Not since the dawn of time has America experienced a man like Howard Beale!
A TV network cynically exploits a deranged ex-TV anchor's ravings and revelations about the media for their own profit.
"Don't fuck with my distribution costs!"
Much, much funnier than expected. Not only a biting satire (or 'reportage' as Lumet himself preferred, since all but one of the situations depicted had already occurred by the time of filming, according to him), but also an absurdist comedy, made more surreal by the fantastically cascading situations that the characters merely flow with, instead of trying to stop - in that way it is very Strangelove-esque (although a little less reserved in overt satire). Lumet proves again he is an actors' director, and not a single performance disappoints, with personal preference to Ned Beatty's brief, satanic cameo as the network's potential new CEO.
Thanks to the quality of performances, the fact that the…
I trust your taste here on Letterboxd so much that I'll pop in a film just because one of you recommended it to me. I have no idea how this ended up on my watchlist... it could've been a really great review or maybe someone just told me to watch it. Whatever the reason, you changed my life! THANK YOU!!! Network is an instant favorite, one that had me so riled up I needed a drink to calm me down after. (Okay, that happens a lot, but still…)
I experienced temporary amnesia brought on by cinematic brilliance right after this one, so I don't have a lot to say other than it thrilled and impressed me and I can't wait to watch it again! I bought it on blu-ray right away, so there will be many rewatches to come.
Teaser for my next review: I go in depth about how I think Paddy Chayefsky and Sidney Lumet were time travelers.
Network gives me goosebumps with how perfect every aspect of it is. It is so huge in its dramatic scope you often have to laugh. The performances are perfect. Scarily perfect. Everyone. Peter Finch’s mad as hell speech is one of the definitive moments in 70s expression and it still blows me away in 2012. Of everyone though, it’s Bill Holden who secretly steals the show. He’s the wise, wrinkly, aging heart of the movie and he stunningly fits into the role like a glove. His best acting by a long shot. The whole experience is eerie, heartbreakingly honest, and astonishingly well written. I wish sometimes I could have the pleasure of sitting down for a big screen double feature in a 1976 theatre- Network and Taxi Driver. Cynical, blissful 70s film-making.
I can not believe it took me so long to get around to watching this. Network is a brilliant satire, as relevant today as when it was in 1976.
If you haven't seem it yet, like me you'll probably know it from the famous speech that won Peter Finch his posthumous Oscar, but the film is SO much more than that. It (obviously) tackles the politics of how ratings drive network television decisions, but also delves into the idea of how deep thoughts and ideas can be warped into something devoid of their original meaning when they're picked up as catchphrases and turned into an exploitable brand by powerful and corrupt people. It's also the story of a man trying…
As utterly compelling and prescient as it was when it was released, Network is THE definitive film about the medium and machinations of television. Simultaneously a procedural, a satire, and a soap opera, the movie itself displays all of the characteristics that make television both essential and insipid. Although most of the attention is generated by Paddy Chayefsky's script, the direction by Sidney Lumet deserves just as much if not more recognition. The standout shots of Ned Beatty's dressing down of Howard Beale, Peter Finch's collapse on live tv, the contract negotiations at the ELA's country house: all wonderfully presented by Lumet. He even makes Faye Dunaway's teeth look good.
It’s hard to believe, given our current state of affairs with the evening news being a profit center for the networks (as well a prime instrument for spewing propaganda), but once upon a time the actual news was reported – not one person’s opinion or spinning the content to suit your political agenda – just the news, period.
So, take yourself back to 1976… where Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather told the news and the mighty three networks were of the mindset that they were doing a public service by reporting the news – knowing that the news division was a money loser for the corporations.
OK, so you’ve got that picture in your mind…. And along comes this very…
Fantastic. Only bad scenes are the one focusing on Max and his wife, because they divert us from the main plot (could've been easily fixed by deleting those scenes or integrating them better by giving them a trajectory that has mainly to do with what is happening at the network).
To be honest, I suspect that this film has not aged very well. Don't get me wrong - it's a very good film, and Lumet's craft is apparent. The performances are great. But it feels so rooted in its own time in a lot of ways that it's hard to really get sucked into while watching in 2013.
Some of the themes are universal, to be fair. Many of Finch's speeches rallying against corporate greed and the public's move towards mindlessness and reliance on technology are still extremely relevant. And maybe it's a little scary that I often thought, "Well...yeah," during many moments where characters discuss how reliant the world is on television. The fact that in 2013 we've kind…
I've been calling Sidney Lumet one of my favourites for a while now but the funny thing is I was saying that without even seeing this, so more of a reason to love him, powerful.
I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!
I had heard it was timeless. I still didn't see it coming.
Definitely as relevant today as it was in America in the 70s, and probably will be for many years to come. Black comedy, brilliant satire, a meta level of self-awareness and cynicism: This is America set to a boil. It's Americans sticking their heads out of their windows and yelling. Not at corporations or terrorism. They're yelling at each other. They're yelling at themselves.
What does your average American do when he/she becomes 'enlightened'? Here we are presented with two scenarios. The man who ran out of bullshit became a raving lunatic in the eyes of everyone, including himself. He ended up becoming a martyr at the hands…
I had heard a lot about this film before but had never gotten around to watching it. I'm glad I finally did. Darkly funny and played out with serious drama, despite how ridiculous some of the turns the story takes, Network is well cast and entertaining all the way through.
A genius and memorable film with a fantastic performance from the lead actor, Peter Finch. A fantastic movie for all generations.
This is why I don't watch television.
I am by no means a fan of remakes, but Network is in desperate need of one. The editing is infuriating to say the least; I mean, why wait for a slow closing door to shut completely before cutting away - I do have a life to live, despite what the film suggests. As a result, the pace is painfully sluggish. With a running time of little over two hours, I felt every passing minute do so gradually, with no real urgency - and sadly, that's all I felt.
I understand this lack of feeling that the film withholds from the audience is intentional - it's all very clever ... only, it's not.…
I have seen 4 Lumet films and all have been superb! Lumet is most certainly one of the great cinema directors. Network concerns a TV broadcasting studio, that is not doing very well in terms of 'ratings' that begins to have a twist when one of their presenters announces his 'suicide' live on air. The film has a terrific script, with the film outlining the mad, insane and brainwashing structure of the media. We get some excellent speeches and a full set of characters that we don't exactly get an emotional attachment to- which is exactly what I believe the film's intention is. We see all these people in suites, all the workers in the media working in the media-machine…