|Starring:||Ned Beatty, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Beatrice Straight, Robert Duvall, Wesley Addy, Peter Finch|
|Collections:||American Film Institute's top 100|
|Run time:||1 hour 57 minutes|
|Rental release:||17 Mar 2003|
Most helpful review
One of the best American films put to the screen.By a customer from Belfast N. Ireland , 18 Aug 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]If you haven't seen this film and your reading the review, your probably wondering what this film is like. Image Fight Club, American Beauty and to a lesser extent Eddie Murphy's Holy Man all mixed together. The story is superub and although takes a few minutes to take off you are soon subjected a fantastic script and wonderful acting. The film mainly focuses on the opinon of the common man that has been screwed over by fat cat business bigshots. Fired after 30 years of working in news broadcasting he loses his mind and on live TV and becomes a sensation... becoming top of the broadcasting polls and gives the TV station it's highest ratings for years. More importantly, the film covers a range of issues such as the power of Televsion and the gullability of audiences that can become brainwashed through extreme opinion (Fight Club) The American Beauty elements of the film offers a feel good factor that one man can make a difference to the way people think. The acting is sensational and the direction is nothing short of unique, offering scenes that echo the Coen's early works. Most importantly the film reminds us that great works like this don't come around as often as they did in the 70's. A must see, rent it and if you really want to... buy it, it's well worth it.
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Classic satireBy ArrogantDuck (69 reviews) , 09 Aug 2013A classic satire about the media, with fantastic performances from its ensemble cast. Peter Finch plays a news reader who has a mental breakdown while on air and becomes exploited by his television network and it's executives (Robert Duvall, Faye Dunaway, etc). A classic of 70's cinema with an Oscar winning screenplay by veteran writer Paddy Chayefsky.
Executive mediaBy Aristotle (8 reviews) , 18 Jan 2013This is a tour-de-force, orchestrated by Sidney Lumet and executed by a great team. It sets itself the goal of satirizing the TV industry and its followers (us) by imitating the shallowness of style, script, music, acting, of a TV soap. The most glorious episode is the romantic week-end which William Holden and Faye Dunaway share in which the scenes standard to that hackneyed situation are shot with Holden totally silent and Dunaway obsessed by her professional problems of audience shares and how to sell a meaningless series to a welcoming public, while she progresses towards premature arousal and consummation. The makers manage to make even the 'sincere' scenes teeter on the brink of soapdom. See it, then watch it again.
Excessively bitter satire, starting to show its ageBy BenLaw (32 reviews) , 02 Jan 2013This film is so highly rated, I was expecting a great deal and unfortunately was rather disappointed. The 'blurb' states that this is satire that is becoming increasingly relevant. I suspect it never applied as well in this country as in the US, but even so its relevance now seems to be fading. Lumet tries, with mixed success, to broaden the satire at times, as far as the human condition. However, it mostly centres on US networks, television and commerce. The problem watching today is that most of this has already come to pass. The news channels have been dumbed down and there is plenty of TV for the lowest common denominator. Having said that, the ending retains the power to shock. The biggest problem I had was with the lack of humour in the film. Satire can be extremely black, but ultimately still needs a dark sense of humour. This film seemed to be an expression of bitterness, most clearly seen in Schumacher's depressing relationship with his wife, which seems an odd source of satire. To find the main subject matter humorous also would seem to require laughter at one or both of Beale or Christensen. Given that both would today be recognised as having mental health problems, this feels rather uncomfortable. It's also necessary to mention that the DVD picture quality is appalling. There's a great deal of fuzz and even a number of simple facial closeups are grossly out of focus. It is very distracting. Despite all the negativity, this is still a very decent film, and worth watching as part of a cinematic education. There are some great actors here, Lumet is a stellar director and some of the monologues are transfixing. Ultimately, the concept was greater than the execution.
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Insightful and memorableBy Abby88 (170 reviews) from Bognor Regis , 22 Nov 2012An interesting and cleverly written film about the greed and nastiness of the television business. A well deserved posthumous Oscar for Peter Finch.
Plus ca Change?By Cato (772 reviews) from Lydbury North , 20 Jul 2012I've wanted to see this for a long time. It featured two of the great film actors, Finch and Holden, both of them dead within five years of the film, which was a fitting remembrance of their acting powers. We know the story only too well, for these days it's a taken that the power of the media diminishes all competition, and that within this megadose of entertainment lies much corruption and wrecking of lives. This particular exposure of it got very OTT towards the end, but we mustn't forget that it was a good old satire, and they generally deliberately step over the bounds of taste and decency and feel goodedness. I'm surprised at the wilting review in the Time Out film book, but it may have a point.