.
Marty, I know what NBC offered them.
Go to 3.5, and I want an option|for a third run on all of them.
I'm in a big hurry, and you and Charlie|are supposed to be negotiating this.
Good-bye, good luck.|I'll see you Monday.
- Jimmy Caan's agent says absolutely nix.|- You can't win them all.
- Where can I reach you later today?|- You can't. I'll be gone all weekend.
NBC's offering 3.25 mil|per package of five James Bond movies...
and I think I'm gonna steal them|for 3.5...
with a third run.
I'm gonna stick the "Mao Tse-tung Hour"|in at 8:00...
because we're having a lot of trouble|selling the "Mao Tse-tung Hour."
That "Mao Tse-tung Hour's" turning|into one big pain in the ass.
We're having heavy legal problems|with the federal government right now.
Two FBI guys turned up in Hackett's|office and served us with a subpoena.
They heard about our Flagstaff|bank rip-off film, and they want it.
Hackett told the FBI to fuck off.
We're getting around the FBI...
by doing the show in collaboration|with the news division.
We're standing on the First Amendment:|Freedom of the press...
and the right to protect our sources.
Walter thinks we can knock out|the misprision of felony charge.
But he says absolutely nix|on going to series.
They'll hit us with "conspiracy|with an inducement to commit a crime."
Christ, it's cold in here.
We're paying these Ecumencial|Liberation Army nuts $10,000 a week...
in order to turn in authentic film|of their revolutionary activities.
That inconstitutes|"inducement to commit a crime"...
and Walter says we'll all wind up|in federal prison.
I said, "Walter,|let the federal government sue us.
We'll take them to the Supreme Court.
We'll be front page."
The New York Times|and the Washington Post...
will write editorials.
We'll be front page for months.|We'll have more press than Watergate.
All I need is six weeks|federal litigation...
and the "Mao Tse-tung Hour" can start|carrying its own time slot.
What's really bugging me now|is my daytime programming.
NBC's got a lock on daytime...
with their lousy game shows...
and I'd like to bust them.
I'm thinking of doing|a homosexual soap opera. "The Dykes."
The heartrending saga about a woman...
hopelessly in love|with her husband's mistress.
What do you think?
How long has it been going on?
I thought it was a transient thing,|blow over in a week.
I still pray to God|it's just a menopausal infatuation.
But it is an infatuation, Louise.
There's no sense in my saying|I won't see her again, because I will.
You want me to leave,|check into a hotel?
Do you love her?
I don't know how I feel.
I'm grateful I can feel anything.
I know I'm obsessed with her.
Then say it!
Don't keep telling me that|you're obsessed, you're infatuated!
Say that you're in love with her.
I'm in love with her.
Then get out! Go anywhere you want.|Go live with her, but don't come back!
Because after 25 years of building|a home and raising a family...
and all the senseless pain|that we have inflicted on each other...
I'm damned if I'll stand and have you|say you're in love with somebody else!
This isn't the convention weekend|with your secretary, is it?
Or some broad that you picked up|after three belts of booze.
This is your great winter romance,|isn't it?
Your last roar of passion before|you settle into your emeritus years.
Is that what's left for me?|Is that my share?
She gets the winter passion,|and I get the dotage?
Am I supposed to sit home|knitting and purling...
while you slink back|like some penitent drunk?
I'm your wife, damn it...
and if you can't work up|a winter passion for me...
the least I require|is respect and allegiance!
I hurt!|Don't you understand that?
I hurt badly!
Oh, say something for God's sake.
I've got nothing to say.
I won't give you up easily.
I think perhaps it is better|if you move out.
Does she love you?
I'm not sure she's capable|of any real feelings.
She's television generation.|She learned life from Bugs Bunny.
The only reality she knows|comes to her from over the TV set.
She's very carefully devised a number|of scenarios for all of us to play...
like a movie of the week.
My God, look at us.
Here we are going through|the obligatory middle-of-act-two...
"scorned wife throws|peccant husband out" scene.
But don't worry,|I'll come back to you in the end.
All of her plot outlines have me|leaving her and coming back to you...
because the audience won't buy a|rejection of the happy American family.
She does have one script|in which I kill myself.
An adapted-for-television version|of "Anna Karenina"...
where she's Count Vronsky|and I'm Anna.
You're in for some dreadful grief.
The "Mao Tse-tung Hour"|went on the air March 14.
It received a 47 share.
The network promptly committed|to 15 shows with an option for 10 more.
There were the usual|contractual difficulties.
"Equal to 20 percent except that such|a percentage shall be 30 percent...
for 90 minutes|or longer television programs."
Have we settled|that sub-licensing thing?
We want a clear definition here.
"Gross proceeds should consist of|all funds the sub-licensee receives...
not merely the net amount remitted...
after payment to the sub-licensee|or distributor."
We're not sitting still for overhead|charges as a cost prior to distribution.
Don't fuck with my distribution costs!
I'm making a lousy 215 per segment.
I'm already deficiting 25 grand a week|with Metro!
I'm paying William Morris 10 percent|off the top!
I'm giving this turkey ten thousand|per segment and five to this fruitcake.
And, Helen, don't start|no shit with me about a piece again.
I'm paying Metro 20 percent for all|foreign and Canadian distribution...
and that's after recoupment!
The Communist Party won't see a nickel|outta this show until syndication.
The Party's in for 7,500 a week|production expenses!
I'm not giving|this pseudo-insurrectionary a piece.
I won't give him script approval or|cut him in on my distribution charges.
You fucking fascist!
Did you see the film we made|of the San Marino jail breakout...
demonstrating the rising up of a|seminal prisoner class infrastructure?
You can blow the seminal prisoner class|infrastructure out your ass!
I'm not knocking down|my goddamn distribution charges!
Man, give her|the fucking overhead clause.
Who's gonna believe this?
Let's get back to page 22.|Five, small "a."
- Where are we now?|- Middle of page 22, "Subsidiary rights."
"As used herein, 'subsidiary rights'|means without limitation any and all..."
Over the past two days, you've had|opportunity to meet Diana Christensen...
our vice president|in charge of programming.
This afternoon, you all saw some of the|stuff she's set up for the new season.
You all know that she is the woman|behind the "Howard Beale Show."
We all know she's beautiful.
We all know she's brainy.
I was thinking, before we start digging|into our chateaubriands...
let's show her how we feel about her.
We've got the number one show|in television!
At next year's affiliates' meeting, I'll|be telling you we've got the top five!
Last year, we were|the number four network.
Next year, we're number one!
We're number one!
We're number one!
It is exactly 7:00|here in Los Angeles...
and right now over a million homes|using television in this city...
are turning their dials|to channel three...
and that's our channel!
Stop it! Stop it!
Listen to me,|and listen carefully...
because this is your goddamn life|I'm talking about today.
In this country, when one company wants|to take over another company...
they simply buy up a controlling share|of the stock...
but first they have to file notice|with the government.
That's how CCA took over the company|that owns this network.
But now somebody's buying up CCA.
Somebody called|the Western World Funding Corporation.
They filed the notice this morning.
Who in the hell is|the Western World Funding Corporation?
It is a consortium of banks|and insurance companies...
who are not buying CCA for themselves|but as agents for somebody else.
And who is this somebody else?|They won't tell you.
They won't tell you.|They won't tell the Senate.
They won't tell the SEC, the FCC,|the Justice Department.
This is Mr. Hackett.|Do you have a New York call for me?
Do you want to|turn that down, please?
I will tell you who|they're buying CCA for.
They're buying it for the|Saudi Arabian Investment Corporation.
They're buying it for the Arabs!
Clarence? Frank Hackett here.|How's everything back in New York?
How's the good lady?
Take it easy.|I don't know what you're talking about.
When? Tonight's show?
Clarence, take it easy.
The "Howard Beale Show" is just going on|out here. You get it 3 hours earlier.
Take it easy! How the hell could|I see it? It's just going on now!
When did Mr. Jensen call?
We all know that the Arabs control...
$16 billion in this country.
They own a chunk of Fifth Avenue,|20 downtown pieces of Boston...
a part of the port of New Orleans,|an industrial park in Salt Lake City.
They own big hunks|of the Atlanta Hilton...
the Arizona Land and Cattle Company...
the Security National Bank|in California...
the Bank of the Commonwealth|in Detroit.
They control Aramco, so that puts them|into Exxon, Texaco and Mobil Oil.
They're all over! New Jersey,|Louisville, St. Louis, Missouri.
And that's only what we know about.|There's more we don't know about.
Because all of those Arab|petrol dollars are washed...
through Switzerland and Canada|and the biggest banks in this country.
For example, what we don't know about|is this CCA deal...
and all the other CCA deals.
Right now the Arabs have screwed us out|of enough American dollars...
to come right back|and with our own money...
buy General Motors,|IBM, ITT, AT&T...
Du Pont, U.S. Steel|and 20 other American companies.
Hell, they already own|half of England!
Listen to me.
Listen to me, goddamn it!
The Arabs are simply buying us.
There's only one thing|that can stop them! You!
So I want you to get up now.
I want you to get up|out of your chairs.
I want you to get up right now|and go to the phone.
I want you to get up from your chairs,|go to the phone...
get in your cars, drive into|the Western Union offices in town.
I want you to send a telegram|to the White House.
- Oh, my God.|- By midnight tonight...
I want a million telegrams|in the White House!
I want them wading knee-deep|in telegrams at the White House.
I want you to get up right now and|write a telegram to President Ford...
saying "I'm as mad as hell,|and I'm not gonna take this anymore!
I don't want the banks|selling my country to the Arabs!
I want the CCA deal stopped now!"
I want the CCA deal stopped now!
Come on. I want the CCA deal|stopped now!
- Could we have the room?|- Sure.
I'd like to see a typed script|and run through a couple more times.
But as for this whole CCA deal...
with the Saudis, you know a lot more|about that, Frank, than I would.
Is it true?
The CCA has two billion in loans|with the Saudis...
and they hold|every pledge we've got.
We need that Saudi money bad.
The show is a disaster.
Unmitigated disaster!|The death knell.
I'm ruined. I'm dead.|I'm finished.
Maybe we're overstating Beale's clout|with the public.
An hour ago, Clarence McElheny|called me from New York.
It was 10:00 in the East...
and our people in the White House report|they were knee-deep in telegrams.
By tomorrow morning,|they'll be suffocating in telegrams!
Can the government stop the deal?
They can hold it up. The SEC could hold|it up for 20 years if they wanted to.
Any second that phone's gonna ring,|and Clarence McElheny...
is gonna tell me Mr. Jensen wants me|in his office tomorrow morning...
so he can personally chop my head off!
Four hours ago,|I was the sun god at CCA...
Mr. Jensen's handpicked golden boy,|the heir apparent.
Now, I'm a man|without a corporation.
Let's get back to Howard Beale.
You're not seriously gonna pull|Beale off the air.
Mr. Jensen's unhappy with Howard Beale|and wants him discontinued.
He may be unhappy,|but he isn't stupid enough...
to withdraw the number one show|on television out of pique.
Two billion dollars isn't pique!|That's the wrath of God!
And the wrath of God wants|Howard Beale fired!
What for? Every other network will grab|him. He'll be on the air for ABC.
I'm gonna impale the son of a bitch|with a sharp stick through the heart.
We'll lose $40 million in revenues.
I'll take a contract out on him.|I'll hire professional killers.
No, I'll do it myself.
I'll strangle him with a sash cord.|Jesus!
I don't think Jensen's|gonna fire anybody.
Yes, Clarence.|I've already booked my flight.
Can you give me a little more time|than that? I've got the red-eye flight.
I won't be back in New York|till 6:00 tomorrow morning.
That'll be just fine.
I'll see you then.
Mr. Jensen wants to meet|with Howard Beale personally.
He wants Mr. Beale in his office|at 10:00 tomorrow morning.
The final revelation is at hand!
I have seen the shattering|vulgarizations of ultimate clarity.
The light is impending.|I bear witness to the light!
Good morning, Mr. Beale.|They tell me you're a madman.
- How are you now?|- I'm as mad as a hatter.
I'm taking you into|our conference room.
Seems more seemly a setting|for what I have to say to you.
I started as a salesman.
I sold sewing machines,|automobile parts...
hair brushes|and electronic equipment.
They say I can sell anything.
I'd like to try|to sell something to you.
Valhalla, Mr. Beale.
Please sit down.
You have meddled with the primal forces|of nature, Mr. Beale...
and I won't have it!
Is that clear?
You think you merely stopped|a business deal.
That is not the case.
The Arabs have taken billions of dollars|out of this country...
and now they must put it back!
It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity.|It is ecological balance!
You are an old man...
who thinks in terms|of nations and peoples.
There are no nations.|There are no peoples.
There are no Russians.|There are no Arabs.
There are no Third Worlds.|There is no West.
There is only one holistic system|of systems!
One vast and immane,|interwoven, interacting...
multi-variant, multinational|dominion of dollars!
Petrol dollars, electro dollars,|multi-dollars.
Reichsmarks, rins, rubles, pounds|and shekels!
It is the international system|of currency...
which determines the totality|of life on this planet.
That is the natural order|of things today.
That is the atomic...
and galactic structure|of things today.
And you have meddled...
with the primal forces of nature!
And you will atone!
Am I getting through to you?
You get up on|your little 21-inch screen...
and howl about America|and democracy.
There is no America.
There is no democracy.
There is only IBM and ITT...
and Du Pont, Dow, Union Carbide...
Those are the nations|of the world today.
What do you think the Russians|talk about in their councils of state?
They get out their|linear programming charts...
statistical decision theories,|minimax solutions and compute...
price-cost probabilities of their|transactions and investments like we do.
We no longer live in a world|of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale.
is a college of corporations...
by the immutable bylaws|of business.
The world is a business.
It has been since man|crawled out of the slime.
And our children will live,|Mr. Beale...
to see that...
in which there's no war or famine...
oppression or brutality.
One vast and ecumenical|holding company...
for whom all men will work to serve|a common profit...
in which all men will hold|a share of stock...
all necessities provided...
all anxieties tranquilized...
all boredom amused.
And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale...
to preach this evangel.
Because you're on television, dummy!
Sixty million people watch you...
every night of the week,|Monday through Friday.
I have seen the face of God.
You just might be right, Mr. Beale.
That evening Howard Beale|went on the air...
to preach the corporate cosmology|of Arthur Jensen.
Last night I got up here and asked you|to fight for your heritage...
and you did,|and it was beautiful.
Six million telegrams were received|at the White House.
The Arab takeover of CCA|has been stopped.
The people spoke, the people won.
It was a radiant eruption|of democracy.
But I think that was it, fellas.
That sort of thing is not likely|to happen again...
because at the bottom|of all our terrified souls...
we know that democracy|is a dying giant...
a sick, sick, dying,|decaying political concept...
writhing in its final pain.
I don't mean that the United States|is finished as a world power.
The U. S is the richest,|most advanced country in the world...
light-years ahead|of any other country...
and the Communists won't take over the|world because they're deader than we.
What is finished...
is the idea that this great country...
is dedicated to the freedom and|flourishing of every individual in it.
It's the individual that's finished.
It's the single, solitary human being|that's finished.
It's every single one of you|out there that's finished.
Because this is no longer a nation|of independent individuals.
It's a nation of some 200 million|transistorized, deodorized...
totally unnecessary|as human beings...
and as replaceable as piston rods.
Well, the time has come to say...
is "dehumanization"|such a bad word?
Whether it's good or bad,|that's what is so.
The whole world|is becoming humanoid...
creatures that look human|but aren't.
The whole world, not just us.
We're just the most advanced,|so we're getting there first.
The whole world's people|are becoming mass-produced...
programmed, numbered and...
It was an admissible argument|that Howard Beale...
advanced in the days that followed.
It was, however,|also a very depressing one.
Nobody particularly cared to hear|his life was utterly valueless.
By the end of the first week|in June...
the show dropped|one ratings point...
and its trend of shares|dipped under 48 for the first time...
since last November.
You're his goddamn agent, Lou!
I'm counting on you to talk sense|into the lunatic!
Nobody wants to hear about|dying democracy and dehumanization!
I'm sorry I'm late.
We're getting rumbles from the agencies.|The sponsors will bail out soon!
This is a breach of contract!
This isn't the Howard Beale we signed.|Get him off the corporate universe kick.
I'll pull him off the air!
I told him! I've been telling him|every day for a week!
I am sick of telling him!|Now you tell him!
You could help me with Howard. He|listens to you. You're his best friend.
I'm tired of all this hysteria|about Howard Beale!
Every time you come back from seeing|somebody in your family...
you're in a morbid,|middle-aged mood!
And I'm tired of finding you on the|goddamn phone every time I turn around!
I'm tired of being an accessory|in your life!
I'm tired of pretending|to write this dumb book...
about my maverick days|in the early years of television.
Every goddamned executive fired|from a network in the last 20 years...
has written this dumb book about|the great early years of television!
And nobody wants a dumb, damn,|goddamn book...
about the early days of television!
Terrific. Maybe you can start|a whole new career as an actor!
After living with you for six months,|I'm turning into one of your scripts!
This is not a script.
There's some real, actual life|going on here.
I went to visit my wife today|because she's in a state of depression...
so depressed that my daughter|flew from Seattle to be with her...
and I feel lousy about that.
I feel lousy about the pain|that I've caused my wife and kids.
I feel guilty and conscious-stricken and|those things you think sentimental...
but which my generation called|simple human decency.
And I miss my home...
because I'm beginning|to get scared shitless.
Because all of a sudden it's closer to|the end than it is to the beginning...
and death is suddenly|a perceptible thing to me...
with definable features.
You're dealing with a man|that has primal doubts...
and you've got to cope with it.
I'm not some guy discussing male|menopause on the "Barbara Walters Show."
I'm the man that you presumably love.
I'm part of your life.
I live here.
You can't switch|to another station.
what exactly is it|you want me to do?
I just want you to love me.
I just want you to love me,|primal doubts and all.
You understand that, don't you?
I don't know how to do that.
I'll be with you in a minute, Max.
By the first week in July, the|"Howard Beale Show" was down 11 points.
Hysteria swept through the network.
He's a plague! He's smallpox!|He's typhoid!
I don't want to follow his goddamn show!|I want out of the 8:00 spot.
I've got enough troubles|without Howard Beale as a lead-in.
You guys scheduled me up against|"Tony Orlando and Dawn"!
NBC's got "Little House on the Prairie."|ABC's got "The Bionic Woman."
You gotta do something|about Howard Beale!
Get him off the air!|Get him off!
Do something! Do anything!
We're trying to find a replacement! I'm|going to look at audition footage now!
And how when the sick heal!
Man, I tell you I saw it!
It was heavy, baby.
I saw the earth quake...
and I saw the moon became like blood.
And every mountain and island|was moved from its place.
No, no, damn it! If we wanted hell-fire,|we'd get Billy Graham!
We don't want faith healers, evangelists|or Oberammergau passion players!
What about that terrific new messiah|ABC was to sign for our competition?
Jesus. Turn him off!
I've got three more,|but you've already seen the best ones.
I've got a guru from Spokane...
and two more hell-fires|who see visions of the Virgin Mary.
We're not gonna find a replacement|for Beale. Let's stop kidding ourselves.
Fully-fledged messiahs|don't come in bunches.
We either go with Howard Beale|or we go without him.
My reports say we'll do better|without him.
It would be disaster to let|this situation go on another week.
By then he'll be down 16 points...
and the trend irreversible,|if it isn't already.
I think we should fire Howard.
Arthur Jensen has taken|a strong personal interest...
in the "Howard Beale Show."
I'm having dinner with him tonight.
Let me have another crack at Jensen.|Meet in my office at 10:00 tonight.
Diana, give me copies of all|your audience research reports.
I may need them for Jensen.
Is 10:00 convenient for everyone?
I think the time has come|to reevaluate our relationship, Max.
So I see.
I don't like the way this script of ours|is turning out.
It's turning into a seedy little drama.
Middle-aged man leaves wife and family|for young, heartless woman, goes to pot.
"The Blue Angel" with Marlene Dietrich|and Emil Jannings.
- I don't like it.|- So you're gonna cancel the show.
- Right.|- Let me do that.
The simple fact is, Max...
that you're a family man.
It's beautiful you like a home and kids,|but I am incapable of such commitment.
All you'll get from me is another|couple of months of intermittent sex...
and recriminate and ugly little scenes|like the one we had last night.
I'm sorry for all those things|I said to you last night.
You're not the worst fuck|I've ever had.
Believe me, I've had worse.
You don't puff or snorkel|and make death-like rattles.
As a matter of fact,|you're rather serene in the sack.
Why is it that a woman always thinks|that the most savage thing...
she can say to a man|is to impugn his cocksmanship?
I'm sorry I impugned your cocksmanship.
I gave up comparing genitals|back in the schoolyard.
You're being docile as hell|about this.
Hell, Diana, I knew it was over|with us weeks ago.
Will you go back to your wife?
I'll give it a try,|but I don't think she'll jump at it.
Don't worry about me.
I'll manage. I always have,|I always will.
I'm more concerned about you.
You're not the boozer type.
So I figure a year, maybe two,|before you crack up...
or jump out of|your 14th floor office window.
Stop selling, Max.|I don't need you.
I don't want your pain! I don't want|your menopausal decay and death!
- I don't need you, Max! Get out!|- You need me!
You need me badly! Because I'm|your last contact with human reality.
I love you!
And that painful, decaying love|is the only thing between you...
and the shrieking nothingness|you live the rest of the day.
Then don't leave me.
It's too late.
There's nothing left in you|that I can live with.
You're one of Howard's humanoids.|If I stay with you, I'll be destroyed.
Like Howard Beale was destroyed.
Like Laureen Hobbs was destroyed.
Like everything you and the institution|of television touch is destroyed.
You're television incarnate.
Indifferent to suffering...
insensitive to joy.
All of life is reduced|to the common rubble of banality.
War, murder, death...
are all the same to you|as bottles of beer.
And the daily business of life|is a corrupt comedy.
You even shatter the sensations|of time and space...
into split seconds|and instant replays.
You're madness, Diana.
And everything you touch|dies with you.
But not me.
Not as long as I can feel pleasure...
And it's a happy ending.
Wayward husband|comes to his senses...
returns to his wife...
with whom he's established|a long and sustaining love.
Heartless young woman left alone|in her arctic desolation.
Music up with a swell.
And here are a few scenes|from next week's show.
How'd it go?
Mr. Jensen was unhappy at the idea|of taking Howard Beale off the air.
Mr. Jensen thinks Howard Beale|is bringing...
a very important message|to the American people.
So he wants Howard Beale on the air,|and he wants him kept on.
Mr. Jensen feels we're too catastrophic|in our thinking.
I argued that television|was a volatile industry...
in which success and failure|were determined week by week.
Mr. Jensen said he did not like|volatile industries...
and suggested with a certain|sinister silkiness...
that volatility in business|usually reflected bad management.
He didn't really care if Howard Beale|was the number one show or the 50th.
He didn't really care|if the Beale show lost money.
He wants Howard Beale on the air...
and he wants him kept on.
I would describe his position on this|as inflexible.
Where does that put us, Diana?
That puts us in the shithouse.|That's where that puts us.
Do you want me to go through this?
The Beale show Q score|is down to 33.
Most of this loss occurred in the child|and teen and 18-34 categories...
which were our key core markets.
It's the AR department's carefully|considered judgment, and mine...
that if we get rid of Beale, we should|maintain a respectable share...
with a comparable Q level.
The other show segments, Sybil the|Soothsayer, Jim Webbing, Vox Populi...
have all developed|their own audiences.
Our AR reports show that it is Beale|that is the destructive force here.
Minimally, we're talking about...
a ten-point differential in shares.
I think Joe oughta spell it out|for us.
A 28 share|is 80,000 dollar minutes.
I think we can sell complete positions|on the whole.
As a matter of fact, we're just getting|into the pre-Christmas gift-sellers...
and the agencies are coming back to me|with four-dollar CPMs.
If that's any indication, we're talking|$40-$45 million loss in annual revenues.
- Want the flak from the affiliates?|- We know all about it, Herb.
You would describe Mr. Jensen's position|on Beale as inflexible?
Intractable and adamantine.
What do we do about this Beale|son of a bitch?
I suppose we'll have to kill him.
I don't suppose you have any ideas|on that, Diana?
what would you fellas say|to an assassination?
I think I can get|the Mao Tse-tung people...
to kill Beale for us|as one of their shows.
In fact, it'll make a hell of|a kick-off show for the season.
We're facing heavy opposition on the|other networks for Wednesday nights...
and the "Mao Tse-tung Hour"|could use a sensational opener.
It could be done right on camera|in the studio.
We oughta get a fantastic|look-in audience...
for the assassination of Howard Beale|as our opening show.
If Beale dies...
what would our continuing obligation|to the Beale Corporation be?
I know our contract with Beale|contains a buy-out clause...
triggered by his death|or incapacity.
There must be a formula for|the computation of the purchase price.
Offhand, I think it was based on|a multiple of 1975 earnings...
with a base period in 1975,|which I think was 50 percent...
of salary, plus 25 percent|of the first year's profit...
multiplied by the unexpired portion|of the contract.
I don't think the show...
has any substantial syndication value,|would you say, Diana?
Syndication profits are minimal.
We're talking about a capital crime.
The network can't be implicated.
I hope you don't have any hidden|tape machines in this office, Frank.
The issue is,|shall we kill Howard Beale or not?
I'd like to hear|some more opinions on that.
I don't see we have any option.|Let's kill the son of a bitch.
Ladies and gentlemen,|let's hear it!
How do you feel?
We're mad as hell...
and we're not gonna|take this anymore!
Ladies and gentlemen, the "Network|News Hour" with Sybil the Soothsayer...
Jim Webbing and his|It's-the-Emmes-Truth Department.
Miss Mata Hari|and her skeletons in the closet.
Tonight another segment|of "Vox Populi."
And starring the Mad Prophet|of the Airways, Howard Beale!
...network news anchorman|on the UBS "Network News Show"...
known to millions|as the Mad Profit of the Airwaves...
was shot to death tonight in|a fusillade of automatic rifle fire...
just as he began|this evening's broadcast.
We never compromise,|so why should you?
Canada Dry Mixers.|Why compromise?
Have you seen the other side|of where you live?
- What's this stuff?|- Some cereal. It's good for you.
- Did you try it?|- I'm not gonna try it. You try it.
I'm not gonna try it.
- Let's get Mikey to try it!|- Yeah!
He won't eat it.|He hates everything.
The extraordinary incident occurred in|full view of his millions of viewers.
The assassins were members of|the Ecumenical Liberation Army...
two of whom were apprehended.
The leader of the group known|as the Great Ahmed Khan escaped.
This was the story of Howard Beale...
the first known instance of a man who|was killed because he had lousy ratings.
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North by Northwest (1959)
Nosferatu eine Symphonie des Grauens
Nostalghia (Tarkovsky 1983)
Not One Less CD1
Not One Less CD2
Not another teen movie
Notebook The CD1
Notebook The CD2
Nothing Hill Collectors Edition
Nothing to loose
Notorious (Hitchcock 1946)
Notre dame de Paris CD1
Notre dame de Paris CD2
Notting Hill (Collectors Edition)
Notting Hill - Ultimate Edition
Now Or Never 2003
Nowhere To Run
Nowhere to Hide
Nude for Satan (Luigi Batzella 1974)
Nutty Professor 2 - The Klumps (Uncensored Directors Cut)
Nutty professor The (1963) Jerry Lewis