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.



Total Count: 63


Audience Score

User Ratings: 36,276
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Movie Info

When anchorman Howard Beale is forced to retire his 25-year post because of his age, he announces to his viewers that he's going to commit suicide on his final program. When his announcement looks like it will improve the ratings, the entire event is turned into a garish entertainment spectacle.

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Peter Finch
as Howard Beale
Faye Dunaway
as Diana Christensen
William Holden
as Max Schumacher
Robert Duvall
as Frank Hackett
Wesley Addy
as Nelson Chaney
Ned Beatty
as Arthur Jensen
Beatrice Straight
as Louise Schumacher
Arthur Burghardt
as Great Ahmed Kahn
Bill Burrows
as TV Director
John F. Carpenter
as George Bosch
Jordan Charney
as Harry Hunter
Kathy Cronkite
as Mary Ann Gifford
Ed Crowley
as Joe Donnelly
Jerome Dempsey
as Walter C. Amundsen
Conchata Ferrell
as Barbara Schlesinger
Gene Gross
as Milton K. Steinman
Stanley Grover
as Jack Snowden
Cindy Grover
as Caroline Schumacher
Darryl Hickman
as Bill Herron
Mitchell Jason
as Arthur Zangwill
Paul Jenkins
as TV Stage Manager
Ken Kercheval
as Merrill Grant
Kenneth Kimmins
as Associate Producer
Lynn Klugman
as TV Production Assistant
Carolyn Krigbaum
as Max's Secretary
Zane Lasky
as Audio Man
Michael Lombard
as Willie Stein
Ken Kimmins
as Associate Producer
Pirie MacDonald
as Herb Thackeray
Russ Petranto
as TV Associate Director
Roy Poole
as Sam Haywood
William Prince
as Edward George Ruddy
Sasha von Scherler
as Helen Miggs
Lane Smith
as Robert McDonough
Fred Stuthman
as Mosaic Figure
Todd Everett
as Reporter (uncredited)
Cameron Thomas
as TV Technical Director
Marlene Warfield
as Laureen Hobbs
Lance Henriksen
as Lawyer (uncredited)
Lydia Wilen
as Hunter's Secretary
Michael Lipton
as Tommy Pellegrino
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Critic Reviews for Network

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (58) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Network

  • 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 this is out of date!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
  • Jun 07, 2013
    A film now over 30 years old that was ahead of its time with what it was trying to say. Strong performances, memorable scenes and arguably still as relevant today as it was back then? News presenter Howard Beale has just been given the sack from the TV station that he has given 25 years' service. This is partly due to the stations poor ratings and a change in management at the executive level. During his next slot he announces that he is to commit suicide live on air. This results in a rise in ratings. As a part of the changes from up on high the News dept is to be brought into line with the rest of the organisation by making them more accountable financially. This irks News chief Max Schumacher who allows Howard back on air by way of revenge. Beale then proceeds to let fly a rant about "No more Bull". This outburst leads to an even bigger rise in ratings and head of programming Diana Christensen spots an opportunity that could be exploited for the benefit of the station. The execs are persuaded by the ratings (and Christensen) to continue to give Beale airtime where he goes on to give possibly one of the greatest speeches in cinema history with the now infamous "Mad as hell" scene. This leads onto Beale being granted further slots and attaining almost evangelical status. Running alongside this are various subplots including the rising influence of the oil nations over the West, the selling out of political ideology for financial gain and the birth of the career minded woman (albeit at the expense of personal happiness). What a marvellous, thought provoking film this is, whilst Faye Dunaway and Peter Finch are the stand out performances there is not a bad turn from anybody. The story is gripping and involving and I have my doubts if anything portrayed here is any different today. As well as the political aspects it signifies the emergence of the independently minded career woman. Be warned that this aspect is not painted in a very positive light but few of the subjects tackled here are in all honesty and this is where the film has got its cynical tag from. If this film is food for thought then it is the all you can eat buffet at the Oxo Tower Restaurant in London.
    Justin F Super Reviewer

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