So this is the last of the film reaction posts I’ve been able to dig up from an old forum:
Just watched Network.
As scathing a film about tv as you can get. Odd watching it and how things have changed and how they haven’t – Beale’s rant about everything going to hell can be applied today, and so can the ‘global corporation’. Democracy being a fading force doesn’t work so well after recent wars.
Have to admit to enjoying the first half the most. Beale’s outbursts and the politics of tv work really well. Later Beale seemed to fade and we had plenty of William Holden and Faye Dunaway. I really like both actors and they had very good characters, but I just wasn’t bothered about them as a couple. I could see how it tied into the tv angle, and how it affects people, but too often they overdid it. Talking about their relationship like it was a script seemed melodramatic.
This is a preachy movie, and when it rants it works wonderfully, and when it lets out a big meaningful speech, I was less enthralled.
Peter Finch as Howard Beale is great, and Beale is a fantastic character to follow, from respectable newsman going bad, to ranter, to prophet.
However Ned Beatty stole this one for me. One big scene and BANG.
Basically this movie has two scenes which are now classics for me. One is Beale’s main rant – and one which I wish people would take up daily. The other is Beatty’s scene, which takes Michael Douglas’s Greed is Good speech and turns it up to 11.
In all a really good movie, although the fact Beale’s ratings fall due to preaching something dreary, and from the most unnerving character, fell a bit flat with me. Usually we get the hero fall due to telling the truth, and I like that. No one listening as he preached the corporate culture seemed, well, a good thing.
But this did make me think of the present. Seems to me so many people want to be a Howard Beale. Unfortunately most of them are just moronic tits.
But stirring stuff with a grim ending and a nasty swipe at all things television.