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Network (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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Synopsis: 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. The Making of Network 6-Part Documentary: Tune in to How a Movie Landmark Caught Media Lightning, with Sidebars on Paddy Chayefsky, Getting Mad As Hell and Walter Cronkite's Reflections Vintage Paddy Chayefsky Interview Excerpt from Dinah!, Hosted by Dinah Shore Commentary by Director Sidney Lumet Private Screenings with Sidney Lumet: Turner Classic Movies Host Robert Osborne Interviews the Director Theatrical Trailer
--This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
The Making of Network 6-Part Documentary: Tune in to How a Movie Landmark Caught Media Lightning, with Sidebars on Paddy Chayefsky, Getting Mad As Hell and Walter Cronkite's Reflections Vintage Paddy Chayefsky Interview Excerpt from Dinah!, Hosted by Dinah Shore Commentary by Director Sidney Lumet Private Screenings with Sidney Lumet: Turner Classic Movies Host Robert Osborne Interviews the Director Theatrical Trailer --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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. Dunaway and Straight also won Oscars, but it was Finch's dazzling, enraged, and clownish acting feat as "mad prophet" Howard Beale that truly steals the show. His vitriolic diatribes which reveal his deepest, darkest inner secrets as well as his outer visions about society and the world end up bringing chills to the spine and are more adrenaline-pumping than any action-adventure extravaganza. He was an anomaly in the film and in the Hollywood spotlight, being the first actor awarded a posthumous Oscar.
Of course, the heart and soul of this film belong to kinetic director Sidney Lumet, who captures the zeitgeist, city, and intricate structure of modern times so well, and riddling writer Paddy Chayefsky who does some intense philosophical probing into many puzzling and disturbing issues that still ring true today.
In the end, Network is more than just another Oscar winner (being another tragic example of Hollywood's bias and/or reluctance to choose revolutionary films as Best Picture, other examples being Citizen Kane, Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, etc.), it is also a film that makes you examine your own position in our modern society and what that society is doing (more importantly, the persons in power in that society). Network has no heroes, no happy ending, and no resolutions. It offers hard questions but few answers. I highly recommend this startling, over-the-top, and controversial film. It is provocatively honest.
A ratings spike occurs one night when a news anchor looses his mind in middle of his nightly commentary, so the network chooses to do the only thing one can do in the situation. They give him his own show. His outrage and very direct views become an outlet for anger of a nation. The network finds itself riding high on one mans insanity. They reap the rewards and eventually the consequences of turning loose such a clearly disturbed man on airwaves.
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 . . .