The United Broadcasting Company (UBS) is hardly unique. Amoral careerists and predatory backstabbers can be found in any organization. However, UBS and other networks are granted licenses to use air time owned by taxpayers. Therefore, in certain respects, they have a fiduciary responsibility to behave as a public trust. However mentally unbalanced Beale may be, his messianic zeal to defend the best interests of his viewers is both sincere and legitimate. Max Schumacher (Holden) is his closest friend and longtime business associate. As portrayed by Holden, Max is himself a troubled man. He feels obligated to support Beale but fears the end of his own career and the situation is complicated by the fact that his marriage has become stale and he is thus vulnerable to the charms of the ferociously ambitious Diana Christensen (Dunaway) with whom he has an affair.
Of course, tension builds as Beale's final program approaches. Will he commit suicide on air? Will his substantially increased popularity force UBS to let him continue to anchor the evening news or remain on-air in some other capacity? Will the Schumachers be reconciled? What impact will the Beale Saga have on others at UBS, notably Diana Christensen, owner Arthur Jensen (Beatty) and CEO Frank Hackett (Duvall)?
See the film and find out.
What did you think of this review?
Network is a 1976 New Hollywood drama film about a fictional television network, Union Broadcasting System (UBS), and its struggle with poor ratings. It was written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, and stars Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, Wesley Addy, Ned Beatty and Beatrice Straight. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.
Network has continued to receive recognition, decades after its initial release. In 2000, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In 2002, it was inducted into the Producers Guild of America Hall of Fame as a film that has "set an enduring standard for American entertainment." In 2006, Chayefsky's script was voted one of the top ten movie scripts of all-time by the Writers Guild of America, East. In 2007, the film was 64th among the Top 100 Greatest American Films as chosen by the American Film Institute, a ranking slightly higher than the one AFI gave it ten years earlier.
Media madness reigns supreme in screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky's scathing satire about the uses and abuses of network television. But while Chayefsky's and director Sidney Lumet's take on television may seem quaint in the age of "reality TV" and ...