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.
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.
Secretary: Mr. Hackett's trying to get through to you.
Max Schumacher: Tell Mr. Hackett to go fuck himself.
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.
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: 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."
Howard Beale: You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here, you're beginning to believe that the tube is reality and your own lives are unreal. You do. Why, whatever the tube tells you: you dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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."