- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Dashiell Barnes
The film that should have won the Best Picture Oscar of '76. TV executives ignore the warnings about putting a deranged anchor back on television. Excellent acting overall; Finch, Dunaway & Straight won Academy Awards for their work, making this the second film to win 3/4 acting awards, Holden & Beatty were nominated as well. Chayefsky's Oscar-winning, satirical screenplay is just as memorable as the acting & under Lumet's direction, makes a story about the sleaziness of television people & our need to be entertained by their programs. A powerful drama indeed. I give it a 5/5.
Satire Come Tree
One of my favorite movies of all time, Network is a tremendous feat in filmmaking. Paddy Chayefsky turns out his most brilliant script in his illustrious career that included Marty and The Hospital. The satirical elements are top notch, as evidenced by its getting better as time passes. Peter Finch turns in an astoundingly insane performance in the Oscar-winning turn as Howard Beale, the network anchor who loses his mind and is killed because he had bad ratings. Faye Dunaway, in an Oscar-winning turn as Diana Christensen, makes a potentially train-wreck unbelievable character into a train-wreck believable character who is so obsessed with good ratings that it invades every aspect of her life. William Holden, in an Oscar-nominated turn as Max Schumacher that is arguably his best performance on film, is the most human element of the entire film. Deeply flawed and down on his life, he is having a mid-life crisis in his late 50s. Robert Duvall is quite good as Frank Hackett, the network head, who is full of himself. Ned Beatty, just two years after his memorable debut in Deliverance, gives an Oscar-nominated performance as entertainment conglomerate chairman Arthur Jensen in what amounts to about 5-7 minutes of screen time. Beatrice Straight rounds out the phenomenal performances with her Oscar-winning turn as Louise Schumacher, Holden's wife. Her 5 minutes of screentime make her performance the shortest to win an Oscar, though it is well-deserved. In just about 5 minutes, she convincingly endures all of the stages of grief. Sidney Lumet's direction, as always, is superb.
Brilliant satire of the society in which we live: ignorant and proud of our ignorance!
1976 Prophecy - 2011 Reality
- Bruce Reber
"Network" (1976), screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky's brilliant and dark satire of the TV industry, is a prophetic and cautionary look at the power of media to influence the public, and it's skewing of their perception of reality and fantasy. Peter Finch (in his Oscar winning performance) plays neurotic veteran news anchorman Howard Beale, who believes he's has a visitation from a divine power which compels him to become "the Mad Prophet of the airwaves" and preach about "real intransient human truth" and rail against the insidious evils of TV and its influence. When "Network" came out there were only three major networks. Today, 35 years later there's cable TV with hundreds of channels, and also the internet, so a concept like "The Howard Beale Show" that was shocking in 1976 is commonplace in 2011, with reality shows and other "Junk TV" progams. Truly TV has become what Howard Beale professed it to be - "a circus with jugglers, acrobats and clowns, in the boredom killing business" The rest of the "Network" cast is terrific - William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty and all the others. Also an excellent script by Chayefsky and brilliant direction by Sidney Lumet. Howard Beale said it all with his famous line "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore"! I could say the same about TV, which when I was growing up was very entertaining and worthwhile. Today however, TV has disintegrated into a mess of mindless sitcoms, reality shows and tell-all-my-family secrets talk shows. Whoever coined the term "Trash TV" was so right on, because that's modern TV in a nutshell. That's why I always watch TCM!
Not mad as hell about it.
It was okay.
This movie really struck a nerve. I now know where V for Vendetta get's it's influence. I abousulty loved the energy and realness. To think I was born in 1976. I will definitly make this a part of my collection.
so great it's scary
- michael york
this is ne of those movies that shows how little the world really changes it has one of the best screenplays ever chayefsky was a genius and a "soothsayer" and what a cast william holden is the best he should have won best actor and finch should have beee in the supporting category but why grouse about that now this is another one of those movies that is hard to resist
THIS IS A MOVIE THAT IS HARD TO FORGET. IT IS SO EXPLOSIVE.IT ALSO HAS A GREAT CAST AND A INTERESTING STORYLINE.I ALWAYS ENJOY WATCHING IT.
Watching this now
And I love it.
A great Sidney Lumet film, showing the incrediable power of the media. Excellent performances by all, especially Peter Faulk. A must see film.