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Directed by: Sidney Lumet
Written by: Paddy Chayefsky
Budget: $3.8 million
Box Office: $23 million
Awards: 4 academy awards for best actor (Peter Finch), best actress(Fay Dunaway), best supporting actress(Beatrice Straight) and best screenplay(Paddy Chayefsky).
Voted in at number 100 on empires top 100 movies of all time, Network, was a great movie to kick start the site for a few reasons. The first being that, I hadn’t heard of the movie before (for a self-professed movie lover, I know this is pretty bad) which is one of the reasons why I am so excited about this site and finding amazing movies that I haven’t seen or heard of. Second being, the main and supporting cast in this movie is amazing, Robert Duvall has never been younger, Fay Dunaway was a major looker in 1976 and the amount of famous actors today that are in it with minor parts just starting out in their careers is pretty class. Hope you like my Network movie review.
|Peter Finch stars as seasoned news anchor Howard Beale and is Networks’s main protagonist. Beale is tired of reporting what constitutes as “news” so he decides to start reporting his own.|
|William Holden stars as Max Schumacher who is in charge of running the news division. He is also Howard’s life long friend and just wants to look|
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|out for him.|
|Faye Dunaway stars as Diana Christensen, an up and coming TV producer. A career woman through and through who is determined to get to the top no matter what the cost.|
|Robert Duvall stars as Frank Hackett, the VP of the broadcasting network. He has a rigid and ruthless style of management that sees him butting heads with Schumacher on a few occasions.|
The basic plot
Set in New York City in the 70’s and centred around a satirical TV news network, outgoing news reader Howard Beale(Finch) has just told people live on air that he will shoot himself on TV in two weeks. The network head(Robert Duvall) wants him off the air immediately to try and salvage what they can of the show but when they suddenly get a much needed bump in the ratings, suddenly it makes it
a bit more complicated for the network. But what happens when Howard’s on air rants and ravings call his mental state into question? Will the network do the right thing and listen to best friend (William Holden) or get lost in the ratings that they have been looking to get back for years?
Network Movie Review
The standout performance for me in this movie is William Holden. He arguably has the most interaction with other cast members and the better story-lines. He has great chemistry with Dunaway, Finch and Duvall.
The concept of what Howard is trying to get across to TV viewers was as important then as it is now. People’s lives can easily revolve around the TV for all their information needs. He was trying to get people to go out and speak up on how they were feeling with everything from the economy to the news and not be told what to think. We have all been sick of the bullshit we hear on TV at one point or another. With the dribble that’s falls under “news” these days which is then repeated in pubs, restaurants and trains, Howard couldn’t have been more right when he said he was sick of it.
Overall even though I wasn’t familiar with this movie, it was a great movie for my first review. While the main plot centres on Howard, the story-lines between all the other main characters are great and adds to the overall greatness of this movie. I loved seeing all the minor characters in this movie as loads of them are really famous now but they were only starting out at the time.
Keep those eyes peeled for….
|Lane Smith has a small role in Network playing the part of Robert McDonough who works in the news department. We all know Lane Smith from the Lois and Clark TV series as well as many well known movies My cousin Vinny and The Mighty Ducks.|
|Conchata Ferrell has small role in Network playing Diana’s assistant Barbara Schlesinger. Network was Ferrell’s first appearance in a feature movie in an impressive career|
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|spanning over 40 years. She has had many supporting roles in movies such as Edward Scissorhands and Erin Brockovich. She is best known for playing Berta in Two and a half Men.|
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|Henriksen has a very minor part in Network playing a lawyer at Khan’s place. Network was his third appearance in a movie. Who could know at the time how far his career would go. Playing the iconic role of Bishop in the Alien franchise and Frank Black in the TV series Millennium to name but a few. He is also a well credited voice actor.|
|Beatrice Straight plays the wife of Max Schumacher and a fun fact is that she was only in the movie for five minutes and 40 seconds. Despite this she won the Oscar for best supporting actress. To this day she still holds the record for shortest on screen time to win an Academy Award.|
|Tim Robbins and Network seem to have caused a lot of debate online about whether or not its actually him. He would have been 17-18 when the movie was released. Look out for “his” appearance at the end of the movie. What do you think?|
|For all of Howard’s TV recordings the audience is exactly the same people sitting in the same places and even the same clothes even though it is meant to be weeks apart.|