January 29, 1977
Howard Beale is as mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. That’s what he announces on the airwaves of the nightly newscast he anchors. Angry that failing ratings mean his imminent firing, Beale declares that he will kill himself on air. Ironically, the ratings jump at this pronouncement not only save his job, they make his reputation. Thanks to scheming executive Diana Christensen, who wants to package everything as entertainment, Beale gets his own show. His angry ranting makes him a cultural icon, but it can’t save him when the network decides they’ve had enough. Not wanting to just fire Beale, as that wouldn’t increase ratings, they send a hit squad to assassinate him on air.