Network (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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Media madness reigns supreme in screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky's scathing satire about the uses and abuses of network television. But while Chayefsky's and director Sidney Lumet's take on television may seem quaint in the age of "reality TV" and Jerry Springer's talk-show fisticuffs, it's every bit as potent now as it was when the film was released in 1976. And because Chayefsky was one of the greatest of all dramatists, his Oscar-winning script about the ratings frenzy at the cost of cultural integrity is a showcase for powerhouse acting by Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight (who each won Oscars), and Oscar nominee William Holden in one of his finest roles. Finch plays a veteran network anchorman who's been fired because of low ratings. His character's response is to announce he'll kill himself on live television two weeks hence. What follows, along with skyrocketing ratings, is the anchorman's descent into insanity, during which he fervently rages against the medium that made him a celebrity. Dunaway plays the frigid, ratings-obsessed producer who pursues success with cold-blooded zeal; Holden is the married executive who tries to thaw her out during his own seething midlife crisis. Through it all, Chayefsky (via Finch) urges the viewer to repeat the now-famous mantra "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" to reclaim our humanity from the medium that threatens to steal it away. --Jeff Shannon
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.
Audio Commentary:by Director Sidney Lumet
Documentaries:The Making of Network (6-part Documentary): The World and Words of Paddy Chayefsky; The Cast, the Characters; The Experience; The Style; Mad as Hell! The Creation of a Movie Moment; A Classic; Network by Walter Cronkite
Featurette:Dinah! Episodes featuring Peter Finch (1976) and Paddy Chayefsky (1977)