A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

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Top Rated Movies #179 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Arthur Burghardt ...
Bill Burrows ...
TV Director
John Carpenter ...
George Bosch
...
Harry Hunter
Kathy Cronkite ...
Mary Ann Gifford
Ed Crowley ...
Joe Donnelly
Jerome Dempsey ...
Walter C. Amundsen
...
Barbara Schlesinger
Gene Gross ...
Milton K. Steinman
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Storyline

In the 1970s, terrorist violence is the stuff of networks' nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS Television Network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way. We then see how this affects the fortunes of Beale, his coworkers (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen), and the network. Written by Bruce Janson <bruce@cs.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Prepare yourself for a perfectly outrageous motion picture! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

27 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Poder que mata  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,800,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With his Best Screenplay win for this film, Paddy Chayefsky became the first screenwriter to win three Academy Awards for scripts that he wrote by himself. The other two awards were for his work on Marty (1955) and The Hospital (1971). Woody Allen would later become the second person to achieve this feat. See more »

Goofs

In one scene Robert Duvall is speaking to a large group of stock holders. To Duvall's left, there are four seated men. The third man from Duvall sits with his hands under the table. A moment later, his left hand is upon his forehead. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: This story is about Howard Beale, who was the news anchorman on UBS TV. In his time, Howard Beale had been a mandarin of television, the grand old man of news, with a HUT rating of 16 and a 28 audience share. In 1969, however, his fortunes began to decline. He fell to a 22 share. The following year, his wife died, and he was left a childless widower with an 8 rating and a 12 share. He became morose and isolated, began to drink heavily, and on September 22, 1975, he was fired, ...
[...]
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Connections

References All in the Family (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Cynic's Dream
3 January 2005 | by (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

This is one of those wonderful films where everything comes together. The acting and the writing is by far the most impressive elements of this film. William Holden and Peter Finch should have both received Oscars for their performances, instead of just Peter Finch. Faye Dunaway pulls of the most dynamic and emotional characters she has ever played.

The true brilliance of this film is that all elements of it fade appropriately behind the actors and their messages. The film is completely a work of storytelling and, at least for the writer, stunning clarity of message and purpose. Political films come and go but few remain in the annals of film because of their effectiveness at their own message.

The cinematography, editing, sound, costume design, art direction and production design are all quite simplistic. In some scenes the film can be accused of being almost ugly. However this all lends to the back-washing of the film so as to allow the message to ring loudest. In my opinion, Sidney Lumet took this just a little too far and thus I give it a 9 instead of a 10.

This is certainly a film for the history books. Every connoisseur of film should be exposed to this movie at some point in their life. If you happen to be cynical, then you will love every minute of this movie as its stark view of life in the 1970's (and onward) touches the hard of even the hardest of cynics. For those educators out there, GREAT film for classes on Media and Politics.


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