Saturday, 11 April 2015


Available for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK, Sidney Lumet’s seminal 70s classic, Network, features a star-studded cast including Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, William Holden and Warren Beatty. If you're impressed by awards then look no further, Network picked up four Academy Awards and a handful on Golden Globes and BAFTAs.

TV news is changing and without big ratings there is no news. Howard Beale (Finch), "the mad prophet of the airwaves", knows this only too well, having lost his strong ratings share and his job to boot. Putting it mildly, Beale doesn't take the news very well, and what follows is a savage and witty attack on the medium that made his name. He's mad as Hell and he's not going to take this anymore.

This new edition has an exciting array of extra features including an hour-long documentary, The Directors, focussing on Sidney Lumet, alongside an all-new visual essay on the film's making, written and presented by Dave Itzkoff (author of Mad as Hell: The Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies).

The film itself focuses on the relationship between Faye Dunaway's programming executive and her new lover (victim) Max Schumacher (William Holden), with Finch's scene-stealing performance bubbling away in the background. The sets have aged badly but the content hasn't, and the performances are universally excellent. 

With a pitch-perfect script, witty dialogue, timeless themes and memorable moments aplenty, Network is just as agreeable now as it was back in '76. Some movies stand the test of time, Network is one such film.

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