NEW Dunaway/holden/finch/duvall - Network (Blu-ray)
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Network is (in my opinion) one of the most important films ever made and is essential as both an angry and cynical satire (one of the greatest) and as an eye-opening experience for our modern age. I would even venture to say that this film is even more pertinent now than when it first entered theaters 28 years ago. A huge (actually staggering) amount of events have happened since then, including the rise of the computer (which is already an average, commonplace thing now) and globalism. Corporations (the object of scorn in this film) are more powerful than ever. It makes the chilling statements in this movie even more confrontational and prophetic.
Network displays terrific ensemble acting by all of the characters involved: from "leading" figure William Holden, the old-fashioned romantic left rudderless in the wake of a new ultra-consumerist culture to his icy and mechanical love interest Faye Dunaway who is the "ugly" spirit of the Network itself to his wife Beatrice Straight, the lonely, bitter, and heartbroken woman (she won an Oscar for being in merely one scene, that's how real it was!) to Robert Duvall's exaggerated performance as a cruel and money-obsessed entrepeneur to Ned Beatty's strange, almost Shakespearean portrayal of the head executive as a sort of Antichrist for Capitalism to the small but gritty and ferocious roles of the quasi-Communist radicals who also end up tangled in the web of the Network and scrambling for their own "share".
Then we come to Peter Finch.Read more ›
There isn't a film more ripe for the "Special Edition" treatment than the perfect "NETWORK". With Lumet, Dunaway and Duvall all still active, their potential contribution could make this a real treasure.
For godssake, "SPACE JAM" (!) even got this treatment, and I'm talkin' "NETWORK" here . . .
It captures the essence of TV sensationalism gone mad. The movie was before its time, because many of the trends it suggested are present in today's ridiculous shows like "Fear Factor" and many of the other absurd reality shows...and of course, the worst of the worst is Jerry Springer...a show that capitalizes on people's tragic lives and unhappiness. Anything for ratings, right??
"Network" has a lot to say and more people need to experience what the movie is really trying to get across.
Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is at the end of his rope, ready to cash it all in on prime time, but when his suicide date is announced, ratings leap and soon he finds himself front and center of a tabloid style news program that allows him to unleash all his pent up rage against the establishment, sucking the viewers into his rants.
Lumet deftly plays Beale's theatrics off the seasoned television producer, William Holden. But, Holden is going through his own mid-life crisis and soon finds himself in bed with the frisky young television producer, Faye Dunaway, who has usurped him. What might have worked as a one-night stand is turned into rather drab affair that doesn't help this movie much. In the end, Holden is reduced to giving speeches, which doesn't really suit his style.
Mixed in is some darkly amusing scenes with terrorists, a Black Feminist Communist and an all too gullible audience that makes for the film's dramatic closing scene. This film came as quite a shock in its time, given that Network News was still dominated by Walter Cronkite, but for those watching it for the first time, it would look like a period piece. Still, the performances are riveting, particularly that of Peter Finch, which makes the film worth watching again.
Most recent customer reviews
Excellent film way ahead of its time (considering all the "reality tv" garbage on the air now)Published 4 months ago by Donald Fahey
This movie is even more powerful today than it was at its release.Published 10 months ago by Adam Samson
An enjoyable movie with all-star performances. Big fan of William Holden and its one of his best.Published 13 months ago by Sara
Positive comment. The "mad as hell" sequence is just as riveting and relevant as it was 40 years ago. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Malcolm Baird
Although Cronkite admits in his interview that "things are not at bad as that" as they are represented in this movie "things have become as bad as that" 30 years hence. Read morePublished 20 months ago by MusicalPoet
Network is a terrific film with great performances, and its concept is just as, if not more, relevant now than when it was made. Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2011 by Nancy Faraday