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>
Early in the film, after Howard Beale says that he's going to kill himself on-air, he's on the phone with Schumacher (Holden) angling to get his job back, and he mentions that he "has 11 years with this network." Later, following his on-air rant that "he ran out of BS," he's confronted by the press in the lobby of UBS where he says, "Every day, five days a week for 15 years, I've been sitting behind that desk..." 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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"Network" is a fantastic movie that illustrates just how the "mob" and the media can exploit even the best intentions for mutual profit.
Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is an on-air personality that, after finding he is not bankable anymore, snaps and starts to speak his own uncensored, and highly inflammable commentary about the hypocrisy of modern life.
In his mad-hatter routine, somehow he sparks his audience's interest, and in a twist of fame finds himself, the not bankable as prime market share for prime time television. And naturally, his bosses and those who stand to profit from his actions, use his fame to better their own cause.
Beale's rise to stardom is only one facet of this intricate story about how the mob influences media. Throughout "Network" we as the audience are constantly shown, to nausea, how ruthless popularity and trend mold what we see as consumers of entertainment. Most of the main characters are in fact trapped in their roles - and powerless to the bottom line, which is that media relies on advertisement and ratings to generate revenue.
In fact, I believe that is what the point of "Network" is - this movie shows us, that "news" is entertainment, and how we as viewers (whichever demographic you are) are willing to suspend all common sense, class, independence, honor, integrity for a few moments of triumph or more pragmatically, how we relish tragedy.
"Network" is too heavy for most people - it is meant for people who do not like TV, who think that product placement is ridiculous, and in general do not like to think of themselves as a "market". If you need your reality spoon fed to you, this movie is not for you.
However, if you have had enough, and wish to feel for a moment like you are an empowered free thinker, i would humbly suggest that this movie is for you.
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