Week Fifteen: Network (1976)
Tone: A damn good prophetic satire
Cast- William Holden, Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, Ned Beatty
What: Howard Beale, a news anchor, discovers he is being let go by the network and madness ensues.
- In honor of Sidney Lumet’s recent passing I’ll be profiling my favorite Lumet film Network.
- Written by Paddy Chayefsky, Network is one of the most biting, bold, and prophetically relevant satires ever made. Network not only satirizes exploitation and sensationalism in the media but also the passive nature of modern society (In other words it’s damn good writing)
- Network went on to win four Oscars, one for best script and three for best performance. Network is only one of two films to ever win three Oscars for acting (the second being A Streetcar Named Desire (1951))
- Peter Finch was the first actor to posthumously win an Oscar for his performance (the second actor to win posthumously was Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight). Below is the famous “Mad as hell” speech which showcases both Finch’s performance and Chayefky’s sharp writing. Enjoy!
(Note: If you want to savor this speech within the context of the film then don’t watch this clip)