Diana Christensen: Look, we've got a bunch of hobgoblin radicals called the Ecumenical Liberation Army who go around taking home movies of themselves robbing banks. Now, maybe they'll take movies of themselves kidnapping heiresses, hijacking 747s, bombing bridges, assassinating ambassadors. We'd open each week's segment with their authentic footage, hire a couple of writers to write a story behind that footage, and we've got ourselves a series.
Max Schumacher: 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.
Howard Beale: ...I want you to get mad. I don't want you to protest, I don't want you to riot, I don't want you to write to your congressman, because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression, the inflation, the Russians, or the crime in the streets. All I know is that first... You've got to get mad.
Max Schumacher: I feel lousy about the pain that I've caused my wife and kids. I feel guilty and conscience-stricken, and all of those things you think sentimental, but which my generation calls 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 the beginning, and death is suddenly a perceptible thing to me, with definable features.
Howard Beale: I want you to go to the window, open it, stick your head out and yell: "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore."
Diana Christensen: Let's stop kidding ourselves. Full-fledged messiahs don't come in bunches.
Mary Ann Gifford: You fuckin' fascist! Did you see the film we made at the San Marino jail breakout demonstrating the rising up 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.
Secretary: Mr. Hackett's trying to get through to you.
Max Schumacher: Tell Mr. Hackett to go fuck himself.
Max Schumacher: 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 fuckin' Disney right off the air.
Narrator: That evening, Howard Beale went on the air to preach the corporate cosmology of Arthur Jensen.
Laureen Hobbs: Well Ahmed, you ain't gonna believe this. They gonna make a TV star out of you. Just like Archie Bunker. You gonna be a household word.
Great Ahmed Kahn: What the fuck are you talking about?
Narrator: It was a perfectly 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 Howard Beale Show" had dropped one point in the rating and its trend of shares dipped under 48 for the first time since last November.
Howard Beale: 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've decided to kill myself. I'm going to blow my brains out right on this program a week from today. So tune in next Tuesday. That should give the public relations people a week to promote the show. You ought to get a hell of a rating out of that. 50 share, easy.
Howard Beale: We'll tell you anything you want to hear, we lie like hell.
Diana Christensen: 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 do you think we can make out of this?
Diana Christensen: The next time I send out a marketing analysis you all better read it or I'll sack the fucking lot of you.
Howard Beale: All I know is, you've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm a human being, goddamn it. My life has value."