“No predictor of the future – not even Orwell – has ever been as right as Chayefsky was when he wrote Network.”
- Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.
In Paddy Chayefsky’s dark 1976 satire Network, disillusioned news anchorman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) announces that he will kill himself on live TV. The station pulls him off air but he’s allowed back in front of the camera to preach what will become a very popular gospel of anger. In the film’s most iconic moment, at one point he urges viewers to stand up, open a window and shout, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this any more !”
Just before the film reaches its denouement, Beale jeopardises a takeover of the network by a Saudi conglomerate. Network chairman Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty) is dispatched to bring Beale back into line:
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