Network – Paddy Chayefsky’s dark satire of a corporate run news network and the monstrous behind-the-scenes decisions to bolster their low ratings, is tragically more relevant than ever. When Howard Beale (Peter Finch), the anchor of UBS Evening News, is informed that he will be let go in two weeks due to poor ratings, Beale’s aura of stability crumbles on live television when he informs his audience that he will “blow my brains out on live television a week from today,” and is reborn as a ranting truth teller with nothing to lose, resulting in a ratings jackpot. News Division President Max Schumacher (William Holden) fears for his friend’s well-being, while Head of Network Programming Diane Christensen (Faye Dunaway) capitalizes on the madness of it all – including embracing a terrorism organization for a new show. Director Sydney Lumet elevates the medium and Chayefsky’s script is slam poetry, with Oscar nods for Network going to Peter Finch (Best Actor), Faye Dunaway (Best Actress), Beatrice Straight (Best Supporting Actress) and Paddy Chayefsky (Best Screenplay). Howard Beale’s verbal onslaught about oil prices, the Russians, Saudi Arabia, and that “democracy is a dying giant,” isn’t just relevant all these years later, it’s news. Robert Duvall and Ned Beatty rounds out the stellar cast.
“Timeless and essential.” – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
“This still-prescient vivisection of modern culture’s vapidity crackles with the nervous energy of midtown’s hothouse broadcasters.” – Stephen Garrett, Time Out
- Sidney Lumet
- Paddy Chayefsky
- Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, Wesley Addy, Ned Beatty
- Running Time
- 121 minutes