Network was re-released on DVD this week in a special two-disc edition with all the trimmings. The last time I saw the movie was on a videotape I'd made from a TV broadcast of the 1976 film, so perhaps it's time to rent (or even buy) that DVD and treat myself to another viewing.

Network is a great film even if you watch it on a crappy videotape. The famous "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!" speech has fallen into popular use even among people who have no idea what it's from, or who haven't seen the whole movie. The film won four Oscars: Peter Finch for Best Actor, Faye Dunaway for Best Actress, Beatrice Straight for Best Supporting Actress, and Paddy Chayefsky for Best Original Screenplay. Sadly, Finch died before he was even nominated for the award, and became the first actor to win an Oscar posthumously. (FYI, Rocky took home Best Picture/Director that year.)

It's Finch I tend to remember most vividly from Network, despite a top-notch cast: Dunaway, William Holden, Robert Duvall, and Ned Beatty among others. It's full of witty lines that we've forgotten in the wake of the big memorable one. And as a journalist, I find that the type of news show that is lambasted in the film for being ratings driven and frivolous is terribly tame and unsurprising today. However, the film doesn't date; in fact, sometimes it seems more relevant than ever.

categories Features, Cinematical