8.1/10
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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
2,013 ( 79)

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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:
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 Bill Burrows ... TV Director
John Carpenter John Carpenter ... George Bosch
Jordan Charney ... Harry Hunter
Kathy Cronkite Kathy Cronkite ... Mary Ann Gifford
Ed Crowley 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:

Not since the dawn of time has America experienced a man like Howard Beale! 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 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

As of 2018, features the only Oscar nominated performances of Ned Beatty and Beatrice Straight (who won Best Supporting Actress). See more »

Goofs

Halfway through the first scene in Diana Christianson's office, the door, which had previously been open, is closed. Later, she walks over to the door and closes it again. 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, ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in American Masters: By Sidney Lumet (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A rare honest movie
4 September 2007 | by kirkintha26See all my reviews

"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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