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Network [DVD] [1976]

4.5 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, Wesley Addy
  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Writers: Paddy Chayefsky
  • Producers: Fred C. Caruso, Howard Gottfried
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Mar. 2003
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000087I2F
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,179 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Ageing television presenter Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is on the edge of a mental breakdown when he is fired. He decides to open his heart to his audience, breaking down live on TV. Incredibly, this boosts his ratings, and Beale is re-hired and given his own show on which he can scream and shout. The film won three Oscars, with Paddy Chayevsky winning an award for the Best Original Screenplay.

From Amazon.co.uk

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, Network is 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 --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I remember viewing this on TV in the 80s while channel hopping with my brother thinking what a brilliant film. That was then. Certainly the acting is rock solid, but I didn't remember just how feminist some of the film was (eg, butch females) which back in 1976 must have been quite surprising. Peter Finch steals the show with his apocalyptic ranting and raving news telecasts, and it's nice to see William Holden, gravelly voice and all in a role that he seems made for as TV executive director. The intriguing subtext makes one think about big conglomerates and multi-nationals and the power they seem to hold but not sure what message Sidney Lumet was trying to get across there and why. In places this is a gritty, hard-edged film that will be an acquired taste to some. Picture quality was reasonable but by no means the best I've experienced on BD and a touch too much grain evident.
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I first discovered this film whilst watching the excellent Tony Benn: Will And Testament [DVD] which included an excerpt from the film which inspired me to purchase it.

This is one of the best scripted films I have ever seen, it's very enlightening about the world in which we live and is hilarious at times. The film was awarded four Academy Awards including best actress for Faye Dunaway who delivers a superb performance.

If you enjoy subversive films such as They Live [DVD] and Brazil [1985] [DVD] you will love Network! This is one of those films I will definitely watch again and again.
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I can't quite believe that this film is over 30 years old. It could have been made today as an accurate satire of modern society and the corporatocracy we live in. Sadly it seems the world the film foreshadowed didn't stop it becoming a rather too close to home reality. The films script has rightly won many awards as it contains many powerful messages and memorable quotes delivered by an excellent cast. The scene with Ned Beatty's corporate CEO 'Arthur Jensen' explaining to 'Howard Beale' how the world really works is a real stand out. Quote; "You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today".
Whatever the power of the corporate state in the mid 70's, and the influence of corporate media propaganda on the passively consuming masses, we can now multiply many times in modern day society. That's what makes this film even more pertinent today.
A society driven by profit is a world lacking in love, as portrayed in the film by Faye Dunaway's character, and with a disregard for the sanctity of life, as represented by the films end.
A clever, funny, sad, entertaining and timeless classic.
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Absolutely brilliant, and just as relevant today as when it was made
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By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 12 Nov. 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
"Network" is quite simply one of the best films I have ever seen. It works on so many levels ;as a satire on the television industry and the people who work within it , as a philosophical critique of globalising late 20th Century consumer capitalism and the dehumanising , desensitising and deindividualising effect that television plays in that system (the hypnotist in the corner) . The acting and screenplay in "Network" is sensational; William Holden is superb as the world-weary and wise News Controller and his relationship with his boss Faye Dunaway works as a symbol of the uneasy symbiosis between the Old Absolute Moral Values that Holdens character represents and the amoral New "Humanoid" Values of the Television Generation that Dunaways' represents . Insane (or messianic) News Anchor Man Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is another brilliantly acted character , while Ned Beatty and Robert Duvall also give remarkable performances as a sinister media baron and a ruthless network executive respectively . There are so many memorable scenes - Finches "I'm mad as hell..." rant is a classic, his one to one meeting with Beatty in the Boardroom , Holden with his wife , Holden with Dunaway towards the end of the film... the list goes on. "Network" , like Howard Beale , touches on some very sensitive and profound issues ,ultimately about the nature of life and humanity itself and it does so in a stylish, intelligent way with some of the best acting you will ever see.
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Bad sound and picture quality.
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Format: DVD
Sidney Lumet (director) and Paddy Chayefsky's (screenwriter) 1976 film Network is a brilliantly prescient tale of the power and corrupting influence of the media (in this case, specifically television). It struck me, on watching the film again recently, that, not only are the messages about media plurality and 'reality TV' as relevant (if not more so) today as they were in 1976, but that Network is also remarkable for the fact that a mainstream Hollywood studio (in this case, MGM) should give its backing to such a scathing attack on a key media outlet, and that the film should then garner so many Academy Awards. I suspect one of the reasons for this is that cross-cinema studio/TV ownership was not as prevalent back in 1976 as it has been since. It is also notable that some major Hollywood acting names (William Holden, Robert Duvall, Faye Dunaway, etc) wished to be associated with such a venture - again, a level of career risk taking rarely seen these days in Hollywood (one notable exception to this being Tom Cruise's bravura performance in Magnolia).

Network certainly represents something of an acting masterclass with all the major roles (and many of the minor ones) featuring great performances. As the loser news presenter, turned overnight media evangelist, Howard Beale, the great Peter Finch deservedly won (albeit posthumously) the Best Actor Oscar, with Faye Dunaway taking the corresponding female honour for her role as the uptight, careerist TV programmer Diana Christensen (for me, Dunaway's second best career performance behind that in Chinatown).
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