Network


"I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!"

From Network, 1976

Network is a dramatic satire those acclaim has gone beyond its time because of the prophetic nature of its satire and the outstanding acting of its stars. It was nominated in all four of the acting categories, winning Best Actor (Peter Finch); Best Actress (Faye Runaway); and Best Supporting Actress (Beatrice Straight).

The story opens with two anchors being fired with a two-week notice from a fictional network because of low ratings. One anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) announces live the next night on television that he will commit suicide during an upcoming broadcast. Later he calls his life "bull&^$*" and rants, "I’m mad as hell...."

This thought resonates with audiences and Beale’s show ratings skyrocket. This phrase becomes a chant that the studio audience yells on cue for each show. Beale becomes disillusioned and somewhat delusional with the system and is persuaded to change his theme. Ratings go down, and a plot develops to have him murdered on air.

Parallel to this main plot is the ambition of Diana Christensen (Faye Runaway). She is a producer of entertaining programming but wants to merge graphic film from crimes with "entertainment". She stops at nothing to take the network to new heights of success in ratings.

In a time of anomolies, you can find out the truth about anyone in many ways. The movie Network takes this satire and blends into into fiction that is totally believeable.

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