12/13/12: Wikipedia article for the movie “Network.” (Copyright notice as for other pages like this one.). Copyright, with noted exceptions, L. Kochman, December 13, 2012 @ 5:39 p.m.

by thiswinteralso

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sidney Lumet
Produced by Howard Gottfried
Fred C. Caruso
Written by Paddy Chayefsky
Narrated by Lee Richardson
Starring Faye Dunaway
William Holden
Peter Finch
Robert Duvall
Music by Elliot Lawrence
Cinematography Owen Roizman
Editing by Alan Heim
Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
United Artists
Release date(s) November 27, 1976 (1976-11-27)
Running time 121 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3.8 million
Box office $23,689,877[1]

Network is a 1976 American satirical film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists about a fictional television network, UBS, and its struggle with poor ratings. The film was written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet. It stars Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch and Robert Duvall and features Wesley Addy, Ned Beatty, and Beatrice Straight.

The film won four Academy Awards, in the categories of Best Actor (Finch), Best Actress (Dunaway), Best Supporting Actress (Straight), and Best Original Screenplay (Chayefsky).

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 U.S. American entertainment”.[2] In 2006, Chayefsky’s script was voted one of the top-ten screenplays by the Writers Guild of America, East. In 2007, the film was 64th among the 100 greatest American films as chosen by the American Film Institute, a ranking slightly higher than the one AFI had given it ten years earlier.

Contents [hide]
1 Plot
2 Cast
3 Production
4 Critical reception
5 Awards and honors
5.1 Academy Awards
5.2 Golden Globes
5.3 BAFTA Awards
5.4 American Film Institute
6 Rights
7 In popular culture
8 References
9 External links

[edit] PlotHoward Beale (Peter Finch), the longtime anchor of the Union Broadcasting System’s UBS Evening News, learns from the news division president Max Schumacher (William Holden) that he has just two more weeks on the air because of declining ratings. The two old friends get roaring drunk and lament the state of their industry. The following night, Beale announces on live television that he will commit suicide on next Tuesday’s broadcast.[3] UBS fires him after this incident, but Schumacher intervenes so that Beale can have a dignified farewell. Beale promises he will apologize for his outburst, but once on the air, he launches back into a rant claiming that life is “bullshit”. Beale’s outburst causes the newscast’s ratings to spike, and much to Schumacher’s dismay, the upper echelons of UBS decide to exploit Beale’s antics rather than pull him off the air. In one impassioned diatribe, Beale galvanizes the nation, persuading his viewers to shout out of their windows “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”.

Howard Beale (Peter Finch) delivering his “mad as hell” speechDiana Christensen (Faye Dunaway) heads the network’s programming department; seeking just one hit show, she cuts a deal with a band of radical terrorists (a parody of the Symbionese Liberation Army called the “Ecumenical Liberation Army”) for a new docudrama series called the Mao-Tse Tung Hour for the upcoming fall season. When Beale’s ratings seem to have topped out, Christensen approaches Schumacher and offers to help him “develop” the news show. He says no to the professional offer, but not to the personal one, and the two begin an affair. When Schumacher decides to end the “Howard as Angry Man” format, Christensen convinces her boss, Frank Hackett (Robert Duvall), to slot the evening news show under the entertainment division so that she can develop it. Hackett agrees, bullies the UBS executives to consent, and fires Schumacher at the same time. Soon after, Beale is hosting a new program called The Howard Beale Show, top-billed as “the mad prophet of the airwaves”. Ultimately, the show becomes the most highly rated program on television, and Beale finds new celebrity preaching his angry message in front of a live studio audience that, on cue, chants Beale’s signature catchphrase en masse: “We’re as mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore.” At first, Max’s and Diana’s romance withers as the show flourishes, but in the flush of high ratings, the two ultimately find their ways back together, and Schumacher leaves his wife of over 25 years for Christensen. But Christensen’s fanatical devotion to her job and emotional emptiness ultimately drive Max back to his wife, and he warns his former lover that she will self-destruct at the pace she is running with her career. “You are television incarnate, Diana,” he tells her, “indifferent to suffering, insensitive to joy. All of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality.”

When Beale discovers that Communications Company of America (CCA), the conglomerate that owns UBS, will be bought out by an even larger Saudi Arabian conglomerate, he launches an on-screen tirade against the deal, encouraging viewers to send telegrams to the White House telling them, “I want the CCA deal stopped now!” This throws the top network brass into a state of panic because the company’s debt load has made merger essential for survival. Hackett takes Beale to meet with CCA chairman Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty), who explicates his own “corporate cosmology” to the attentive Beale. Jensen delivers a tirade of his own in an “appropriate setting,” the dramatically darkened CCA boardroom, that suggests to the docile Beale that Jensen may himself be some higher power — describing the interrelatedness of the participants in the international economy, and the illusory nature of nationality distinctions. Jensen persuades Beale to abandon the populist messages and preach his new “evangel”. But television audiences find his new sermons on the dehumanization of society to be depressing, and ratings begin to slide, yet Jensen will not allow UBS executives to fire Beale. Seeing its two-for-the-price-of-one value — solving the Beale problem plus sparking a boost in season-opener ratings — Christensen, Hackett, and the other executives decide to hire the Ecumenical Liberation Army to assassinate Beale on the air; the assassination succeeds, putting an end to The Howard Beale Show and kicking off a second season of The Mao-Tse Tung Hour.

The film ends with the narrator stating:

This was the story of Howard Beale, the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings.

[edit] CastFaye Dunaway as Diana Christensen
William Holden as Max Schumacher
Peter Finch as Howard Beale
Robert Duvall as Frank Hackett
Wesley Addy as Nelson Chaney
Ned Beatty as Arthur Jensen
Beatrice Straight as Louise Schumacher
Jordan Charney as Harry Hunter
Lane Smith as Robert McDonough
Marlene Warfield as Laureen Hobbs
Conchata Ferrell as Barbara Schlesinger
Carolyn Krigbaum as Max’s secretary
Arthur Burghardt as the Great Ahmet Khan
Cindy Grover as Caroline Schumacher
Darryl Hickman as Bill Herron
Lee Richardson as Narrator (voice)

Cast notes
Kathy Cronkite (Walter Cronkite’s daughter) appears as kidnapped heiress, Mary Ann Gifford
Lance Henriksen has a small uncredited role as a network lawyer at Ahmet Khan’s home
Ken Kercheval makes an appearance as Laureen Hobbs’ attorney.
Some sources indicate that Tim Robbins has a small, non-speaking role at the end of the film as one of the assassins who kills Beale;[4] however, Robbins has publicly stated that he did not appear in the film.[5]
[edit] ProductionPart of the inspiration for Chayefsky’s script came from the on-air suicide of television news reporter Christine Chubbuck in Sarasota, Florida two years earlier.[6] The anchorwoman was suffering from depression and battles with her editors, and unable to keep going, she shot herself on camera as stunned viewers watched on July 15, 1974. Chayefsky used the incident to set up his film’s focal point. As he would say later in an interview, “Television will do anything for a rating… anything!”

The character of network executive Diana Christiansen was based on NBC daytime television programming executive Lin Bolen,[7] which Bolen disputed.[8]

Chayefsky and producer Howard Gottfried had just come off a lawsuit against United Artists, challenging the studio’s right to lease their previous film, The Hospital, to ABC in a package with a less successful film. Despite this recent lawsuit, Chayefsky and Gottfried signed a deal with UA to finance Network, until UA found the subject matter too controversial and backed out.

Undeterred, Chayefsky and Gottfried shopped the script around to other studios, and eventually found an interested party in MGM. Soon afterward, UA reversed itself and looked to co-finance the film with MGM, which for the past several years had distributed through UA in the US. MGM agreed to let UA back on board, and gave it the international distribution rights, with MGM controlling North American/Caribbean rights.

The film premiered in New York City on November 27, 1976, and went into wide release shortly afterward.

[edit] Critical receptionThe film became one of the big hits of 1976-1977 and got big receipts and reviews. Vincent Canby, in his November 1976 review of the film for The New York Times, called the film “outrageous…brilliantly, cruelly funny, a topical American comedy that confirms Paddy Chayefsky’s position as a major new American satirist” and a film whose “wickedly distorted views of the way television looks, sounds, and, indeed, is, are the satirist’s cardiogram of the hidden heart, not just of television but also of the society that supports it and is, in turn, supported.”[9]

In a review of the film written after it received its Academy Awards, Roger Ebert called it a “supremely well-acted, intelligent film that tries for too much, that attacks not only television but also most of the other ills of the 1970s,” though “what it does accomplish is done so well, is seen so sharply, is presented so unforgivingly, that Network will outlive a lot of tidier movies.”[10] Seen a quarter-century later, Ebert added the film to his “Great Movies” list and said the film was “like prophecy. When Chayefsky created Howard Beale, could he have imagined Jerry Springer, Howard Stern, and the World Wrestling Federation?”; he credits Lumet and Chayefsky for knowing “just when to pull out all the stops.”[11] The film also ranks at number 100 in Empire magazines list of the 500 Greatest Films of All Time.[12]

Not all reviews were positive: Pauline Kael in The New Yorker, in a review subtitled “Hot Air”, criticized the film’s abundance of long, preachy speeches; Chayefsky’s self-righteous contempt for not only television itself but also television viewers; and the fact that almost everyone in the movie, particularly Robert Duvall, has a screaming rant: “The cast of this messianic farce takes turns yelling at us soulless masses.”[13] Michael Billington wrote, “Too much of this film has the hectoring stridency of tabloid headlines”,[14] while Chris Petit in Time Out described it as “slick, ‘adult’, self-congratulatory, and almost entirely hollow”, adding that “most of the interest comes in watching such a lavishly mounted vehicle leaving the rails so spectacularly.”[15]

[edit] Awards and honors[edit] Academy AwardsNetwork won three of the four acting awards. As of 2011, Network is the last film to have won three of the four Academy Awards for acting.

Best Actor — Peter Finch
Best Actress — Faye Dunaway
Best Supporting Actress — Beatrice Straight
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen — Paddy Chayefsky
Finch died before the 1977 Academy Awards ceremony and was the only performer to win a posthumous Academy Award until Heath Ledger won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2009. The statuette itself was collected by Finch’s widow, Eletha Finch.

Straight’s performance as Louise Schumacher occupied only five minutes and 40 seconds of screen time, making it the shortest performance to win an Oscar, as of 2012.[16]

Best Actor — William Holden
Best Supporting Actor — Ned Beatty
Best Cinematography — Owen Roizman
Best Film Editing — Alan Heim
Best Director — Sidney Lumet
Best Picture
[edit] Golden GlobesWon
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama – Peter Finch
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama – Faye Dunaway
Best Director – Sidney Lumet
Best Screenplay – Paddy Chayefsky
Best Motion Picture – Drama
[edit] BAFTA AwardsWon
Best Actor – Peter Finch
Best Film
Best Direction – Sidney Lumet
Best Actor – William Holden
Best Actress – Faye Dunaway
Best Supporting Actor – Robert Duvall
Best Screenplay – Paddy Chayefsky
Best Editing – Alan Heim
Best Sound – Jack Fitzstephens, Marc Laub, Sanford Rackow, James Sabat, and Dick Vorisek
[edit] American Film InstituteAFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies – #66
AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs – Nominated
AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes & Villains:
Diana Christensen – Nominated Villain
AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes:
“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” – #19
AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – #64
[edit] RightsThe feature film was a co-production between MGM and United Artists;[17] the latter distributor owned worldwide theatrical distribution rights. Both companies also shared the film’s copyright.[18]

In 1980, UA’s then-parent, Transamerica Corporation, put the studio up for sale following the disastrous release of Heaven’s Gate, which had been a major financial drain and public relations embarrassment. The next year, MGM purchased UA, and consequently gained UA’s share of Network. UA’s international operations were merged into MGM’s share of Cinema International Corporation (the joint venture MGM was a partner since 1974 with Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures), eventually becoming United International Pictures. The film was released to MGM/CBS Home Video in the United States as part of the original 24-title VHS/Betamax package in October 1980. Home video rights for the film outside the U.S. went to Warner Home Video, as UA distributed the film because it was a co-production.

Then, in 1986, media mogul Ted Turner purchased MGM/UA. Without any financial backers, Turner soon fell into debt and sold back most of MGM, but kept the library for his own company, Turner Entertainment. This included the US distribution rights to Network, but international distribution remained with MGM (with theatrical distribution by UIP), which retained UA’s library from 1952 on. Home video rights outside the U.S. were still with WHV due to their deal with UA. Turner soon made a deal with MGM’s video division for home distribution of most of Turner’s library, allowing MGM to retain US video rights to Network for 13 more years. Home video rights to the MGM and UA titles were moved to Warner Home Video in 1990, using the MGM/UA Home Video label under license.

In 1996, Turner merged with Time Warner. Consequently, Warner Bros. assumed television and theatrical distribution rights to the Turner library, with video rights being added in 1999. The post-1952 UA library and the post-4/1986 MGM were assumed by themselves through MGM Home Entertainment after their worldwide deal with Warner Home Video expired in 2000.

Both Turner and MGM now share the film’s copyright.[18] As of 2011, Warner Bros./Turner owns the US and worldwide television distribution rights to Network, while international distribution rights remain with MGM. MGM has assigned international video distribution rights to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, while international theatrical rights are co-held by Columbia Pictures (previously held by 20th Century Fox and UIP).

[edit] In popular cultureThe film’s noted line “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore” and its derivatives are referenced in numerous films and other media.

The short-lived series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip mentions the film and its writer Paddy Chayefsky multiple times after a character’s outburst on live television. The show’s creator Aaron Sorkin also mentioned the film and Chayefsky during his acceptance speech after winning the Academy Award for writing the film The Social Network.

[edit] ReferencesNotes

1.^ “Network, Box Office Information”. Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=network.htm. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
2.^ Archive of Producers Guild Hall of Fame – Past Inductees, Producers Guild of America official site. Accessed October 31, 2010. Original site.
3.^ Because Chayefsky started writing the screenplay during the same month that newscaster Christine Chubbuck committed on-air suicide, some, including Matthew C. Ehrlich in Journalism in the Movies (ISBN 0252029348), have speculated (p. 122) that the scene was inspired by Chubbuck’s manner of death.
4.^ Ebert, Roger (October 29, 2000). “Network (1976)”. robertebert.com. Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20001029/REVIEWS08/10290301. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
5.^ Interview on Little Steven’s Underground Garage “Video of the 500th Show Celebration – Replay” (October 18, 2011)
6.^ Empire: “Television will eat itself in Sidney Lumet’s searing satire”, October 1, 2008; via allbusiness.com
7.^ Google Books: “Looking for Gatsby” By Faye Dunaway and Betsy Sharkey, p.304.
8.^ UPI, via Milwaukee Sentinel and Google News, “Producer Lin Bolen Denies She’s ‘Network’ Character”, July 31, 1978.
9.^ Review of Network from the November 15, 1976 edition of The New York Times
10.^ Review of Network by Roger Ebert from the 1970s
11.^ Review of Network by Roger Ebert from October 2000
12.^ “The 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time”. Empire. Bauer Media Group. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. http://www.empireonline.com/500/80.asp. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
13.^ Kael, Pauline (December 6, 1976). “Hot Air”. The New Yorker: 177.
14.^ Halliwell, Leslie (1987). Halliwell’s Film Guide, 6th edition. New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons. pp. 729. ISBN 0-684-19051-6.
15.^ Milne, Tom (editor) (1993). Time Out Film Guide, The (3rd Edition). Hammondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin. pp. 486. ISBN 0-14-017513-X.
16.^ Darling, Michael. “Oscar by the Numbers” LA Times Magazine (February 2012)
17.^ Finler, J.W. (2003). The Hollywood story. London: Wallflower Press. p. 172. ISBN 1-903364-66-3.
18.^ a b Copyright renewal for Network. United States Copyright Office.
[edit] External links Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Network (film)

Network at the Internet Movie Database
Network at the TCM Movie Database
Network at AllRovi
Network at Box Office Mojo
Preceded by
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Academy Award winner for Best Actor and Best Actress Succeeded by
Coming Home
Preceded by
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Academy Award winner for

Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress
Succeeded by
[show]­v ·­t ·­eFilms directed by Sidney Lumet

1950s ­12 Angry Men (1957) ·­Stage Struck (1958) ·­That Kind of Woman (1959) ·­The Fugitive Kind (1959)

1960s ­A View from the Bridge (1961) ·­Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1962) ·­The Pawnbroker (1964) ·­Fail-Safe (1964) ·­The Hill (1965) ·­The Group (1966) ·­The Deadly Affair (1967) ·­Bye Bye Braverman (1968) ·­The Sea Gull (1968) ·­The Appointment (1969)

1970s ­King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis (1970) ·­Last of the Mobile Hot Shots (1970) ·­The Anderson Tapes (1971) ·­Child’s Play (1972) ·­The Offence (1972) ·­Serpico (1973) ·­Lovin’ Molly (1974) ·­Murder on the Orient Express (1974) ·­Dog Day Afternoon (1975) ·­Network (1976) ·­Equus (1977) ·­The Wiz (1978)

1980s ­Just Tell Me What You Want (1980) ·­Prince of the City (1981) ·­Deathtrap (1982) ·­The Verdict (1982) ·­Daniel (1983) ·­Garbo Talks (1984) ·­Power (1986) ·­The Morning After (1986) ·­Running on Empty (1988) ·­Family Business (1989)

1990s ­Q & A (1990) ·­A Stranger Among Us (1992) ·­Guilty as Sin (1993) ·­Night Falls on Manhattan (1997) ·­Critical Care (1997) ·­Gloria (1999)

2000s ­Strip Search (2004) ·­Find Me Guilty (2006) ·­Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Network_(film)&oldid=524864587”
Categories: 1976 filmsEnglish-language films1970s comedy filmsAmerican filmsAmerican black comedy filmsAmerican satirical filmsFilms directed by Sidney LumetDystopian filmsFilms about televisionFilms featuring a Best Actor Academy Award winning performanceFilms featuring a Best Actress Academy Award winning performanceFilms featuring a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award winning performanceFilms set in New York CityFilms shot in MetrocolorFilms about the mediaFilms whose director won the Best Director Golden GlobeFilms whose writer won the Best Original Screenplay Academy AwardUnited States National Film Registry filmsMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer filmsUnited Artists filmsScreenplays by Paddy ChayefskyHidden categories: Use mdy dates from April 2012Film articles using image size parameterNavigation menuPersonal tools
Create accountLog inNamespaces
ReadEditView historyActions
Main page
Featured content
Current events
Random article
Donate to Wikipedia
Wikimedia Shop
About Wikipedia
Community portal
Recent changes
Contact Wikipedia
ToolboxWhat links hereRelated changesUpload fileSpecial pagesPermanent linkPage informationCite this pageAdd your feedbackView feedback
Print/exportCreate a bookDownload as PDFPrintable version
Norsk (bokmål)‎
This page was last modified on 25 November 2012 at 22:48.

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. See Terms of Use for details.
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

Contact us
Privacy policyAbout WikipediaDisclaimersMobile view