Favorite quotes from the movie Network

I’ll start with a very simple one (it hardly qualifies as memorable), lest I step on someone’s favorite -

[TV studio background noise]

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

[TV studio background noise]

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


Yes, Discobot, it’s a complete sentence.

A couple, but not the obvious ones. Also quoting Howard Beale and Arthur Jensen’s Oscar-worthy speeches take too long.

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

And the one that I think sums up the craziness of the core of the film:

[in response to Beale asking his viewers to yell out their windows]: They’re yelling in [insert city name]!

One that I’ve come to use many times as I get older:


“You can blow the seminal prisoner class infrastructure out your ass! I’m not knockin’ down my goddamn distribution charges!”


I’m human being, GOD DAMMIT! My life has value!

Louise Schumacher: I’m your wife, damn it. And, if you can’t work up a whit of passion for me, the least I require is respect and allegiance.

(Funny, the best use of a 5-minute scene in movie history, just about, and the genesis of an academy award for best supporting actress, and IMDB has Beatrice Straight listed 36th in the credits. This mirrors the closing credits in the movie.)

I thinki it’s “winter passion.”

That makes more sense. I copied it from IMDB.

“This is a NETWORK! We WORK for the NETWORK to make the NETWORK WORK!”

All right, fine, I’ve never seen Network.

Many people don’t know that this is based on an actual practice by humorist, author, and radio broadcaster Jean Shepard (probably best known for writing A Christmas Story).

From time to time Shepherd, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, would tell his listeners to go to their windows, open them, place their radios with loudspeakers pointed out into the night and turn up the volume.
Shepherd would then yell some startling comment that would be heard throughout the neighborhood. He called this act of comic defiance, “Hurling an Invective.”

Shepherd said that Chayefsky had called him and asked if he would mind if in “Network” he could, in a kind of tribute to Shepherd’s “invectives,” use the idea.

Some of Shep’s invectives:

• You don’t think for a moment you’re fooling anyone, do you?

• How long do you think you can get away with this? The jig is up!

• You filthy pragmatist!

From here.

“They say I can sell anything, Mr. Beale. I’d like to try to sell something to you.”

“I have seen the face of God”

“This was the story of Howard Beale; the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings.”

I think Network is brilliant, but Ned Beatty’s big speech just never did anything for me. The rest of the movie, Peter Finch’s diatribes in particular, are wonderfully plain-spoken. And then Beatty comes in with the sort pompous buzzwords that the rest of the movie is so good at skewering.

I’ve always liked Barbara’s (Conchata Ferrell’s) TV show pitches to Diana Christensen:

At that point, Diana cuts Barbara off, but the point is made: Barbara has summed up just about every TV drama of the mid-1970s.