Saturday, November 7, 2009

Film Pick...Network

I can't believe I only saw this 1976 film for the first time last year. What took me so long?? It's now one of my favorites. 

Written by Paddy Chayefsky, directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, and William Holden. The plot is hilarious. Peter Finch's Howard Beale plays a news anchor that gets laid off due to poor ratings. With two weeks left, he announces on air that he will be leaving and then threatens to shoot himself in the head (which he doesn't do). The network asks him to apologize to viewers for this outburst, which he does, but then he snaps and starts going off on a crazed, impromptu tirade about how life is "bullshit." Funnily enough, this tirade strikes a nerve with viewers and rating soar, so the network gives him a show where he just goes off on these crazed, but honest and at times very insightful rants.  

"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!!"

Peter Finch is brilliant in this film. I wanted to see more of his work, but I seem to recall that, oddly, very few of his films are available on Netflix. 


Bret M. Herholz said...

Peter Finch was also a fairly decent Oscar Wilde. Nothing like Stephen Fry but not bad.

Veronica said...

This movie is freaking AMAZING! I started watching it at midnight one weekend and COULDN't stop!

Bret M. Herholz said...

There was a story about Peter O'Toole and Peter Finch getting really drunk and then buying a bar when the barkeep tried to kick them out after last call.

Anonymous said...

He died right after finishing this movie. That put a damper on his film career that he never recovered from.