97. Network (1976)
There's not much I can say about this brilliant film. It appears on almost every list of great American movies. Paddy Chayefsky's intelligent and darkly satirical drama is woven perfectly by director Sidney Lumet. It is a must-see film for anyone planning to pursue a career in the Arts and Media. Several of the themes Chayefsky explores are still relevant today, especially those about network and studio politics. It is rounded out by a stellar ensemble cast led by the great William Holden and the wickedly brilliant Faye Dunaway. And, of course, who could forget Peter Finch, who won a posthumous Oscar for his phenomenal performance as Howard Beale, the Network News anchor driven mad by the troubles in the world. His speech near the beginning of the film is widely known now because of its catchphrase. The film also includes the shortest performance to win an Academy Award. Beatrice Straight, playing William Holden's put upon wife, appears onscreen for a total of less than 10 minutes and yet, received 1976's Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
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