In 1976 two of the key players in the Golden Age of Television, writer Paddy Chayefsky and director Sidney Lumet, delivered a coruscating attack – at once savage and hilarious – on the medium that made their names.
SINCE THIS SHOW WAS THE ONLY THING I HAD GOING FOR ME IN MY LIFE, I’VE DECIDED TO KILL MYSELF.
To speak Chayefsky’s Oscar-winning dialogue, Lumet enlisted a powerhouse cast list, including Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch (as ‘the mad prophet of the airwaves’ Howard Beale), Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty and Beatrice Straight. Five of them would be nominated for Academy Awards, three would win.
I’M GOING TO BLOW MY BRAINS OUT RIGHT ON THIS PROGRAMME A WEEK FROM TODAY.
As well as its four Oscars, Network was also garlanded with a quartet of Golden Globes, a BAFTA and numerous other awards. In the years since its release, its reputation has only grown: the Library of Congress granted it a place on their prestigious National Film Registry; the American Film Institute named it as one of the greatest American films of all time; and the Writers Guild of America declared its screenplay one of the ten best of all time. It remains a true classic.