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critics consensus

Driven by populist fury and elevated by strong direction, powerful acting, and an intelligent script, Network's searing satire of ratings-driven news remains sadly relevant more than four decades later. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In this lauded satire, veteran news anchorman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) discovers that he's being put out to pasture, and he's none too happy about it. After threatening to shoot himself on live television, instead he launches into an angry televised rant, which turns out to be a huge ratings boost for the UBS network. This stunt allows ambitious producer Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway) to develop even more outrageous programming, a concept that she takes to unsettling extremes.

Cast & Crew

Faye Dunaway
Diana Christensen
Peter Finch
Howard Beale
William Holden
Max Schumacher
Robert Duvall
Frank Hackett
Beatrice Straight
Louise Schumacher
Wesley Addy
Nelson Chaney
Ned Beatty
Arthur Jensen
Arthur Burghardt
Great Ahmed Kahn
Bill Burrows
TV Director
John Carpenter
George Bosch
Elliot Lawrence
Original Music
Owen Roizman
Cinematographer
Alan Heim
Film Editor
Philip Rosenberg
Production Design
Edward Stewart
Set Decoration
Theoni V. Aldredge
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Network

Critic Reviews for Network

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (6)

  • No performance is less than brilliant, with Dunaway particularly effective in the film's showiest role. Holden, Finch and Duvall, as always, contribute bed-rock-solid performances.

    September 26, 2016 | Full Review…
  • This tale of a failing network that feeds on the mental breakdown of one of its anchors, cannibalising itself for ratings, feels as savagely relevant now as it did when it was released nearly 40 years ago.

    March 27, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The plot that Paddy Chayefsky has concocted to prove this point is so crazily preposterous that even in post-Watergate America -- where we know that bats can get loose in the corridors of power -- it is just impossible to accept.

    July 18, 2011 | Full Review…
  • The film's never been more timely.

    February 17, 2011 | Rating: A | Full Review…
  • Chayefsky was apparently serious about much of this shrill, self-important 1976 satire about television, interlaced with bile about radicals and pushy career women, and so were some critics at the time.

    June 26, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Slick, 'adult', self-congratulatory, and almost entirely hollow.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Network

  • Mar 30, 2021
    Paddy Chayefsky takes a shot at societal prognostication with this artfully devised entertainment that imagines the fall and rise of a network anchorman who is cracking under the strain of remaining relevant near the end of his career. While the performances are first rate, award-worthy, its the point of the thing that carries the day here and, it's indeed a resonant work, if perhaps unheeded due entirely to it's very relevance.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 26, 2016
    it must've got low ratings. we should liberate the unthinking audience by assassinating the production team behind it! tell me how to eat my hot dog! god is now the internet. this is out of date!
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Jan 21, 2014
    Peter Finch's ravings represent what a lot of people feel about being placed in a box by an employer unable to express frustrations in a productive way. Unfortunately Finch died before being rewarded with an Oscar. The performance speaks to many of us.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2013
    An intelligent and hilarious satire whose main strength lies especially in a superb ensemble cast and a fantastic script that delights us with many priceless exchanges of dialogue as it offers us a relevant, thought-provoking social commentary on the television industry.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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