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Network (1976) movie script

by Paddy Chayefsky.
Revised, January 14, 1976.

More info about this movie on IMDb.com
FADE IN:
1.	BLACK SCREEN

		NARRATOR
	This story is about Howard Beale
	who was the network news anchorman on
	UBS-TV --

A BANK OF FOUR COLOR TELEVISION ON MONITORS

It is 7:14 P.M., Monday, September 22, 1975, and we are
watching the network news programs on CBS, NBC, ABC and
UBS-TV, the network of our story.  The AUDIO is OFF;
and head shots of WALTER CRONKITE, JOHN CHANCELLOR,
HOWARD K. SMITH and HARRY REASONER, and of course,
the anchorman of our network, HOWARD BEALE, silently
flit and flicker across the four television screens,
interspersed with the news of the day -- President
Ford's new Energy Program, a hearing on Patty Hearst's
bail, truce violations in Beirut, busing trouble in
Boston....  NARRATION continues OVER --

		NARRATOR
	-- 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 --

CAMERA MOVES IN to isolate HOWARD BEALE, who is
everything an anchorman should be -- 58 years old
silver-haired, magisterial, dignified to the point of
divinity.  NARRATION continues OVER --

		NARRATOR
	-- in 1969, however, he fell to a
	22 share, and, by 1972, he was
	down to a 15 share.  In 1973, 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, and, on September 22,
	1975, he was fired, effective in
	two weeks.  The news was broken to
	him by Max Schumacher --


2.	EXT. 5TH AVE. SOUTH OF 57TH STREET - NIGHT

11:30 P.M.  The area is deserted except for a few
STROLLERS window-shopping the department stores.
And way down near 55th Street, TWO roaring drunk middle-
aged men, HOWARD BEALE and MAX SCHUMACHER, reeling
along and hooting it up.  NARRATION continues OVER --

		NARRATOR
	-- who was president of the News
	Division at UBS and an old friend.
	The two men got properly pissed --

CLOSER SHOT of HOWARD and MAX (who is a craggy,
lumbering, rough-hewn, 51-year-old man), thoroughly
plastered and on a drunken laughing jag --

		HOWARD
		(clutching the corner
		mailbox to keep from
		falling)
	When was this?

		MAX
	1951 --

		HOWARD
	I was at CBS with Ed Murrow in
	1951.  Didn't you join Murrow
	in 1951? --

		MAX
	Must've been 1950 then.  I was at
	NBC.  Morning News.  Associate
	producer.  I was a kid, twenty-six
	years old.  Anyway, they were
	building the lower level on the
	George Washington Bridge, and we
	were doing a remote there.  Except
	nobody told me! --

For some reason, this knocks them out.  HOWARD, wheezing
with suppressed laughter, clutches the mailbox.  MAX has
to shout to get the rest of the story out --

		MAX
	-- ten after seven in the morning -- I
	get a call -- "Where the hell are
	you? -- You're supposed to be on the
	George Washington Bridge!" -- I jump
	out of bed -- throw my raincoat
	over my pajamas -- run down the
	stairs -- I get out in the street --
	I flag a cab -- I jump in -- I say:
	"Take me to the middle of the George
	Washington Bridge!" --

It's too much again.  The TWO MEN dissolve into silent
wheezing spasms of laughter --

		MAX
		(tears streaming down
		his cheeks)
	-- the driver turns around --
	he says -- don't do it, buddy --
		(so weak now he can
		barely talk)
	-- he says -- you're a young man --
	you got your whole life ahead
	of you --

He can't go on.  He stomps around on the sidewalk.
HOWARD clutches the mailbox.


3.	INT. A BAR - 3:00 A.M.

Any bar.  Mostly empty.  MAX and HOWARD in a booth,
so sodden drunk they are sober --

		HOWARD
	I'm going to kill myself --

		MAX
	Oh, shit, Howard --

		HOWARD
	I'm going to blow my brains out
	right on the air, right in the
	middle of the seven o'clock news.

		MAX
	You'll get a hell of a rating,
	I'll tell you that, a fifty
	share easy --

		HOWARD
	You think so?

		MAX
	We could make a series out of it.
	Suicide of the Week. Hell, why
	limit ourselves? Execution of the
	Week -- the Madame Defarge Show!
	Every Sunday night, bring your
	knitting and watch somebody get
	guillotined, hung, electrocuted,
	gassed.  For a logo, we'll have
	some brute with a black hood over
	his head.  Think of the spin-offs
	-- Rape of the Week --

		HOWARD
		(beginning to get
		caught up in the idea)
	Terrorist of the Week?

		MAX
	Beautiful!

		HOWARD
	How about Coliseum '74? Every
	week we throw some Christians
	to the lions! --

		MAX
	Fantastic! The Death Hour!  I
	love it!  Suicides, assassinations,
	mad bombers, Mafia hitmen, murder
	in the barbershop, human sacrifices
	in witches' covens, automobile
	smashups.  The Death Hour!  A
	great Sunday night show for the
	whole family. We'll wipe fucking
	Disney right off the air --

They snigger and snort.  HOWARD lays his head down on
the booth's table and verges on sleep --


4.	INT. HOWARD'S BEDROOM - 4:30 A.M. - DARK

HOWARD, fully clothed, sprawled asleep on his still-
covered bed in the dark bedroom.  Suddenly, he sits bolt
upright, SCREAMING out against unseen terrors --


5.	INT. HOWARD'S APARTMENT HOUSE - LANDING OUTSIDE HIS
DOOR - 8:00 A.M. - TUESDAY, SEPT. 24

-- as HOWARD'S HOUSEKEEPER, a middle-aged lady, lets
herself into


INT. HOWARD'S APARTMENT - ENTRANCE FOYER

The HOUSEKEEPER, unbuttoning her coat, is greeted by
the sound of a raucous clock ALARM, relentlessly
BUZZING O.S.  She crosses the --


INT. LIVING ROOM

--  and opens the blinds letting in an eruption of
daylight. The shrill BUZZING getting louder, she
proceeds into the --


INT. BACK FOYER

--  where she pauses to look into the bedroom, the door
being ajar; the BUZZING is coming from here --

HOUSEKEEPER'S P.O.V -- HOWARD BEALE,

still wearing the clothes he wore last night, curled
in a position of fetal helplessness on the floor in
the far corner of the room --

		HOUSEKEEPER
		(after a moment)
	Are you all right, Mr. Beale?

		HOWARD
		(opens one eye)
	I'm fine, thank you, Mrs.
	Merryman --

With some effort, he contrives to get to his feet as
the HOUSEKEEPER crosses to the alarm clock and turns
it off --


6.	CREDITS AND MUSIC ERUPT ONTO THE SCREEN

TITLE:
		"N E T W O R K"

UNDER AND INTERSPERSED WITH CREDITS, a montage of
scenes, occasionally audible, on this seemingly
routine day --


7.	INT. HOWARD BEALE'S OFFICE - 5TH FLOOR - 9:20 A.M.

A small, unpretentious office, cluttered with books,
magazines, periodicals, photographs and awards on the
walls, various mementos here and there.  HOWARD
(necktied and in shirtsleeves), behind his desk,
rattling away his copy for that evening's broadcast
on his typewriter -- pauses to pour himself a quick
shot of Scotch --


8.	INT. THE NIGHTLY NEWS ROOM - ROOM 517 - 10:30 A.M.

The common room off which Howard's office debouches.  A
large room compactly filled with the desks of producers,
associate producers, head writer and writers, production
assistants, etc.  The walls are festooned like bulletin
boards with sheaves of newspaper pages and cutouts and
reams of wire releases (there are two wire machines in a
corner).  Large blowups of HOWARD BEALE are prominently
displayed.  There are small, shelved libraries of books,
directories and magazines here and there.  And the
ever-present bank of four television monitors; and,
Since it is 10:30 A.M., Tuesday, September 23, 1975,
and, since the AUDIO is OFF, the screens silently
flicker with whatever was on that day at that time.
HOWARD comes out of his office, crosses through the
general HUM of informal industry, an occasional
TYPEWRITER CLACKING, a more than occasional phone
ringing, as the Nightly News Room PERSONNEL, all in
their 20's and 30's, move, MURMUR, confer about their
businesses.  HOWARD BEALE makes for a ledge of reference
books to check out some fact.  He spread the reference
book out on an unoccupied desk.  SOMEONE in b.g. tells
him he's wanted on the phone.  He nods, takes the call
at the desk he is at.  Throughout, he belts away at his
glass of booze --


9.	INT. OFFICE OF THE EXEC. PRODUCER OF UBS - NETWORK NEWS -
UBS BUILDING - 5TH FLOOR - 1:00 P.M. - TUESDAY

Another smallish office debouching off the main room
like Howard's, absolutely jammed with nine PEOPLE, a
couple of them standing, the others sitting wherever
they can.  The executive producer, HARRY HUNTER (early
40's), is behind the desk.  HOWARD BEALE sits on the
small, Finnish modern couch, flanked by an ASSOCIATE
PRODUCER and a MAN from the Graphics Department.  Aside
from BEALE and HUNTER, everybody else is in their 20's
or early 30's, and, with the same exceptions, they're
all casually dressed.  This is the daily run-down
meeting at which the schedule for that evening's
broadcast is roughed out, and it sounds something like
this --

		HOWARD
		(reaching for the bottle of
		booze on HUNTER'S desk to
		refill his glass)
	-- let's do the Lennon deportation
	at the end of three --

		HARRY HUNTER
	That strong enough to bump?

		HOWARD
		(sipping his booze)
	In one then, I'll do a lead on
	Sarah Jane Moore to Mayberry in
	San Francisco --

		ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
	The film I saw was the Chief
	of Detectives --

		GRAPHICS MAN
	I think we got maybe ten seconds
	on the shooting itself --

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
	The whole thing is one-twenty-five --

		HOWARD
	What does that come out?

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
	About four-fifty --

		ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
	Are we using Squeaky Fromme?

		HARRY HUNTER
	Let's do that in two -- Squeaky --
	Ford at the airport - bump.  Now.
	we using a map going into San
	Francisco?

		GRAPHICS MAN
	I prefer a news-pix --

HOWARD pours himself another shot of booze and sips it --

		HOWARD
	What've we got left?

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
	Gun control, Patty Hearst affidavit,
	guerillas in Chad, OPEC in Vienna --


10.   INT. 4TH FLOOR CORRIDOR - UBS BUILDING - 6:28 P.14. -
TUESDAY

LOOKING INTO the small network-news make-up room where
HOWARD BEALE is standing, Kleenex tucked into his shirt
collar, getting a few last whisks from the MAKE-UP
LADY.  Finished, HOWARD pulls the Kleenex from his
collar, takes a last sip from a glass of booze on the
make-up shelf, gathers his papers and exits, turns and
enters --

11.   INT. NETWORK NEWS STUDIO - 4TH FLOOR.

Typical Newsroom studio -- cameras, cables, wall
maps, flats and propping, etc.  HOWARD nods, smiles to
various PERSONNEL -- CAMERAMEN, ASSISTANT DIRECTORS,
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS -- as he makes his way to his desk
facing Camera One.  He sits, prepares his papers, looks
up to the control room, nods --

MUSIC ABRUPTLY OUT:

END OF CREDITS:


12.   INT. CONTROL ROOM - 4th FLOOR

The clock wall reads:  6:30.  Typical control room.  A
room-length double bank of television monitors including
two color monitor screens, the show monitor and the
pre-set monitor.  Before this array of TV screens sits
the DIRECTOR, flanked on his left by the PRODUCTION
ASSISTANT (GIRL) who stop-watches the show, and on his
right by the TECHNICAL DIRECTOR who operates a special
board of buttons and knobs.  (On the TECHNICAL
DIRECTOR's right sits the LIGHTING DIRECTOR).  At the
moment, the show monitor has the network's Washington
correspondent, JACK SNOWDEN, doing a follow-up on the
attempted assassination of President Ford in San
Francisco --

		SNOWDEN (ON MONITOR)
	-- the first attempt on President
	Ford's life was eighteen days ago --
	and again yesterday in San Francisco --

		DIRECTOR
		(murmuring into his mike)
	-- Lou, kick that little thing shut
	on ground level --

		SNOWDEN (ON MONITOR)
	-- In spite of two attempts --

The show monitor screen has switched over to show film
of President Ford arriving at the San Francisco airport --

		SNOWDEN (V.O. ON MONITOR)
	-- Mr. Ford says he will not become --

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
		(murmurs)
	-- forty seconds --

		DIRECTOR
		(murmurs into mike)
	-- twenty seconds to one --

		DIRECTOR
	-- one --

HOWARD BEALE'S image suddenly flips on-screen --

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
	-- thirty seconds to commercial freeze --

		DIRECTOR
	-- head roll --

		TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
	-- rolling--

The DIRECTOR and TECHNICAL DIRECTOR turn in their seats
to join HARRY HUNTER and his SECRETARY in a brief
gossip --

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	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 --

The DIRECTOR has whispered something to HARRY HUNTER'S
SECRETARY which occasions sniggers from the SECRETARY
and from HARRY HUNTER.  The TECHNICAL DIRECTOR stands to
get in on the joke --

		ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
		(to DIRECTOR)
	--  what'd you say? --

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	-- and since this show was the
	only thing I had going for me
	in my life, I have decided to
	kill myself --

HARRY HUNTER'S SECRETARY murmurs something which causes
HARRY HUNTER to burst into laughter --

		ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
		(to the DIRECTOR)
	-- so what'd she say? --

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	-- I'll tell you what I'm going
	to do.  I'm going to blow my brains
	out right on this program a week
	from today --

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
		(frowning and very puzzled
		indeed by this diversion
		from the script)
	-- ten seconds to commercial --

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	-- so tune in next Tuesday.  That'll
	give the public relations people a
	week to promote the show, and we
	ought to get a hell of a rating
	with that, a fifty share easy --

A bewildered PRODUCTION ASSISTANT nudges the DIRECTOR,
who wheels back to his mike --

		DIRECTOR
		(into mike)
	-- and --

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
		(to the DIRECTOR)
	Listen, did you hear that? --

		DIRECTOR
	Take VTA.

The monitor screen erupts into a commercial for cat
food.

		AUDIO MAN
		(leaning in from his
		glassed-in cubicle)
	What was that about?

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
		(to the DIRECTOR)
	Howard just said he was going to
	blow his brains out next Tuesday.

		DIRECTOR
	What're you talking about?

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
	Didn't you hear him?  He just said --

		HARRY HUNTER
	What's wrong now?

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
	Howard just said he was going to
	kill himself next Tuesday.

		HARRY HUNTER
	What do you mean Howard just
	said he was going to kill himself
	next Tuesday?

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
		(nervously riffling through
		her script)
	He was supposed to do a tag on
	Ron Nesson and into commercial --

		AUDIO MAN
		(from his doorway)
	He said tune in next Tuesday, I'm
	going to shoot myself --

Everybody's attention is now on the double bank of
black-and-white monitor screens showing various parts
of the studio, all of which show agitated behavior.
Several of the screens show HOWARD at his desk in
vehement discussion with a clearly startled FLOOR
MANAGER with headset and no less startled ASSOCIATE

PRODUCER --

		DIRECTOR
		(on mike to FLOOR MANAGER)
	What the hell's going on?

On the pre-set monitor screen, the FLOOR MANAGER
with headset looks up --

		FLOOR MANAGER (ON SCREEN)
		(voice booming into
		the control room)
	I don't know.  He just said he
	was going to blow his brains out --

		DIRECTOR
		(into mike)
	What the hell's this all about,
	Howard?

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
		(shouting at the floor
		PERSONNEL gathering
		around him)
	Will you get the hell out of here?
	We'll be back on air in a couple
	of seconds!

		DIRECTOR
		(roaring into the mike)
	What the fuck's going on, Howard?

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	I can't hear you --

		DIRECTOR

		(bawling at the AUDIO MAN)
	Put the studio mike on!

		AUDIO MAN
	We're back on in eleven seconds --

		SLOCUM (on floor)
	They want to know what the fuck is
	going on, Howard.

		HOWARD (on monitor)
	I can't hear you.

		DIRECTOR
		(bawling at the Audio man)
	Put the studio mike on!

		AUDIO MAN
	We're back on in eleven seconds.

		ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
	Harry, I think we better get him off --

		HARRY HUNTER
		(roaring at the Audio Man)
	Turn his mike off!

		AUDIO MAN
		(now back in the control room)
	What the hell's going on?

		HARRY HUNTER
		(raging)
	Turn the fucking sound off, you stupid
	son of a bitch!  This is going out live!

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
		(stop-watching)
	Three -- two -- one --

		DIRECTOR
	Take 2 --

At which point, the TECHNICAL DIRECTOR pushes a button;
the jangling cat food commercial flips off the show
monitor to be instantly replaced by a scene of gathering
bedlam around HOWARD'S desk.  The AUDIO MAN flees in
panic back to the cubicle to turn off the audio but not
before HARRY HUNTER and the DIRECTOR going out live to
67 affiliates can be heard booming:

		HARRY HUNTER
	Chrissakes! Black it out! This is
	going out live to sixty-seven fucking
	affiliates ! Shit!

		DIRECTOR
	This is the dumbest thing I ever saw! --


13.   INT. MAX SCHUMACHER'S OFFICE - FIFTH FLOOR - ROOM 509

MAX SCHUMACHER, behind his desk staring petrified at
his office console on which pandemonium ha broken out.

The FLOOR MANAGER and the ASSOCIATE PRODUCER and
now an ELECTRICIAN are trying to pull HOWARD away from
his desk and HOWARD is trying to hit anybody he can
with an ineffective right hand haymaker --

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	Get the fuck away from me!

		OTHER VOICES (ON MONITOR)
		(coming from all directions)
	--  cut the show! --
	--  get him out of there! --
	--   go to standby! --
	--  for Chrissakes, you stupid --

MAX'S PHONE RINGS --

		MAX
		(grabs the phone)
	How the hell do I know? --
		(he hangs up, seizes
		another phone, barks:)
	Give me the network news
	control room!

On the MONITOR SCREEN, hysteria is clearly dominating.
The SCREEN has suddenly leaped into a fragment of the
just-done cat food COMMERCIAL, then a jarring shot of
the bedlam of the studio floor.  This particular camera
seems unattended as it begins to PAN dementedly back
and forth showing the confusion on the studio floor.
Then abruptly the SCREEN is filled with Vice President
designate Nelson Rockefeller testifying before the
Senate Rules Committee --

		MAX
		(shouting into phone)
	Black it out!

The SCREEN abruptly goes into BLACK as MAX slashes his
phone back into its cradle.  His PHONE promptly RINGS
again, but MAX is already headed for the door.  The
SCREEN goes into STANDBY.  His SQUAWK BOX suddenly
blares --

		SQUAWK BOX
	What the hell happened, Max? --

		MAX
		(shouting as he exits)
	How the hell do I know?  I'm going
	down now!

He strides into --


14.   INT. ROOM 509 - COMMON ROOM OF NEWS

EXECUTIVE OFFICES

A large common room where all the SECRETARIES of the
News Division EXECUTIVES have their desks.  It is empty
now except for one SECRETARY just now putting the cover
on her typewriter.  MAX strides through and exits
into --

15.   INT. FIFTH FLOOR CORRIDOR

A long institutional corridor -- part of an endless
maze of similar corridors -- with offices and technical
rooms debouching on both sides.  The corridor has
begun to fill up with video-tape OPERATORS and other
News Division PERSONNEL who happen to be working late
-- all of whom are either wondering what happened or
are telling others what happened.  MAX yanks an exit
door open and disappears down a flight of steps to
emerge into --

16.   INT. FOURTH FLOOR CORRIDOR

-- which leads directly to the doors for the control
room and for the studio.  Coming out of the control
room is the TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, who, on spotting MAX
striding down the corridor to him, says --

		TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
	Jesus Christ, Mr. Schumacher! --

He follows MAX into the --


17.   INT. STUDIO

Everything seems to have quieted a bit, the hysteria
down to mumbles and murmurs and occasional sounds of
laughter.  TELEPHONES are shrilly and incessantly
RINGING.  In the far corner of the studio sits HOWARD
BEALE surrounded by HARRY HUNTER, the DIRECTOR, the
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER, the PRODUCTION ASSISTANT, and the
FLOOR MANAGER.  CAMERAMEN, GRIPS and other FLOOR
PERSONNEL are gathered in a FLUX of little clumps around
the studio murmuring and muttering and giggling over the
whole absurd episode MAX heads straight for the GROUP
around HOWARD.  They part to let him in --

		HARRY HUNTER
		(to MAX)
	Tom Cabell wants you to call as
	soon as you come in --

MAX nods, stares at HOWARD --

		VOICE (O.S.)
	Harry!  Joe Sweeney on the phone! --

		HARRY HUNTER
		(bawls back)
	I'm not taking any more calls!
	Tell them Mr. Schumacher's here!
	They can talk to him!

		MAX
		(staring at HOWARD)
	Howard, you have got to be out of
	your ever-loving mind.  Are you drunk?
		(to the others)
	How much boozing has he been doing
	today?

PHONES O.S. RING and RING.  VOICES O.S. SHOUT --

		VOICES (O.S.)
	-- Mr. Schumacher, Mr. Cabell
	on the phone! --
	-- Mr. Schumacher!  Mr. Zangwill
	for you! --
	-- Harry!  Mr. Thackeray on Three! --

HOWARD slowly looks up to MAX who is still staring at

him.  He suddenly smiles broadly at MAX and winks.

		VOICES (O.S.)
	-- Harry!  Thackeray wants to
	talk to you right now! --
	-- Mr. Schumacher! Mr. Gianini
	wants to talk to you! --

		MAX
		(to HARRY HUNTER)
	You better get hold of Mr. Chaney
	and Frank Hackett --


18.   INT. FIFTH FLOOR - UBS BUILDING - ELEVATOR AREA - 10:47 P.M.

FRANK HACKETT, Executive Senior Vice President of the
network, 41 years old, one of the new cool young breed
of management/merchandising executives, wearing a tuxedo
-- (he had been pulled out of a dinner party in
Westchester by this unfortunate business) -- comes out
of the elevator and turns briskly into --


19.   INT. FIFTH FLOOR CORRIDOR

-- which is clotted with network EXECUTIVES of assorted
sizes and ages.  HACKETT, en route to Room 509, which
is clearly the humming hub of activity up here, pauses
to comment to one of the EXECUTIVES --

		HACKETT
	Lou, can't we clear out that
	downstairs lobby?  There must be
	a hundred people down there, every
	TV station and wire service in the
	city.  I could barely get in --

		LOU
	How'm I going to clear them out,
	Frank?

HACKETT murmurs and peels his way into --


20.   INT. ROOM 509 - EXECUTIVES' OFFICES OF THE NEWS DIVISION

HACKETT enters the common room, off which debouch the
offices of the President of News (MAX SCHUMACHER), the
VP News Division (ROBERT MCDONOUGH), the VP Public
Relations News Division (MILTON STEINMAN), the VP Legal
Affairs News Division (WALTER GIANINI), VP Owned
Stations News (EMIL DUBROVNIK), General Manager News,
Radio (MICHAEL SANDIES) -- all of whom are here and a
number of other network EXECUTIVES.  The VP Sales (JOE
DONNELLY) is just taking the phone from the VP News
Sales (RICHMOND KETTERING) who is seated at the desk of
the secretary for VP Public Relations News Division --

		DONNELLY (on phone)
	-- how many spots were wiped out? --

		HACKETT
		(to GIANINI, who is seated
		at another secretary's desk
		studying a typescript of
		the aborted news show)
	Anything litigable? --

		GIANINI
	Not so far --

		DONNELLY
		(on phone)
	-- We had to abort the show. Ed,
	what else could we do?  We'll
	make good, don't worry about it --

		HACKETT
		(to ARTHUR ZANGWILL, VP
		Standards and Practices,
		now coming out of MAX's
		office)
	Is Nelson in there?

		ZANGWILL
	He's talking to Wheeler.  So far,
	over nine hundred fucking phone
	calls complaining about the foul
	language --

		HACKETT
		(mutters)
	Shit --

		P.R. MAN
		(in b.g. on phone)
	-- come on, Mickey, what page
	are you putting it on?! --

HACKETT is already crossing into --


21.   INT. MAX'S OFFICE

-- which is pretty well jammed with NELSON CHANEY
(President of the network), 52, a patrician, sitting
behind MAX's desk and on the phone, looking up to
note HACKETT's arrival --

		CHANEY
		(on phone)
	Frank Hackett just walked in --

MILTON STEINMAN (VP Public Relations News Division),
early 50's, a rumpled, ordinarily amiable man, is
standing by the desk on the phone to someone at CBS --

		STEINMAN
		(on phone)
	I can't release the tape, Marty,
	we're still studying it ourselves --

A P.R. MAN sticks his head into the office

		P.R. MAN
		(calling to STEINMAN)
	ABC again, wants the tape --

		STEINMAN
	Tell  him to go fuck himself
		(to phone)
	And that goes for you too, Marty --

		HACKETT
		(to HOWARD BEALE,
		sitting on the couch)
	You're off the air as of now.

		CHANEY
		(extending his phone
		to HACKETT)
	He wants to talk to you --

		HACKETT
		(to MAX, leaning
		against a wall)
	Who's replacing Beale tomorrow?

		MAX
	We're flying up Snowden from
	Washington.

		STEINMAN
		(leaning across HACKETT
		to turn up the volume
		knob on Max's desk)
	All right, everybody hold it.
	Let's see how the other
	networks handled this --

He is referring to the four television monitors --
three on the wall and a large office console monitor
of UBS-TV, now blurting out their respective
commercials --

		THACKERAY
		(VP Stations Relations,
		lounging in the doorway)
	The ten o'clock news opened
	with it --

		HACKETT
		(on phone)
	Walter's drafted a statement, I
	haven't seen it yet -- I just got
	here, John, I was at a dinner party --

Suddenly, the faces of DAVE MARASH and ROLAND SMITH and
CHUCK SCARBOROUGH and ROGER GRIMSBY and BILL BEUTEL
and the UBS local news anchorman, TIM HALLOWAY, are on
the screen.  Affable DAVE MARASH on the CBS monitor
is saying:

		MARASH
		(affably)
	An unusual thing happened at one of
	our sister networks, UBS, this evening --

		ROGER GRIMSBY
		(almost simultaneously)
	Howard Beale, one of television's
	most esteemed newscasters --

		CHUCK SCARBOROUGH
	Howard Beale interrupted his network
	news program tonight to announce --

		HACKETT
		(mutters)
	Shit --

		TIM HALLOWAY
	Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
	made a forceful address before the
	United Nations General Assembly --

		HACKETT
		(to MAX)
	How are we handling it?

		MAX
	Halloway's going to make a brief
	statement at the end of the show
	to the effect Howard's been under
	great personal stress, et cetera

HACKETT reaches to click off the bank of monitor
screens.  They abruptly go black.

		HACKETT
		(on phone)
	I'll   call you back, John.
		(returns the phone to
		its cradle, regards the
		gathered EXECUTIVES)
	All right.  We've got a stockholders'
	meeting tomorrow at which we're going
	to announce the restructuring of
	management plan, and 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, and, you,
	Max, better have some answers in
	case some of those nuts that always
	come to stockholders' meetings --

		MAX
		(back to leaning
		against the wall)
	Mr. Beale has been under great
	personal and professional pressures --

		HACKETT
		(exploding)
	I've got some goddam surprises for
	you too, Schumacher!  I've had it
	up to here with your cruddy division
	and its annual thirty-three million
	dollar deficit! --

		MAX
	Keep your hands off my news division
	Frank.  We're responsible to
	corporate level, not to you.

		HACKETT
	We'll goddam well see about that!

		CHANEY
	All right, take it easy.  Right now,
	how' re we going to get Beale out of
	here?  I understand there's at least
	a hundred reporters and camera crews
ings --

		HERRON
		(buzzing the projectionist)
	Diana asked if she could sit in on
	this --

		MAX
	Fine --
		(sits, calls to DIANA)
	How's it going?

DIANA shrugs, smiles.  The lights in the room go down.
A shaft of light shoots out from the projection room.
The PHONE at MAX's elbow BUZZES.  HE picks it up --

		MAX
		(murmurs into phone)
	Max Schumacher -- I'm glad I got
	you, John.  Listen, I got into a
	hassle with Frank Hackett last
	night over the Howard Beale thing,
	and he made a crack about the
	stockholders' meeting this afternoon.
	He said something about having
	some surprises for me.  Is there
	something going on, John, I don't
	know about? ... John, I'm counting
	on you and Mr. Ruddy to back me up
	against that son of a bitch
	Okay, see you this afternoon --

He hangs up, leans back, watches the documentary film
which has just begun.  ON SCREEN, a handsome black
woman in her early 30's --

		MAX
	Who's that, Laureen Hobbs?

		HERRON
	Yeah.

-- is sitting in a typical panel discussion grouping,
flanked by three MEN and a WOMAN, two white, two
black, all very urban guerilla, in fatigues, sun
glasses and combat boots.  MISS HOBBS looks calmly
into camera and says:

		LAUREEN HOBBS (ON SCREEN)
	The Communist Party believes that
	the most pressing political necessity
	today is the consolidation of the
	revolutionary, radical and democratic
	movements into a United Front --

The PHONE BUZZES softly.  MAX picks it up --

		MAX
		(murmurs into phone)
	Yeah? ... Oh, goddamit, when, Louise?
	Well, did he say anything? ...
	All right, thanks.
		(hangs up, promptly
		picks up again)
	Four-eight-oh-seven --

		LAUREEN HOBBS (ON SCREEN) (in b.g.)
	Repression is the response of an
	increasingly desperate, imperialist
	ruling clique.  Indeed, the entire
	apparatus of the bourgeois-democratic
	state especially its judicial systems
	and its prisons is disintegrating --

		MAX (on phone)
	Harry, Howard left my house about
	ten minutes ago presumably headed here.
	Let me know as soon as he gets here.

			LAUREEN HOBBS (ON SCREEN) (in b.g.)
	The fascist thrust must be resisted
	in its incipient stages by the
	broadest possible coalition --


25.   INT. SCREENING ROOM 7 - TWENTY MINUTES LATER

Room still dark.  ON SCREEN, NUMBERED WHITE LEADER is
rolling down --

		HERRON
	What we're going to see now is
	something really sensational.
	The Flagstaff Independent Bank
	in Arizona was ripped off last
	week by a terrorist group called
	the Ecumenical Liberation Army,
	and they themselves actually took
	movies of the rip-off while they
	were ripping it off.  It's in
	black and white, but wait'll
	you see it --

The SCREEN suddenly erupts into film of the interior
of a bank being entered in the wake of THREE MEN, two
of them black, and TWO WOMEN, one black and one white.
They disperse to various parts of the bank as if they
were here on legitimate business --

		DIANA
	The Ecumenical Liberation Army
	-- is that the one that
	kidnapped Patty Hearst?

		HERRON
	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 hell of a lot of
	liberation armies in the
	revolutionary underground and
	a lot of kidnapped heiresses.
	That's Mary Ann Gifford --

This last in reference to the young white woman on
screen who is lugging a shopping bag as she joins a
line at a teller's window --

		DIANA
	You mean, they actually shot
	this film while they were ripping
	off the bank?

		HERRON
	Yeah, wait'll you see it.  I
	don't know whether to edit or
	leave it raw like this.  That's the
	Great Ahmed Khan; he's the leader --

ON SCREEN, the film has gone out of focus a couple of
times and bounced meaninglessly around the bank and
finally settled on a large, powerful black man at one
of the desks, presumably writing out a series of
deposit slips --

		DIANA
	This is terrific stuff.  Where
	did you get it?

		HERRON
	I got everything through Laureen
	Hobbs.  She's my contact for
	all this stuff.

		DIANA
	I thought she was straight
	Communist Party.

		HERRON
	Right.  But she's trying to unify
	all the factions in the
	underground, so she knows
	everybody.

ON SCREEN, the CAMERA has whooshed amateurishly about,
unfocuses and focuses again to pick up MARY ANN GIFFORD
bending over her shopping bag and pulling out a Czech
service submachine gun 9 Parabellum which she points to
the ceiling and apparently fires; the FILM is silent,
but the reactions of everyone around suggest clearly
something was fired.  The FILM gets fragmented and
panicky about here, as does the activity in the bank.
The PHONE at MAX's elbow BUZZES.  MAX picks it up.

		MAX
		(on the phone, while
		in b.g. a bank hold-
		up goes on screen)
	Yeah? ... All right, put him on --


26.   INT. THE NIGHTLY NEWS ROOM - ROOM 517

HARRY HUNTER, on phone, is using an empty desk in the
main room.  Normal news room activity in b.g. --

		HARRY HUNTER
		(on phone, leans back
		to call into HOWARD'S
		office)
	Howard -- I've got Max on four,
	would you pick up? --


27.   INT. HOWARD'S OFFICE

		HOWARD
		(picking up phone)
	Listen, Max, I'd like another
	shot --


28.   INT. SCREENING ROOM 7

The silent footage of the frenetic bank robbery is
still going on in b.g.

		MAX
		(on phone)
	Oh, come on, Howard --


29.   INT. HOWARD'S OFFICE

		HOWARD
		(on phone)
	I don't mean the whole show.
	I'd just like to come on, make
	some kind of brief farewell
	statement and then turn the
	show over to Jack Snowden.  I
	have eleven years at this
	network, Max.  I have some
	standing in this industry.
	I don't want to go out like a
	clown.  It'll be simple and
	dignified.  You and Harry
	can check the copy


30.   INT. NIGHTLY NEWS ROOM

ACROSS HARRY HUNTER on phone, looking through the open
door of HOWARD's office to HOWARD at his desk in b.g.

		HARRY HUNTER
		(on phone)
	-- I think it'll take the strain
	off the show, Max.  How much time
	do you want, Howard?

		HOWARD
		(in b.g., on phone)
	A minute forty-five, maybe two

		HARRY HUNTER
	All right, I'll give you two on
	the top, then we'll go to Jack
	Snowden with the Kissinger UN
	speech --


31.   INT. SCREENING ROOM 7

The show is over, the room lights are on.   In b.g.,
DIANA and HERRON stand, murmur to each other --

		MAX
		(on phone)
	And no booze today, Howard --

In b.g., DIANA and HERRON move for the door, wave good-
byes.  MAX waves slackly in return.  He can't help
noticing as DIANA leaves that she has the most
beautiful ass ever seen on a VP Programs --


32.   INT. HOWARD'S OFFICE

		HOWARD
		(on phone)
	No booze --

And hangs up.  For a moment, he just sits, scowling and
making curious little grimaces.  Then he stands,
removes his jacket, dumps it on a chair.  He rolls his
sleeves up and suddenly makes a strange little GRUNT.
He sits behind his desk, fits a piece of paper into
the machine and then, again, suddenly, he makes a
strange little GROWL --


33.   INT. NIGHTLY NEWS ROOM

Our PRODUCTION ASSISTANT, remembered perhaps from the
control room scene, passes HOWARD's open door and is
given pause by the strange little noises coming from
HOWARD's office.  She stands in the doorway a moment
watching HOWARD GRUNTING, GROWLING and SNARLING as he
CLACKS away at the typewriter --

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
	You all right, Mr. Beale?
		(BEALE nods)
	You want me to close your door,
	Mr. Beale?
		(HOWARD nods, types away,
		GRUNTS, GROWLS)

The PRODUCTION ASSISTANT closes the door.


34.   INT. 14TH FLOOR - UBS BUILDING - ELEVATOR AREA

DIANA and HERRON come out of one of the elevators and
turn left to the glass doors marked:  DEPARTMENT OF
PROGRAMMING.  They continue into --


35.   INT. PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT - RECEPTION AREA

(Needless to say, there is no one at the receptionist's
desk.)  DIANA and HERRON head down --


36.   INT. PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT - CORRIDOR

	DIANA pauses en route to lean into one of the
	offices --

		DIANA
	George, can you come in my office
	for a minute?

She and HERRON continue on, turn into --


37.   INT. PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT - COMMON ROOM

Where the SECRETARIES are all slaving away, reading
magazines and chatting among themselves.  An occasional
PHONE RINGS.  At the far end of the room, a chunky
WOMAN in her late 30's is instructing her SECRETARY in
something.  DIANA hails her --

		DIANA
	Barbara, is Tommy around anywhere?

		BARBARA (in b.g.)
	I think so.

		DIANA
	I'd like to see the two of you
	for a moment --

She leads HERRON now into --


38.   INT. DIANA'S SECRETARY'S OFFICE

The SECRETARY hands a sheaf of telephone messages to
DIANA which she carries with her into --


39.   INT. DIANA'S OFFICE

DIANA enters, followed by HERRON.  She sits, skims
through her messages.  The office is executive-size,
windows looking out on the canyons of glass and stone
skyscrapers on Sixth Avenue, desk piled high with
scripts.  GEORGE BOSCH (VP Program Development East
Coast), a slight, balding man of 39, enters the office,
nods to HERRON, takes a seat; and is immediately
followed by BARBARA SCHLESINGER (Head of the Story
Department), the chunky lady just called in by DIANA,
and TOMMY PELLEGRINO (Assistant VP Programs), 36,
swarthy, coifed and mustachioed.  They find seats on
the chairs, the small couch.  HERRON remains standing --

		DIANA
		(introducing)
	This is Bill Herron from our
	West Coast Special Programs
	Department -- Barbara Schlesinger
	-- George Bosch -- Tommy
	Pellegrino -- Look, I just saw
	some rough footage of a special
	Bill's doing on the revolutionary
	underground.  Most of it's
	tedious stuff of Laureen Hobbs
	and four fatigue jackets muttering
	mutilated Marxism.  But he's got
	about eight minutes of a bank
	robbery that is absolutely
	sensational.  Authentic stuff.
	Actually shot while the robbery
	was going on.  Remember the Mary
	Ann Gifford kidnapping? Well,
	it's that bunch of nuts.  She's
	in the film shooting off machine
	guns.  Really terrific footage.
	I think we can get a hell of a
	movie of the week out of it,
	maybe even a series.

		PELLEGRINO
	A series out of what? What're
	we talking about?

		DIANA
	Look, we've got a bunch of
	hobgoblin radicals called 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 that authentic footage,
	hire a couple of writers to
	write some story behind that
	footage, and we've got
	ourselves a series.

		BOSCH
	A series about a bunch of bank-
	robbing guerillas?

		SCHLESINGER
	What're we going to call it --
	the Mao Tse Tung Hour?

		DIANA
	Why not? They've got Strike
	Force, Task Force, SWAT -- why
	not Che Guevara and his own
	little mod squad?  Listen, I
	sent you all a concept analysis
	report yesterday.  Did any of
	you read it?
		(apparently not)
	Well, in a nutshell, it said the
	American people are turning sullen.
	They've been clobbered on all
	sides by Vietnam, Watergate, the
	inflation, the depression.
	They've turned off, shot up,
	and they've fucked themselves
	limp.  And nothing helps.  Evil
	still triumphs over all, Christ
	is a dope-dealing pimp, even sin
	turned out to be impotent.  The
	whole world seems to be going
	nuts and flipping off into space
	like an abandoned balloon.  So
	-- this concept analysis report
	concludes -- the American people
	want somebody to articulate their
	rage for them.  I've been telling
	you people since I took this job
	six months ago that I want angry
	shows.  I don't want conventional
	programming on this network.  I
	want counter-culture.  I want
	anti-establishment.

She closes the door.

		DIANA
	Now, 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 twenty.  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 people.  And, by the way,
	the next time I send an audience
	research report around, you all
	better read it, or I'll sack the
	fucking lot of you, is that
	clear?
		(apparently, it is.
		She turns to HERRON)
	I'll be out on the coast in four
	weeks.  Can you set up a meeting
	with Laureen Hobbs for me?

		HERRON
	Sure.


40.   INT. A BANQUET ROOM - NEW YORK HILTON - WEDNESDAY -
3:00 P.M.

LONG SHOT.  A stockholders' meeting.  Standing room
only.  Some 200 STOCKHOLDERS seated in the audience;
others standing around the walls.  On the rostrum, a
phalanx of UBS CORPORATE EXECUTIVES, seated in three
rows, including EDWARD RUDDY, Chairman of the Board,
the PRESIDENTS and SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENTS of the other
divisions and other groups -- the UBS Records Group,
the UBS Publishing Group, the UBS Theater Chain, etc.
Representing the network are NELSON CHANEY and the
divisional heads -- GEORGE NICHOLS, President of the
Radio Division; NORMAN MOLDANIAN, President Owned
Stations; General Counsel WALTER AMUNDSEN, and, of
course, MAX SCHUMACHER, President of the News Division.
FRANK HACKETT, Senior Executive Vice President UBS-TV,
is at the lectern making the annual report --

		HACKETT
		(in the droning manner
		of such reports)
	... but the business of management
	is management; and, at the time
	C. C. and A. 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 therefore
	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 --

ANOTHER ANGLE SINGLING OUT MAX SCHUMACHER in the second
row of the phalanx of EXECUTIVES, bored with the
proceedings, and whispering to NELSON CHANEY seated
beside him.  INCLUDE in frame the 67 year old, silver-
haired Brahmin of television, EDWARD RUDDY, who is
seated in the front row.  HACKETT in b.g.  It is some
twenty minutes later --

		HACKETT
		(reading from his report)
	... point one.  The division producing
	the lowest rate of return has been
	the News Division --

MAX suddenly begins paying attention --

		HACKETT
	-- with its 98 million dollar budget
	and its average annual deficit of 32
	million.  To me, it is inconceivable
	such a wanton fiscal affront go
	unresisted --

ANOTHER ANGLE ACROSS HACKETT with a smoldering MAX
SCHUMACHER in b.g. --

		HACKETT
	-- The new plan calls for local
	news to be transferred to Owned
	Stations Divisions --

MAX in b.g., stares angrily down his row towards NORMAN
MOLDANIAN, who studiously avoids his eye --

		HACKETT
	-- News-Radio would be transferred
	to the UBS Radio Division --

ACROSS MAX turning in his seat to scowl at GEORGE
NICHOLS in the row behind him --

		HACKETT (in b.g.)
	-- and, in effect, the News Division
	would be reduced --

MAX leaning forward trying to catch the eye of EDWARD
RUDDY in the front row.  RUDDY is staring stonily
ahead --

		HACKETT
	-- from an independent division to
	a department accountable to network --

MAX is about ready to blow his stack --


41.   INT. BANQUET ROOM - NEW YORK HILTON - WEDNESDAY - 5:30 PM.

The stockholders' meeting is over.  The floor is a
swirling CRUSH of STOCKHOLDERS mingling with EXECUTIVES.
MAX SCHUMACHER is elbowing his way through the crowded
aisle to get to where EDWARD RUDDY is chatting away
with a COUPLE of STOCKHOLDERS --

		MAX
		(to RUDDY)
	What was that all about, Ed? --

		RUDDY
		(turning to MAX, urbane)
	This is not the time, Max.

		MAX
		(barely containing himself)
	Why wasn't I told about this? Why
	was I led onto that podium and
	publicly guillotined in front of
	the stockholders?  Goddammit, I
	spoke to John Wheeler this morning,
	and he assured me the News Division
	was safe.  Are you trying to get
	me to resign?  It's a hell of a
	way to do it.

		RUDDY
		(silken murmur)
	We'll talk about this tomorrow
	at our regular morning meeting.

RUDDY turns back to the clutch of STOCKHOLDERS around
him.  MAX wheels away in a rage --


42.   EXT. NEW YORK HILTON HOTEL - SIXTH AVENUE - DUSK

The Sixth Avenue entrance to the hotel.  Taxis pulling
in, disgorging PEOPLE; taxis pulling out with new fares.
MAX comes striding out of the hotel, sore as a boil.
PAN HIM as he bulls his way through the line of taxis
and across jammed, clanging 5:50 P.M. Sixth Avenue --


43.   INT. UBS BUILDING - 5TH FLOOR CORRIDOR

MAX, steaming, strides down the corridor to --


44.   INT. ROOM 509 - NEWS DIV. EXECUTIVE OFFICES

Empty except for perhaps one SECRETARY pecking away
at her typewriter.  MAX strides across and into --


45.   INT. MAX'S OFFICE

MAX takes off his jacket, throws it on the couch, sits
behind his desk.  But he's too steamed to stay there
long.  A moment later, he's up again, strides around,
a caged lion.  He thumps his desk angrily, strides
around, then whips his jacket up from the couch and
strides out --


46.   INT. CONTROL ROOM - NETWORK NEWS SHOW

The wall CLOCK reads 6:28.  The DIRECTOR, TECHNICAL
DIRECTOR, LIGHTING DIRECTOR and PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
are at their long shelf in front of the double bank
of television monitors.  The AUDIO MAN is off in his
glassed-in cubicle.  HARRY HUNTER and his SECRETARY
and the UNIT MANAGER are on the raised level in the
back.  HUNTER is on the phone, looks up as the door to
the control room opens, and MAX, carrying his jacket,
comes in.  Curious looks from the PERSONNEL here;
presidents of news rarely come down to the control
room.  HUNTER finishes his phone call, offers his seat
to MAX, but MAX prefers standing in the back --

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
	... five seconds --

		LIGHTING DIRECTOR
	-- picture's too thick --

		DIRECTOR
	-- coming to -- and one --

The show monitor, which has been showing color patterns,
now suddenly flicks on to show HOWARD BEALE as he looks
up from the sheaf of papers on his desk and says:

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	Good evening.  Today is Wednesday,
	September the twenty-fourth, and
	this is my last broadcast.  Yesterday,
	I announced on this program that I
	would commit public suicide, admittedly
	an act of madness.  Well, I'll tell
	you what happened -- I just ran out
	of bullshit --

		HARRY HUNTER
	All right, cut him off.

The MONITOR SCREEN goes black.

		MAX
		(from the back wall)
	Leave him on --

HOWARD's image promptly flicks back on --

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
		(looking O.S.)
	Am I still on the air?

Everybody in the control room looks to MAX --

		MAX
	If this is how he wants to go out,
	this is how he goes out.

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	I don't know any other way to say
	it except I just ran out of bull-
	shit ...

The PHONE RINGS.  HUNTER picks it up.  ANOTHER PHONE
RINGS.  HUNTER'S SECRETARY picks it up.

		HUNTER
		(on first phone)
	Look, Mr. Schumacher's right here,
	do you want to talk to him?
		(extends the phone to MAX)

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	Bullshit is all the reasons we give
	for living, and, if we can't think
	up any reasons of our own, we always
	have the God bullshit --

		HUNTER'S SECRETARY
		(awe)
	Holy Mary Mother of Christ --

		MAX
		(on phone)
	Yeah, what is it, Tom? --

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	We don't know why the hell we're
	going through all this pointless
	pain, humiliation and decay, so
	there better be someone somewhere
	who does know; that's the God
	bullshit --

		MAX
		(on phone)
	He's saying life is bullshit,
	and it is, so what're you
	screaming about? --

He hangs up.  The PHONE promptly RINGS again.  HUNTER'S
SECRETARY picks it up.  (HUNTER is on the phone that
rang before.)

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	If you don't like the God bullshit,
	how about the man bullshit? Man
	is a noble creature who can order
	his own world, who needs God?

		HUNTER'S SECRETARY
		(to MAX)
	Mr. Amundsen for you, Mr. Schumacher.

		MAX
	I'm not taking calls.

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	Well, if there's anybody out there
	who can look around this demented
	slaughterhouse of a world we live
	in and tell me man is a noble
	creature, that man is full of
	bullshit --

		DIRECTOR
		(staring in awe at
		HOWARD on the screen)
	I know he's sober, so he's got to
	be just plain nuts --
		(starts to giggle)

		HARRY HUNTER
		(screaming)
	What's so goddam funny?

		DIRECTOR
	I can't help it, Harry, it's funny --

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	I don't have any kids --

A PHONE RINGS.  HUNTER'S SECRETARY picks it up.

		HARRY HUNTER
	Max, this is going out live to
	sixty-seven affiliates --

		MAX
	Leave him on.

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	-- and I was married for thirty-
	three years of shrill, shrieking
	fraud --

A breathless and distraught YOUNG WOMAN bursts into
the control room.

		YOUNG WOMAN
	Mr. Hackett's trying to get through
	to you --

		MAX
	Tell Mr. Hackett to go fuck himself --


47.   INT. DIANA'S OFFICE

DIANA, sitting alone in her office, watching HOWARD
BEALE on her office console --

		HOWARD (ON CONSOLE)
	I don't have any bullshit left.
	I just ran out of it, you see --


48.   INT. CONTROL ROOM - NETWORK NEWS SHOW

--  as FRANK HACKETT and his assistant, TOM CABELL,
wrench the door open and stride in --

		HACKETT
		(roaring)
	Get him off!  Are you people nuts?!

The TECHNICAL DIRECTOR taps a button, and the SCREEN
mercifully goes black.


49.   INT. LOBBY - UBS BUILDING			.

White-haired, patrician EDWARD RUDDY, Chairman of
the Board, impeccably groomed, fastidious in a light
topcoat, making his way through the absolute CRUSH
of NEWSPAPER PEOPLE, WIRE SERVICE PEOPLE, CAMERA CREWS
from CBS, NBC, ABC, from the local stations, WPIX,
WOR-TV, METROMEDIA, and from Channel 13, the educa-
tional channel.  A half dozen SECURITY GUARDS protect
the elevators, and three more help RUDDY get through
the GLARING CAMERA LIGHTS and the horde of REPORTERS
thrusting mikes at him --

		RUDDY
		(moving through the crowd)
	-- I'm sorry, I don't have all the
	facts yet --


50.   INT. 20TH FLOOR - LOBBY, LOUNGE, CORRIDOR

MAX, standing by the deserted reception desk, in the
empty, silent lounge.  This is the top-management floor,
and the decor, which is posh-austere, reflects the
eminence of the top executives who have their offices
here.  It is all silent and empty now, cathedral,
hushed, echoing.  Way down at the far end of the
corridor, the double doors of the corner office open,
and NELSON CHANEY leans out and beckons to MAX, who
starts down the plush carpeting in response --


51.   INT. MR. RUDDY'S OFFICE

Large, regal.  Impressionist originals on those walls
which are not glass through which the crepuscular
grandeur of New York at night can be seen.  RUDDY sits
behind his desk.  JOHN WHEELER, 59, silent, forceful,
lounges in one of the several leather chairs.  The
door opens, and NELSON CHANEY and MAX SCHUMACHER come
in.  Everybody nods at everybody else.  MAX slumps
into a leather chair.

		RUDDY
		(murmurs to CHANEY)
	I'll want to see Mr. Beale after
	this.

CHANEY promptly picks up a corner phone and calls down
to the Fourteenth Floor.

		RUDDY
		(regards MAX briefly,
		murmurs)
	The way I hear it, Max, you're
	primarily responsible for this
	colossally stupid prank.  Is
	that the fact, Max?

		MAX
	That's the fact.

		RUDDY
	It was unconscionable.  There
	doesn't seem to be anything more
	to say.

		MAX
	I have something to say, Ed.
	I'd like to know why that whole
	debasement of the News Division
	announced at the stockholders'
	meeting today was kept secret from
	me.  You and I go back twenty
	years, Ed.  I took this job with
	your personal assurance that you
	would back my autonomy against
	any encroachment.  But ever since
	CCA acquired control of the UBS
	Systems ten months ago, Hackett's
	been taking over everything.  Who
	the hell's running this network,
	you or some conglomerate called
	CCA?  I mean, you're the Chairman
	of the Systems Group, and Frank
	Hackett's just CCA's hatchet man.
	Nelson here -- for Pete's sake, he's
	the president of the network -- he
	hasn't got anything to say about
	anything anymore.  Who the hell's
	running this company, you or CCA?

		RUDDY
		(murmurs)
	I told you at the stockholders'
	meeting, Max, that we would discuss
	all that at our regular meeting
	tomorrow morning.  If you had been
	patient, I would've explained to
	you that I too thought Frank Hackett
	precipitate and that the reorgani-
	zation 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 here is no longer tenable
	regardless of how management is
	restructured.  I expect you to
	bring in your resignation at ten
	o'clock tomorrow morning, and we
	will coordinate our statements to
	the least detriment of everyone.
		(to WHEELER)
	Bob McDonough will take over the
	News Division till we sort all
	this out.
		(WHEELER nods.  RUDDY turns
		to CHANEY still in the corner
		of the room on the phone)
	I'd like to see Mr. Beale now --

		CHANEY
		(on phone)
	They're looking for him, Ed.  They
	don't know where he is --


52.   INT. LOBBY - UBS BUILDING

HOWARD BEALE, bleached almost white by the GLARE of
the CAMERA LIGHTS, and almost totally obscured by the
tidal CRUSH of cameras, REPORTERS, SECURITY GUARDS
around him --

		HOWARD
	-- every day, five days a week,
	for fifteen years, I've been
	sitting behind that desk -- the
	dispassionate pundit --


53.   INT. DIANA'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM

DIANA, naked, sitting on the edge of her bed in a
dark bedroom, watching HOWARD BEALE's impromptu press
conference on television --

		HOWARD
		(on TV screen)
	-- reporting with seemly detachment
	the daily parade of lunacies that
	constitute the news -- and --

Also on the bed is a naked young STUD, who isn't really
that interested in the 11:00 News.  He is fondling,
fingering, noodling and nuzzling DIANA with the clear
intention of mounting her --

		HOWARD
		(on TV screen)
	-- just once I wanted to say what
	I really felt --

The young STUD is getting around to nibbling at DIANA's
breasts --

		DIANA
		(watching the TV set
		with single-minded
		intensity)
	Knock it off, Arthur --


54.   EXT. UBS BUILDING - 9:00 A.M., THURSDAY, SEPT. 25 - DAY

Bright morning sunshine.  DIANA, in a pants suit and
carrying half a dozen scripts, enters the building --


55.   INT. UBS BUILDING - LOBBY

DIANA, pausing at the newsstand to pick up the morning
papers, which she reads en route to the elevators --


56.   INT. UBS BUILDING - 14TH FLOOR - 9:15 A.M.

DIANA briskly enters through the door marked:
DEPARTMENT OF PROGRAMMING, and whisks off down the
corridor --

57.   INT. PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT - COMMON ROOM

DIANA crosses to her own office.  THREE SECRETARIES,
including DIANA's, are abuzz in a corner over last
night's Howard Beale show.  DIANA'S SECRETARY scurries
to follow DIANA as, in b.g., BARBARA SCHLESINGER comes
out of her office carrying four scripts --


58.   INT. DIANA'S OUTER OFFICE

DIANA, rummaging through the papers on top of the
SECRETARY's desk as the SECRETARY enters --

		DIANA
	Did the overnight ratings come
	in yet?

		SECRETARY
	They're on your desk.

		DIANA
	Have you still got yesterday's
	overnights around?

		SECRETARY
	Shall I bring them in?

		DIANA
	Yeah --

She exits into --


59.   INT. DIANA'S OFFICE

Morning SUNLIGHT blasting in.  DIANA moves to her
desk, stands behind it, scanning the front pages of
the newspapers piled on her desk, then sits and studies
the overnight ratings also on her desk.  The SECRETARY
enters with yesterday's overnights, a sheet of paper,
which she extends to DIANA, who promptly studies them.
The SECRETARY exits as BARBARA SCHLESINGER enters,
sinks onto a chair with a sigh --

		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 in a
	large Eastern law school, pre-
	sumably Harvard.  The series is
	irresistibly entitled The Young
	Lawyers.  The running characters
	are a crusty but benign ex-Supreme
	Court Justice, presumably Oliver
	Wendell Holmes by way of Dr. Zorba.
	There is a beautiful girl graduate
	student and the local district
	attorney who is brilliant and
	sometimes cuts corners --

		DIANA
		(studying the overnights)
	Next one --

		SCHLESINGER
	The second one is called The Amazon
	Squad --

		DIANA
		(studying the overnights)
	Lady cops?

		SCHLESINGER
	The running characters are 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
	a brilliant and beautiful young
	girl cop fighting the feminist
	battle on the force --

		DIANA
		(now studying the front
		page of the Daily News)
	We're up to our ears in lady cop
	shows.

		SCHLESINGER
	The next one is another investi-
	gative reporter show.  A crusty
	but benign managing editor who's
	always getting heat from the
	publisher --

		DIANA
	The Arabs have decided to jack up
	the price of oil another twenty
	per cent, and the C.I.A. has been
	caught opening Senator Humphrey's
	mail, there's  a civil war in Angola,
	another one in Beirut, New York City's
	facing default, they've finally caught
	up with Patricia Hearst, and --
		(she flips the Daily News over
		so BARBARA can read it)
	-- the whole front page of the Daily
	News is Howard Beale.

ACROSS BARBARA SCHLESINGER, half-standing so she can
read the newspaper and showing the front page of the
Daily News -- which consists of a 3/4 page blowup of
HOWARD BEALE topped by a 52 point black banner headline:
-- BEALE FIRED --

		DIANA
	-- it was also a two-column story
	on page one of the Times --
		(calls to her SECRETARY)
	Helen, call Mr. Hackett's office,
	see if he can give me a few minutes
	this morning --


60.   INT. ROOM 520 - THE NETWORK NEWS ROOM - 9:30 A.M.

MAX SCHUMACHER and BOB McDONOUGH (mid-40's) enter.
The Network News Room is something less than Front
Page, but, nevertheless, a news room.  It's a long,
large, windowless room, some 40 desks, mostly
unoccupied, a wire room, typewriters and banks of
television monitors on the wall.  At the moment,
work has stopped, and the ENTIRE PERSONNEL of the news
room, some 60 PEOPLE -- EXECUTIVES and SECRETARIES,
PRODUCERS, ASSISTANT PRODUCERS, HEAD WRITERS, WRITERS,
DUTY AND ASSIGNMENT EDITORS, and DESK ASSISTANTS,
ARTISTS, and FILM AND TAPE EDITORS, REPORTERS,
NEWSCASTERS and CAMERA AND AUDIO MEN -- are all
gathered, standing and sitting about to hear MAX say --

		MAX
	Ladies and gentlemen, I've been
	at this network twelve years, and
	it's been on the whole a ball --

		VOICE (in b.g.)
	Louder --

		MAX
		(louder)
	-- and I want to thank you all.
	Bob McDonough here will be taking
	over for me for the time being,
	and, much as I hate to admit it,
	I'm sure everything will go along
	just fine without me --


61.   INT. UBS BUILDING - 15TH FLOOR - 10:00 A.M.

DIANA turning into --


62.   INT. HACKETT'S OUTER OFFICE

The SECRETARY waves DIANA straight into --


63.   INT. HACKETT'S OFFICE

where HACKETT sits unhappily at his desk poring over
memos from his Stations Relations Department and
reports from his Sales Department.

		HACKETT
		(not bothering to
		look up)
	KTNS Kansas City refuses to carry
	our network news any more unless
	Beale is taken off the air --

		DIANA
		(drops the sheet of
		paper on HACKETT's
		desk)
	Did you see the overnights on the
	Network News?  It has an 8 in New
	York and 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, and I
	can tell you right now that tonight's
	show will get a 30 share at least.
	I think we've lucked into something.

		HACKETT
	Oh, for God's sakes, are you
	suggesting we put that lunatic
	back on the air yelling bullshit?

		DIANA
	Yes, I think we should put Beale

	back on the air tonight and keep
	him On.  Did you see the Times
	this morning?  Did you see the
	News? We've got press coverage
	on this you couldn't buy for a
	million dollars.  Frank, that dumb
	show jumped five rating points in
	one night!  Tonight's show has got
	to be at least fifteen!  We just
	increased our audience by twenty
	or thirty million people in one
	night.  You're not going to get
	something like this dumped in your
	lap for the rest of your days, and
	you just can't piss it away!
	Howard Beale got up there last
	night and said what every American
	feels -- that 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 in television.

		HACKETT
	What do you mean, you want that
	show?  It's a news show.  It's not
	your department.

		DIANA
	I see Howard Beale as a latter-day
	prophet, a magnificent messianic
	figure, inveighing against the
	hypocrisies of our times, a strip
	Savonarola, Monday through Friday.
	I tell you, Frank, that could just
	go through the roof.  And I'm talking
	about a six dollar cost per thousand
	show!  I'm talking about a hundred,
	a hundred thirty thousand dollar
	minutes!  Do you want to figure out
	the revenues of a strip show that
	sells for a hundred thousand bucks
	a minute?  One show like that could
	pull this whole network right out
	of the hole!  Now, Frank, it's being
	handed to us on a plate; let's not
	blow it!

HACKETT's intercom BUZZES.

		HACKETT
		(on intercom)
	Yes? ... Tell him I'll be a few
	minutes.
		(clicks off, regards DIANA)
	Let me think it over.

		DIANA
	Frank, let's not go to committee
	about this.  It's twenty after ten,
	and we want Beale in that studio
	by half-past six.  We don't want
	to lose the momentum --

		HACKETT
	For God's sakes, Diana, we're
	talking about putting a manifestly
	irresponsible man on national
	television.  I'd like to talk to
	Legal Affairs at least.  And Herb
	Thackeray and certainly Joe Donnelly
	and Standards and Practices.  And
	you know I'm going to be eyeball
	to eyeball with Mr. Ruddy on this.
	If I'm going to the mat with Ruddy,
	I want to make sure of some of my
	ground.  I'm the one whose ass is
	going on the line.  I'll get back
	to you, Diana.


64.   INT. EXECUTIVE DINING ROOM - 12:20 P.M.

A large room of white-linened tables, almost empty
save for the five men at one of the window tables,
with the spectacular view of midtown Manhattan.
The five are FRANK HACKETT, NELSON CHANEY, WALTER
AMUNDSEN (General Counsel Network,) ARTHUR ZANGWILL
(VP Standards and Practices,) and JOE DONNELLY (VP
Sales).

		CHANEY
		(who is standing)
	I don't believe this!  I don't
	believe the top brass of a national
	television network are sitting
	around their Caesar salads --

		HACKETT
	The top brass of a bankrupt national
	television network, with projected
	losses of close to a hundred and
	fifty million dollars this year.

		CHANEY
	I don't care how bankrupt!  You
	can't seriously be proposing and
	the rest of us seriously consider-
	ing putting on a pornographic
	network news show!  The FCC will
	kill us!

		HACKETT
	Sit down, Nelson.  The FCC can't
	do anything except rap our knuckles.

CHANEY sits.

		AMUNDSEN
	I don't even want to think about
	the litigious possibilities, Frank.
	We could be up to our ears in
	lawsuits.

		CHANEY
	The affiliates won't carry it --

		HACKETT
	The affiliates will kiss your ass
	if you can hand them a hit show.

		CHANEY
	The popular reaction --

		HACKETT
	We don't know the popular reaction.
	That's what we have to find out.

		CHANEY
	The New York Times --

		HACKETT
	The New York Times doesn't advertise
	on our network.

		CHANEY
		(stands)
	All I know is that this violates
	every canon of respectable broad-
	casting.

		HACKETT
	We're not a respectable network.
	We're a whorehouse network, and we
	have to take whatever we can get.

		CHANEY
	Well, I don't want any part of it.
	I don't fancy myself the president
	of a whorehouse.

		HACKETT
	That's very commendable of you,
	Nelson.  Now, sit down.  Your
	indignation has been duly recorded,
	you can always resign tomorrow.

CHANEY sits.

		HACKETT
	Look, what in substance are we
	proposing? -- merely to add
	editorial comment to our network
	news show.  Brinkley, Sevareid,
	and Reasoner all have their comments.
	So now Howard Beale will have his.
	I think we ought to give it a shot.
	Let's see what happens tonight.

		DONNELLY
	Well, I don't want to be the
	Babylonian messenger who has to
	tell Max Schumacher about this.

		HACKETT
		(flagging a WAITER)
	Max Schumacher doesn't work at
	this network any more.  Mr. Ruddy
	fired him last night.
		(to the WAITER)
	A telephone, please --
		(to his COLLEAGUES)
	Bob McDonoguh's running the News
	Division now --

A phone is placed before HACKETT, who promptly picks
it up and murmurs:

		HACKETT
		(on phone)
	Bob McDonough in News, please --


65.   INT. MAX'S OFFICE - 1:40 P.M.

MAX is on the phone and cleaning out his desk and
office at the same time.  There are empty cartons
everywhere into which MAX is dumping his files.  There
are piles of files on his desk, which he is skimming
through even as he talks on the phone --

		MAX
		(on phone)
	-- I'm just fine financially,
	Fred.  I cashed in my stock
	options back in April when CC
	and A took over the network
		(his other phone BUZZES)
	That's my other phone, Fred, thanks
	for calling --
		(hangs up, picks up
		the other phone)
	Max Schumacher . .. Hi, Dick,
	how's everything at NBC? --

HOWARD BEALE walks in, carrying an 8 x 12 photograph --

		MAX
	I don't know, Dick.  I might teach,
	I might write a book, whatever the
	hell one does when one approaches
	the autumn of one's years --

HOWARD puts the photograph on the desk in front of MAX.

		MAX
		(studying the photograph)
	My God, is that me? Was I ever
	that young?
		(on phone)
	Howard just showed me a picture
	of the whole Ed Murrow gang when
	I was at CBS.  My God, Bob Trout,
	Harry Reasoner, Cronkite, Hollenbeck,
	and that's you, Howard, right? --
	I'll see you, Dick --

Hangs up.

		HOWARD
		(points to the photo)
	You remember this kid? He's the
	kid I think you once sent out to
	interview Cleveland Amory on
	vivisection --

		MAX
		(beginning to shake
		with laughter)
	That's him -- that's him --

They both begin wheezing with laughter.  MILTON STEINMAN
pokes his head in --

		STEINMAN
	What the hell's so funny?


66.   INT. ROOM 509 - EXECUTIVE OFFICES, NEWS DIVISION

BOB McDONOUGH (VP Network News and interim head of the
division) enters, frowning.  There is a clot of PEOPLE
spilling out from MAX SCHUMACHER's office from whence
sounds of LAUGHTER and SHOUTING emanate.  Even the
SECRETARIES have left their desks to share the fun.
McDONOUGH, wondering what the hell it's all about,
makes his way through the CRUSH at the door, murmuring:
"Excuse me ... sorry, honey ... etc."  When he finally
gets through the outer office and into --


67.   INT. MAX'S OFFICE

-- what he sees is a room filled with News Executives
-- MAX, HOWARD, HARRY HUNTER, WALTER GIANINI (Legal
Affairs), MICHAEL SANDIES, MILTON STEINMAN, and a
COUPLE of younger PRODUCERS, delightedly listening to
this gang of middle-aged men remembering their maverick
days --

		MAX
	-- I jump out of bed in my pajamas!
	I grab my raincoat, run down the
	stairs, run out into the middle of
	the street, flag a cab.  I jump in,
	I yell:  "Take me to the middle of
	the George Washington Bridge!" --

HOWL of LAUGHTER --

		MAX
	-- The driver turns around, he
	says:  "Don't do it, kid, you
	got your whole life ahead of you!"


The room ROCKS with LAUGHTER.  When it subsides, BOB
McDONOUGH, standing in the doorway, says:

		McDONOUGH
	Well, if you think that's funny,
	wait'll you hear this.  I've
	just come down from Frank
	Hackett's office, and he wants
	to put Howard back on the air
	tonight.  Apparently, the ratings
	jumped five points last night,
	and he wants Howard to go back
	on and do his angry-man thing.

		STEINMAN
	What're you talking about?

		McDONOUGH
	I'm telling you -- they want
	Howard to go on yelling bullshit.
	They want Howard to go on
	spontaneously letting out his
	anger, a latter-day prophet,
	denouncing the hypocrisies
	of our times --

		HOWARD
	Hey, that sounds pretty good --

		MAX
	Who's this they?

		McDONOUGH
	Hackett.  Chaney was there, the
	Legal Affairs guy, and that
	girl from Programming.

		MAX
	Christenson?  What's she got to
	do with it?

		GIANINI (in b.g.)
	You're kidding, aren't you, Bob?

		McDONOUGH
	I'm not kidding.  I told them:
	"We're running a news department
	down there, not a circus.  And
	Howard Beale isn't a bearded lady.
	And if you think I'll go along
	with this bastardization of the
	news, you can have my resignation
	along with Max Schumacher's right
	now.  And I think I'm speaking
	for Howard Beale and everybody
	else down there in News.

		HOWARD
	Hold it, McDonough, that's my
	job you're turning down.  I'll 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?

		MAX
	Do you want to be an angry prophet
	denouncing the hypocrisies of
	our times?

		HOWARD
	Yeah, I think I'd like to be
	an angry prophet denouncing
	the hypocrisies of our times.

		MAX
	Then grab it.


68.   INT. 5TH FLOOR CORRIDOR - 3:00 P.M.

MR. RUDDY, slim, slight, white-haired, imperially
elegant in banker's gray, comes down the corridor
towards Room 509.  A VIDEOTAPE MAN, popping out of one
of the rooms that debouch off this corridor, quickly
stops, stands still --

		VIDEOTAPE MAN
		(murmurs)
	Afternoon, Mr. Ruddy --

		RUDDY
		(murmurs)
	Good afternoon.

He passes on towards --


69.   INT. ROOM 509

as RUDDY enters.  The SIX SECRETARIES pecking away at
their typewriters all pause to murmur awed --

		SECRETARIES
	Good afternoon, Mr. Ruddy --
	Good afternoon, Mr. Ruddy -- etc.

--  as RUDDY passes through to --


70.   INT. MAX'S OUTER OFFICE

where MITZI (MAX'S SECRETARY), at her desk, murmurs:

		MITZI
	He's waiting for you, Mr. Ruddy --

		RUDDY
		(murmurs)
	Thank you.

He goes into --


71.   INT. MAX'S OFFICE

-- and closes the door.

		RUDDY
	Nelson Chaney tells me Beale may
	actually go on the air this evening.

		MAX
	As far as I know, Howard's going
	to do it.  Are you going to sit
	still for this, Ed?

		RUDDY
		(takes a folded piece
		of paper from his
		inside jacket pocket)
	Yes.  I think Hackett's overstepped
	himself.  There's some kind of
	corporate maneuvering going on,
	Max.  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.
	C. C. and A. would never make such
	an open act of brigandage,
	especially against the News
	Division.  They are specifically
	enjoined against any manipulation
	of the News Division in the
	consent decree.  I suspect C. C.
	and A. will be upset by Hackett's
	presumptuousness, certainly Mr.
	Jensen will.  So I'm going to let
	Hackett have his head for awhile.
	He just might lose it over this
	Beale business.
		(places the paper
		on MAX's desk)
	I'd like you to reconsider your
	resignation.
		(moves to the couch,
		sits, crosses his legs,
		murmurs)
	I have to assume Hackett wouldn't
	take such steps without some
	support on the C. C. and A. 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 certainly don't want
	Hackett's people in all the
	divisional positions.  So I'd
	like you to stay on, Max.

		MAX
	Of course, Ed.

		RUDDY
		(stands)
	Thank you, Max.

He opens the door and leaves.


72.   INT. MAX'S OFFICE - WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1 - 7:00 P.M.

MAX sitting alone behind his desk in a dark office lit
only by his desk lamp, watching the Network News Show
starring HOWARD BEALE on his office console --

		NARRATOR
	The initial response to the new
	Howard Beale was not auspicatory.
	The press was without exception
	hostile and industry reaction
	negative.  The ratings for the
	Thursday and Friday show were
	both 14 and with a 37 share,
	but Monday's rating dropped
	two points, clearly suggesting
	the novelty had worn off --

On the office console, HOWARD BEALE doesn't seem too
much different than he had always been.  He scowls,
frowns, seems to be muttering --

		NARRATOR
	-- Indeed, Howard Beale played
	his new role of latter-day
	prophet poorly.  He was, after
	all, a newsman, not an actor.
	He was uncertain, uncomfortable,
	sometimes inaudible.  The general
	feeling around the network was
	that this new Howard Beale would
	be aborted in a matter of days --


73.   INT. MAX'S OFFICE - LATER

On the office console, the Network News Show has come
to an end; the CLOSING THEME MUSIC emerges into
SOUND, and the show's CREDITS begin to roll.  MAX
clicks off the set, folds his hands on the desk and
sits glumly regarding his folded hands.  After a
moment, he becomes aware of another presence in the
room and looks to the doorway where DIANA CHRISTENSON
is standing, wearing a white blouse and dark slacks
and carrying her jacket and purse.  If we haven't
already noticed how attractive she is, we do now --
standing as she is, framed in the doorway, backlit
by the lights of the deserted common room, suddenly
sensuous, even voluptuous.

		DIANA
		(entering the office)
	Did you know there are a number
	of psychics working as licensed
	brokers on Wall Street?
		(she sits across from
		MAX, fishes a cigarette
		out of her purse)
	Some of them 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 a couple of
	weeks ago and thought of doing
	a show around her -- The Wayward
	Witch of Wall Street, something
	like that.  But, of course, if
	her tips were any good, she
	could wreck the market.  So 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 fleeting 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.

		MAX
	She does all this with Tarot cards?

		DIANA
	No, this one operates on
	parapsychology.  She has trance-
	like episodes and feels things
	in her energy field.  I think
	this lady can be very useful
	to you, Max.

		MAX
	In what way?

		DIANA
	Well, you put on news shows,
	and here's someone who can
	predict tomorrow's news for you.
	Her name, aptly enough, is Sibyl.
	Sybil the Soothsayer.  You could
	give her two minutes of trance
	at the end of a 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.

		MAX
	Maybe she could do the weather.

		DIANA
		(smiles)
	Your network news show is going
	to need some help, Max, 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 take on a
	couple of writers to write some
	jeremiads for him.  I see you
	don't fancy my suggestions.

		MAX
	Hell, you're not being serious,
	are you?

		DIANA
	Oh, I'm serious.  The fact is,
	I could make your Beale show the
	highest-rated news show in
	television, if you'd let me
	have a crack at it.

		MAX
	What do you mean, have a crack
	at it?

		DIANA
	I'd like to program it for you,
	develop it.  I wouldn't interfere
	with the actual news.  But teevee
	is show biz, Max, and even the
	News has to have a little
	showmanship.

		MAX
	My God, you are serious.

		DIANA
	I watched your six o'clock news
	today -- it's straight tabloid.
	You had a minute and a half on
	that lady riding a bike naked in
	Central Park.  On the other hand,
	you had less than a minute of
	hard national and international
	news.  It was all sex, scandal,
	brutal crimes, sports, children
	with incurable diseases and
	lost puppies.  So I don't think
	I'll listen to any protestations
	of high standards of journalism.
	You're right down in the street
	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
	network meeting, but I don't like
	network hassles, and I was hoping
	you and I could work this out
	between us.  That's why I'm here
	right now.

		MAX
		(sighs)
	And I was hoping you were looking
	for an emotional involvement with
	a craggy middle-aged man.

		DIANA
	I wouldn't rule that out entirely.

They appraise each other for a moment; clearly, there
are the possibilities of something more than a
professional relationship here.

		MAX
	Well, Diana, you bring all your
	ideas up at the meeting tomorrow.
	Because, if you don't, I will.
	I think Howard is making a goddam
	fool of himself, and so does
	everybody Howard and I know in
	this industry.  It was a fluke.
	It didn't work.  Tomorrow, Howard
	goes back to the old format and
	this gutter depravity comes
	to an end.

		DIANA
		(smiles, stands)
	Okay.

She leans forward to flick her ash into MAX's desk ash
tray.  Half-shaded as she is by the cone of light
issuing from the desk lamp, it is nipple-clear she is
bra-less, and MAX cannot help but note the assertive
swells of her body.  DIANA moves languidly to the door
and would leave but MAX suddenly says:

		MAX
	I don't get it, Diana.  You
	hung around till half-past seven
	and came all the way down here
	just to pitch a couple of loony
	show biz ideas when you knew
	goddam well I'd laugh you out
	of this office.  I don't get
	it.  What's your scam in this
	anyway?

DIANA moves back to the desk and crushes her cigarette
out in the desk tray.

		DIANA
	Max, I don't know why you
	suddenly changed your mind
	about resigning, but I do know
	Hackett's going to throw you
	out on your ass in January.
	My little visit here tonight
	was just a courtesy made out
	of respect for your stature
	in the industry and because
	I've personally admired you
	ever since I was a kid majoring
	in speech at the University of
	Missouri.  But sooner or later,
	now or in January, with or
	without you, I'm going to take
	over your network news show,
	and I figured I might as well
	start tonight.

		MAX
	I think I once gave a lecture
	at the University of Missouri.

		DIANA
	I was in the audience.  I had
	a terrible schoolgirl crush
	on you for a couple of months.

She smiles, glides to the doorway again.

		MAX
	Listen, if we can get back for
	a moment to that gypsy who
	predicted all that about
	emotional involvements and
	middle-aged men -- what're
	you doing for dinner tonight?

DIANA pauses in the doorway, and then moves back
briskly to the desk, picks up the telephone receiver,
taps out a telephone number, waits for a moment --

		DIANA
		(on phone)
	I can't make it tonight, luv,
	call me tomorrow.

She returns the receiver to its cradle, looks at MAX;
their eyes lock.

		MAX
	Do you have any favorite
	restaurant?

		DIANA
	I eat anything.

		MAX
	Son of a bitch, I get the
	feeling I'm being made.

		DIANA
	You sure are.

		MAX
	I better warn you I don't do
	anything on the first date.

		DIANA
	We'll see.

She moves for the door.  MAX stares down at his desk.

		MAX
		(mutters)
	Schmuck, what're you getting into?

He sighs, stands, flicks off his desk lamp.


74.   INT. A RESTAURANT

MAX and DIANA at the end of their dinner.  In fact,
MAX is flagging a WAITER for two coffees, black --

		DIANA
		(plying away at
		her ice cream)
	You're married, surely.

		MAX
	Twenty-six years.  I have a
	married daughter in Seattle who's
	six months pregnant, and a
	younger girl who starts at
	Northwestern in January.

		DIANA
	-- 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
	Terrified, are you?

		DIANA
		(pushes her ice cream
		away, regards him
		affably)
	Terrified out of my skull, man.
	I'm the hip generation, man,
	right on, cool, groovy, the
	greening of America, man,
	remember all that? God, what
	humbugs we were.  In my first
	year at college, I lived in a
	commune, dropped acid daily,
	joined four radical groups and
	fucked myself silly on a bare
	wooden floor while somebody
	chanted Sufi sutras.  I lost six
	weeks of my sophomore year
	because they put me away for
	trying to jump off the top floor
	of the Administration Building.
	I've been on the top floor ever
	since.  Don't open any windows
	around me because I just might
	jump out.  Am I scaring you off?

		MAX
	No.

		DIANA
	I was married for four years and
	pretended to be happy and 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.  He told
	me I was the worst lay he had
	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 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 goddam good at my
	work and so I confine myself

	to that.  All I want out of life
	is a 30 share and a 20 rating.

The WAITER brings the coffee.

		MAX
		(sipping coffee)
	The corridor gossip says you're
	Frank Hackett's backstage girl.

		DIANA
		(sipping coffee, smiles)
	I'm not.  Frank's a corporation
	man, body and soul.  He surrendered
	his spirit to C. C. and A. years
	ago.  He's a marketing-merchandising
	management machine, precision-
	tooled for corporate success.
	He's married to one C. C. and A.
	board member's daughter, he
	attends another board member's
	church, his children aged two
	and five are already enrolled
	in a third board member's alma
	mater.  He has no loves, lusts
	or allegiances that are not
	consummately directed towards
	becoming a C. C. and A. board
	member himself.  So why should
	he bother with me? I'm not
	even a stockholder.

		MAX
	How about your loves, lusts
	and allegiances?

They smile at each other.

		DIANA
	Is your wife in town?

		MAX
	Yes.

		DIANA
	Well, then, we better go to
	my place.


75.   INT. DIANA'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM

Dark.  Blinds drawn.  MAX and DIANA lying naked on a
maelstrom of sheets, both still puffing from what
must have been an ebullient bout in the sack --

		DIANA
	Wow, and you were the guy who
	kept telling me how he was going
	to be a grandfather in three
	months.

		MAX
	Hell, you were the girl who
	kept telling me what a lousy
	lay she was.

She bounces out of bed and stands naked in the shadowed
darkness, arms akimbo, looking happily down at MAX on
the bed.

		DIANA
	All right, enough of this
	love-making.  Are you going
	to let me take over your
	network news show or not?

		MAX
		(laughs)
	Forget it.  Tomorrow, Howard
	Beale goes back to being a
	straight anchorman.  I'll tell
	him first thing tomorrow morning.


76.   INT. HOWARD BEALE'S BEDROOM

HOWARD BEALE, fast asleep in his dark, empty, hushed
room.

		HOWARD
		(suddenly)
	I can't hear you.  You'll have
	to speak a little louder.

He gets up on one elbow, eyes still closed, cocks his
head as if he were listening to someone mumbling from
the rocking chair across the room.

		HOWARD
	You're kidding.  How the hell
	would I know what the truth is?

He sits up, gets out of bed, walks around and perches
on the foot of the bed, stares at the empty rocker,
nods his head as if he is following a complicated
argument --

		HOWARD
	What the hell is this, the
	burning bush?  For God's sake,
	I'm not Moses --

Whoever he thinks he is talking to apparently gets up
and crosses the room to the overstuffed chair and sits
there, since HOWARD follows this movement with his eyes
and finally gets up and perches on the side of his bed
in order to continue the curious conversation.


		HOWARD
	Why me?  I'm a deteriorating
	old man.

HOWARD listens, sighs, shrugs:

		HOWARD
	Okay.


77.   EXT. UBS BUILDING - THURSDAY, OCT. 2, 9:00 A.M. - DAY

Bright sunny day to establish the next morning.


78.   INT. ROOM 517 - NIGHTLY NEWS ROOM

MAX enters.  The usual morning hum of activity.  PHONES
RING.  HARRY HUNTER, going over some wire releases with
his HEAD WRITER, looks up as MAX approaches --

		MAX
	Howard in his office?
		(HUNTER nods)
	Harry, I'm killing this whole
	screwball angry prophet thing.
	We're going back to straight
	news as of tonight's show.

		HUNTER
	Okay.

MAX veers off for --


79.   INT. HOWARD'S OFFICE

HOWARD at his typewriter, clicking away.   MAX leans
in through the open doorway --

		MAX
	Howard, we're going back to
	straight news tonight.  You
	don't have to be the mad
	prophet any more.

HOWARD turns to regard MAX in the doorway with a sweet
smile.

		HOWARD
	I must go on with what I'm doing,
	Max.  I have been called.  This
	is my witness, and I must make it.

This gives MAX pause, to say the least.

		MAX
	You must make what, Howard?

		HOWARD
	I must make my witness.  I must
	lead the people from the waters.
	I must stay their stampede to
	the sea.

MAX takes a step into the office and closes the door.

		MAX
	You must stay their what,
	Howard?

		HOWARD
	I must stay their headlong
	suicidal stampede to the sea.

		MAX
		(regards Howard
		for a moment)
	Well, hallelujah, Howard, are
	you putting me on or have you
	flipped or what?

		HOWARD
		(serenely)
	I have heard voices, Max.

		MAX
	You have heard voices.  Swell.
	What kind of voices, Howard?
	Still small voices in the night
	or the mighty thunder of God?
	Howard, you've finally done it.
	You've gone over the edge.
	You're nuts.

		HOWARD
	I have been called.  This is
	my witness, and I must make it.

		MAX
	Not on my goddam network news
	show.

He opens the door, goes back into --


80.   INT. NIGHTLY NEWS ROOM

--  where he stops, turns and wheels back to HOWARD's
office --

		MAX
	Now, look, Howard, I'm not
	kidding around about this.
	You go back to being a straight
	anchorman tonight.  I'm the
	voice you're hearing now, and
	this voice is telling you
	we're doing a straight news
	show from now on.  Okay?

HOWARD seems not to have heard him, continues pecking
away at his typewriter.  MAX scowls, turns, exits --


81.   INT. NETWORK NEWS CONTROL ROOM

The wall CLOCK says 6:29.  The control room STAFF are
all at their posts murmuring away.  HARRY HUNTER is
on the phone --

		HUNTER
		(muttering into phone)
	Max, I'm telling you he's fine.
	He's been sharp all day, he's
	been funny as hell.  He had
	everybody cracking up at the
	rundown meeting ... I told him,
	I told him ...


82.   INT. NETWORK NEWS CONTROL ROOM - LATER

On the SHOW MONITOR, HOWARD BEALE at his desk,
shuffles his papers, looks up for his cue.  The
wall CLOCK clicks to 6:30, the DIRECTOR murmurs into
his mike.  HOWARD looks out from the screen to his
vast audience and says:

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	Last night, I was awakened from
	a fitful sleep at shortly after
	two o'clock in the morning by a
	shrill, sibilant, faceless voice
	that was sitting in my rocking
	chair.  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."  And the
	Voice said to me:  "I want you to
	tell the people the truth, not
	an easy thing to do; because the
	people don't want to know the
	truth."  I said:  "You're kidding.
	How the hell would I know what
	the truth is?"  I mean, you have
	to picture me sitting there on
	the foot of the bed talking to
	an empty rocking chair.  I said
	to myself:  "Howard, you are
	some kind of banjo-brain sitting
	here talking to an empty chair."
	But the Voice said to me:  "Don't
	worry about the truth.  I'll put
	the words in your mouth." And I
	said:  "What is this, the burning
	bush? For God's sake, I'm not
	Moses." And the Voice said to
	me:  "And I'm not God, what's
	that got to do with it --"


83.   INT. NETWORK NEWS CONTROL ROOM

HARRY HUNTER still on the phone as the rest of the
control room STAFF just sit there staring at HOWARD
on the MONITOR --

		HUNTER
		(on phone)
	What do you want me to do? --


84.   INT. MAX'S OFFICE

MAX behind his desk on his phone, chin cupped in his
right hand, staring glumly at HOWARD on his CONSOLE --

		MAX
		(on phone)
	Nothing --

		HOWARD (ON CONSOLE)
	And the Voice said to me: "We're
	not talking about eternal truth
	or absolute truth or ultimate
	truth!  We're talking about
	impermanent, transient, human
	truth!  I don't expect you people
	to be capable of truth!  But,
	goddamit, you're at least capable
	of self-preservation!  That's
	good enough!  I want you to go
	out and tell the people to
	preserve themselves -- "

		MAX
		(mutters on phone)
	Right now, I'm trying to remember
	the name of that psychiatrist
	that took care of him when his
	wife died --


85.   INT. STUDIO - NETWORK NEWS

TIGHT SHOT OF HOWARD, his voice rising, his eyes
glowing with increasing fervor --

		HOWARD
		(growing fervor)
	And I said to the Voice:  "Why me?"
	And the Voice said:  "Because
	you're on television, dummy! -- "


86.   INT. DIANA'S OFFICE

DIANA watching HOWARD on her CONSOLE --

		DIANA
	Beautiful!

		HOWARD (ON CONSOLE)
	"You have forty million Americans
	listening to you; after tonight's
	show, you could have fifty million.
	For Pete's sake, I don't expect
	you to walk the land in sackcloth
	and ashes preaching the Armageddon.
	You're on Teevee, man! -- "


87.   INT. MAX'S OFFICE

MAX, no longer on the phone, is leafing through a
loose-leaf address book --

		HOWARD (ON CONSOLE)
	So I thought about it for
	a moment --

MAX taps out a telephone number on his private line --

		HOWARD (ON CONSOLE)
	And then I said:	"Okay -- "

		MAX
		(on phone)
	Doctor Sindell? My name is Max
	Schumacher, I'm at the Union
	Broadcasting Systems, and I hope
	you remember me? I'm a friend of
	Howard Beale whom you treated for
	a few months last year --


88.   INT. FIFTH FLOOR CORRIDOR

as HOWARD and HARRY HUNTER, followed by the rest of
the control room STAFF, come out of the stairway and
head down the corridor to --


89.   INT. ROOM 517 - NIGHTLY NEWS ROOM

where HUNTER and HOWARD move towards HOWARD's office
while the rest of the control room CREW disperse to
their own desks and to exchange muttered comments with
those Nightly News PERSONNEL still at their desks.
HOWARD walks straight as a ramrod, eyes uplifted,
serene to the point of beatitude.  He and HUNTER
go into --


90.   INT. HOWARD'S OFFICE

where MAX is sitting, waiting on the couch.  He
stands --

		MAX
	Close the door, Harry --

HUNTER does so.

		MAX
	Sit down, Howard.  Howard, I'm
	taking you off the air.  I
	called your psychiatrist.

		HOWARD
		(serene, sits
		behind his desk)

	What's happening to me, Max, isn't
	mensurate in psychiatric terms.

		MAX
	I think you're having a breakdown,
	require treatment, and Dr. Sindell
	agrees.

		HOWARD
	This is not a psychotic episode.
	It is a cleansing moment of clarity.
		(stands, an imbued man)
	I am imbued, Max.  I am imbued
	with some special spirit.  It's
	not a religious feeling at all.
	It is a shocking eruption of
	great electrical energy:  I feel
	vivid and flashing as if suddenly
	I had been plugged into some great
	cosmic electromagnetic field.  I
	feel connected to all living
	things, to flowers, birds, to
	all the animals of the world
	and even to some great unseen
	living force, what I think
	the Hindus call prana.

He stands rigidly erect, his eyes staring mindlessly
out, his face revealing the anguish of so transcendental
a state.

		HOWARD
	It is not a breakdown.  I have
	never felt so 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 of such loveliness!
	I feel on the verge of some
	great ultimate truth.

He stares haggardly at MAX, his breath coming with
great difficulty now; he shouts:

		HOWARD
	You will not take me off the air
	for now or for any other
	spaceless time!

He promptly falls in a dead swoon onto the floor.

		MAX
		(hurrying to his friend's
		prostrate form)
	Jesus Christ --

		HUNTER
		(from the door)
	Is he okay?

		MAX
		(bent over HOWARD)
	He's breathing anyway.  I'll
	have to take him to my house
	again for the night --

A CRASH OF THUNDER --


91.   INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT

THUNDER CRASHES outside.  RAIN pelts against the
windows.  The room is dark.  MAX and his wife, LOUISE,
are fast asleep in their hushed room.  CAMERA PANS,
DOLLIES slowly out of the bedroom and into --


92.   INT. LIVING ROOM

Dark, hushed, sleeping.  HOWARD is asleep on the living
room couch.  Or rather he was asleep, for he now slowly
sits up, then stands in his borrowed pajamas, goes to
the hall closet, fetches out a raincoat, unchains,
unbolts and unlocks the front door of the apartment,
and goes out --


93.   EXT. A STREET IN THE EAST 60'S - OVERCAST DAY
FRIDAY , OCTOBER 3 - 7:30 A.M.

Another CRASH and RUMBLE of THUNDER.  RAIN slashes
through the streets.  The sky is dark and lowering --


94.   INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM

ALARM CLOCK BUZZING.  MRS. LOUISE SCHUMACHER, a
handsome matron of 50, clicks it off and gets out of
bed.  MAX turns in the bed, sleeps on.  THUNDER and
RAIN O.S.  LOUISE starts sleepily for the bathroom,
pauses, then goes out into the --


INT. BACK HALLWAY

--  and down that to --


INT. LIVING ROOM

--  where she stands, frowning.  The couch, which had
been made up for a bed, has clearly been slept in
but is now empty.  She looks back up the hallway to
the guest bathroom.  The door is open, and there is
obviously nobody in the bathroom.  She pads across
the living room-dining room area and pokes her head
into the kitchen, and then back to the back hallway,
pauses a moment outside her daughter's closed bedroom
door, opens it, looks in, closes it and then returns
to --


INT. THE BEDROOM

She sits on MAX's side of the bed, shakes him awake.

		LOUISE
	Wake up, Max, because Howard's
	gone.  I'll make you some coffee.

She moves off.

		MAX
		(mutters)
	Shit.

He slowly sits up.


95.   INT. FRANK HACKETT'S OFFICE

HACKETT in a rage, shouting at MAX slumped in a soft
chair.  Others in the room are DIANA and HERB
THACKERAY.

		HACKETT
	What do you mean you don't know
	where he is? The son of a bitch
	is a hit, goddammit!  Over two
	thousand phone calls!  Go down
	to the mailroom!  As of this
	minute, over fourteen thousand
	telegrams!  The response is
	sensational!  Herb, tell him! --

THACKERAY starts to tell him, but HACKETT roars on --

		HACKETT
	Herb's phone hasn't stopped
	ringing!  Every goddam affiliate
	from Albuquerque to Sandusky!
	The response is sensational!

The PHONE RINGS, HACKETT seizes it.

		HACKETT
	What?  ... All right

He hangs up, snaps at THACKERAY --

		HACKETT
	It's your office, Herb.  You
	better get back there.

THACKERAY exits.  HACKETT roars on --

		HACKETT
	Moldanian called me!  Joe
	Donnelly called me!  We've got
	a goddam hit, goddam it!  Diana,
	show him the Times!  We even
	got an editorial in the holy
	goddam New York Times.  "A Call
	to Morality!" That crazy son of
	a bitch, Beale, has caught on!
	So don't tell me you don't know
	where he is!

		MAX
		(roaring back)
	I don't know where he is!  He
	may be jumping off a roof for
	all I know.  The man is insane.
	He's no longer responsible for
	himself.  He needs care and
	treatment.  And all you
	grave-robbers care about is
	he's a hit!

		DIANA
	You know, Max, it's just possible
	that he isn't insane, that he is,
	in fact, imbued with some special
	spirit.

		MAX
	My God, I'm supposed to be
	the romantic; you're supposed
	to be the hard-bitten realist!

		DIANA
	All right.  Howard Beale obviously
	fills a void.  The audience out
	there 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 even a 60 share.  Howard
	Beale is processed instant God,
	and right now it looks like he
	may just go over bigger than
	Mary Tyler Moore.

		MAX
	I'm not putting Howard back on
	the air.

		DIANA
	It's not your show any more,
	Max, it's mine.

		MAX
	You're nuts.  You're nuttier
	than Howard.

		HACKETT
	I gave her the show, Schumacher.
	I'm putting the network news show
	under programming.  Mr. Ruddy
	has had a mild 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 leave word with the
	security guards to throw you
	out if you're still here.

		MAX
	Well, let's just say, fuck you,
	Hackett.  You want me out, you're
	going to have to drag me out
	kicking and screaming.  And the
	whole news division will walk
	out kicking and screaming with
	me.

		HACKETT
	You think they're going to quit
	their jobs for you.  Not in
	this depression, buddy.

		MAX
	When Ruddy gets back, he'll
	have your ass.

		HACKETT
	I got a hit, Schumacher, and Ruddy
	doesn't count any more.  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 any more.  If he wants to take
	me up before the C.C. and A. board,
	let him.  And do you think Ruddy's
	stupid enough to go to the CCA board
	and say:  "I'm taking our one hit
	show off the air?"  And comes
	November Fourteen, I'm going to be
	standing up there at the annual CCA
	management review meeting, and I'm
	going to announce projected earnings
	for this network for the first time
	in five years.  And, believe me, Mr.
	Jensen will be sitting there rocking
	back and forth in his little chair,
	and he's going to say:  "That's very
	good, Frank, keep it up."  So don't
	have any illusions about who's
	running this network from now on.
	You're fired.  I want you out of
	your office before noon or I'll
	have you thrown out.
		(to DIANA)
	And you go along with this?

		DIANA
	Well, Max, I told you I didn't
	want a network hassle over this.
	I told you I'd much rather work
	the Beale show out just between
	the two of us.

		MAX
		(stands)
	Well, let's just say, fuck you
	too, honey.
		(to HACKETT)
	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.

		HACKETT
	You get your psychiatrists,
	and I'll get mine.

		MAX
		(heading for the door)
	I'm going to spread this whole
	reeking business in every paper
	and on every network, independent,
	group, and affiliated station in
	this country.  I'm going to make
	a lot of noise about this.

		HACKETT
	Great!  we need all the press
	we can get.


MAX exits.  HACKETT clicks his intercom.

		HACKETT
		(on intercom)
	Get me Mr. Cabell --
		(to DIANA)
	Something going on between
	you and Schumacher?

		DIANA
		(sighs)
	Not any more.

		HACKETT
		(his PHONE BUZZES,
		he picks it up)
	Tom, Howard Beale has disappeared.
	Tell Harriman to prepare a big
	statement for the news media.
	And call the cops and tell them
	to find the crazy son of a bitch --


96.   EXT. UBS BUILDING - SIXTH AVENUE - NIGHT - 6:40 P.M.

THUNDER CRASHES -- RAIN lashes the street.  PEDESTRIANS

struggle against the slashing rain.  The streets gleam
wetly, the heavy TRAFFIC heading uptown crushes and
HONKS along, erratic enfilades of headlights in the
shiny, black streets --


97.   CLOSER ANGLE


of entrance to UBS Building.  HOWARD BEALE, wearing a
coat over his pajamas, drenched to the skin, his mop of
gray hair plastered in streaks to his brow, hunched
against the rain, climbs the steps and pushes the glass
door at the entrance and goes into --


98.   INT. UBS BUILDING - LOBBY

TWO SECURITY GUARDS at the desk watch HOWARD pass --

		SECURITY GUARD
	How do you Mr. Beale?

HOWARD stops, turns, stares haggardly at the SECURITY
GUARD.

		HOWARD
		(mad as a loon)
	I have to make my witness.

		SECURITY GUARD
		(an agreeable fellow)
	Sure thing, Mr. Beale.

HOWARD plods off to the elevators.


99.   INT. NETWORK NEWS CONTROL ROOM

Murmured, efficient activity as in previous scenes.
DIANA stands in the back in the shadows.  On the SHOW
MONITOR, JACK SNOWDEN, BEALE's replacement, has been
doing the news straight --

		SNOWDEN (ON MONITOR)
	...  Oil ministers of the OPEC
	nations meeting in Vienna still
	haven't decided how much more to
	increase the price of oil next
	Wednesday.  Iran and some of the
	Arab states want to jack up the
	price by as much as twenty
	percent --

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
	Five seconds --

		TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
	Twenty-five in Vienna --

		DIRECTOR
	And ... two --

		SNOWDEN (ON MONITOR)
	The Saudi Arabians are being more
	cautious.  They just want a ten per-
	cent increase.  More on that story
	from Edward Fletcher in Vienna --

All this is UNDER and OVERLAPPED by HARRY HUNTER
answering a BUZZ on his phone --

		HUNTER
		(on phone)
	Yeah? ... Okay --
		(hangs up, to DIANA)
	He came in the building about
	five minutes ago.

		PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
	Ten seconds coming to one --

		DIANA
	Tell Snowden if he comes in the
	studio to let him go on.

		HUNTER
		(to the STAGE MANAGER)
	Did you get that, Paul?

The STAGE MANAGER nods, passes on the instructions to his
A.D. on the studio floor.  On the SHOW MONITOR, we see
footage of the OPEC Vienna meeting. Lots of Arab headdresses
and bearded Levantine faces at conference tables, and we are
hearing the VOICE of Edward Fletcher in Vienna --

		FLETCHER (ON MONITOR)
	This has probably been the most divisive
	meeting the oil-producing states have
	ever had.  The thirteen nations of OPEC
	have still not been able to decide by
	how much to increase the price of oil --

On the SHOW MONITOR, the footage flicks to Sheik Zaki Yamani
being interviewed by a corps of correspondents outside the
meeting hall --

		FLETCHER (V.O.)
	Saudi Arabian oil minister Sheik Zaki
	Yamani flew to London yesterday for
	further consultations with his government.
	He returned to the Vienna meetings today--

Nobody in the control room is paying too much attention
to Yamani, they are all watching the double bank of
black-and-white monitors which show HOWARD BEALE
entering the studio, drenched, hunched, staring gauntly
off into his own space, moving with single-minded
purpose across the studio floor past cameras and
ASSISTANT DIRECTORS, CAMERAMEN, SOUND MEN, ELECTRICIANS
and ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS, to his desk which is being
vacated for him by JACK SNOWDEN.  On the SHOW MONITOR,
the film clip of Yamani has come to an end.

		ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
	Ready 2.


		DIRECTOR
	Take 2.

-- and, suddenly, the obsessed face of HOWARD BEALE,
gaunt, haggard, red-eyed with unworldly fervor, hair
streaked and plastered on his brow, manifestly mad,
fills the MONITOR SCREEN.

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	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 a
	gun under the counter, punks
	are running wild in the streets,
	and there's nobody anywhere who
	seems to know what to do, and
	there's no end to it.  We know
	the air's unfit to breathe and
	our food is unfit to eat, and
	we sit and watch our tee-vees
	while some local newscaster
	tells us today we had fifteen
	homicides and sixty-three
	violent crimes, as if that's
	the way it's supposed to be.
	We all know things are bad.
	Worse than bad.  They're crazy.
	It's like everything's going
	crazy.  So we don't go out any
	more.  We sit in the house, and
	slowly the world we live in
	gets smaller, and all we ask is

	please, at least leave us alone
	in our own living rooms.  Let me
	have my toaster and my tee-vee
	and my hair-dryer and my steel-
	belted radials, and I won't say
	anything, just leave us alone.
	Well, I'm not going to leave you
	alone.  I want you to get mad --

ANOTHER ANGLE showing the rapt attention of the PEOPLE
in the control room, especially of DIANA --

		HOWARD
	I don't want you to riot.  I
	don't want you to protest.  I
	don't want you to write your
	congressmen.  Because I wouldn't
	know what to tell you to write.
	I don't know what to do about the
	depression and the inflation and
	the defense budget and the Russians
	and crime in the street.  All
	I know is first you got to get
	mad.  You've got to say:  "I'm
	mad as hell and I'm not going
	to take this any more.  I'm a
	human being, goddammit.  My life
	has value."  So I want you to
	get up now.  I want you to get
	out of your chairs and go to
	the window.  Right now.  I want
	you to go to the window, open
	it, and stick your head out
	and yell.  I want you to yell:
	"I'm mad as hell and I'm not
	going to take this any more!"

		DIANA
		(grabs HUNTER's
		shoulder)
	How many stations does this
	go out live to?

		HUNTER
	Sixty-seven.  I know it goes out
	to Atlanta and Louisville,
	I think --

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	-- Get up from your chairs.
	Go to the window.  Open it.
	Stick your head out and yell
	and keep yelling --

But DIANA has already left the control room and is
scurrying down --


100.  INT. CORRIDOR

-- yanking doors open, looking for a phone, which
she finds in --


101.  INT. AN OFFICE

		DIANA
		(seizing the phone)
	Give me Stations Relations --
		(the call goes through)
	Herb, this is Diana Christenson,
	are you watching because I want
	you to call every affiliate
	carrying this live --
	I'll be right up --


102.  INT. ELEVATOR AREA - FIFTEENTH FLOOR

DIANA bursts out of the just-arrived elevator and
strides down to where a clot of EXECUTIVES and OFFICE
PERSONNEL are blocking an open doorway.  DIANA pushes
through to --


103.  INT. THACKERAY'S OFFICE - STATIONS RELATIONS

HERB THACKERAY on the phone, staring up at HOWARD
BEALE on his wall monitor --

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
	-- First, you have to get mad.
	When you're mad enough --

Both THACKERAY'S SECRETARY's office and his own office
are filled with his STAFF.  The Assistant VP Station
Relations, a 32-year-old fellow named RAY PITOFSKY,
is at the SECRETARY's desk, also on the phone.  Another
ASSISTANT VP is standing behind him on the SECRETARY's
other phone --

		DIANA
		(shouting to THACKERAY)
	Whom are you talking to?

		THACKERAY
	WCGG, Atlanta --

		DIANA
	Are they yelling in Atlanta,
	Herb?

		HOWARD (ON CONSOLE)
	-- we'll figure out what to do
	about the depression --

		THACKERAY
		(on phone)
	Are they yelling in Atlanta,
	Ted?


104.  INT. GENERAL MANAGER'S OFFICE - UBS AFFILIATE - ATLANTA


The GENERAL MANAGER of WCGG, Atlanta, a portly
58-year-old man, is standing by the open windows of his
office, staring out into the gathering dusk, holding
his phone.  The station is located in an Atlanta
suburb, but from far off across the foliage
surrounding the station, there can be heard a faint
RUMBLE.  On his office console, HOWARD BEALE is
saying --

		HOWARD (ON CONSOLE)
	-- and the inflation and the oil
	crisis --

		GENERAL MANAGER
		(into phone)
	Herb, s0 help me, I think they're
	yelling --


105.  INT. THACKERAY'S OFFICE

		PITOFSKY
		(at SECRETARY's desk,
		on the phone)
	They're yelling in Baton Rouge.

DIANA grabs the phone from him and listens to the
people of Baton Rouge yelling their anger in the
streets --

		HOWARD (ON CONSOLE)
	-- Things have got to change.
	But you can't change them unless
	you're mad.  You have to get mad.
	Go to the window --

		DIANA
		(gives phone back to
		PITOFSKY; her eyes
		glow with excitement)
	The next time somebody asks you
	to explain what ratings are,
	you tell them:  that's ratings!
		(exults)
	Son of a bitch, we struck the
	mother lode!


106.  INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM

MAX, MRS. SCHUMACHER, and their 17-year-old daughter,
CAROLINE, watching the Network News Show --

		HOWARD (ON THE SET)
	-- Stick your head out and yell.
	I want you to yell:  "I'm mad
	as hell and I'm not going to
	take this any more!"

CAROLINE gets up from her chair and heads for the
living room window.

		LOUISE SCHUMACHER
	Where are you going?

		CAROLINE
	I want to see if anybody's
	yelling.

		HOWARD (ON TV SET)
	Right now. Get up. Go to
	your window --


107.  INT./EXT. MAX'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM

CAROLINE opens the window and looks out on the
rain-swept streets of the upper East Side, the
bulking, anonymous apartment houses and the occasional
brownstones.  It is thunder dark; a distant clap of
THUNDER CRASHES somewhere off and LIGHTNING shatters
the dank darkness.  In the sudden HUSH following the
thunder, a thin voice down the block can be heard
shouting:

		THIN VOICE (O.S.)
	I'm mad as hell and I'm not
	going to take this any morel

		HOWARD (ON TV SET)
	-- open your window --

MAX joins his daughter at the window.  RAIN sprays
against his face --


108.  MAX'S P.O.V.

He sees occasional windows open, and, just across
from his apartment house, a MAN opens the front door
of a brownstone --

		MAN
		(shouts)
	I'm mad as hell and I'm not
	going to take this any more!

OTHER SHOUTS are heard.  From his twenty-third floor
vantage point, MAX sees the erratic landscape of
Manhattan buildings for some blocks, and, silhouetted
HEADS in window after window, here, there, and then
seemingly everywhere, SHOUTING out into the slashing
black RAIN of the streets --

		VOICES
	I'm mad as hell and I'm not
	going to take this any morel

A terrifying enormous CLAP of natural THUNDER, followed
by a frantic brilliant FULGURATION of LIGHTNING; and now
the gathering CHORUS of scattered SHOUTS seems to be
coming from the whole, huddled, black horde of the
city's people, SCREAMING together in fury, an
indistinguishable tidal roar of human rage as formidable
as the natural THUNDER again ROARING, THUNDERING,
RUMBLING above.  It sounds like a Nuremberg rally, the
air thick and trembling with it --


109.  FULL SHOT - MAX

standing with his DAUGHTER by the open terrace window-
doors, RAIN spraying against them, listening to the
stupefying ROARS and THUNDERING rising from all around
him.  He closes his eyes, sighs, there's nothing he
can do about it any more, it's out of his hands.


110.  EXT. LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - WEDNESDAY,
OCTOBER 16 - 12:00 NOON - DAY

A jumbo 747 touches down at L.A. Airport --

		NARRATOR
	By mid-October, the Howard Beale
	show had settled in at a 42
	share, more than equaling all
	the other network news shows
	combined --


111.  AIRPORT - LATER

DIANA and BARBARA SCHLESINGER, carrying attach, cases,
scripts, hand baggage, deplane --

		NARRATOR
	In the September rating book,
	the Howard Beale show was listed
	as the fourth highest-rated show
	of the month, surpassed only by
	All in the Family, Rhoda, and
	Chico and the Man -- a phenomenal

	state of affairs for a news
	program --


112.  EXT. UBS BUILDING - L.A. - DAY

A towering glass building on Santa Monica Boulevard.
IDENTIFY.

		NARRATOR
	And, on October the Sixteenth,
	Diana Christenson flew to Los
	Angeles --


113.  INT. WEST COAST UBS BUILDING - A CONFERENCE ROOM

DIANA at a luncheon meeting (sandwiches and containers
of coffee), with her West Coast Programming
Department --

		NARRATOR
	-- for what the trade calls
	pow-wows and confabs with her
	West Coast programming execs --

These are FOUR MEN and TWO WOMEN; GLENN KOSSOFF and
BARBARA SCHLESINGER; the THREE OTHER MEN are the
Assistant VP Program Development West Coast, Head
of the Story Department West Coast, and a MAN from
Audience Research; the WOMAN is VP Daytime Programming
West Coast.  They are all sitting around a typical
mod-shaped conference table except for DIANA who is
moving towards a large display board at the far end
of the table stretching the length of the wall.  This
is an improvised programming "board".  It shows --
through movable heavy cardboard pieces -- what all
four networks have on by the half hour for all seven
days of the week --

		DIANA
	Wednesday night looks weak on
	all three of the other networks
	for next September, so we
	concentrate on Wednesday night.
	We're going to expand the Howard
	Beale show to an hour in
	January, which'll give us a
	hell of a lead-in to eight
	o'clock.  So, on Wednesday
	nights, I want to follow that
	with two strong dramatic hours,
	no sit-coms, nothing lightweight --

BILL HERRON pokes his head into the room --

		HERRON
		(to DIANA)
	I've got Laureen Hobbs' lawyer
	on the phone.  Is five-thirty okay,
	and where would you like to meet,
	here or at the hotel?

		DIANA
		(to SCHLESINGER)
	Let's put Hy Norman at five --
		(to HERRON)
	Five-thirty is fine, and at my
	office, if they don't mind.
		(back to her "board"
		and her exhortation
		to the programming
		people)
	-- What I want right now are movies
	of the week we can use for pilots.
	I want five movies of the week ready
	by March at the outside, preferably
	sooner --


114.  INT. UBS BUILDING WEST COAST - DIANA'S OFFICE

An utterly bland office kept for visiting firemen.
DIANA is behind the desk.  BARBARA SCHLESINGER is
sitting on the couch.  GLENN KOSSOFF is ushering TWO
GENTLEMEN out, spots someone in the outer office --

		KOSSOFF
		(to anteroom)
	Hy, come on in --

He ushers in a silver-haired, suntanned, fresh-from-
the-tennis-court man dressed in California elegance,
rakish blazer, archetype of all L.A. television pack-
agers -- HY NORMAN --

		KOSSOFF
	Hy, I think you know Barbara
	Schlesinger, but I don't know
	if you know Diana Christenson --

		NORMAN
		(sinking casually into
		the visitor's chair,
		crossing his legs,
		flashing a fully-capped
		set of teeth)
	As a matter of fact, I think we
	met during the 1972 McGovern-for-
	President campaign, of which, I
	am proud to say, I was a principal
	fund raiser --

		DIANA
		(leaning across the desk
		to shake his hand)
	No, I'm afraid not.  Now, Hy, we're
	running a little late, so I'd like
	to get right to it.  I have an idea
	for an hour television series, and
	I'd like to lay it in your lap.
	Here's the back-up story.  The hero
	is white-collar middle-class, an
	architect, aviation engineer,
	anything, a decent law-abiding
	man.  He lives with his wife and
	daughter in a large city.  His
	wife and daughter are raped and
	he's mugged.  He appeals to the
	police, but their hands are tied
	by the Warren Court decisions.
	There's nothing but pornography
	in the movies, and vandals bomb
	his church. The animals are
	taking over.  So he decides to
	take the law into his own hands.
	He buys a gun, practices till he's
	an expert.  He takes up karate,
	becomes a black belt, an adept in
	Kung Fu and all the other martial
	arts.  Now, he starts walking the
	streets of the city, decoying muggers
	into preying on him.  He kung fu's
	them all.  Pretty soon, he's joined
	by a couple of neighbors. What
	we've got now is a vigilante group.
	That's the name of the show -- the
	Vigilantes.  The idea is, if the
	law won't protect the decent people,
	they have to take the law into their
	own hands.

		NORMAN
	That may be he most fascistic idea
	I've heard in years.

		DIANA
	Right.

		NORMAN
	And a shameless steal from a movie
	called "Death Wish."

		DIANA
	I know.  And, so far, "Death Wish"
	has grossed seventeen million domes-
	tic.  It obviously struck a pulse in
	Americans.  I want to strike the
	same pulse.  Now, let me finish, Hy.
	The format is simple.  Every week a
	crime is committed, and the police
	are helpless to deal with it.  The
	victim turns to our group of vigi-
	lantes.  What the hell, it's FBI,
	Mission Impossible, Kojack, except
	the heroes are ordinary citizens,
	your neighbors and mine.

		NORMAN
		(standing)
	I find the whole thing repulsive.

		DIANA
	You give me a pilot script we can
	use as a movie of the week for
	January, and I'll commit to twelve
	segments on the basis of that script.

		NORMAN
		(turns)
	You'll commit on the basis of the
	pilot script?

		DIANA
	That's what I said.  That's a three
	million dollar commitment.  I figure
	you could skim a quarter of a million
	for yourself out of that.  Of course,
	we all know you're a highly principled

	political liberal, and you may find
	this kind of show repulsive --

		NORMAN
		(slowly sitting again)
	Well -- not necessarily.  I deplore
	vigilante tactics, of course, but
	the vigilante tradition is a profound,
	even proud tradition in the American
	social fabric.  This sort of program
	also offers opportunities for coming
	to grips with the burning issues of
	our times, to do meaningful drama and
	at the same time providing mass enter-
	tainment --

		DIANA
	Beautiful, Hy.

		NORMAN
	Who do I talk numbers with,
	Charlie Kinkaid?

		DIANA
	Right.  I'll call Charlie and tell
	him we'll go to forty thousand
	for the first script.  If you come
	in with anything good, Hy, I'll
	slot you on Wednesday nights at
	eight coming right off the Howard
	Beale Show, and that's the best
	lead-in you'll ever get.

NORMAN opens the door to leave, looks out into the
outer office, closes the door, turns to DIANA.

		NORMAN
	Is that Laureen Hobbs out there?
	What the hell is Laureen Hobbs
	doing out there?

		DIANA
	We're going to put the Communist
	Party on prime-time television, Hy.

		NORMAN
	I wouldn't doubt it for a minute.


115.  DIANA'S OFFICE - LATER

He opens the door and goes out.  On his heels, GLENN
KOSSOFF is already ushering in BILL HERRON, LAUREEN
HOBBS, (a handsome black woman of 35 in Afro and
dashiki); SAM HAYWOOD, (late 50's, a shaggy, unkempt
lawyer in the Clarence Darrow tradition, galluses,
string-tie, folksy drawl and all).; a younger lawyer,
ROBERT MURPHY, (early 30's, Harvard intellectual type);
and THREE AGENTS from the William Morris Office named
LENNIE, WALLIE and ED, (all in their mid-30's, all
wearing trim blue suits and all indistinguishable from
each other).  DIANA rises to greet them, extends her
hand to LAUREEN HOBBS --

		DIANA
	Christ, you brought half the William
	Morris West Coast office with you.
	I'm Diana Christenson, a racist lackey
	of the imperialist ruling circles.

		LAUREEN
	I'm Laureen Hobbs, a bad-ass Commie
	nigger.


		DIANA
	Sounds like the basis of a firm
	friendship.
		(to KOSSOFF)
	We're going to need more chairs --

In b.g., meanwhile, SCHLESINGER is exchanging hellos
with the THREE WILLIAM MORRIS AGENTS and is being
introduced to the LAWYERS and looking at baby pictures
proffered to her by one of the agents.  It's all jolly
as hell, a lot of chuckling and smiling --

		SCHLESINGER
		(in b.g.)
	Anybody want coffee?

		LENNIE
	Black with Sucaryl --

KOSSOFF and a SECRETARY are hauling in chairs --

		LAUREEN
		(introducing to DIANA)
	This is my lawyer, Sam Haywood,
	and his associate, Robert Murphy --

Handshakes, nods, smiles, everybody begins to sit.  The
SECRETARY goes around taking coffee orders

		HAYWOOD
		(an old union lawyer,
		given to peroration)
	Well, MS. Christenson, just what
	the hell's this all about?  Because
	when a national television
	network in the person of bubby
	here --
		(indicates HERRON)
	-- comes to me and says he wants
	to put the ongoing struggle of the
	oppressed masses on prime-time
	television, I have to regard this
	askance --

More chairs are brought in.  DIANA would answer HAYWOOD
but he booms along, beginning to hit his stride

		HAYWOOD
	I have to figure this as an
	antithetical distraction.  The
	thesis here, if you follow me, is
	that the capitalist state is in a
	terminal condition now, and the
	anti- thesis is the maturation of
	the fascist state, and when the
	correlative appendages of the
	fascist state come and say to me
	they want to give the revolution a
	weekly hour of prime-time
	television, I've got to figure this
	is preventive co-optation, right? --

The necessary chairs are in by now, and everyone is
seated. The SECRETARY has gone off to fetch the coffee.
A sudden HUSH follows HAYWOOD's Hegelian instruction,
and DIANA would answer, but HAYWOOD is now center-stage,
into the full swell of rhetoric --

		HAYWOOD
	The ruling classes are running
	scared, right?  You turned the full
	force of your cossack cops and
	paramilitary organs of repression
	against us.  But now the slave masters
	hear the rumble of revolution in their
	ears.  So you have no alternative but
	to co-opt us.  Put us on teevee and
	pull our fangs.  And we're supposed
	to sell out, right?  For your gang-
	stergold? Well, we're not going to
	sell out, baby!  You can take your
	fascist teevee and shove it right
	up your paramilitary ass!  I'm here
	to tell you, we don't sell out!  We
	don't want your gold!  We're not
	going on your teevee!

A moment of HUSH, in which everybody digests this opening
statement.

		DIANA
		(sighs, mutters)
	Oh, shit, Mr. Haywood, if you're not
	interested in my offer, why the hell
	did you bring two lawyers and three
	agents from the William Morris office
	along?

		MURPHY
		(Mr. Cool)
	What Mr. Haywood was saying, Ms.
	Christenson, was that our client,
	Ms. Hobbs, wants it up front that
	the political content of the show
	has to be entirely in her control.

		DIANA
	She can have it.  I don't give a
	damn about the political content.

		WALLIE
	What kind of show'd you have in
	mind, Diana?

		DIANA
	We're interested in doing a weekly
	dramatic series based on the Ecumen-
	ical Liberation Army, and I'll tell
	you what the first show has to be --
	a two-hour special on Mary Ann Gifford.
	We open this two-hour special with
	that bank rip-off footage, which is
	terrific stuff, and then we tell
	the story of how a rich young heiress
	like Mary Ann Gifford becomes a
	flaming revolutionary.  Would you
	people be interested in making such
	a movie for us?

Everybody looks to LAUREEN HOBBS.

		LAUREEN
	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 cele-
	brating historically deviational
	terrorism.

		DIANA
	Even better.  I see the story this
	way. Poor little rich girl kid-
	napped by ultra-left sect.  She
	falls in love with the leader of
	the gang, converts to his irrespon-
	sible violence.  But then she meets
	you, understands the true nature of
	the ongoing people's struggle for
	a better society, and, in an emotion-
	drenched scene, she leaves her devia-
	tional lover and dedicates herself to
	you and the historical inevitability
	of the socialist state.

		LAUREEN
		(smiles)
	That would be better, of course.

		ED
	What kind of numbers are we talking,
	Diana?

		DIANA
	We'll give you our top deal, which
	I think is two fifteen and twenty-
	five.  You'll have to talk to
	Charlie Kinkaid about that.  But
	as long as we're talking series
	now, I'll tell you what I want.
	I want a lot more film like the
	bank rip-off the Ecumenicals sent
	in.  The way I see this series is
	every week we open with the authen-
	tic footage of an act of political
	terrorism, taken on the spot and
	in the actual moment; then we go
	into the drama behind the opening
	film footage.  That's your job, Ms.
	Hobbs.  You've got to get the
	Ecumenicals to bring in that film
	for us.  The network can't deal
	with them directly.  They are,
	after all, wanted criminals.

		LAUREEN
	The Ecumenicals are an undisciplined
	ultra-left gang, and the leader is
	an eccentric to say the least.  He
	calls himself the Great Ahmed Khan
	and wears a hussar's shako.

		DIANA
	Ms. Hobbs, I'm offering you an hour

	of prime-time television every week
	into which you can stick whatever
	propaganda you want.  We're talking
	about thirty to fifty million people
	a shot.  That's a lot better than
	handing out mimeographed pamphlets
	on ghetto street corners.

		LAUREEN
	I'll have to take this matter to
	the Central Committee, and I'd
	better check this out with the
	Great Ahmed Khan.

		DIANA
	I'll be in L.A. until Saturday, and
	I'd like to get this thing rolling.
		(smiles at SCHLESINGER,
		HERRON and KOSSOFF)
	That's going to be our Wednesday
	night.  Seven to eight -- Howard
	Beale; eight to nine -- the
	Vigilantes; nine to ten -- the Mao
	Tse Tung Hour.

		KOSSOFF
	God, fascism and the revolution all
	on one night.

		DIANA
		(tired, rubs her eyes)
	I suppose that's what's called
	balanced programming.


116.   EXT. A SMALL ISOLATED FARMHOUSE IN ENCINO - NIGHT

LAUREEN HOBBS, sitting on the stoop of the front porch
talking to another member of the Central Committee,
a middle-aged white man named WITHERSPOON.  The door
behind them opens, and DOWLING, a young white man in
his 20's, wearing a fatigue jacket and torn Levi's and
dark sunglasses, pokes his head out:

		DOWLING
	Okay --

LAUREEN and WITHERSPOON rise, go up the steps and
follow DOWLING into --


117.  INT. THE ECUMENICALS' HEADQUARTERS - ENTRANCE FOYER

Dark.  An absolute shambles.  Cartons, crates, news-
papers and scraps of food have been littered about.
A young black man, WATKINS, (early 20's, standing on
the stairway to the second floor holding an army rifle),
watches LAUREEN and WITHERSPOON following DOWLING, and
himself follows them into --


118.  INT. DINING ROOM

-- or what had been the dining room.  A naked overhead
BULB is the only light in here.  Sitting on a wooden
folding chair is the GREAT AHMED KHAN, a powerful,
brooding black man in his early 30's.  He wears a
hussar's shako and the crescent moon of the Midianites
hanging pendant around his neck.  The chair he sits on
is the only visible piece of furniture.  There are two
tattered sleeping bags on the floor, part of a general
welter of torn newspapers, empty grocery bags, ham-
burger leftovers, etc.  The walls are bare except for
blowups of Che Guevara, Mao, Marlon Brando and Jane
Fonda, scotch-taped to the torn wall-paper.  Cartons
and crates here and there, automatic guns leaning
against the walls.  Boxes of ammunition and grenades

and mortar shells stacked against a wall.  In atten-
dance on the GREAT AHMED KHAN is a young black woman
in her late 20's, named JENKINS, and a young white
woman in her early 20's, MARY ANN GIFFORD, who is a
fire-eating militant with a bandolier of cartridges
across her torn shirt and with a B.A.R. held in her
hands.  LAUREEN pulls up an empty crate, sits, waves
a limp hand of hello to the others and regards the
GREAT KHAN --


		LAUREEN
	Well, Ahmed, you ain't going to
	believe this, but I'm going to
	make a teevee star out of you.
	Just like Archie Bunker.  You're
	going to be a household word.

		AHMED
	What the fuck are you talking about?

MUSIC: A RATAPLAN OF KETTLEDRUMS AND A TARANTARA OF
TRUMPETS.


119.  INT. UBS BUILDING - NEW YORK - A CONTROL ROOM - MONDAY,
JANUARY 27, 1975

Everybody murmuring away --

		DIRECTOR
		(murmurs into mike)
	-- and one --

The Show Monitor cuts to a beaming ANNOUNCER --

		ANNOUNCER
	Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear
	it -- how do you feel?

SHOW MONITOR now shows packed AUDIENCE happily roaring:

		AUDIENCE
		(roaring out)
	We're mad as hell, and we're not
	going to take this any more!


120.  INT. THE STUDIO

The ANNOUNCER beaming away in front of a curtain --

		ANNOUNCER
	Ladies and Gentlemen!  The Network
	News Hour! --


121.  INT. CONTROL ROOM

The SHOW MONITOR --

		ANNOUNCER (ON MONITOR)
	-- with Sybil the Soothsayer, Jim
	Webbing and his It's-the-Emmes-
	Truth Department, Miss Mata Hari
	tonight another segment of Vox
	Populi, and starring --

MUSIC:   A FLOURISH OF DRUMS.

		ANNOUNCER
	-- the mad prophet of the airways,
	Howard Beale! --

MUSIC: A FULL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA SOARS INTO AN
IMPERIAL CRESCENDO --


122.  INT. THE STUDIO

-- as the HOUSE LIGHTS go to BLACK.  The curtain slowly
rises.  An absolutely bare stage except for one stained
glass window, suspended by wires high above stage left
through which shoots an overpowering SHAFT of LIGHT
as if emanating from heaven.  HOWARD BEALE, in an
austere black suit with black tie shambles on from the
wings, finds the SPOTLIGHT and stands there for a moment
shielding his eyes from the blinding light.  TUMULTUOUS
APPLAUSE from the AUDIENCE.

		HOWARD
		(erupts into a Savonarola-
		type tirade)
	Edward George Ruddy died today!
	Edward George Ruddy was the Chairman
	of the Board of the Union Broad-
	casting Systems -- and woe is us
	if it ever falls in the hands of
	the wrong people.  And that's why
	woe is us that Edward George Ruddy
	died.  Because this network is now
	in the hands of CC and A the
	Communications Corporation of
	America.  We've got a new Chairman
	of the Board, a man named Frank
	Hackett now sitting in Mr. Ruddy's
	office on the twentieth floor.  And
	when the twelfth largest company in
	the world controls the most awesome
	goddamned propaganda force in the
	whole godless world, who knows what
	shit will be peddled for truth on
	this tube?  So, listen to me!
	Television is not the truth!  Tele-
	vision is a goddamned amusement
	park, that's what television is!
	Television is a circus, a carnival,
	a travelling troupe of acrobats and
	story-tellers, singers and dancers,
	jugglers, side-show freaks, lion-
	tamers and football players.  We're
	in the boredom-killing business!
	If you want truth, go to God, go
	to your guru, go to yourself because
	that's the only place you'll ever
	find any real truth!  But, man,
	you're never going to get any truth
	from us.  We'll tell you anything
	you want to hear.  We lie like hell!
	We'll tell you Kojack always gets
	the killer, and nobody ever gets
	cancer in Archie Bunker's house.
	And no matter how much trouble the
	hero is in, don't worry:  just look
	at your watch -- at the end of the
	hour, he's going to win.  We'll
	tell you any shit you want to hear!

	We deal in illusion, man!  None of
	it's true!  But you people sit there
	-- all of you -- day after day, night
	after night, all ages, colors, creeds
	-- we're all you know.  You're
	beginning to believe this illusion
	we're spinning here.  You're be-
	ginning to think the tube is reality
	and your own lives are unreal.  You
	do whatever the tube tells you.  You
	dress like the tube, you eat like
	the tube, you raise your children
	like the tube, you think like the
	tube.  This is mass madness, you
	maniacs!  In God's name, you people
	are the real thing!  We're the illu-
	sions!  So turn off this goddam
	set!  Turn it off right now!  Turn
	it off and leave it off.  Turn it
	off right now, right in the middle
	of this very sentence I'm speaking
	now --

At which point, HOWARD BEALE, sweating and red-eyed with
his prophetic rage, collapses to the floor in a pro-
phetic swoon.


123.  INT. CC AND A CONFERENCE ROOM - CC AND A BUILDING -
MONDAY, JANUARY 27

A Valhalla of a room taking up the 43rd and 44th floors
of the CC and A Building.  It is dark and theatrical,
the lighting at the moment being provided by the shaft
of LIGHT issuing from a slide projector at the back of
the room onto a large SCREEN on the raised podium where
FRANK HACKETT in banker's gray stands making his annual
report.  On the SCREEN, we see charts of figures, one
after the other, which accompany HACKETT's explication.
A little red ARROW darts from one figure to another as
HACKETT drones on.  Seated in a semi-circular arrange-
ment like a miniature United Nations are 214 SENIOR
EXECUTIVES, (late 40's, 50's, and 60's).  They each
have their own little desks with swivel chairs, pin-
spot lights, piles of bound company reports, and name
plates giving their names and companies they represent.
NOTE one specific CHAIR in the dead center of the first
row that swivels back and forth, back and forth --

		HACKETT
		(on podium)
	-- UBS was running at a cash-flow
	breakeven point after taking into
	account one hundred and ten million
	dollars of negative cash-flow from
	the network.  Note please the added
	thirty-five millions resulting from
	the issuance of the subordinated sink-
	ing debentures.  It was clear the fat
	on the network had to be flitched off --

ANOTHER CLOSER ANGLE on the CHAIR in the first row that
keeps swiveling back and forth.

		HACKETT
		(on podium, as a new
		glide of charts flashes
		on screen)
	Please note an increase in pro-
	jected initial programming rev-
	enues in the amount of twenty-one
	million dollars due to the phenom-
	enal success of the Howard Beale
	show.  I expect a positive cash-
	flow for the entire complex of
	forty-five million achievable in
	this fiscal year, a year, in short,
	ahead of schedule --

ANOTHER ANGLE closer on the swiveling CHAIR but still
not revealing its occupant.

		HACKETT
	I go beyond that.  This network may
	well be the most significant profit
	center of the communications complex --

FULL SHOT of HACKETT barely concealing his pride --

		HACKETT
	-- and, based upon the projected rate
	of return on invested capital, and if
	merger is eventually accomplished,
	the communications complex may well
	become the towering and most profit-
	able center in the entire CC and A
	empire.  I await your questions and
	comments.  Mr. Jensen?

CAMERA PANS ACROSS the huge dark room of tiered seats
to the swiveling CHAIR in the front row which now
swivels to face CAMERA, revealing a short, balding,
bespectacled man with a Grant Woods face.  This is
ARTHUR JENSEN, the President and Chairman of the Board
of CC and A.

		JENSEN
		(murmurs)
	Very good, Frank.  Exemplary.
	Keep it up --

TIGHT SHOT of HACKETT, basking in this praise, suffused
with pride --


124.  INT. TEMPLE EMANUEL - NEW YORK - TUESDAY, JANUARY 28 -
10:30 A.M.

EDWARD GEORGE RUDDY lying in state.

ANOTHER ANGLE showing the vaulted reaches of the Temple
packed with a standing room audience of condolers with
the white yarmalka-ed RABBI in b.g. officiating.  All
the NETWORK BRASS are spotted around the congregation.

CLOSER ANGLE ACROSS MAX among the condolers, following
his eyes to several rows of pews down on the other side
of the aisle where DIANA is sitting.  Aware of MAX's
eyes on her, she turns her face a bit so that their eyes
meet briefly.  She smiles, turns back to the RABBI's
eulogy --


125.  EXT. 65TH STREET - MAIN ENTRANCE - TEMPLE EMANUEL - DAY -
SNOW

SNOW drifting down.  CROWD of overcoated condolers flood-
ing the sidewalk.  A cortege of black limousines lined
up in front of the temple as FUNERAL DIRECTORS guide
condolers into their respective limousines.  A curious
crowd of PASSERSBY watch.  MAX SCHUMACHER threads his
way through the CRUSH to where DIANA CHRISTENSON stands,
murmuring to NELSON CHANEY and WALTER AMUNDSEN, all


bundled up in winter coats.  There are muttered "Hello,
Max, how are you's" and "How's everything, Walter," etc.

		MAX
		(to DIANA)
	Buy you a cup of coffee?

		DIANA
	Hell, yes.

Good-byes all around, and MAX and DIANA move off through
the fringe of the CRUSH on the sidewalk.  CAMERA DOLLIES
with them.  They turn the corner onto --


126.  EXT. FIFTH AVENUE - DAY - SNOW

They head downtown.  They walk silently.  SNOW drifts
down on them.  CAMERA DOLLIES with them.

		MAX
	Do you have to get back to the
	office?

		DIANA
	Nothing that can't wait.

They walk on silently.

		DIANA
		(after a moment)
	I drop down to the news studios
	every now and then and ask Howard
	Beale about you.  He says you're
	doing fine. Are you?

		MAX
	No.

		DIANA
	Are you keeping busy?

		MAX
	After a fashion.  This is the
	third funeral I've been to in two
	weeks.  I have two other friends
	in hospital whom I visit regularly.
	I've been to a couple of christenings.
	All my friends seem to be dying or
	having grandchildren.

		DIANA
	You should be a grandfather about
	now.  You have a pregnant daughter
	in Seattle, don't you?

		MAX
	Any day now.  My wife's out there
	for the occasion.  I've thought
	many times of calling you.

		DIANA
	I wish you had.

They both suddenly stop on Fifth Avenue between 65th
and 64th Streets and regard each other.  An occasional
snowflake moistens their cheeks, wets their hair.

		DIANA
	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 middle-aged man,
	and, so far, all that's happened
	is one many-splendored night.  I
	don't call that getting involved."
	And she said:  "Don't worry.  You
	will."  It was a many-splendored
	night, wasn't it, Max?

		MAX
	Yes, it was.

		DIANA
	Are we going to get involved, Max?

		MAX
	Yes.  I need to get involved very
	much.  How about you?

		DIANA
	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.

		MAX
	I probably did.  I don't know any
	more.  All I know is I can't keep
	you out of my mind.

They stare at each other, bemused by the abrupt fragile
explosion of their feelings.  The SNOW drifts down.
PEDESTRIANS move back and forth around them. The Fifth
Avenue TRAFFIC honks and grinds its way downtown.

		DIANA
	My God, she's uncanny.

		MAX
	Who?

		DIANA
	Sybil the Soothsayer.  We've got
	a modern-day Greek drama here, Max.
	Two star-crossed lovers ordained
	to fall disastrously in love by
	the gods.  A December-May story.
	Happily married middle-aged man
	meets desperately lonely young
	career woman, let's say a violinist.
	They both know their illicit love
	can only end in tragedy, but they
	are cursed by the gods and plunge
	dementedly in love.  For a few
	brief moments, they are happy.  He
	abandons devoted wife and loving
	children, and she throws away her
	concert career.  Their friends plead
	with them to give each other up, but
	they are helpless playthings in the
	hands of malignant gods.  Their love
	sours, embittered by ugly little
	jealousies, cryptic rancors.  The
	soothsayer appears again and warns
	the girl she will die if she per-
	sists in this heedless love affair.
	She defies the soothsayer.  But
	now one of the man's children is
	rushed to the hospital with a
	mysterious disease.  He rushes
	back to his family, and she is left
	to throw herself on the railroad
	tracks.  Give me a two-page outline
	on it, Max.  I might be able to
	sell it to Xerox.

		MAX
	A bit too austere for teevee, I
	think.

		DIANA
	You're right.  We wouldn't get
	an 11 rating.  How about a twist
	on Brief Encounter?  Happily
	married man meets woman married
	to her career.

		MAX
	NBC did Brief Encounter last year,
	and it sank.

		DIANA
	Well, we're both a bit long in the
	tooth to try for Romeo and Juliet.

		MAX
	Why don't we just wing it?

She laughs, then he.  A PASSERBY darts them a curious
glance.


127.  INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - MONDAY, FEBRUARY
25TH

MAX and his wife, LOUISE, in the middle of an ugly
domestic scene.  LOUISE sits erect on an overstuffed
chair, her eyes wet with imminent tears; MAX strides
around the room.  He is clearly under great stress.

		LOUISE
		(shrilly)
	How long has it been going on?

		MAX
		(prowling around the room)
	A month.  I thought at first it
	might be a transient thing and
	blow over in a week.  I still
	hope to God it's just a menopausal
	infatuation.  But it is an infa-
	tuation, Louise.  There's no sense
	my saying I won't see her again
	because I will.  Do you want me
	to clear out, go to a hotel?

		LOUISE
	Do you love her?

		MAX
	I don't know how I feel.  I'm
	grateful I still feel anything.
	I know I'm obsessed with her.

		LOUISE
		(stands)
	Then say it!  Don't keep telling me
	you're obsessed, you're infatuated
	-- say you're in love with her!

		MAX
	I'm in love with her.

		LOUISE
		(erupts)
	Then get out, go to a hotel, go
	anywhere you want, go live with
	her, but don't come back!  Because
	after twenty-five years of building
	a home and raising a family and all
	the senseless pain we've inflicted
	on each other, I'll be damned if I'll
	just stand here and let you tell me
	you love somebody else!
		(now it's she striding
		around, weeping, a
		caged lioness)
	Because this isn't just some con-
	vention weekend with your secretary,
	is it? Or some broad you picked up
	after three belts of booze.  This
	is your great winter romance, isn't
	it?, your last roar of passion be-
	fore you sink into your emeritus
	years.  Is that what's left for me?
	Is that my share?  She gets the great
	winter passion, and I get the dotage?
	Am I supposed to sit at home knitting
	and purling till you slink back like
	a penitent drunk?  I'm your wife,
	damn it!  If you can't work up a
	winter passion for me, then the
	least I require is respect and
	allegiance!  I'm hurt!  Don't you
	understand that?  I'm hurt badly!

She stares, her cheeks streaked with tears, at MAX
standing at the terrace glass door, staring blindly
out, his own eyes wet and welling.  After a moment,
he turns and regards his anguished wife.

		LOUISE
	Say something, for God's sake.

		MAX
	I've got nothing to say.

He enfolds her; she sobs on his chest.

		LOUISE
		(after a moment)
	Are you that deeply involved with
	her?

		MAX
	Yes.

		LOUISE
	I won't give you up easily, Max.

He struggles to restrain his tears.  She releases her-
self from his embrace.

		LOUISE
	I think the best thing is if you
	did move out.  Does she love you,
	Max?

		MAX
	I'm not sure she's capable of any
	real feelings.  She's the television
	generation.  She learned life from
	Bugs Bunny.  The only reality she
	knows is what comes over her teevee
	set.  She has devised a variety of
	scenarios for us all to play, as
	if it were a Movie of the Week.
	And, my God!, look at us, Louise.
	Here we are going through the obli-
	gatory middle-of-Act-Two scorned
	wife throws peccant husband out scene.
	But, no fear, I'll come back home
	in the end.  All her plot outlines
	have me leaving her and returning
	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 in which she's
	Count Vronsky and I'm Anna.

		LOUISE
	You're in for some dreadful grief,
	Max.

		MAX
	I know.


128.  INT. UBS BUILDING - N.Y. - DIANA'S OFFICE, FRIDAY,
FEBRUARY 28, 1975

DIANA, murmuring into her squawk box and, at the same
time, putting last minute things into a weekend bag.
She is ebullient --

		DIANA
		(on squawk box)
	... I know what NBC offered them,
	Marty, so I'm saying go to three
	point five, and I want an option
	for a third run on all of them
	... Marty, I'm in a big hurry, and
	you and Charlie are supposed to be
	negotiating this, so goodbye and
	good luck, and I'll see you Monday ...

Clicks off her squawk box, snaps her weekend bag shut,
whisks her sheep wool-lined coat out of her closet and
strides out into --


129.  INT. DIANA'S SECRETARY'S OFFICE

-- where there is no one sitting, and continues out
into --


130.  INT. PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT - COMMON ROOM

where a few SECRETARIES are still at their desks.
TOMMY PELLEGRINO is just coming out of his office --

		PELLEGRINO
		(calls to DIANA)
	Jimmy Caan's agent just called
	and says absolutely nix.

		DIANA
		(striding across
		the room)
	You can't win them all.


		PELLEGRINO
	Where can I reach you later today?

		DIANA
		(exiting)
	You can't.  I'll be gone all weekend.

PELLEGRINO turns to BARBARA SCHLESINGER now poking her
head out of her office --

		PELLEGRINO
	I think the Dragon Lady got her-
	self a dragon fellow.

		SCHLESINGER
	Poor bastard.


131.  EXT. UBS BUILDING - SIXTH AVENUE - AFTERNOON - DAY

DIANA, now wearing her sheep wool-lined coat and carry-
ing her weekend bag, comes striding happily out through
the entrance doors, heads for 55th Street, spots a
double-parked car, and heads heedless of traffic
across the street to --



132.  EXT. 55TH STREET - DAY

MAX SCHUMACHER in a rented Chevy, leaning across to
open the door for her.  She slips into the front seat,
slams the door shut, nestles her head on MAX'S over-
coated shoulder, as he starts the ignition --

		DIANA
		(happy and in love)
	NBC's offering three point two
	and a half mil per for a package
	of five James Bond pictures, and
	I think I'm going to steal them
	for three point five with a third
	run --

They move out into the heavy traffic of Sixth Avenue --


133.  EXT. DESERTED BEACH IN THE HAMPTONS - DUSK

Traditional lyric love scene.  The two mackinawed
lovers walking hand-in-hand on a lovely stretch of
deserted winter beach.  The tide is coming in --

		DIANA
		(bubbling)
	The vigilante show is sold firm.
	Ford took a complete position at,
	so help me, five-fifty CPM.  In
	fact, I'm moving the vigilante
	show to nine and I'm going to
	stick the Mao Tse Tung Hour in
	at eight because we're having a
	lot of trouble selling the Mao
	Tse Tung Hour.  This way we give
	it a terrific lead-in from the
	Howard Beale Show and we'll back
	into the vigilantes, and it
	certainly ought to carry its own
	time slot --


134.  INT. A ROMANTIC LITTLE ITALIAN RESTAURANT

The obligatory Italian restaurant, checkered table-
cloth, candles, wine, etc.  DIANA and MAX at dinner,
utterly rapt in each other --

		DIANA
		(pouring out her heart)
	That Mao Tse Tung Hour is 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 last week and
	served us with a subpoena.  They
	heard about our Flagstaff bank
	rip-off film, and they want it.
	We're getting around that by
	doing the show in collaboration
	with the News Division, so Hackett
	told the FBI to fuck off; we're
	standing on the First Amendment,
	freedom of the press, and the

	right to protect our sources --


135.  EXT. MOTOR COURT - NIGHT

DIANA and MAX getting out of their car and heading
for one of the ground-level rooms, MAX unlocking the
door --

		DIANA
		(chirping merrily along)
	-- Walter thinks we can knock out
	the misprision of felony charge --

They go into --


136.  INT. MOTOR COURT - THEIR ROOM

MAX flicks the light on, kicks the door shut, and they
are instantly into each other's arms in a passionate
embrace.

		DIANA
	-- but he says absolutely nix
	on going to series.  They'll hit
	us with inducement and conspiracy
	to commit a crime --

She busily removes her shoes and unbuttons her blouse
and whisks out of her slacks; and, down to her bikini
panties, she is now scouring the walls for a thermostat.

		DIANA
	Christ, it's cold in here --
		(she turns up
		the heat)
	You see we're paying these nuts
	from the Ecumenical Liberation Army
	ten thousand bucks a week to bring
	in authentic film footage on their
	revolutionary activities, and that
	constitutes inducement to commit
	a crime; and Walter says we'll all
	wind up in federal prison --

Nubile and nearly naked, she entwines herself around
MAX, who, by now, has stripped down to his trousers;
and the two hungering bodies slide down onto the bed
where they commence an affable moment of amative
foreplay --

		DIANA
		(efficiently unbuckling
		and unzippering MAX's
		trousers)
	-- I said: "Walter, let the government
	sue us!  We'll take them to the
	Supreme Court!  We'll be front page
	for months!  The Washington Post
	and the New York Times will be doing
	two editorials a week about us!
	We'll have more press than Watergate!"

Groping, grasping, gasping and fondling, they contrive
to denude each other, and, in a fever of sexual hunger,
DIANA mounts MAX, and the SCREEN is filled with the
voluptuous writhings of love, DIANA crying out with
increasing exultancy --

		DIANA
		(in the throes
		of passion)
	-- All I need -- is six weeks
	of federal litigation -- and the
	Mao Tse Tung Hour -- can start
	carrying its own time slot!

She screams in consummation, sighs a long, deliciously
shuddering sigh, and sinks softly down into MAX's
embrace.  For a moment, she rests her head on MAX's
chest, eyes closed in feline contentment.

		DIANA
		(after a moment,
		she purrs)
	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 heart-rending saga of a
	woman helplessly in love with her
	husband's mistress. What do you
	think? --

		NARRATOR
	The Mary Ann Gifford pilot movie
	went on the air March 14th --


137.  EXT. A SMALL ISOLATED FARMHOUSE IN ENCINO - NIGHT

A black LIMOUSINE winds its way up the dirt road to
the front porch, where the car is halted and checked
out by an armed guard (DOWLING) --

		NARRATOR
	-- It received a 47 share in its
	first hour, climbing to a 51 during
	its second hour --

Slivers of lights slither out from behind the drawn
shades of the farmhouse, and we can hear the sounds of
ANGRY VOICES.

TWO AGENTS from ICM disgorge from the limousine -- a
young man in his early 30's, FREDDIE, carrying a large
manila envelope, and a fat young woman in her mid-30's,
HELEN MIGGS, carrying an attach, case --

		NARRATOR
	-- showing sustained and increasing
	audience interest.  The network
	promptly committed to fifteen
	shows --

MIGGS and FREDDIE go up the porch and into --


138.  INT. THE FARMHOUSE - ENTRANCE FOYER

Cartons, crates, newspapers, scraps of food, torn
grocery bags, stacks of pamphlets, cases of weapons and
ammunition, broken furniture and sleeping bags are
littered every which way about.  There seems to be some
sort of conference going on in the living room, O.S.
left --

		NARRATOR
	-- with an option for ten more --


139.  As the TWO ICM AGENTS head for the living room,
we can see LAUREEN HOBBS and the three William
Norris agents, WALLIE, LENNIE and ED, perhaps
remembered from earlier scenes.  We can also see
the GREAT AHMED KHAN, still wearing his shako, MARY
ANN GIFFORD, still wearing her bandoliers of bullets,
and OTHER MEMBERS of the Khan's group in fatigues
and bearing arms.  There is also a middle-aged LAWYER
from ICM named WILLIE STEIN.  Everybody -- with the
exception of the GREAT KHAN's retinue -- is seated
on broken chairs and cartons and crates --

		NARRATOR
	-- There were, of course, the usual
	production difficulties --

Everybody in the living room conference is studying
80-page contracts from which one of the agents (WALLIE)
is reading --

		WALLIE
		(mumbling along)
	-- "herein called either 'the
	Production Fee' or 'overhead' equal
	to twenty percent two-oh (except
	such percentage shall be thirty
	percent three-oh for ninety minute
	or longer television programs --


140.  INT. THE FARMHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

		STEIN
		(a nervous man, to the new
		arrivals, now entering)
	Where the hell have you been?

		MIGGS
		(embracing the
		GREAT KHAN)
	Ahmed, sweet, that dodo you sent
	for a driver couldn't find this
	fucking place.

There is a genial exchange of helloes and waves between
the phalanxes of AGENTS --

		STEIN
	Let's get on with this before
	they raid this place, and we all
	wind up in the joint.

		ED
		(to FREDDIE now
		pulling up a crate)
	We're on Schedule A, page seven,
	small c small i --

		MIGGS
		(whisking through her
		copy of the contract)
	Have we settled that sub-licensing
	thing? We want a clear definition
	here.  Gross proceeds should consist
	of all funds the sublicensee receives
	not merely the net amount remitted
	after payment to sublicensee or
	distributor.

		STEIN
	We're not sitting still for over-
	head charges as a cost prior to
	distribution.

		LAUREEN
		(whose nerves have
		worn thin, explodes:)
	Don't fuck with my distribution
	costs!  I'm getting 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!
		(indicates the
		GREAT KHAN)
	-- And I'm giving this turkey ten
	thou a segment and another five for
	this fruitcake --
		(meaning MARY ANN GIFFORD)
	And, Helen, don't start no shit
	with me about a piece again!
	I'm paying Metro twenty percent of
	all foreign and Canadian distribution,
	and that's after recoupment!  The
	Communist Party's not going to see
	a nickel out of this goddam show
	until we go into syndication!

		MIGGS
	Come on, Laureen, you've got the
	party in there for seventy-five
	hundred a week production expenses.

		LAUREEN
	I'm not giving this pseudo in-
	surrectionary sectarian a piece
	of my show!  I'm not giving him
	script approval!  And I sure as
	shit ain't cutting him in on my
	distribution charges I

		MARY ANN GIFFORD
		(screaming in from
		the back)
	Fuggin fascist! Have you seen the
	movies we took at the San Marino
	jail break-out demonstrating the
	rising up of a seminal prisoner-
	class infrastructure!

		LAUREEN
	You can blow the seminal prisoner-
	class infrastructure out your ass!
	I'm not knocking down my goddam
	distribution charges!

The GREAT KHAN decides to offer an opinion by SHOOTING
his PISTOL off into the air. This gives everybody
something to consider, especially WILLIE STEIN who
almost has a heart attack.

		THE GREAT KHAN
	Man, give her the fucking over-
	head clause.

		STEIN
	How did I get here? Who's going
	to believe this?  I'm sitting here
	in a goddam farm in Encino at ten
	o'clock at night negotiating over-
	head charges with cowboys!

		THE GREAT KHAN
		(flipping through
		his copy)
	Let's get to page twenty-two,
	five, small a, subsidiary rights.

Everybody starts flipping through their contracts.

		LENNIE
	Where are we now?

		WALLIE
	Page twenty-two, middle of the
	page, subsidiary rights --
		(begins to read)
	"As used herein, 'subsidiary
	rights' means, without limitation,
	any and all rights with respect
	to theatrical motion picture
	rights, radio broadcasting, legiti-
	mate stage performances, printed
	publications (including, but not
	limited to, hard-cover books, but
	excluding paperback books and comic
	books) and/or any other uses of a
	similar or dissimilar nature --


141.  EXT. FRONT OF THE CENTURY PLAZA HOTEL - WEDNESDAY,
MAY 28 - 6:00 P.M. - DAY

A HOTEL MARQUEE which reads:

WELCOME UBS AFFILIATES CONVENTION

Across the marquee, looking down on the CRUSH of station
managers, program executives and sales vice-presidents
from the various affiliates, all tuxedoed and
evening-gowned and milling about.  Spotted in the
cheerful CRUSH can be seen DIANA, MR. AND MRS. AMUNDSEN,
MR. AND MRS. ZANGWILL, jollying it up with the
affiliates' executives and their wives --


142.  INT. GRAND BALLROOM - COCKTAIL AREA - CENTURY PLAZA HOTEL

A huge BANNER reading UBS AFFILIATES 1975 hanging
high over the ballroom.

PAN DOWN to show 1000 tuxedoed and evening-gowned
PEOPLE, mostly middle-aged in the vast shuffle of
cocktail time -- HUBBUB, intermingling flux and a
slow general shuffling surge through the doors
leading into --


143.  INT. GRAND BALLROOM

CLOSER ANGLE of the CRUSH of PEOPLE at the doors.
HERBERT THACKERAY, (VP Stations Relations,) and NORMAN
MOLDANIAN (VP Owned Stations,) with their WIVES and
carrying their drinks and exchanging pleasantries with
the GENERAL MANAGER of WJGL Cincinnati and his WIFE and
the GENERAL MANAGER of KBEX Albuquerque and his WIFE as
well as the SALES MANAGER of that station and his WIFE.
High CHATTER and HUBBUB, lots of hearty chuckles and
general Rotarian bonhomie.  In b.g., FRANK HACKETT and
his WIFE exchanging Rotarian bonhomie with some other
GENERAL MANAGERS and PROGRAM DIRECTORS and SALES
MANAGERS of various affiliates and their WIVES --


144.  ANOTHER ANGLE as DIANA, evening-gowned, beautiful,
glowing and effulgent, leans down from her place on the
dais to accept congratulatory comments from the SALES
MANAGER of KGIM, Boise, and his WIFE standing on the
floor level --

		SALES MANAGER
		(pumping DIANA's hand)
	-- Millard Villanova, Sales Manager,
	KGIM, Boise -- my wife, here, Maureen --

		DIANA
	My pleasure --

		SALES MANAGER
	I just want to tell you we saw your
	great stuff this afternoon, Di --
	it was great --

		DIANA
	Great, Millard --

She turns to accept some more enthusiastic greetings
from another GENERAL MANAGER and his WIFE being brought
down the dais to her by WALTER AMUNDSEN, (General
Counsel Network) --


145.  WIDE ANGLE SHOT of the whole ballroom, dark, everybody
seated at their tables now, listening to an address by
NELSON CHANEY (President UBS Network), a spotlighted
figure at the podium --

		CHANEY
	-- Over the past two days, you've
	all had opportunity to meet Diana
	Christenson, our Vice President
	in charge of programming.  This
	afternoon, you all saw some of
	the stuff she's set up for the
	new season --

CLOSER SHOT of CHANEY --

		CHANEY
	You all know she's the woman behind
	the Howard Beale show.  We know
	she's beautiful.  We know she's
	brainy. I just think, before we
	start digging into our Chateau-
	briands, we ought to let her know
	how we feel about her --

An OVATION from the AUDIENCE.  In response to CHANEY's
beckoning, DIANA rises from her chair in the glistening
shadows of the dais and comes down to the podium.  She
stands there -- showered with APPLAUSE, beaming,
exultant --

		DIANA
	We've got the number one show in
	television!
		(applause)
	And, at next year's affiliates'
	meeting, I'll be standing here
	telling you we've got the top
	five!
		(tumult)

ANOTHER ANGLE ACROSS HACKETT at the dais with DIANA
in b.g.  An ASSISTANT MANAGER leans across HACKETT
and murmurs to him --

		DIANA
	Last year, we were the number
	four network -- next year, we're
	number one!
		(tumult)

HACKETT rises, murmurs apologies to his neighbors,
follows the ASSISTANT MANAGER through the shadows of
the dais and heads out --

		DIANA
	It is exactly seven o'clock here
	in Los Angeles.  And right now over
	a million homes using television
	in this city are turning their dials
	to channel 3-- and that's our channel!

MUSIC:  A RATAPLAN OF KETTLEDRUMS AND A TARANTARA
OF TRUMPETS.


146.  INT. COCKTAIL AREA OF THE GRAND BALLROOM

A portable Teevee set perched on a bar --

		ANNOUNCER (ON TV)
	Ladies and gentlemen! -- let's
	hear it! -- how do you feel?! --

		STUDIO AUDIENCE (ON TV)
		(happily roaring out)
	We're mad as hell, and we're not
	going to take this any more!

PULL BACK to show we are in the vast cocktail area of
the Grand Ballroom, now being cleared away by a staff of
WAITERS and BUSBOYS -- hors d'oeuvres, spreads and booze
being carried away, table and chairs being packed off,
linens being whisked and folded.  A couple of WAITERS
are watching the Howard Beale show on the portable TV
set perched on the room's bar --

		STUDIO ANNOUNCER (ON TV)
	Ladies and gentlemen -- the mad
	prophet of the airways -- Howard
	Beale!

On the TV set, the house lights go down, the curtain
rises, and, as before, bare stage, shimmering stained
glass window, an ethereal shaft of light, and HOWARD
BEALE in his austere black suit trudges out and
explodes --

		HOWARD (ON TV)
	All right, listen to me!  Listen
	carefully!  This is your goddam life
	I'm talking about today!  In this
	country, when one company takes 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
	C.C. and A. -- the Communications
	Corporation of America -- bought up
	the company that owns this network.
	And now somebody's buying up C.C.
	and A!  Some company named Western
	World Funding Corporation is buying
	up C.C. and A!  They filed their
	notice this morning!  Well, just who
	the hell is Western World Funding
	Corporation?  It's a consortium of
	banks and insurance companies who
	are not buying C.C. and A. for
	themselves but as agents for
	somebody else!


147.  LONG WIDE ANGLE SHOT with TV set in f.g. showing the
spacious cocktail area being cleared away, as far across
the room the doors to the Ballroom open and HACKETT
follows the ASSISTANT MANAGER in.  HACKETT lingers at
the doors while the ASSISTANT MANAGER gets a WAITER to
bring a jack phone to one of the tables still standing --

		HOWARD (ON TV)
	Well, who's 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,
	they won't tell anybody!  They say
	it's none of our business!  The
	hell it ain't! --

REVERSE ACROSS HACKETT as a jack phone is brought to
his table; the cluster around the TV set in b.g.

		HACKETT
		(on phone)
	This is Mr. Hackett, do you have
	a New York call for me?
		(calls to cluster
		around TV set)
	Do you want to turn that down,
	please --

REVERSE ACROSS TV set with HACKETT in b.g.

		HOWARD (ON TV)
		(volume a bit down)
	Well, I'll tell you who they're
	buying C.C. and A. for.  They're
	buying it for the Saudi-Arabian
	Investment Corporation!  They're
	buying it for the Arabs!

REVERSE ON HACKETT.

		HACKETT
		(on phone, the
		hearty executive)
	Clarence?  Frank Hackett here I
	How's everything back in New York?
	How's the good lady? --
		(his face sobers)
	-- All right, take it easy,
	Clarence, I don't know what you're
	talking about...When?...Clarence,
	take it easy.  The Howard Beale
	show's just going on out here.  You
	guys get it three hours earlier in
	New York ...  Clarence, take it
	easy.  How the hell could I see it?
	It's just on now -- Well, when did
	Mr. Jensen call you?

REVERSE ACROSS TV set.  In b.g., HACKETT has hung up and is
slowly walking toward the group around the TV set --

		HOWARD (ON TV)
	-- We know the Arabs control more
	than sixteen billion dollars in this
	country!  They own a chunk of Fifth
	Avenue, twenty 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 a hell of a lot more we
	don't know about because all those
	Arab petro-dollars are washed
	through Switzerland and Canada and
	the biggest banks in this country!

HACKETT peers over the shoulder of a WAITER to watch the
television show --

		HOWARD (ON TV)
	For example, what we don't know
	about is this C.C.A. deal and all the
	other C.C.A. deals!
		(HACKETT winces)
	Right now, the Arabs have screwed us
	out of enough American dollars to
	come back and, with our own money,
	buy General Motors, IBM, ITT, A T
	and T, Dupont, U.S.  Steel, and
	twenty other top American companies.
	Hell, they already own half of England.


148.  INT. A VIDEOTAPE ROOM - UBS BUILDING - LOS ANGELES

HACKETT, NELSON CHANEY and WALTER AMUNDSEN, all
tuxedoed, and DIANA, evening-gowned, sit and stand
in the dark smallish room, cluttered with electronic
equipment, watching a replay of the Howard Beale show
on the big screen.  TWO TECHNICIANS fiddle with their
equipment --

		HOWARD' (ON SCREEN)
	Now, listen to me, goddammit!  The
	Arabs are simply buying us!  They're
	buying all our land, our whole
	economy, the press, the factories,
	financial institutions, the
	government!  They're going to own
	us!  A handful of agas, shahs and
	emirs who despise this country and
	everything it stands for --
	democracy, freedom, the right for me
	to get up on television and tell you
	about it -- a couple of dozen
	medieval fanatics are going to own
	where you work, where you live, what
	you read, what you see, your cars,
	your bowling alleys, your mortgages,
	your schools, your churches, your
	libraries, your kids, your whole
	life! --

		AMUNDSEN
		(mutters)
	The son of a bitch is effective
	all right --

HACKETT, who's seen all this already, isn't even watching.
He is sprawled in his chair, eyes closed, numbed, even
serene with despair.

		HOWARD (ON SCREEN)
	-- And there's not a single law on
	the books to stop them!  There's
	only one thing that can stop them --
	you!  So I want you to get up now.
	I want you to get out of your chairs
	and go to the phone.  Right now.  I
	want you to go to your phone or get
	in your car and drive into the
	Western Union office in town.  I
	want everybody listening to me to
	get up right now and send a telegram
	to the White House --

		HACKETT
		(sighs in soft anguish)
	Oh, God

		HOWARD (ON SCREEN)
	By midnight tonight I want a million
	telegrams in the White House!  I
	want them wading knee-deep in
	telegrams at the White House!  Get
	up!  Right now!  And send President
	Ford a telegram saying:  "I'm mad as
	hell and I'm not going to take this
	any more!  I don't want the banks
	selling my country to the Arabs!  I
	want this C.C. and A. deal stopped
	now! --

		HACKETT
	Oh, God --

		HOWARD (ON SCREEN)
	I want this C.C. and A. deal stopped
	now!  I want this C.C. and A. deal
	stopped now!

At which point, HOWARD keels over in his now familiar
prophetic swoon.  On SCREEN, ATTENDANTS come and carry
HOWARD off --

		CHANEY
		(to a TECHNICIAN)
	Is that it? Does he come back
	later in the show?

		TECHNICIAN
	That's it.  This is one of those
	shows he just zonks out.

		CHANEY
		(to HACKETT)
	Do you want to see any more, Frank?
		(HACKETT sits in
		numb silence)
	All right, turn it off --

The other TECHNICIAN pushes a button and the SCREEN
goes white. The first TECHNICIAN flicks the room
lights on.

		AMUNDSEN
		(to HACKETT)
	Do you want to go to your office?

HACKETT stares silently into space.

		CHANEY
		(to the TECHNICIANS)
	Look, could we have the room?

		TECHNICIAN
	Sure.


149.  The two TECHNICIANS exit.  SILENCE fills the cluttered
room.  AMUNDSEN and HACKETT sit in their chairs, CHANEY
leans against a side wall, DIANA lounges against a rear
wall.  After a moment, AMUNDSEN stretches, stands --

		AMUNDSEN
	Well, I'd like to see a typescript
	and run it a couple of more times,
	but I don't think he said anything
	seriously actionable.  But, as for
	this whole C.C. and A. deal with the
	Saudis, you'd know a lot more about
	that than I would, Frank, is it
	true?

HACKETT sighs.

		HACKETT
		(mumbles)
	Yes.  C.C. and A. has two billions
	in loans with the Saudis, and they
	hold every pledge we've got.  We
	need that Saudi money bad.
		(he stands, so
		wretched he is
		tranquil)
	A disaster.  This show is a disaster,
	an unmitigated disaster, the death
	knell.  I'm ruined, I'm dead, I'm
	finished.

		CHANEY
	Maybe we're overstating Beale's
	clout with the public.

		HACKETT
	An hour ago, Clarence McElheny called
	me from New York.  It was ten o'clock
	in the East, and our people in the
	White House report they were already
	knee-deep in telegrams.  By tomorrow
	morning, they'll be suffocating in
	telegrams.

		CHANEY
	Well, can the government stop the
	deal?

		HACKETT
	They can hold it up.  The SEC could
	hold this deal up for twenty years
	if they wanted to.  I'm finished.
	Any second that phone's going to
	ring and Clarence McElheny's going
	to tell me Mr. Jensen wants me in
	his office tomorrow morning so he
	can personally chop my head off.

Tears stream shamelessly down his cheeks as he shuffles,
a broken man, around the room.

		HACKETT
	Four hours ago, I was the sun God
	at C.C. and A., Mr. Jensen's hand-
	picked golden boy, the heir apparent.
	Now I'm a man without a corporation!

		DIANA
		(comes off the
		back wall)
	Let's get back to Howard Beale.
	You're not seriously going to pull
	Beale off the air.

		HACKETT
	Mr. Jensen is unhappy with Howard
	Beale and wants him discontinued.

		DIANA
	He may be unhappy, but he isn't
	stupid enough to withdraw the number
	one show on television out of pique.

		HACKETT
		(explodes)
	Two billion dollars isn't pique!
	That's the wrath of God!  And the
	wrath of God wants Howard Beale
	fired!

		DIANA
	What for?  Every other network
	will grab him the minute he walks
	out the door.  He'll be back on
	the air for ABC tomorrow.  And
	we'll lose twenty points in audience
	share in the first week, roughly a
	forty million loss in revenues for
	the year.

		HACKETT
	I'm going to kill Howard Beale!
	I'm going to impale the son of a
	bitch with a sharp stick through
	the heart!

		DIANA
	And let's not discount federal
	action by the Justice Department.
	If C.C. and A. pulls Beale off the
	air as an act of retribution,
	that's a flagrant violation of
	network autonomy and an egregious
	breach of the consent decree.

		HACKETT
		(beginning to like his
		new train of thought)
	I'll take out a contract on him.
	I'll hire professional killers.
	I'll do it myself.  I'll strangle
	him with a sashcord.

		DIANA
	No, I don't think Jensen is going
	to fire anybody.  He's sitting up
	there in his office surrounded by
	lawyers and senior vice presidents,
	and right about now, they've begun
	to realize the extraordinary impact
	of television.  That impact can be
	focused, manipulated, utilized.
	If Howard Beale can hurt them, he
	can help them.

The PHONE RINGS.  A moment of anxious silence.  HACKETT
picks it up --

		HACKETT
		(on phone)
	Hackett -- Yes, Clarence, I've
	already booked my flight ... Well,
	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 six tomorrow morning ... That'll
	be just fine.  I'll see you then --

He returns the phone to its cradle, regards DIANA for
a moment.

		HACKETT
	Mr. Jensen wants to meet Howard
	Beale personally.  He wants Mr. Beale
	in his office at ten o'clock tomorrow
	morning --


150.  EXT. THE C.C. AND A. BUILDING - PARK AVE. AND 46TH
STREET - MORNING

A black limousine pulls to the curb in front of the C.C.
and A. Building, disgorging HACKETT, and, a moment
later, HOWARD BEALE, both dressed in banker's gray.  As
they move for the building's entrance, HACKETT herding
HOWARD along, it becomes clear that HOWARD is in a
beatified state.  His eyes glisten transcendentally, and
he smiles the smile of the elevated spirit.  He suddenly
pulls up abruptly, raises his arms over his head, and
announces at the top of his lungs:

		HOWARD
		(imbued)
	The final revelation is at hand!
	I have seen the shattering
	fulgurations of ultimate clarity!
	The light is impending!  I bear
	witness to the light!

This outburst doesn't seem to bother most of the PEOPLE
passing by except for ONE or TWO who murmur:  "Hey,
that's Howard Beale, isn't it?"  The outburst does
appall FRANK HACKETT, who stares in distress and
entreaty to some god in the heavens, and clutches at
HOWARD's arm to get him moving again.


151.  INT. ARTHUR JENSEN'S OFFICE

An enormous office with two walls of windows towering
over the Manhattan landscape and through which SUNLIGHT
streams in.  ARTHUR JENSEN is rising from behind his
massive desk --

		JENSEN
	Good afternoon, Mr. Beale.  They
	tell me you're a madman.

CAMERA DOLLIES to include HOWARD just coming into the
room.

		HOWARD
		(closing the door
		behind himself)
	Only desultorily.

		JENSEN
	How are you now?

		HOWARD
		(as mad as a hatter)
	I'm as mad as a hatter.

		JENSEN
	Who isn't? Don't sit down.
	I'm taking you to our conference
	room which seems more seemly a
	setting for what I have to say
	to you.

He takes HOWARD'S arm and moves him to a large oaken
door leading out of JENSEN'S office --

		JENSEN
	I started as a salesman, Mr. Beale.
	I sold sewing machines and automobile
	parts, hair brushes and electronic
	equipment.  They say I can sell
	anything.  I'd like to try and sell
	something to you --

They pass into --


152.  INT. THE CONFERENCE ROOM - C.C. AND A. BUILDING

The overwhelming cathedral of a conference room
remembered perhaps from an earlier scene where Frank
Hackett gave his annual report.  When last seen, it was
in pitch darkness, but now the enormous curtains are up,
and an almost celestial light pours in through the huge
windows.  Being on the 43rd and 44th floors, the sky
outside is only sporadically interrupted by the towers
of other skyscrapers.  The double semi- circular bank of
seats are all empty, and the general effect is one of
hushed vastness --

		JENSEN
	Valhalla, Mr. Beale, please sit
	down --

He leads HOWARD down the steps to the floor level,
himself ascends again to the small stage and the podium.
HOWARD sits in one of the 200 odd seats.  JENSEN pushes
a button, and the enormous drapes slowly fall, slicing
away layers of light until the vast room is utterly
dark.  Then, the little pinspots at each of the desks,
including the one behind which HOWARD is seated, pop on,
creating a miniature Milky Way effect.  A shaft of white
LIGHT shoots out from the rear of the room, spotting
JENSEN on the podium, a sun of its own little galaxy.
Behind him, the shadowed white of the lecture screen.
JENSEN suddenly wheels to his audience of one and roars
out:

		JENSEN
	You have meddled with the primal
	forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I
	won't have it, is that clear?!  You
	think you have 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-variate, multi-national
	dominion of dollars! petro-dollars,
	electro-dollars, multi-dollars!,
	Reichmarks, rubles, rin, pounds and
	shekels!  It is the international
	system of currency that determines
	the totality of life on this planet!
	That is the natural order of things
	today!  That is the atomic,
	subatomic 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, Mr. Beale?
		(pause)
	You get up on your little twenty-
	one inch screen, and howl about
	America and democracy.  There is no
	America.  There is no democracy.
	There is only IBM and ITT and A T
	and T and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide
	and Exxon.  Those are the nations of
	the world today.  What do you think
	the Russians talk about in their
	councils of state -- Karl Marx?
	They pull out their linear
	programming charts, statistical
	decision theories and minimax
	solutions and compute the price-cost
	probabilities of their transactions
	and investments just like we do.  We
	no longer live in a world of nations
	and ideologies, Mr. Beale.  The
	world is a college of corporations,
	inexorably deter- mined by the
	immutable by-laws of business.  The
	world is a business, Mr. Beale!  It
	has been since man crawled out of
	the slime, and our children, Mr.
	Beale, will live to see that perfect
	world in which there is no war and
	famine, oppression and 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 to
	preach this evangel, Mr. Beale.

		HOWARD
		(humble whisper)
	Why me?

		JENSEN
	Because you're on television, dummy.
	Sixty million people watch you
	every night of the week, Monday
	through Friday.

HOWARD slowly rises from the blackness of his seat so
that he is lit only by the ethereal diffusion of light
shooting out from the rear of the room.  He stares at
JENSEN spotted on the podium, transfixed.

		HOWARD
	I have seen the face of God!

In b.g., up on the podium, JENSEN considers this
curious statement for a moment.

		JENSEN
	You just might be right, Mr. Beale.

		NARRATOR
	That evening, Howard Beale went
	on the air to preach the corporate
	cosmology of Arthur Jensen.


153.  INT. NETWORK NEWS CONTROL ROOM

The CREW at their various control panels.  Business
as usual.  If anything, EVERYBODY in the control room
appears a little more bored.  On the SHOW MONITOR,
HOWARD BEALE stands in his stained-glass-filtered
spotlight, but, rather than his old enraged self, he
seems sad, resigned, weary --

		HOWARD (ON MONITOR)
		(sad, resigned, weary)
	Last night, I got up here and asked
	you people to stand up and fight for
	your heritage, and you did and it
	was beautiful.  Six million
	telegrams were received at the White
	House.  The Arab takeover of C.C.
	and A. has been stopped.  The people
	spoke, the people won.  It was a
	radiant eruption of democracy.  But
	I think that was it, fellers.  That
	sort of thing isn't likely to happen
	again.  Because, in the bottom of
	all our terrified souls, we all know
	that democracy is a dying giant, a
	sick, sick dying, decaying political
	concept, writhing in its final pain.

	I don't mean the United States is
	finished as a world power.  The
	United States is the most powerful,
	the richest, the most advanced
	country in the world, light-years
	ahead of any other country.  And I
	don't mean the Communists are going
	to take over the world.  The
	Communists are deader than we are.
	What's 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
	who's finished.  It's every single
	one of you out there who's finished.
	Because this is no longer a nation
	of independent individuals.  This is
	a nation of two hundred odd million
	transistorized, deodorized,
	whiter- than-white, steel-belted
	bodies, totally unnecessary as human
	beings and as replaceable as piston
	rods --

		NARRATOR
	It was a perfectly admissible
	argument that Howard Beale advanced
	in the days that followed; it was,
	however, also a very tedious and
	depressing one.  By the end of
	the first week in June --


154   INT. DIANA'S APARTMENT - THURSDAY - JUNE 19 - ENTRANCE
FOYER - 7:15 P.M.

-- as MAX lets himself into the apartment.  MAX seems
depressed --

		NARRATOR
	-- the Howard Beale show had dropped
	one point in the ratings, and its
	trend of shares dipped under forty-
	eight for the first time since last
	November --

MAX moves into the living room as DIANA's VOICE erupts
shrilly from the bedroom --

		DIANA (O.S.)
	-- You're his goddam agent, Lew!,
	I'm counting on you to talk some
	sense into the lunatic!


155.  INT. DIANA'S BEDROOM

DIANA perched on her bed, shrilling into the telephone --

		DIANA
	We're starting to get rumbles from
	the agencies.  Another couple of
	weeks of this, and the sponsors will
	be bailing out! ... This is breach of
	contract, Lew!  This isn't the Howard
	Beale we signed.  You better get him
	off this corporate universe kick or,
	so help me, I'll pull him off the
	air! ... I told him, Lew! I've been
	telling him every day for a week!
	I'm sick of telling him! Now, you
	tell him!

She slams the receiver down, sits in silent rage on the
bed, turns up the volume on her remote control unit.
HOWARD'S VOICE suddenly emanates from the television set
across the room from her --

		HOWARD (ON TV)
	-- Well, the time has come to say:
	is dehumanization such a bad word?
	Because good or bad, that's what's
	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 country, so we're getting
	there first --

DIANA reaches for the phone again, dials briskly.  She looks
up to note MAX regarding her from the doorway.  She regards
him sullenly.  They are both clearly in foul tempers.

		HOWARD (ON TV)
	-- The whole world's people are
	becoming mass-produced, programmed,
	wired, insensate things useful only
	to produce and consume other
	mass-produced things, all of them as
	unnecessary and useless as we are --

		MAX
	I'm sorry I'm late --


They exchange dully sullen looks.  MAX turns back into --


156.  INT. THE LIVING ROOM

-- where he sprawls morosely on one of the soft chairs --

		HOWARD (ON TV O.S.)
	-- that's the simple truth you
	have to grasp, that human existence
	is an utterly futile and purposeless
	thing --


158.  INT. THE BEDROOM

DIANA perched on her bed, cross-legged --

		DIANA
		(on phone)
	Barbara?  Diana --

		HOWARD (ON TV)
	-- because once you've grasped that,
	then the whole universe becomes
	orderly and comprehensible --

		DIANA
		(on phone)
	Listen, I had another howling
	session with Howard Beale today,
	and he's impenetrable.  We better
	start shoring up the dykes --

		HOWARD (ON TV)
	-- We are right now living in what
	has to be called a corporate
	society, a corporate world, a
	corporate universe.  This world
	quite simply is a vast cosmology of
	small corporations orbiting around
	larger corporations who, in turn,
	revolve around giant corporations --

		DIANA
		(stares at set, mutters)
	Jesus Christ --

		HOWARD (ON TV)
	-- and this whole, endless, ultimate
	cosmology is expressly designed for
	the production and consumption of
	useless things --

DIANA clicks the remote control thing, and the TV set
goes black.

		DIANA
		(on phone)
	Let's start looking around for
	possible replacements.  I hear ABC's
	grooming a mad prophet of their own
	in Chicago as our com- petition for
	next season.  See if you can get a
	tape on him.  Maybe we can steal
	him.  And let's start building up
	the other segments on the show.
	Sybil the Soothsayer, Jim Webbing.
	The Vox Populi segment is catching
	on; let's make that a daily feature --


159.  INT. THE LIVING ROOM

MAX sprawled on the soft chair.  We notice that, in the
back of the living room, a bridge table has been set up
as a makeshift desk.  It has a typewriter on it and a
welter of papers and books and filing folders.  DIANA
appears in the bedroom doorway, regards MAX coldly --

		DIANA
	You know, you could help me out
	with Howard if you wanted to.
	He listens to you.  You're his
	best friend --

		MAX
		(exploding off
		the chair)
	I'm tired of this hysteria about
	Howard Beale!

		DIANA
		(erupting herself)
	Every time you see somebody in
	your family, you come back in one
	of these morbid middle-aged moods!

		MAX
		(raging around the room)
	And I'm tired of finding you on the
	goddamned phone every time I turn
	around!  I'm tired of being an
	accessory in your life!

He finds himself by the upstage typewriter, which he
sweeps crashing off the bridge table, sending the
welter of papers there flying off in a storm --

		MAX
	-- and I'm tired of pretending to
	write this dumb book about my
	maverick days in those great early
	years of television!  Every execu-
	tive fired from a network in the
	last twenty years has written this
	dumb book about the great early
	days  But don't
	worry about me.  I'll manage.
	I always have, always will.  I'm
	more concerned about you.  Once
	I go, you'll be back in the eye
	of your own desolate terrors.
	Fifty dollar studs and the
	nightly sleepless contemplation
	of suicide.  You're not the
	boozer type, so I figure a year,
	maybe two before you crack up or
	jump out your fourteenth floor
	office window.

		DIANA
		(stands)
	Stop selling, Max.  I don't need
	you.

She exits out into --


166.  INT. THE LIVING ROOM

-- and across that to the --


167.  INT. THE KITCHEN

-- where a kettle is steaming.  She fetches a cup and
saucer from the cupboard and would make some instant
coffee but she is overtaken by a curious little spasm.
Her hand holding the cup and saucer is shaking so much
she has to put them down.  With visible effort, she
pulls herself together.  She moves out of the kitchen to
the --


168.  INT. THE LIVING ROOM

--  where she stands in the middle of the room and
shouts at MAX through the opened bedroom doorway.

		DIANA
		(cries out)
	I don't want your paint  I don't
	want your menopausal decay and
	death!  I don't need you, Max.

		MAX
	You need me badly!  I'm your
	last contact with human reality!
	I love you, and that painful,
	decaying menopausal love is the
	only thing between you and the
	shrieking nothingness you live
	the rest of the day!

He slams the valise shut.

		DIANA
	Then don't leave me!

		MAX
	It's too late, Diana!  There's
	nothing left in you that I can live
	with!  You're one of Howard's
	humanoids, and, 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 are 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.  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 are madness, Diana,
	virulent madness, and everything you
	touch dies with you.  Well, not me!
	Not while I can still feel pleasure
	and pain and love!

He turns back to his valise and buckles it.  DIANA finds
a chair, sits in it.  A moment later, MAX comes out of
the bedroom, lugging a raincoat as well as the valise.
He lugs his way across the living room, then pauses for
a moment, reflects --

		MAX
	It's a happy ending, Diana.
	Wayward husband comes to his senses,
	returns to his wife with whom he
	has built 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.

He disappears down the foyer.  We can hear the CLICK
of the front door being opened and the CLACK of the
door closing.  DIANA sits in her chair, pulling the
shower robe around her, alone in her arctic desolation.


169.  INT. 20TH FLOOR - UBS BUILDING - LOBBY, LOUNGE,
CORRIDOR - 10:15 P.M.

A solemn FRANK HACKETT in blue suit walks down the long,
empty, hushed corridor to the large double doors of his
office (which had originally been EDWARD RUDDY's office).
At the doors, NELSON CHANEY is waiting for him.

		CHANEY
	How'd it go?

HACKETT sighs, enters --


170.  INT. SECRETARY'S OFFICE

--  where HERB THACKERAY and JOE DONNELLY are lounging.
Everybody follows HACKETT into --


171.  INT. HACKETT'S OFFICE (ONCE RUDDY'S OFFICE)

Nighttime outside, the crepuscular grandeur of
Manhattan glittering below us. Waiting in the office,
seated here and there, are WALTER AMUNDSEN and DIANA.
HACKETT sits behind his desk.  The others all find
places around the room.

		HACKETT
	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.

Nobody has anything to say to this.

		HACKETT
	Mr. Jensen feels we are being 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 in television or the fiftieth.
	He didn't really care if the Beale
	Show lost money.  The network should
	be stabilized so that it can carry a
	losing show and still maintain an
	overall profit.  Mr. Jensen has an
	important message he wants conveyed
	to the American people, and Howard
	Beale is conveying it.  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?

		DIANA
		(taking papers out
		of her attache case)
	That puts us in the shithouse,
	that's where that puts us.
		(holds up her
		sheaf of papers)
	Do you want me to go through this?

		HACKETT
	Yes

		DIANA
	I have an advance TVQ report here.
	The Beale show Q score, which was
	forty-seven in the May book, is down
	to thirty-three and falling.  Most
	of this loss occurred in the child
	and teen and eighteen-thirty-four
	categories, which were our core
	markets.  NBC Nightly News, by
	contrast, has gone up to a
	twenty-nine Q, and, at this rate,
	will pass us by the end of July.
	Everybody here knows the Neilsen and
	share-trend scores.  Let me just
	capsulate our own AR demographic
	reports which have been extensive.
	It is the AR department's carefully
	considered judgment -- and mine --
	that if we get rid of Beale, we
	should be able to maintain a very
	respectable share in the high
	twenties, possibly thirty, with a
	comparable Q level.  The other
	segments on the Beale show -- Sybil
	the Soothsayer, Jim Webbing, the Vox
	Populi -- have all developed their
	own audiences.  Our AR reports show
	without exception that it is Howard
	Beale that's the destructive force
	here.  Minimally, we are talking
	about a ten point differential in
	shares.  I think Joe ought to spell
	it out for us.  Joe?

		DONNELLY
	A twenty-eight share is eighty-
	thousand dollar minutes, and I
	think we could sell complete
	positions on the whole.  As a
	matter of fact, we're just getting
	into the pre-Christmas gift-sellers,
	and I'll tell you the agencies are
	coming back to me with four dollar
	CPMs.  If that's any indication,
	we're talking forty, forty-five
	million dollar loss in annual
	revenues.

		THACKERAY
	You guys want to hear all the flak
	I'm getting from the affiliates?

		HACKETT
	We know all about it, Herb.

		AMUNDSEN
	And you would describe Mr. Jensen's
	position on Beale as inflexible?

		HACKETT
	Intractable and adamantine.

		CHANEY
	So what're we going to do about
	this Beale son of a bitch?

A sad silence settles over the top management of UBS-TV
as they lounge about the enormous room.

		HACKETT
		(sighs)
	I suppose we'll have to kill him.

Another long contemplative silence.

		HACKETT
	I don't suppose you have any ideas
	on that, Diana.

		DIANA
	Well, what would you fellows say
	to an assassination? --


172.  INT. THE LOBBY - UBS BUILDING - A FEW DAYS LATER - 6:00 P.M.

Bustling and crowded.  Long lines of PEOPLE, four
abreast, roped off and waiting to get into the HOWARD
BEALE show.  Uniformed USHERS here and there,
occasionally chatting with the waiting CROWD.  OVER
THIS, the VOICES of the network meeting just interrupted
CONTINUE:

		DIANA'S VOICE

	-- I think I can get the Mao Tse
	Tung people to kill Beale for us.
	As one of their programs.  In
	fact, it'll make a hell of a kick-
	off show for the season.  We're
	facing heavy opposition from the
	other networks on Wednesday nights,
	and the Mao Tse Tung Hour could
	use a sensational show for an opener.
	The whole thing would be done right
	on camera in the studio. We ought
	to get a fantastic look-in audience
	with the assassination of Howard
	Beale as our opening show --


173.  INT. THE LOBBY - UBS BUILDING - ELEVATOR AREA

--  as the waiting AUDIENCE is herded into the elevators.
OVER THIS, the VOICES of the meeting CONTINUE:

		AMUNDSEN'S VOICE
	Well, if Beale dies, what would
	be our continuing obligation to
	the Beale corporation? I know our
	contract with Beale contains a buy-
	out clause triggered by his death
	or incapacity --


174.  INT. UBS BUILDING - FOURTH FLOOR

-- as the elevator load of AUDIENCE is led out of the
elevator and down the long, carpeted corridors, past
the large wall photographs of TV stars, glass-enclosed
control rooms, and other showpieces of the network's
electronic glory.  OVER THIS, the VOICES CONTINUE:

		HACKETT'S VOICE
	There must be a formula for the
	computation of the purchase price.

		AMUNDSEN'S VOICE
	Offhand, I think it was based on
	a multiple of 1975 earnings with
	the base period in 1975.  I think
	it was fifty percent of salary plus
	twenty-five percent of the first
	year's profits --


175.  INT. HACKETT'S OFFICE

The meeting is still going on --

		AMUNDSEN
		(continuing above speech)
	-- multiplied by the unexpired
	portion of the contract.  I don't
	think the show has any substantial
	syndication value, would you say,
	Diana?

		DIANA
	Syndication profits are minimal.


176.  INT. THE BEALE SHOW STUDIO AND AUDIENCE AREA

The new load of AUDIENCE finds seats in the rapidly-
filling auditorium.  On the floor of the studio, the
CREW is setting the cameras, checking the booms.  The
stage curtain is down.  OVER THIS, the VOICES of the
meeting CONTINUE:

		CHANEY'S VOICE
	We're talking about a capital crime
	here, so the network can't be
	implicated.

		AMUNDSEN'S VOICE
		(chuckling)
	I hope you don't have any hidden
	tape machines in this office,
	Frank --


177.  INT. THE BEALE SHOW STUDIO - SHOWTIME

The warm-up is over; the stage footlights are on; the
AUDIENCE sits expectantly.  The big wall CLOCK shows:
6:29, clicks to 6:30.  On the studio stage, the
ANNOUNCER strides out from the wings, bellows happily
at the audience

		ANNOUNCER
	Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear
	it -- how do you feel?


178.  REVERSE SHOT of the AUDIENCE.  Suddenly SPOT the GREAT
AHMED KHAN and some of his FOLLOWERS, right in the
middle, happily joining all the others in their communal
response:


		AUDIENCE AND THE KHAN
	We're mad as hell, and we're not
	going to take this any more!

		ANNOUNCER
	Ladies and gentlemen!  The Network
	News Hour! With Sybil the Sooth-
	sayer, Jim Webbing and his It's-
	the-Emmes-Truth Department, Miss
	Mata Hari, tonight another segment
	of Vox Populi, and starring --


MUSIC:  A FLOURISH OF DRUMS

		ANNOUNCER
	-- the mad prophet of the airways,
	Howard Beale!

MUSIC:  A FULL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA SOARS INTO AN IMPERIAL
CRESCENDO --


179.  -- as the HOUSE LIGHTS go to BLACK.  The curtain slowly
rises.  The bare stage, the stained glass window, the
celestial SHAFT of light.  HOWARD BEALE, in his black
suit and tie, strides on from the wings, stands basking
in the SPOTLIGHT.  APPLAUSE UP.


180.  INT. HACKETT'S OFFICE

The meeting is still going on.

		HACKETT
	Well, the issue is:  shall we
	kill Howard Beale or not.  I'd
	like to hear some more opinions
	on that --

		DIANA
	I don't see we have any option,
	Frank.  Let's kill the son of a
	bitch.


181.  INT. THE BEALE STUDIO

The APPLAUSE for HOWARD BEALE has died.  HUSH --
suddenly, the HUSH is shattered by a HORRENDOUS
ENFILADE of GUNFIRE.  An embroidery of red bullet
holes perforate HOWARD'S shirt and jacket, and we
might even see the impact of a head wound as he
pitches backwards dead.


182.  A BANK OF FOUR COLOR TELEVISION MONITORS

It is 7:14 P.M., WEDNESDAY, July 9, 1975, and we
are watching the network news programs on CBS, NBC,
ABC and UBS-TV.  The AUDIO is ON:  head shots of
WALTER CRONKITE, JOHN CHANCELLOR, HOWARD K. SMITH,
HARRY REASONER, and JACK SNOWDEN, substituting for
HOWARD BEALE, interspersed with tapes of the horrible
happening at UBS the day before, flit and flicker
across the four television screens.  Television
continues relentlessly on.

		NARRATOR (OVER)
	This was the story of Howard Beale
	who was the network news anchorman
	on UBS-TV, the first known instance
	of a man being killed because he
	had lousy ratings.


					FADE OUT.
THE END


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