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Watch Movie The ‘Network’ This Weekend On Amazon Prime


January 5th, 2019   |   Updated on March 30th, 2019

A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor’s ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

In the 1970s, terrorist violence is the stuff of networks’ nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS Television Network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way. We then see how this affects the fortunes of Beale, his coworkers (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen), and the network.

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Movie Reviews: ‘Network

Movie Review: Hollywood Reporter

On November 27, 1976, MGM’s prescient Network hit theaters. The R-rated title, which went on to claim four Academy Awards, remains as relevant as ever decades after its release. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is below:

Writer Paddy Chayefsky and director Sidney Lumet were only two of the diamonds in what was belatedly discovered to be the glittering crown of live TV in the early ’50s. Chayefsky wrote dozens of scripts, Lumet directed hundreds of shows.

Both, I think, have every reason to be appalled by the sterile jungle that TV has become. They know the power of the medium, its ability to influence minds. And they are also aware of the behind-the-scenes power plays to control this medium for corporate profit and private gain.

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Movie Review: TIME Magazine

What a loopy enterprise Network is! The production is designed, directed and acted with earnest, not to say dogged realism. The audience is asked to believe that people working inside the television oligopoly scheme to advance their corporate positions with such melodramatic abandon that their behavior constitutes not just an affront to traditional moral standards but clear and present danger to democratic society.

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Movie Review: Entertainment Weekly

In 1976, America was swept up in a tizzy of Bicentennial fever. Red, white, and blue bunting was everywhere you looked. The government reissued the two-dollar bill. Paul Anka hosted an NBC special called Happy Birthday, America. But underneath all of the shiny, happy jingoism were the still-fresh scabs of our messy exit from Vietnam and the recent resignation of Richard Nixon. The country was sick. And Hollywood became our national shrink, serving up a double-dose look at what was ailing us in Network (1976, R, 2 hrs., 1 min.) and All the President’s Men.

Commemorating their 35th anniversaries, both films have gotten flashy new Blu-ray releases packed with Extras like juicy commentaries, vintage interviews, and rich making-of featurettes that give us a peek behind the celluloid curtain. When Sidney Lumet adapted Paddy Chayefsky’s scathing satire Network, we were all still at the mercy of three TV networks, whose trusted nightly news anchors were the stentorian voices of God. There was no Fox News, no Daily Show, and carny-barking reality TV freak shows were still a couple of decades off.

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