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Network (Special Edition) (1976)

Cast: Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, William Holden, more...
Director: Sidney Lumet
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Classics, Comedies, Black Comedy, Political Satire, Classic Comedy
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

Newscaster Howard Beale has a message for those who package reports of cute puppies, movie premieres and fender benders as hard news: "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore." Sidney Lumet directs Paddy Chayefsky's satire (an Academy Award-winning* screenplay) about the things people do for love...and ratings. Three performers won Oscars.* Best Actress Faye Dunaway is the TV exec guarding ratings like a tigress protecting cubs. Best Actor Peter Finch is Beale, whose airwave rants become a phenomenon. And William Holden, Robert Duvall and Best Supporting Actress Beatrice Straight add to the fierce vitality. DVD Features:

GreenCine Staff Pick: Paddy Chayefsky's scathing script for Network continues to amaze 30 years after its release; it's as pertinent and sharp as ever. The new 2-disc set finally gives the the black comedy (which was directed crisply by Sidney Lumet) the home release it deserves: besides the film itself, there are a few nice extras, including a new documentary, commentary by director Sidney Lumet, and a vintage interview with Chayefsky, but more importantly, the transfer looks and sounds terrific. An amazing cast (three of whom won Oscars) bring the script to life, with some of the more memorable dialogue - including Peter Finch's famous speech where he flips out on national television, a scene which has yet to lose its potency. See the film, then try watching the news with a straight face. -- Craig Phillips

GreenCine Member Ratings

Network (Special Edition) (1976)
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8.31 (67 votes)
Network (Special Edition) (Bonus Disc) (1976)
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7.88 (8 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

"All I know is that this violates every canon of respectable broadcasting." by Lastcrackerjack April 14, 2006 - 6:36 PM PDT
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Directed by Sidney Lumet, written by Paddy Chayefsky, this is simply one of the best cast and best written films of all time. Instead of becoming a product of its day, "Network" has grown even more relevant as a social statement than it was in 1976. You cannot get much more visionary in a satire, with an ensuing thirty years worth of news being blurred into entertainment and reality shows that suggest the only place left to go is to kill somebody on air.

What makes it so brilliant is that it's completely believable. The network needs a ratings boost and stumble across a madman who gives it to them. Ratings are the bottom line. FCC fines are irrelevant in the face of a 50 share they can sell to advertisers. Everyone puts his morality on hiatus. Chayefsky didn't need to exaggerate to make a point, he just showed the reality of business and took it one step further.

The film's dialogue is sharper, funnier and more recitable than in any film I can think of next to "Pulp Fiction". Tarantino even appropriated one of Chayefsky's many great lines "This is not a psychotic breakdown, it's a cleansing moment of clarity."

The cast takes command of this material. Five performers were nominated for Academy Awards: William Holden, Ned Beatty and winning were Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight, who appears as Holden's wife. Robert Duvall also turns in one of the greatest performances of his career, as a ballbusting prick whose only scruples are to his rising star in the corporation.

Unlike Scorsese or Spielberg, Lumet has never been known as either a visual stylist or a hitmaker, preferring instead to focus on performances and the telling of adult stories, usually taking place in New York.

More reviews for titles in this product:

Righteous Nuts
I have to admit - in SOME ways, I relate to the views that these alienated, oversensitive people have of the world. Thankfully, I haven't crossed the line where my frustrations have become self-destructive (or in some cases, destructive to others).

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