Monday, April 17, 2017

A to Z Challenge - N is for News is Just Not The Way it Used to Be

For the A to Z Challenge today, letter N is the great movie Network.  Made in 1976, this film predicted the future unfortunately, and is relevant over forty years later.  Nominated for eleven Academy Awards and winner of four including Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actress and Best Actor awarded posthumously to Peter Finch in a well deserved role as Howard Beale. There have been criticisms that Peter Finch won the award out of sympathy.   Nothing could be further than the truth.  Peter Finch was a respected actor but this was the performance of a lifetime.

The film has an all star cast of great actors and actresses including William Holden, Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall and Ned Beatty in one of his finest acting roles.  Surprising to many, this movie is not based on real life events, although watching it now you are surprised on how well Paddy Chayefsky predicted the future.  Howard Beale upon finding out that he will be fired as a newscaster announces on the air that he will commit suicide on live television.  He is fired but is allowed to come back to apologize, but goes off on a mad rant about how bad society is.  The network management decides to leave Howard on the air due to his increased ratings and allows him to slip further into madness.  They also invent shows that at the time seemed crazy, but now might even be considered prime time television.  All in the name of ratings, anything goes.

This movie did not win Best Picture and it was robbed.  This isn't an opinion, it is a fact.  No way you can say Rocky was a better picture than Network.  Yes, Rocky was a feel good movie and the country embraced the underdog and felt good about him.  America was finishing up with the Nixon resignation, the end of the Vietnam War and the country's bicentennial, so I can understand why they choose Rocky for Best Picture, but they were wrong.  This was the best film of the year.


  1. Finally we pick the same film for a letter! Loved your review here. It is a truly great film.

  2. Network is an excellent film and watching this one small clip just confirms how silly Rocky is I. Winning the Oscar. I have only seen clips of Rocky and have no desire to ever see it.

    1. Don't get me wrong, Rocky is an enjoyable film and isn't bad. But compared to Network, there is no comparison.

  3. Network is indeed an outstanding film that I've seen more than a few times. This one and Rocky are both cultural icons of film making for different reasons.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out