Network (1976) Poster


Faye Dunaway: Diana Christensen



  • Max Schumacher : You need me. You need me badly. Because I'm your last contact with human reality. I love you. And that painful, decaying love is the only thing between you and the shrieking nothingness you live the rest of the day.

    Diana Christensen : [hesitatingly]  Then, don't leave me.

    Max Schumacher : It's too late, Diana. There's nothing left in you that I can live with. You're one of Howard's humanoids. If I stay with you, I'll be destroyed. Like Howard Beale was destroyed. Like Laureen Hobbs was destroyed. Like everything you and the institution of television touch is destroyed. You're television incarnate, Diana: Indifferent to suffering; insensitive to joy. All of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality. War, murder, death are all the same to you as bottles of beer. And the daily business of life is a corrupt comedy. You even shatter the sensations of time and space into split seconds and instant replays. You're madness, Diana. Virulent madness. And everything you touch dies with you. But not me. Not as long as I can feel pleasure, and pain... and love.

    [Kisses her] 

    Max Schumacher : And it's a happy ending: Wayward husband comes to his senses, returns to his wife, with whom he has established a long and sustaining love. Heartless young woman left alone in her arctic desolation. Music up with a swell; final commercial. And here are a few scenes from next week's show.

    [Picks up his suitcases and leaves] 

  • Diana Christensen : Hi. I'm Diana Christensen, a racist lackey of the imperialist ruling circles.

    Laureen Hobbs : I'm Laureen Hobbs, a badass commie nigger.

    Diana Christensen : Sounds like the basis of a firm friendship.

  • Diana Christensen : I'm sorry for all those things I said to you last night. You're not the worst fuck I ever had. Believe me, I've had worse. You don't puff or snorkel and make death-like rattles. As a matter of fact, you're rather serene in the sack.

    Max Schumacher : Why is it that a woman always thinks that the most savage thing she can say to a man is to impugn his cocksmanship.

    Diana Christensen : I'm sorry I impugned your cocksmanship.

    Max Schumacher : I gave up comparing genitals back in the schoolyard.

  • Max Schumacher : I'm the man that you presumably love. I'm a part of your life. I live here. I'm real. You can't switch to another station.

    Diana Christensen : Well, what exactly is it you want me to do?

    Max Schumacher : I just want you to love me. I just want you to love me, primal doubts and all. You understand that, don't you?

    Diana Christensen : [weakly]  I don't know how to do that.

  • Diana Christensen : Well Max, here we are: Middle-aged man reaffirming his middle-aged manhood, and a terrified young woman with a father complex. What sort of script do you think we can make out of this?

  • Diana Christensen : Look, I sent you all a concept analysis report yesterday. Did any of you read it?

    [Aides stare blankly at her] 

    Diana Christensen : 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." 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 counterculture, I want anti-establishment. 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, and we'd 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. This is what you're paid for. And by the way, the next time I send an audience research report around, you'd all better read it, or I'll sack the fucking lot of you. Is that clear?

  • Diana Christensen : I was married for four years, and pretended to be happy; and I had six years of analysis, and pretended to be sane. My husband ran off with his boyfriend, and I had an affair with my analyst, who told me I was the worst lay he'd 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 goddamn 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.

  • Diana Christensen : I watched your 6 o'clock news today; it's straight tabloid. You had a minute and a half of 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 crime, sports, children with incurable diseases, and lost puppies. So, I don't think I'll listen to any protestations of high standards of journalism when you're right down on the streets soliciting audiences like the rest of us. Look, all I'm saying is if you're going to hustle, at least do it right.

  • Diana Christensen : [flipping through the newspaper]  You know, Barbara, the Arabs have decided to jack up the price of oil another 20%... uh, the CIA has been caught opening Senator Humphrey's mail... there's a civil war in Angola... another one in Beirut... the, uh, New York City's still facing default... they finally caught up with Patricia Hearst... and the whole front page of the "Daily News" is Howard Beale.

  • Diana Christensen : The time has come to re-evaluate our relationship, Max.

    Max Schumacher : So I see.

    Diana Christensen : I don't like the way this script of ours has turned out. It's turning into a seedy little drama.

    Max Schumacher : You're going to cancel the show?

    Diana Christensen : Right.

  • Diana Christensen : By tomorrow, he'll have a 50 share, maybe even a 60. Howard Beale is processed instant God, and right now, it looks like he may just go over bigger than Mary Tyler Moore.

  • Diana Christensen : I'm interested in doing a weekly dramatic series based on the Ecumenical Liberation Army. The way I see the series is: Each week we open with an authentic act of political terrorism taken on the spot, in the actual moment. Then we go to 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 footage for us. The network can't deal with them directly; they are, after all, wanted criminals.

  • [immediately after making love with Max] 

    Diana Christensen : What's really bugging me now is my daytime programming. NBC's got a lock on daytime - 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 about a woman hopelessly in love with her husband's mistress.

  • Diana Christensen : Look, we've got a bunch of hobgoblin radicals called the Ecumenical Liberation Army who go around taking home movies of themselves robbing banks. Now, maybe they'll take movies of themselves kidnapping heiresses, hijacking 747s, bombing bridges, assassinating ambassadors. We'd open each week's segment with their authentic footage, hire a couple of writers to write a story behind that footage, and we've got ourselves a series.

    George Bosch : A series about a bunch of bank robbing guerrillas?

    Barbara : [jokingly]  What are we going to call it? The ""The Mao Tse-Tung Hour"?

    Diana Christensen : Why not? They've got "Strike Force", "Task Force", "SWAT"; why not Che Guevara and his own little Mod Squad?

  • Frank Hackett : Mr. Jensen is unhappy with Howard Beale and wants him discontinued.

    Diana Christensen : He may be unhappy, but he isn't stupid enough to withdraw the number one show on television out of pique.

    Frank Hackett : Two billion dollars is not pique! That's the Wrath of God! And the Wrath of God wants Howard Beale fired.

  • Frank Hackett : [Discussing Beale's poor ratings]  Where's that put us, Diana?

    Diana Christensen : That puts us in the shithouse. That's where that puts us.

  • Diana Christensen : The next time I send out a marketing analysis you all better read it or I'll sack the fucking lot of you.

  • Max Schumacher : Corner gossip says that you're Frank Hackett's backstage girl.

    Diana Christensen : [laughs]  I am not! Frank's a corporation man - body and soul. He has no loves, lusts, nor allegiances that are not consummately directed to becoming a CCA board member. So, why should he bother with me? I'm not even a stockholder.

  • Diana Christensen : [begins passionately making out with Max]  NBC's offering 2.2 and a half mill per


    Diana Christensen : per package of five James Bond movies, and I think I'm going to steal them for 3.5


    Diana Christensen : for their third run.

    [deep kiss] 

  • Frank Hackett : Well, the issue is: Shall we kill Howard Beale, or not? I'd like to get some more opinions on that.

    Diana Christensen : I don't see we have any options, Frank. Let's kill the son-of-a-bitch.

  • Diana Christensen : [shouting]  Son of a bitch. We've struck the motherlode.

  • Diana Christensen : Let's stop kidding ourselves. Full-fledged messiahs don't come in bunches.

  • Frank Hackett : For God's sake Diana, we're talking about putting a manifest irresponsible man on national television.

    Diana Christensen : [nods affirming] 

  • Nelson Chaney : So, what do we do about this Beale son-of-a-bitch?

    Frank Hackett : I suppose we'll have to kill him. I don't suppose you have any ideas on that, Diana?

    Diana Christensen : Well, what would you fellas say to an assassination? I think I can get the the Mao Tse-Tung people to kill Beale for us, as one of their shows. In fact, it would make a helluva kickoff show for the season. We're facing heavy opposition on the other networks on Wednesday nights and "The Mao Tse-Tung Hour" could use a sensational opener. It could be done right on camera, in the the studio. We ought get a fantastic looking audience for the assignation of Howard Beale as our opening show.

  • Bill Herron : What we're going to see now is something really sensational. The Flagstaff Independent Bank of Arizona was ripped off last week by a terrorist group called the Ecumenical Liberation Army and they themselves actually took movies of the rip off while they were ripping it off. What till you see it.

    Diana Christensen : The Ecumenical Liberation Army - that's not the one that kidnapped Patty Hearst?

    Bill Herron : No-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.

  • Diana Christensen : Did you see the overnight's on the Network News? It has an 8 in New York, a 9 in LA and 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.

  • Diana Christensen : Did you see the news this morning? Did you see the Times? We got press coverage on this you couldn't buy for a million dollars. Frank, that dumb show jumped five rating points in one night. Tonight's show is gonna be at least fifteen. We've just increased our audience by twenty or thirty million people in one night! And you're not going to to get something like this in your lap for the rest of your days and you can't just piss it away. Howard Beale went 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 on television.

    Frank Hackett : What do you mean you want that show? It's a News show. It's not your department.

    Diana Christensen : I see Howard Beale as a latter day prophet. A magnificent messianic figure in vain against the hypocrisies of our times! A strip Savonarola, Monday through Friday, that I tell you Frank will 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 and thirty thousand dollar minutes and you ought 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.

  • Diana Christensen : Did you know there are a number of psychics working as licensed brokers on Wall Street? 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 last week and thought of doing a show around her, "The Wayward Witch of Wall Street," something like that.

  • Diana Christensen : TV is show biz, Max. And, even the News has to have a little showmanship.

  • Max Schumacher : Do you have a favorite restaurant?

    Diana Christensen : I eat anything.

    Max Schumacher : Son of a bitch, I get a feeling I'm being made.

    Diana Christensen : You are.

    Max Schumacher : Well, I've got to warn you, I - I don't do anything on my first date.

    Diana Christensen : We'll see.

  • Max Schumacher : What about your loves, lusts and allegiances?

    Diana Christensen : Is your wife in town?

    Max Schumacher : Yes.

    Diana Christensen : Well, then we better go to my place.

  • Laureen Hobbs : The Ecumenical Liberation Army is an ultra left sect, creating political confusion with wildcat violence and pseudo-insurrectionary acts - which the Communist Party does not endorse. The American masses are not yet ready for open revolt. We would not want to produce a television show celebrating historically deviational terrorism.

    Diana Christensen : Miss Hobbs, I'm offering you an hour of primetime television every week, into which you can stick whatever propaganda that you want.

  • Diana Christensen : Miss Hobbs, we're talking about 30 to 50 million people a shot. It's a lot better than handing out mimeographed pamphlets on ghetto street corners.

  • Diana Christensen : That "The 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 at Hackett's office last week and served us with a subpoena. They heard about a Flagstaff bank rip off film and they want it. Hackett told the FBI to fuck off.

  • Diana Christensen : But we're getting around the FBI by doing the show in collaboration with the News division! We're standing on the first amendment, freedom of the press, and the right to protect our sources.

  • Diana Christensen : Terrific, Max! Terrific! Maybe you can start a whole new career as an actor!

  • Diana Christensen : Stop selling, Max. I don't need you! I don't want your pain. I don't want your menopause or decay and death! I don't need you, Max! Now get out of here!

See also

Release Dates | Official Sites | Company Credits | Filming & Production | Technical Specs

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