Topic: Howard Beale

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Howard Beale is a fictional character from the movie Network (1976). He was played by Peter Finch (who won a posthumous Oscar for the role).

During the movie, Howard struggles with depression and insanity, but his producers, rather than give him the medical help he needs, use him as a tool for getting higher ratings. The image of Howard Beale, in a beige coat with his wet, gray hair plastered to his head, standing up during the middle of his newscast saying, "I'm as mad as Hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" ranks as one of the most memorable scenes in film history (the line made #19 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 great movie quotes).

Beale's career as "The Mad Prophet of the Airwaves" was sparked by his half-joking offer to kill himself on nationwide TV following receiving his two-weeks' notice. He subsequently apologized to his viewers, telling them he "ran out of bullshit". Viewers responded positively and Beale was given his own show where he could say whatever he liked. Unfortunately, he exposed the ties between CCA, the corporation that owned the network, and business interests in Saudi Arabia. Arthur Jensen, CCA chairman and chief stockholder, thunderously explained to him that money is the only true God, whereupon he completely turned his message around; before, he told people their lives had value and meaning, but after his meeting with Jensen, he said the opposite. His ratings dropped, but Jensen ordered him kept on; network executives ordered him to be assassinated. The film concludes with the murder of Beale on national television; a voiceover proclaims him "the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings."

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Howard Beale."