I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going
to take this anymore!
NETWORK 1976. 121 min. Rated R. Comedy/Drama. Written by Paddy Chayefsky. Directed by Sidney Lumet. MGM/United Artists. Starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch,and Robert Duvall.
Nominated for 10 Academy Awards, won four: Best Actor (Peter Finch), Best Actress (Faye Dunaway), Best Supporting Actress (Beatrice Straight), and Best Original Screenplay (Paddy Chayefsky).
In this much-lauded 1976 social commentary, veteran news anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) discovers he’s about to be fired as a result of poor ratings and announces that for his last newscast he plans to kill himself on air.
However, rather than “blowing his brains out” on air as promised, he launches into a rant about the corruption of truth, the news media, and how people cringe helplessly before the demise of western civilization and beg to be left alone for just another day.
As news directors and camera crew sit dumbfounded, Beale appeals to his listeners across the country to go to their windows, open them, and say “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” People across the country, by the thousands, do so.
Overnight, ratings for the newscast go through the roof, allowing ambitious news producer Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway) to plan programming around Beale’s “mad prophet of the airways.” That is just the beginning of the madness and what it unleashes.
NETWORK tells a tale in which news and entertainment are one and the same, all for the sake of profit. The story it told then is actually today’s documentary about reality TV, Fox News, “alternative facts”, and Donald Trump, host of “The “Apprentice,” making “America Great Again” as president of the United States.
NETWORK was written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sydney Lumet, whose social impact film making includes: 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, and The Verdict.
Film critic Chris Nashawaty from Entertainment Weekly says, “The film’s never been more timely.”
Showing will be followed by a discussion on the film for those wishing to remain.