Monday, April 21, 2014

4/21: Network

'I'm mad as hell and I can't take it anymore!!!'

One of the most bizarro movies of all-time was also an Oscar-winner in the 1970s. Network, starring Peter Finch and Faye Dunaway, is one whose genre is difficult to determine. Comedy? Conspiracy theory? Drama? It is safe to say it is definitely a satire, which is a rare of its kind.

Finch (who passed away months later and won a posthumous Best Actor Oscar) plays Howard Beale who has been in the anchor's chair for a long time only to find out his employer, UBS, is suffering in ratings and he'll be unemployed. Then one night, he announces to his audience on-air he will be committing suicide. The network fires him without a doubt. But his boss/friend, Max (William Holden), decides to let him stay so he can go on a good note. Things soon get out of hand as it is an over-the-top ratings fight. Howard also gets his own show eventually.

Perhaps the most moving scene is 'the speech', where Howard tells the truth of what goes on behind closed doors. Maybe what he said wasn't true, but it somehow slipped between the cracks in Hollywood. It ends with the 'mad as hell' chant, which left me laughingly non-stop. But like most comedies, it's a happy ending, or so some may think.

I'd definitely keep the kids away from this one, as there are many adult scenes, and of course, depressing ones. It's a true film classic that helped redefine cinema, and television.

My rating: 8 out of 10

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