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>
United Artists agreed to make the film despite having recently settled a lawsuit brought on by producers Paddy Chayefsky and Howard Gottfried that challenged the company's right to lease their previous film, The Hospital (1971), to U.S. television network ABC in a package with less successful film. Later, UA backed out, fearing the subject matter was too controversial. Once MGM agreed to make the movie, UA suddenly did a reversal, choosing to co-produce the film with the competing studio that, six years later, would buy UA outright following the debacle of Heaven's Gate (1980), a financial and public relations nightmare that prompted UA's parent company, Transamerica, to bail out of the film business. See more »
In 1976, the three major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) sent out its network newscast live at 6:30 PM Eastern Time, and, barring any breaking news, aired them on tape delay at 7:00 PM Eastern, and thereafter. So unless UBS re-staged its newscast for each time zone, it would have been impractical for the network to have wall clocks on its news set. 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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