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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…
"There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon."
This film is 40 years old, and the above quote rings just as true today as it did back then. It is scary how pertinent this scarily-prescient film still feels today.
A hysterical, satirical & critical take on the TV news & show business plus the extent to which it can stoop in its pursuit of higher ratings & profits, Network is a brilliantly crafted, crazily narrated & outrageously performed cinema that makes a biting statement against the undeniable power of television & the effect it can have on the masses.
The story of Network concerns a TV news veteran who's about to lose his job due to the declining ratings of his show & announces on air that he'll commit suicide on the next week's broadcast, which causes a spike in network's ratings. Seeing a potential profit in this, the executives decide to exploit his enraged persona which in the long run affects the fortunes of…
I'M AS MAD AS HELL AND....well, let's be honest, I'm probably going to keep on taking it :(
If ever I wanted to put forward a theory that Sidney Lumet was some kind of pre-programmed filmmaking genius automaton then I think Network would be the film that I would use as the centrepiece of the presentation of my evidence.
That's off the back of this, my only viewing as well. Certainly, there is plenty of other evidence that I can use but I think previously that Fail-Safe would have been the centrepiece of my evidence - even despite the fact that it is not my favourite Lumet film. That would be The Offence.
The odd thing is that I would…
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.
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…
Maddeningly, the epitome of screenplay excellence, incarnate.
It is undoubtedly impressive that a movie as skillfully crafted and preformed as Network can still be as accurate in its biting satire as it was exactly 40 years ago. The problem that arises with that statement is the question of whether it was Paddy Chayefsky and Sidney Lumet's brilliance or the world's folly. Or perhaps both. Not a single shot or line of dialogue is wasted here nor a single actor. From the endlessly quotable lines to the type of absurdist black humor (no pun intended Miss Laureen Hobbs) typically found in a Woody Allen movie (a la domestic terrorists discussing sub-licensing and distribution charges.) Network is a certifiable masterpiece not only for its reflection of the state of…
El mundo fue vendido desde el momento en el que sucumbimos a la dictadura de la caja tonta y cuando bajó en popularidad también sucumbimos a la de la inmensa red invisible de Internet.
No queremos ver la tremenda situación de inferioridad en la que nos encontramos, porque nos haría ver que no somos nada en la gran rueda de consumismo, conformidad y silencio de la sociedad acostumbrada a tragarlo todo y no rechistarle a la mano que le da de comer.
El conocer la verdad, es tan doloroso como tremendamente insulso para el que ya la conoce, esto nos recuerda que el hombre es incapaz de vivir sin tener metas que cumplir. El animal que todo lo quiere y…
The heightened plot doesn’t take away from the brutality of the satire, which feels as relevant to today’s news media as it did at the time. The hypocrisy of the network, who showcase Howard Beale’s anti-establishment ramblings and a radical communist group, only to exploit them for capitalist gain, is the main thrust of the satire, and feels all too believable.
Witty dialogue and excellent performances – Ned Beatty’s “primal forces of nature” speech is Shatner-esque in its melodrama, but this perfectly fits the mad, brilliant film.
Also, the screenwriter is credited before the director! That's unusual, but it is nice to see the importance of the writer being acknowledged.
This movie is so amazing. Every time I watch it, it seems more relevant to contemporary society. It's also one of the funniest dark comedies of all time.
It is funny and scary at the same time to realize that some of the satirical escalations now 40 years later still seem hysterically over the top while some others became perfectly normal...
Roger Ebert's The Great Movies: #3
This is a remarkable film, stuffed with razor-sharp dialogue brought to life by one of the greatest casts ever assembled.
Ebert suggests that the movie's depiction of the television industry which played out as broad satire in 1976 comes across as more realistic and hence more cynical today. And that may be true. But I am attracted to that aspect of Network which surely came across as unusual even back then. The particular scene I have in mind is Arthur Jensen's monologue.
If Howard Beale is "the mad prophet of the airwaves," then it follows that Jensen is the mad god, inspiring Beale with a new theology that demands devotion to the Almighty Dollar instead of One Nation Under God. That message may sound ham-fisted, but just watch the scene in context of the entire film and tell me you ain't mesmerized.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…