8.1/10
114,783
332 user 143 critic

Network (1976)

A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

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Writer:

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ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #191 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Arthur Burghardt ...
Bill Burrows ...
TV Director
John Carpenter ...
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Harry Hunter
Kathy Cronkite ...
Mary Ann Gifford
Ed Crowley ...
Joe Donnelly
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Walter C. Amundsen
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Gene Gross ...
Milton K. Steinman
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Storyline

In the 1970s, terrorist violence is the stuff of networks' nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS Television Network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way. We then see how this affects the fortunes of Beale, his coworkers (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen), and the network. Written by Bruce Janson <bruce@cs.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"NETWORK"... the humanoids, the love story, the trials and tribulations, the savior of television, the attempted suicides, the assassination -- it's ALL coming along with a galaxy of stars you know and love! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Poder que mata  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,800,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sidney Lumet openly admitted that he was furious to have the picture lose to Rocky (1976) for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. See more »

Goofs

In one scene Robert Duvall is speaking to a large group of stock holders. To Duvall's left, there are four seated men. The third man from Duvall sits with his hands under the table. A moment later, his left hand is upon his forehead. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: This story is about Howard Beale, who was the news anchorman on UBS TV. In his time, Howard Beale had been a mandarin of television, the grand old man of news, with a HUT rating of 16 and a 28 audience share. In 1969, however, his fortunes began to decline. He fell to a 22 share. The following year, his wife died, and he was left a childless widower with an 8 rating and a 12 share. He became morose and isolated, began to drink heavily, and on September 22, 1975, he was fired, ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.160 (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Prescient...
28 August 2005 | by (Arlington, VA.) – See all my reviews

It is the only word I can come up with to describe this masterfully savage satire, and IMHO, it's the only word that need be used.

Once I had seen ALTERED STATES and read the novel, I was hungry to find out more about the late novelist/playwright/screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, and sought out this movie. It blew me away years ago, but I find it even more stunning now. Not just because of the writing, Sidney Lumet's taut direction or the Oscar-caliber performances by everyone involved, all of which are almost beyond being lauded with superlatives.

But what knocks me out is how Chayefsky seemed less to be writing from the power of his imagination, than channeling Our Times Now. As if he was capable of some form of mental time travel; able to look into the Nineties and beyond to see the coming of SURVIVOR, or Maury Povich, Jerry Springer, Bill O'Reilly and Paris Hilton. Even HE probably didn't know how he knew, but he sure as hell felt it and wrote it down for us to marvel over today.

Sure, there are political and cultural analogies throughout the picture that are dated. But the core of his vision remains startlingly clear and eerily prophetic. As for Howard Beale, there is not one single "celebrity" who mirrors that character today, but maybe he is a composite of several different personalities with whom we have become all too familiar in the world of "news-fo-tainment." Or maybe he simply hasn't materialized yet. Maybe that is just how far ahead of its time NETWORK really was.

After all, being "mad as hell" nowadays has so many more layers of meaning than it did nearly thirty years ago...


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