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Network (1976)

Faye Dunaway , William Holden , Sidney Lumet  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (317 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: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 16, 2000
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (317 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RF9I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,595 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Network" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In this scathing satire of the business of television, over-the-hill newsman Howard Beale's (an Oscar-winning Peter Finch) televised rant after being summarily dismissed from the anchor desk immediately transforms him into a prophet-like media figure and the focus of a new sensationalized broadcast. Oscars also went to writer Paddy Chayefsky, Beatrice Straight and Faye Dunaway. William Holden, Robert Duvall co-star. 121 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; trivia; theatrical trailer.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
210 of 222 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wake up and smell the cathode December 26, 2004
Paddy Chayefsky's 1976 blockbuster hit "Network" is, I truly believe, the best film satire ever made. It might well be the best film regardless of genre ever made in the United States, better than "Citizen Kane," better than "The Godfather," better than any of the other numerous contenders. The first time I saw "Network" was on television about ten years ago, a supreme irony that became more and more amusing as the film progressed, and the powerhouse dialogue, performances, and set pieces captured my imagination unlike any other film. I have since watched this film so many times that at one point I could quote large chunks of dialogue verbatim with the greatest of ease. Over the past several years, however, I haven't seen Chayefsky's masterpiece as often as I would like. When I decided I would finally tackle the daunting prospect of writing a review for this movie, I rented the DVD version and resubmerged myself into the dark world of Howard Beale, Max Schumacher, Diana Christensen, and Frank Hackett. And I rediscovered something I always realize every time I watch this magnificent piece of cinema: "Network" is as great a movie as it was the first time I saw it, and it's prescience to our modern world continues to astonish.

"Network" takes the viewer inside of a major television network, UBS, during the 1970s. Their prime time newscaster, Howard Beale (Peter Finch), has just received word from his boss Max Schumacher (William Holden) that the network is terminating his contract due to low ratings. Perturbed about leaving his position, and with nothing else in life to live for, Beale breaks down on television and promises his audience that he will kill himself on live television the following evening.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Mr. Chayevsky has made, easily, one of the greatest contributions to the art of cinema; one that transcends mere entertainment and holds court within the realm of the social, psychological, and political.
My fellow reviewers have been eloquent in pointing out the details, merits, and slight flaws within this movie.

With the exception of the brutal murder on the air, every single outrageous idea that the film is now, 30+ years later, part and parcel of standard TV programming. The most banal mediocrities, the most mindless sensationalism, the most blatant lies, are all so common on modern TV that it not only goes unnoticed, but is accepted as being good programming. Even people who know they're looking at mind destroying garbage continue to watch it!! All fo this was warned about in the movie; all of it has come to pass.

And still, we watch. We have no idea how the economy is controlled or who is making the decisions that will affect the lives of entire nations. We don't have a clue exactly why wars are fought, or even exactly what wars are being fought. We are blind to science, art, philosophy, and religion. we hardly bat an eye when we hear about industrial pollution on a biblical proportion, atrocities and genocide, or natural disasters wherein thousands of people die. But we know how things are going between Brad and Anjelina, who won last night's game, what soap star had sex with who, went into rehab, and what some loudmouth idiot with a talk show said that shocked and amused all of America the other day.

This is what we have become; and Network warned us, every step of the way.

But what I am impressed with is how the film exposes the horrifying economic and social realities of our time.
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71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strikingly contemporary even 30 years later December 13, 2004
I watched Network again last night, for the first time since the film first came out. I remembered that it was a good movie with a lot of good acting, but given that the things this film predicted about television have all come true - and been surpassed in spades - I was expecting that its indignation over the commercialization of television news would seem quaint and certainly dated.

Good heavens, was I wrong. This movie hasn't lost its edge a bit in 30 years. William Holden as Max Schumacher is the only real human being, and he wanders through this film looking slack-jawed, as if he'd landed in Toon Town and can't quite believe his eyes. As it turns out, he has: the cartoonish, conniving antics of Robert Duvall and Faye Dunaway leave all of us laughing guiltily.

The screenplay emphasizes the comic-strip nature of these characters by giving them dialog that no real human being could ever utter with a straight face. The one sex scene between Dunaway and Holden is one of the most horrifyingly hilarious moments I can remember from any film. Add Ned Beatty - who doesn't say much through most of the film, and then erupts like Lucky in "Waiting for Godot" with a single, five-minute monologue that will peel the paint off your walls - and this is one of the darkest, funniest films of the last 50 years.

They should re-release this film in theaters. Especially now.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glad as hell they did this right March 2, 2006
"I think I'd like to be an angry prophet denouncing the hypocrisies of our time," fallen news anchor Howard Beale tells coworkers in the dizzying opening minutes of Paddy Chayefsky's masterpiece "Network." Writer Chayefsky, equally mad as hell, used his black comedy about a raggedy fourth TV network to denounce the hypocrisies of 1976 and warn of media evils to come.

Like his creation Sybil the Soothsayer, "Paddy was capable of seeing the future," director Sidney Lumet says. Chayefsky warned of entertainment masquerading as news, corporate meddling, violent reality shows, the tyranny of ratings, foreign ownership of U.S. media -- essentially the strip-mining of what was already a vast wasteland. "The vision that the movie displayed so eloquently is alive today," producer Howard Gottfried maintains. "TV today has become its own satire," Lumet adds.

Disc 1 includes a sober but quite good commentary from Lumet, who focuses on who won what Oscar, why he rehearses actors, and the thinking behind the "Network" lighting scheme, in which "even the camera is corrupted" as the movie descends into anarchy.

The extra features leadoff on the second disc is a making-of by DVD docu specialist Laurent Bouzereau. It includes chapters on the late Chayefsky, the "mad as hell" phenomenon and the film's powerhouse actors. The docus cover a lot of material and get the job done, but don't expect much of that loopy "Network" spirit.

Also on disc 2, the late Chayefsky talks up the film on a segment of the old talk show "Dinah! The message of "Network," he said, was, "When do we say 'Hold it!' A human life is a hell of a lot more important than your lousy dollar.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a very timely movie
Ned Beatty has an amazing rant in this movie. All in all a great movie with a stellar cast. Highly recommended!.
Published 1 day ago by Carol A. MacILroy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film Classic
Another favorite film of ours which we had to have on DVD. Arrived timely, had no quality issues and got at fair price.
Published 13 days ago by Bonnie Elkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Sibyl on screen
TV becoming a vehicle for the basest, lowest-common-denominator content focussing on the rating-grabbing sizzle over the meat?

Never .... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Anthony Prudori
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is prophetic!
If you wanna know how the world really works, watch this movie. Its great! And try having everyone you know seenit as well, the message is deep.
Published 14 days ago by esteban
5.0 out of 5 stars "But first you have to get mad!"
Excellent picture quality on the blu ray. The sound is only mono, but for this film it does not matter much.
The film itself is timeless. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Jeffer
5.0 out of 5 stars Prescient
Brilliant, iconic, and astonishingly prescient. As unsettling as it is entertaining. Absolutely riveting. The acting is great - almost as great as the writing.
Published 22 days ago by Feferl
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm mad as hell...
I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore! This is acting. This is dialog. This is a film with meaning. Timeless.
Published 25 days ago by bobcat931
5.0 out of 5 stars what a surprise!, how did i miss this, when it was first released?
great film!, well done, great casting,

speeches & pontifications, ... excellent!

particulary enjoyed holden's final word's to dunaway, .. Read more
Published 27 days ago by R. Holloway
5.0 out of 5 stars Network
Very good movie, remember seeing it in the 60's. It is interesting to see how (back then) television networks worked and the people who worked for them. Read more
Published 28 days ago by delaineg
5.0 out of 5 stars REFLECTION OF TODAY
What happened in the movie is what needs to happen in America today. We should all open our windows and shout from the top of our lungs "I'm Mad as Hell and I'm Not Going To... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Victor M. Trinidad
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Topic From this Discussion
Network (1976) on blu-ray anytime soon?
Yep, pre-order it now!
Oct 29, 2010 by TheNilvarg |  See all 2 posts
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