March's classic movie here at Chateau Bee Charmer is "Network" which was released in 1976 and won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Here's what Amazon has to say about it:
Media madness reigns supreme in screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky's scathing satire about the uses and abuses of network television. But while Chayefsky's and director Sidney Lumet's take on television may seem quaint in the age of "reality TV" and Jerry Springer's talk-show fisticuffs, it's every bit as potent now as it was when the film was released in 1976. And because Chayefsky was one of the greatest of all dramatists, his Oscar-winning script about the ratings frenzy at the cost of cultural integrity is a showcase for powerhouse acting by Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight (who each won Oscars), and Oscar nominee William Holden in one of his finest roles. Finch plays a veteran network anchorman who's been fired because of low ratings. His character's response is to announce he'll kill himself on live television two weeks hence. What follows, along with skyrocketing ratings, is the anchorman's descent into insanity, during which he fervently rages against the medium that made him a celebrity. Dunaway plays the frigid, ratings-obsessed producer who pursues success with cold-blooded zeal; Holden is the married executive who tries to thaw her out during his own seething midlife crisis. Through it all, Chayefsky (via Finch) urges the viewer to repeat the now-famous mantra "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" to reclaim our humanity from the medium that threatens to steal it away.
The thing about this movie that sort of struck me is that the ridiculous satire of 1976 is pretty much television par for the course now.  Chayefsky was skewering a television industry that he felt would air anything in the name of ratings and that's pretty much where we are now.  One of the main themes was the network's entertainment division taking over the news - and what a ridiculous proposition it was.  Not so ridiculous these days.

If you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth watching.

If you have seen it, I'd love to hear what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it amazing to see movies/read books that were written quite some time ago, and to realize we have become what was once detested? Or, to see what their "vision" of the future was! It's a little bit scary...


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