Great Scene: “Network”

“ I ’ molarity a delirious as hell and I ’ m not going to take this anymore ! ” The WGA has an annual honor called The Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award. And even though it ’ s for writers who work in television receiver, where Chayefsky ruled during its alleged “ Golden Age, ” there is no while of writing that displays Chayefsky ’ s glare than this celebrated monologue in the movie Network ( 1976 ). In this scene, newscaster Howard Beale ( Peter Finch ) goes on a tirade about contemporary life that is as relevant nowadays as it was over 30 years ago .

 cipher in the control room is paying besides much attention 
to Yamani, they are all watching the double bank of
black-and-white monitors which show HOWARD BEALE
entering the studio apartment, drenched, hunched, staring gauntly
off into his own space, moving with single-minded
function 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 cartridge holder of Yamani has come to an end. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Ready 2. DIRECTOR
Take 2. -- and, suddenly, the obsessed font of HOWARD BEALE,
bony, careworn, red-eye with unsophisticated ardor, hair
streaked and plastered on his eyebrow, obviously huffy,
fills the MONITOR SCREEN. HOWARD ( ON MONITOR )
I do n't have to tell you things
are bad. Everybody knows things
are bad. It 's a depressive disorder.
Everybody 's out of work or frighten
of losing their job, the dollar
buys a nickel 's worth, banks are
going burst, shopkeepers keep a
gunman under the counter, punks
are running rampantly in the streets,
and there 's cipher anywhere who
seems to know what to do, and
there 's no end to it. We know
the air 's disqualify to breathe and
our food is bad 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
brainsick. So we do n't go out any
more. We sit in the house, and
slowly the earth we live in
gets smaller, and all we ask is
please, at least leave us alone
in our own populate rooms. Let me
have my toaster and my tee-vee
and my hair-dryer and my steel-
belted radials, and I wo n't say
anything, just leave us alone.
Well, I 'm not going to leave you
alone. I want you to get harebrained -- ANOTHER ANGLE showing the ecstatic attention of the PEOPLE
in the control room, specially of DIANA -- HOWARD
I do n't want you to riot. I
do n't want you to protest. I
do n't want you to write your
congressmen. Because I would n't
know what to tell you to write.
I do n't know what to do about the
depression and the inflation and
the department of defense budget and the Russians
and crime in the street. All
I know is beginning you got to get
delirious. You 've got to say : `` I 'm
huffy as hell and I 'm not going
to take this any more. I 'm a
human being, goddammit. My life
has rate. '' So I want you to
get up immediately. I want you to get
out of your chairs and go to
the window. right now. I want
you to go to the windowpane, open
it, and stick your head out
and shout. I want you to yell :
'' I 'm brainsick as hell and I 'm not
going to take this any more ! '' DIANA
( grabs HUNTER 's
shoulder )
How many stations does this
go out alive 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 yell -- But DIANA has already left the control room and is
scurrying down -- 100. INT. CORRIDOR -- yank doors open, looking for a phone, which
she finds in -- 101. INT. AN OFFICE DIANA
( seizing the earphone )
Give me Stations Relations --
( the call goes through )
Herb, this is Diana Christenson,
are you watching because I want
you to call every consort
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 harebrained.
When you 're delirious adequate -- Both THACKERAY 'S SECRETARY 's position and his own office
are filled with his STAFF. The Assistant VP Station
Relations, a 32-year-old companion named RAY PITOFSKY,
is at the SECRETARY 's desk, besides on the earphone. Another
ASSISTANT VP is standing behind him on the SECRETARY 's
other earphone -- 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 valet, is standing by the open windows of his
function, staring out into the accumulate dusk, holding
his call. The station is located in an Atlanta
suburb, but from far off across the leaf
surrounding the post, there can be heard a dim
RUMBLE. On his function comfort, HOWARD BEALE is
saying -- HOWARD ( ON CONSOLE )
-- and the inflation and the anoint
crisis -- GENERAL MANAGER
( into phone )
Herb, so help me, I think they 're
shout -- 105. INT. THACKERAY 'S agency PITOFSKY
( at SECRETARY 's desk,
on the telephone )
They 're yelling in Baton Rouge. DIANA grabs the call from him and listens to the
people of Baton Rouge yelling their wrath in the
streets -- HOWARD ( ON CONSOLE )
-- Things have got to change.
But you ca n't change them unless
you 're brainsick. You have to get huffy.
Go to the window -- DIANA
( gives call back to
PITOFSKY ; her eyes
incandescence with exhilaration )
The following time person asks you
to explain what ratings are,
you tell them : that 's ratings !
( exults )
Son of a backbite, 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 brainsick
as hell and I 'm not going to
take this any more ! '' CAROLINE gets up from her president and heads for the
survive room window. LOUISE SCHUMACHER
Where are you going ? CAROLINE
I want to see if anybody 's
yell. 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
bulk, anonymous apartment houses and the episodic
brownstones. It is thunder black ; a distant applaud of
THUNDER CRASHES somewhere off and LIGHTNING shatters
the clammy iniquity. In the sudden HUSH following the
thunder, a thinly spokesperson down the block can be heard
yelling : thin VOICE ( O.S. )
I 'm huffy 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 atomizer
against his face -- 108. MAX 'S P.O.V. He sees casual windows candid, and, precisely across
from his apartment house, a MAN opens the front door
of a brownstone -- MAN
( shouts )
I 'm huffy as hell and I 'm not
going to take this any more ! OTHER SHOUTS are heard. From his twenty-third deck
vantage point, MAX sees the erratic landscape of
Manhattan buildings for some blocks, and, silhouetted
HEADS in window after window, here, there, and then
apparently everywhere, SHOUTING out into the slashing
black RAIN of the streets -- VOICES
I 'm huffy as hell and I 'm not
going to take this any morel A terrifying enormous CLAP of natural THUNDER, followed
by a delirious brilliant FULGURATION of LIGHTNING ; and immediately
the gathering CHORUS of disperse SHOUTS seems to be
coming from the whole, huddled, black drove of the
city 's people, SCREAMING together in fury, an
identical tidal roar of homo fad as formidable
as the natural THUNDER again ROARING, THUNDERING,
RUMBLING above. It sounds like a Nuremberg rally, the
breeze thick and trembling with it -- 109. FULL SHOT - soap standing with his daughter by the open patio window-
doors, RAIN spraying against them, listening to the
stun 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 .

Notice how the dialogue builds from Howard seated behind the desk, about as if person confessing something. then the pivot luff, “ Well, I ’ m not going to leave you entirely, ” where Howard turns from confessor to prophet letting lax with his clarion margin call : “ I ’ meter brainsick as hell and I ’ m not going to take it anymore. ” Watch Finch who gives an incredible performance in this fit : now that is a bang-up scene !

And doesn ’ t it seem like television receiver programmer Diana Christensen ( Faye Dunaway ) would fit into nowadays ’ randomness populace filled with reality television ? I ’ thousand sure person will be tempted to comment about the distance of Howard ’ s dialogue. For case, his first side — setting aside the SD that breaks it up — is 59 lines retentive. I doubt there ’ s a screenwriting guru or script reviewer alive who would — in theory at least — acknowledge that writing a 59 production line monologue is a good theme. however, two things. First, Chayefsky was a consummate wordsmith, particularly his dialogue, so he could do anything he wanted to do. But the second matter is about the individuality of our stories. And if our floor requires a character to go on a 59 pipeline monologue, then we, as writers, have the justly to let them do that. We besides have the responsibility to make certain those 59 lines are blasted good lines !

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