8.1/10
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339 user 157 critic

Network (1976)

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 #191 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Diana Christensen
... Max Schumacher
... Howard Beale
... Frank Hackett
... Nelson Chaney
... Arthur Jensen
... Great Ahmed Kahn
Bill Burrows ... TV Director
John Carpenter ... George Bosch
... Harry Hunter
Kathy Cronkite ... Mary Ann Gifford
Ed Crowley ... Joe Donnelly
... 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

Taglines:

Television will never be the same! 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  »

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Faye Dunaway would later say that this was "the only film I ever did that you didn't touch the script because it was almost as if it were written in verse." She was as happy with Sidney Lumet as with the writing, describing him as "one of, if not the, most talented and professional men in the world. In the rehearsals, two weeks before shooting he blocks his scenes with his cameraman. Not a minute is wasted while he's shooting and that shows not only on the studio's budget but on the impetus of performance." See more »

Goofs

During Howard's first stable rant (which ends with "turn your TVs off!") he walks right up to within inches of a TV camera just in front of the audience. It cuts to a shot from behind Howard, and the TV camera is now at least 6 feet away from him, almost not making it into the frame. 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

Featured in MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Prescient...
28 August 2005 | by See 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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