Big Screen Classics: Network
NETWORK is simply one of the most insane movies that has ever been released by a Hollywood studio. It’s also one of the best, most intelligent and flat-out ballsy cinematic satires ever. That shouldn’t be a shock when you look at the talent involved: Sidney Lumet, Paddy Chayefsky, Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall. I could go on and on.
Chayefsky’s screenplay about the corporate takeover of a TV station combines many of the social issues that were defining America in the 1970's, mainly American political terrorism and the conglomeration and political manipulation of television. He brilliant mixes these very pertinent and important subjects with an over-the-top, farcical, biting tone that makes the film all the more groudbreaking and powerful. Lumet assuredly directs the film’s many different elements while the cast, lead by three Academy Award-winning performances by Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight, achieves the balancing act of making their characters both overblown caricatures and realistic people.