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 <email@example.com>
Sidney Lumet recalled that Paddy Chayefsky was usually on the set overseeing his direction, and would give him advice on how certain scenes should be played. Lumet claims that Chayefsky had better comedic instinct than him, but when it came time to shoot the argument scene between William Holden and Beatrice Straight, the four-times-married director told Chayefsky, "Paddy, please, I know more about divorce than you." See more »
Just after Beale announces his intention to commit suicide on the air, we see a row of TV screens showing how the story is being covered by the other channels. Playing a news anchor, John Gabriel claims that "something happened at one of our sister networks..." It should have been referred to as a "competitive" network - a "sister" implies the same corporate ownership, something prohibited by the FCC in 1976. See more »
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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Engrossing satire from Paddy Chayefsky and Sidney Lumet about sensationalism and the almighty dollar in television. All the performances astound, especially Beatty as the tycoon who tells Peter Finch his ideal America and his ideal philosophy on where America is heading. The film is a fine mix of black comedy and drama, brought to life by Chayefsky's incredible script and Lumet's superb direction. Dunaway won a much deserved Oscar for her performance. It's a performance that makes your jaw drop to the floor from start to finish. She makes being a bitch look so darn good.
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