8.1/10
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376 user 166 critic

Network (1976)

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

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writer:

Paddy Chayefsky
Reviews
Popularity
2,005 ( 305)

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Top Rated Movies #200 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Faye Dunaway ... Diana Christensen
William Holden ... Max Schumacher
Peter Finch ... Howard Beale
Robert Duvall ... Frank Hackett
Wesley Addy ... Nelson Chaney
Ned Beatty ... Arthur Jensen
Arthur Burghardt ... Great Ahmed Kahn
Bill Burrows ... TV Director
John Carpenter ... George Bosch
Jordan Charney ... Harry Hunter
Kathy Cronkite ... Mary Ann Gifford
Ed Crowley ... Joe Donnelly
Jerome Dempsey ... Walter C. Amundsen
Conchata Ferrell ... Barbara Schlesinger
Gene Gross 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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Network See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$23,689,877

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,689,877
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous line as specifically written by Paddy Chayefsky - "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" - became, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" when uttered by Peter Finch, with the first 'as' omitted. Finch had become so exhausted working on that particular scene, he accidentally dropped the 'as,' causing writer Chayefsky much grief, but not enough to prompt director Lumet to change the filmed dialog. See more »

Goofs

Howard Beale is the lead segment of his eponymous show. No programmer as savvy as Diana would put the show's main draw as the opening segment, knowing that vast swaths of the audience would tune out after his segment, resulting in massive ratings drops after his appearance. 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

Referenced in Half in the Bag: Nightcrawler and Birdman (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Prescient...
28 August 2005 | by cchaseSee all my reviews

It is the only word I can come up with to describe this masterfully savage satire, and IMHO, it's the only word that need be used.

Once I had seen ALTERED STATES and read the novel, I was hungry to find out more about the late novelist/playwright/screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, and sought out this movie. It blew me away years ago, but I find it even more stunning now. Not just because of the writing, Sidney Lumet's taut direction or the Oscar-caliber performances by everyone involved, all of which are almost beyond being lauded with superlatives.

But what knocks me out is how Chayefsky seemed less to be writing from the power of his imagination, than channeling Our Times Now. As if he was capable of some form of mental time travel; able to look into the Nineties and beyond to see the coming of SURVIVOR, or Maury Povich, Jerry Springer, Bill O'Reilly and Paris Hilton. Even HE probably didn't know how he knew, but he sure as hell felt it and wrote it down for us to marvel over today.

Sure, there are political and cultural analogies throughout the picture that are dated. But the core of his vision remains startlingly clear and eerily prophetic. As for Howard Beale, there is not one single "celebrity" who mirrors that character today, but maybe he is a composite of several different personalities with whom we have become all too familiar in the world of "news-fo-tainment." Or maybe he simply hasn't materialized yet. Maybe that is just how far ahead of its time NETWORK really was.

After all, being "mad as hell" nowadays has so many more layers of meaning than it did nearly thirty years ago...


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