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Network [2 Discs] [DVD] [1976]

Release Date:02/28/2006
Network has proven itself to be a timeless classic, and it has now received an edition that lives up that status with this excellent two-disc set from Warner Bros. The video transfer offers a stellar, beautifully remastered widescreen image that is much richer in color and detail than the original DVD edition of this title. The audio portion of the disc features a Dolby 2.0 stereo mix that keeps the dialogue nice and clear within its well-balanced mix. In terms of extras, the first disc offers a trailer and an excellent commentary track from director Sidney Lumet that discusses his approach to the film in detail and also his memories of working with Paddy Chayefsky. The second disc is devoted to a series of featurettes. The first is a six-part documentary that covers all aspects of the film. It boasts many new interviews and features some especially interesting segments about the film's famous "mad as hell" scene and Walter Cronkite's thoughts on the film. There's also an hour-long episode of Private Screenings built around a career-retrospective interview with Lumet and an appearance that Chayefsky made on the Dinah! show to promote the film. It all adds up to an excellent, comprehensive package that does justice to the enduring power of Network.
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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (11 out of 11)

    Special Features

    • "The Making of Network": A six-part 30th-anniversary documentary -- Tune in to how a movie landmark caught media lightning, with sidebars on Paddy Chayefsky, getting mad as hell, and Walter Cronkite's reflections
    • Vintage Paddy Chayefsky interview excerpt from Dinah!, hosted by Dinah Shore
    • Commentary by director Sidney Lumet
    • "Private Screenings with Sidney Lumet": Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne interviews the director
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Closed Captioned


    A trenchant satire of "trash TV," Network seems to grow only more relevant with each passing year. Howard Beale (Peter Finch), the dean of newscasters at the United Broadcasting System, is put out to pasture because he "skews old." Network executive Max Schumacher (William Holden), Howard's best friend, is forced to deliver the bad news. Beale can't stomach the idea of losing his 25-year post as anchorman simply because of age, so in his next broadcast he announces to the viewers that he's going to commit suicide on his final program. Network head Frank Hackett (Robert Duvall) is all for kicking Beale out then and there, but when it looks as though the UBS is going to have its greatest ratings ever on the night of Beale's self-destruction, ambitious programming exec Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway) talks Hackett into treating that fateful final telecast as a special event. Naturally, Beale doesn't go through with it -- but he does begin rambling about the horrible state of the world in general and television in particular. He concludes his tirade by admonishing his viewers to "Go to the window and shout as loud as you can: 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!'" With that, Howard Beale becomes the hottest TV personality in America, and Diana becomes the network's fair-haired girl. She draws up plans to treat the nightly news broadcast as garish entertainment (complete with a psychic), all built around the rants of Beale, billed as "The Mad Prophet of the Airwaves." Network won Oscars for Paddy Chayefsky's screenplay as well as for three of four acting categories -- Dunaway for Best Actress, Peter Finch for Best Actor (in the only posthumous Oscar yet awarded), and Beatrice Straight for Best Supporting Actress, in one of the shortest-screen-time performances ever to win an Oscar. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Faye Dunaway
      Faye Dunaway - Diana Christensen
    • William Holden
      William Holden - Max Schumacher
    • Peter Finch
      Peter Finch - Howard Beale
    • Robert Duvall
      Robert Duvall - Frank Hackett
    • Wesley Addy
      Wesley Addy - Nelson Chaney

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.