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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 29 October 2016
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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on 27 June 2017
Watching this brilliant film anew after it's initial release decades ago, it is still poignant. At the time, when I saw it in a theatre in Los Angeles it seemed like an outrageous black comedy. Who knew at the time of it's release that Paddy Chayefsky's brilliant screenplay would be perspicacious of things to come. All of the actors are top notch including the brilliant Beatrice Straight. Everyone who has seen it undoubtedly remembers the signature line of the film, "I'm mad as hell & I'm not going to take it anymore!"
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on 13 April 2017
Absolutely brilliant, and just as relevant today as when it was made
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2003
"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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on 4 January 2016
Bad sound and picture quality.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 June 2012
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). Similarly, both William Holden (also nominated for Best Actor) playing the usurped TV news head Max Schumacher, and Robert Duvall as the brash corporate man Frank Hackett are also superb - the latter was surprisingly not nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, although Ned Beatty was so nominated for his much lesser role in the film. There are also a whole host of other brilliant character performances in the film, notably from William Prince (brilliant as Edward G Ruddy - in a performance which reminds me of George Macready's turn in Paths Of Glory) and from Wesley Addy as Nelson Chaney.

Network features a whole plethora of brilliant scenes and lines of dialogue (the latter from Chayefsky's Oscar-winning screenplay). From the opening scene between Beale and Schumacher, as they commiserate Beale's imminent sacking and Holden's character comes up (jokingly) with the suggestion that they should introduce a TV slot called 'suicide of the week', through to that where Beale embarks on his first on-screen diatribe, which Schumacher refuses to interrupt, with the quip, 'He's saying that life is bull!!!! and it is - so what are you screaming about?', the film hardly lets up. Also, Dunaway is brilliant as the workaholic Christensen ('inept at everything apart from my work') - just look at her brisk, business-like strut - it's as if she has a nickel clenched between the cheeks of her buttocks! Chayefsky also includes a brilliantly satirical skit on 'revolutionary reality TV', as the Ecumenical Liberation Army are hired to air live bank robberies, culminating in an hilarious scene as their members argue about their commercial TV rights.

For me, the earlier sections of the film are the most effective, particularly as the Howard Beale character is finding his feet, and it could be argued that the film is maybe 20 minutes too long. However, the ending, which takes this initial concept of reality TV to its ultimate (logical) conclusion, provides a fitting finale for one of the outstanding US films of the post-Vietnam era.
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Network may have been a satire in 1976, but, today, 41 years later, in 2017, that satire is all too real. Today with our reality TV and our present administration, this film is all too prescient. Instead of rebelling against the authority of Television and it's owners, we are rebelling against authoritarian and the administration.

Peter Finch plays Howard Beale, a television anchor, grown old and out of tune. He is fired from his news station, UBS. His boss, Max, played by William Holden, an old friend and boss, gives him the news and they go out drinking. The next night Beale gives an impassioned plea for the TV audience to take charge of their. This strikes a chord and Howard Beale becomes the phrophet of the ages. Unfortunately, others at the TV station have ideas of their own. Life spirals out of control.

Faye Dunaway, who plays Diane Christenson, is a purveyor if ratings and programs that bring in big money. The people she works for and with are the same, the might dollar, lack if empathy, job focus is their life. The only real adult is Max, and he was fired. He has a life and family which is interrupted, but he has hope. There are many great performances. Peter Finch died of heart failure and won an Academy Award posthumously. This is a film that registers with anyone over 50. Fir us it was satire, now it is reality.

Recommended. prisrob 02-19-17
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on 27 June 2012
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 February 2016
My human reality is saying goodbye to reviewing on Amazon. I get treated like shet by Amazon and by everyone else. I’m angry, I’m sad and unless something changes I’m finished here.

Such an opening paragraph echoes the unrestricted, unrestrained assault on the system we live in as portrayed in Network. Human reality has gone along with the idea of character, of having character. In this movie the term used is ‘humanoid.’ Robotic recordings of what to say and when and where.

Of course Television has been overtaken by other media platforms most noticeably the Internet. But the central core of Network still stands: the truth is relayed like some oracle of all things. You are not yourself. YouTube is a delusion.

And delusions have been haunting me. The belief that strangers reading this find my writing interesting. Like playing electric guitar: the easy power chords anyone can find. Invented myself like the words on this screen. Fallacies.

As much as I urge you to watch this movie I must also point-out that this new blu ray edition is a bit on the grainy side picture wise, at least it is on 120” projection. But that is a minor quibble since the director keeps the intense, literary script moving on the screen. No dull box-set drama here. This is viscous reality.

So this sad, angry, nearly old man is saying goodbye to all this. Because nobody gives a damn.

I AM THAT PAINTED LIFE
THAT CULTURED FOOL
WHO DRAWS THE BOOKS OF MEN
SEEKS THE FILMS OF SOUND
HERE AM I CELLULOID GROWN
THE WOUNDS OF REAL LIFE.
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on 30 December 2013
Paddy Chayefsky's script and Sidney Lumet's direction, along with a cast that knows exactly what's needed here have come up with one of the great American satires. Long before cable "news" and "reality TV," Chayefsky understood the trends in broadcast journalism of the early 1970's, and what he presents as satire here looks like the media world that we inhabit today. When satire is as prescient as that, it deserves to be called some kind of classic. Peter Finch is splendid as an increasingly deranged Howard Beale; Faye Dunaway is brilliant as an executive whose whole life is a kind of performance: we sense something odd about her from the start, and we wonder if it's bad acting, but by the end we understand how her character has been conceived. Robert Duvall is her superior in the conglomerate that owns UBS News, the network for which Beale works, and he looks like the Prince of Darkness -- until we see that the P of D is really Ned Beatty! William Holden is an old-time newsman holding on to the illusion that the old values still matter, and he finds out they don't. The logic of the plot is followed to an almost comically horrifying conclusion, but my favorite moment might be (trying not to give too much away, if you haven't seen the movie) the scene in which Dunaway visits the safe house of a terrorist organization to discuss the network's use of them in a show! It's a tragedy that entertainment has contaminated the news; this movie let's us see a prototype of that takeover. One of the great American movies.
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