|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
|Watch Instantly with||Rent||Buy|
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Network: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)
Newscaster Howard Beale has a message for those who package reports of cute puppies, movie premieres and fender benders as hard news: "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore." Sidney Lumet directs Paddy Chayefsky's satire (an Academy Award-winning* screenplay) about the things people do for love...and ratings. Three performers won Oscars.* Best Actress Faye Dunaway is the TV exec guarding ratings like a tigress protecting cubs. Best Actor Peter Finch is Beale, whose airwave rants become a phenomenon. And William Holden, Robert Duvall and Best Supporting Actress Beatrice Straight add to the fierce vitality.]]>
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Interactions between the characters are superficial and transient, proving that TV ratings rule over moral behavior. Schumacher (William Holden) insists that Beale needs psychiatric treatment, yet he watches Beale’s rise and fall without intervening. Schumacher and Dunaway have a brief affair which both acknowledge could never last. The network boss (Arthur Jensen played by Ned Beatty) is flat and predictable until a remarkable scene when he and Beale sit at opposite ends of the long board room table. Chameleon-like Jensen becomes the voice in Beale’s delusions that commands him to retract his on-air comments about a controversial business merger. Other than that, no one dares to disturb the madman because success is anything that the general public will watch.
Viewers in 2017 will see a new truth in this movie, after a presidential election that demonstrated the unprecedented power of the media. As a teenager in 1976, I was too wrapped up in the movie Rocky to notice Network in the theaters. Very glad to have seen it over 40 years later when I can appreciate the strange and sad meaning.
During several scenes in the film, primarily the shouting match between Max Schumacher and Frank Hackett in Hackett's office (chapter 14) and Diana Christensen's speech and the applause at the UBS affiliate's meeting (chapter 22), the sound becomes greatly distorted. The sound resembles crackling, as if my speakers are blown (which they're not). In addition, at the very beginning of chapter 20, when Max tells his wife about his affair with Diana, the image dramatically jumps around for a second or two.
I broke out my old 1998 DVD version to compare, but it did not have either of these issues. In fact, the audio on the 1998 DVD sounded cleaner overall to me. I don't know if anyone else has noticed these issues with the special edition DVD (or even the Blu-Ray version), but I was shocked that it passed Warner's quality controls.
I give the film itself five stars without hesitation, but I knocked off a star for my overall rating of the DVD due to the issues described above.
It brilliantly shows the hypocrisies of our time, mostly how profits and financial gain have become the only measure of things and how quickly values can shift as a result of this measure, how it deteriorates relationships between people, friends, lovers, employers-employees.
First, the network wants to shut off Howard Beale, the anchorman who is angry over being fired for low ratings but when Beale goes on ranting on live TV and ratings go up, they immediately devise a plan to make profit out of it. Something considered obscene yesterday can be considered a corporate strategy today. I'd like to quote two of my favorite monologues from the movie (I think they sum up best what the movie is trying to say):
This is the scene when Mr Beale goes to meet the president Arthur Jensen, and here's what Arthur Jensen has to say:
"You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations!, there are no peoples! There are no Russians! There are no Arabs! There are no Third Worlds! There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems. One vast and immane...interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multinational of dollars. Petrol dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars. Reichsmarks, rins, rubles, pounds and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. 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 today."
After this encounter, that evening Mr. Beale goes on TV to preach the corporate cosmology of Arthur Jensen:
"....we know that democracy is a dying giant...a sick, sick, dying, decaying, political concept writhing in its final pain. I don't mean that the United States is finished as a world power. The United States is the richest and most powerful, the most advanced country, light years ahead of any country. And I don't mean the communists are gonna take over the world because the communists are deader than we are. What is finished...is the idea that this great country is dedicated to the freedom and flourishing of every individual in it. It's the individual that's finished. This is no longer a nation of independent individuals. It's a nation of some 200-odd million transistorized, deodorized, whiter than white steel-belted bodies...totally unnecessary as human beings and as replaceable as piston rods. Is "dehumanization" such a bad word? The whole world is becoming humanoid...creatures that look human but aren't. The whole world not just us. We are the most advanced country so we are getting there first. The whole world's people are becoming mass-produced, programmed, numbered insensate things".
Blu ray is OK, not great but it's not terrible. Overall it's a little grainy, most likely, due to the nature of the film used. But still looks pretty good given the fact that it is 36 years old. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in social and economical issues of today. There aren't many movies that are as clever as Network.