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Louise Schumacher: Get out, go anywhere you want, go to a hotel, go live with her, and 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'm going to stand here and have you tell me you're in love with somebody else. Because this isn't a convention weekend with your secretary, is it? Or - 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? What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to sit at 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.

Laureen Hobbs: He's plague, he's smallpox, he's typhoid. I don't want to follow his goddamn show. I want out of that 8 o'clock 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've gotta do something. You've gotta do something about Howard Beale. Get him off the air. Get him off. Do something. DO ANYTHING.

Barbara Schlesinger: These are those four 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 at a large 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; there's a beautiful girl graduate student; and the local district attorney who is brilliant and sometimes cuts corners. The second one is called The Amazon Squad. The running characters include a crusty-but-benign police lieutenant who's always getting heat from the commissioner; a hard-nosed, hard-drinking detective who thinks women belong in the kitchen; and the brilliant and beautiful young girl cop who's fighting the feminist battle on the force. Up next is another one of those investigative reporter shows. A crusty-but-benign managing editor who's always gett...

Narrator: [last lines] This was the story of Howard Beale: The first known instance of a man who was killed because of lousy ratings.

Diana Christensen: Hi. I'm Diana Christensen, a racist lackey of the imperialist ruling circles.
Laureen Hobbs: I'm Laureen Hobbs, a badass commie ****.
Diana Christensen: Sounds like the basis of a firm friendship.

Diana Christensen: The time has come to re-evaluate our relationship, Max.
Max Schumacher: So I see.
Diana Christensen: I don't like the way this script of ours has turned out. It's turning into a seedy little drama.
Max Schumacher: You're going to cancel the show?
Diana Christensen: Right.

Louise Schumacher: Do you love her?
Max Schumacher: I don't know how I feel. I'm grateful I can feel anything.
[his wife flinches]
Max Schumacher: I know I'm obsessed with her.
Louise Schumacher: Then say it. You keep telling me that you're obsessed, you're infatuated. Say that you're in love with her.
Max Schumacher: [pauses] I'm in love with her.

Doorman: Good afternoon, Mr. Beale.
Howard Beale: I MUST MAKE MY WITNESS.
Doorman: Sure thing, Mr. Beale.

Nelson Chaney: All I know is that this violates every canon of respectable broadcasting.
Frank Hackett: We're not a respectable network. We're a whorehouse network, and we have to take whatever we can get.
Nelson Chaney: Well, I don't want any part of it. I don't fancy myself the president of a whorehouse.
Frank Hackett: That's very commendable of you, Nelson. Now sit down. Your indignation is duly noted; you can always resign tomorrow.

Nelson Chaney: The affiliates won't carry it.
Frank Hackett: The affiliates will kiss your ass if you can hand them a hit show.

Arthur Jensen: The world is a business, Mr. Beale; it has been since man crawled out of the slime. Our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world 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.
Howard Beale: Why me?
Arthur Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
Howard Beale: I have seen the face of God.
Arthur Jensen: You just might be right, Mr. Beale.

Howard Beale: [on the air] I just ran out of bullshit.
Harry Hunter: [picks up ringing phone in editing room] Mr. Schumacher's right here, do you want to talk to him?
Howard Beale: 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.
Max Schumacher: [on the phone] Yeah, Tom, what is it?
Howard Beale: We don't know why we go through all this pointless pain, humiliation, and decay. So there better be someone somewhere who does know. That's the God bullshit.
Max Schumacher: He's saying that life is bullshit, and it is, so what are you screaming about?
[hangs up]

Frank Hackett: Well, the issue is: Shall we kill Howard Beale, or not? I'd like to get some more opinions on that.
Diana Christensen: I don't see we have any options, Frank. Let's kill the son-of-a-bitch.

Secretary: Mr. Hackett's trying to get through to you.
Max Schumacher: Tell Mr. Hackett to go **** himself.

Howard Beale: I'm gonna blow my brains out right on the air, right in the middle of the seven o'clock news.
Max Schumacher: Well, you'll get a hell of a rating, I'll tell you that. A 50 share, at least. We could make a series of it. "Suicide of the Week." Aw, hell, why limit ourselves? "Execution of the Week."
Howard Beale: "Terrorist of the Week."
Max Schumacher: I love it. Suicides, assassinations, mad bombers, Mafia hitmen, automobile smash-ups: "The Death Hour." A great Sunday night show for the whole family. It'd wipe that ****in' Disney right off the air.

Diana Christensen: I'm sorry for all those things I said to you last night. You're not the worst **** I 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.
Max Schumacher: Why is it that a woman always thinks that the most savage thing she can say to a man is to impugn his ****smanship.
Diana Christensen: I'm sorry I impugned your ****smanship.
Max Schumacher: I gave up comparing genitals back in the schoolyard.

Max Schumacher: I'm the man that you presumably love. I'm a part of your life. I live here. I'm real. You can't switch to another station.
Diana Christensen: Well, what exactly is it you want me to do?
Max Schumacher: I just want you to love me. I just want you to love me, primal doubts and all. You understand that, don't you?
Diana Christensen: [weakly] I don't know how to do that.

Max Schumacher: 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.
Diana Christensen: [hesitatingly] Then, don't leave me.
Max Schumacher: It's too late, Diana. 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, Diana: 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. Virulent madness. And everything you touch dies with you. But not me. Not as long as I can feel pleasure, and pain... and love.
[Kisses her]
Max Schumacher: And it's a happy ending: Wayward husband comes to his senses, returns to his wife, with whom he has established a long and sustaining love. Heartless young woman left alone in her arctic desolation. Music up with a swell; final commercial. And here are a few scenes from next week's show.

Laureen Hobbs: Don't **** with my distribution costs! I'm making a lousy two-fifteen per segment and I'm already deficiting twenty-five grand a week with Metro! I'm paying William Morris ten percent off the top, and I'm giving this turkey ten thou per segment, and another five to this fruitcake! And Helen, don't start no shit about UBS again! I'm paying Metro twenty-thousand for all foreign and Canadian distribution, and that's after recoupment! The communist party's not gonna see a nickel out of this goddamn show until we go into syndication!
Helen Miggs: C'mon Laurene. The party's in for seventy-five hundred a week of the production expenses.
Laureen Hobbs: I'm not giving this pseudoinsurrectionary sectarian a piece of my show! I'm not giving him script approval, and I sure as shit ain't cuttin' him into my distribution charges!
Mary Ann Gifford: [screaming] You ****ing fascist! Did you see the film we made of the San Reno jail breakout, demonstrating the rising of the seminal prisoner class infrastructure?
Laureen Hobbs: You can blow the seminal prisoner class infrastructure out your ass! I'm not knockin' down my goddamn distribution charges!
Great Ahmed Kahn: [fires off his gun through the ceiling] Man, give her the ****ING overhead clause. Let's get back to page twenty-two, number 5, small 'a'. Subsidiary rights.

Frank Hackett: Mr. Jensen is unhappy with Howard Beale and wants him discontinued.
Diana Christensen: He may be unhappy, but he isn't stupid enough to withdraw the number one show on television out of pique.
Frank Hackett: Two billion dollars is not pique! That's the Wrath of God! And the Wrath of God wants Howard Beale fired.

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