(out of 5)

Riveting look at television news media, starring  as an anchorman whose waning ratings prompt his bosses to fire him. His reaction is to have a complete meltdown and go mad in public, with his televised ranting becoming so newsworthy that his network decides to exploit him for all the ratings he’s worth.  is terrific as a heartless TV exec for whom the bottom line is getting more advertising dollars no matter what the cost, and Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay brilliantly charts the development of television into a corporate commodity without a conscience.  Sidney Lumet gives it his usual hard hitting direction, and the fantastic cast is rounded out by strong performances from ,  and (who is really good, but to win an Oscar for one scene is still a bit fantastic even twenty years later).  The scary part is how funny it is for its time, and how much it is no longer a satire.

USA, 1976

Directed by

Screenplay by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Peter Finch as “Howard Beale”)
Best Actress in a Leading Role (Faye Dunaway as “Diana Christensen”)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Beatrice Straight as “Louise Schumacher”)
Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen–based on factual material or on story material not previously Published or Produced) (Paddy Chayefsky)

Best Actor in a Leading Role (William Holden as “Max Schumacher”)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ned Beatty as “Arthur Jensen”)
Best Cinematography (Owen Roizman)
Best Directing (Sidney Lumet)
Best Film Editing (Alan Heim)
Best Picture (Howard Gottfried, producer)

Golden Globe Awards
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Faye Dunaway)
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Peter Finch)
Best Director (Sidney Lumet)
Best Screenplay (Paddy Chayefsky)

Best Motion Picture-Drama


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