Sunday, March 1, 2009
There are three film about television shows that I love and that I think everyone should watch: 'The Truman Show,' which contains a fantastical plot, but a message that is relevant to all who live, 'Quiz Show,' which is based off of a remarkable and tragic true story, and, to save the best for last, 'Network,' Sidney Lumet's (12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon) incredible satire that is truly an important piece of work. The movie opens with News anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) getting fired due to poor ratings. He has two more weeks of work before he must leave. The next time he goes on air, he announces that in a week he will kill himself on television for the world to see. He then begins literally talking bullsh#t on the air. First comes an outburst from boss Frank Hackett (Robert Duvall) but after the rating suddenly soar, Hackett, being convinced by TV executive Diana Christensen, decides to keep Beale on the show. 'Network' is about what people do for money (In this case TV ratings) and how far they'll go and what awful things they will do. Through the satirical and incredibly clever script from Paddy Chayefsky is a message of profound importance. Of course, the acting is terrific. Another character is Max, (William Holden) who has an affair with Diana. 'Network' is a movie that keeps its ideas hazy up until the finale, when we realize the utter villainy of these corrupt people. 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' is the famous line used by Beale. There is a great scene after he first utters it that takes place in Max's apartment complex. 'Network,' looking better than ever on its new Two Disc Special Edition, possesses a timeless quality that fits in the same category as the best of Kubrick and Wilder.