A searing satire of the television business, this Sidney Lumet landmark, from a Paddy Chayefsky script, charts how a struggling network blurs the lines between news and entertainment in a desperate bid for ratings. As veteran newscaster Howard Beale, Peter Finch gives such an iconic performance that his character’s name has become more familiar than his own. At the start of the film, a slightly unhinged Beale goes on the air and threatens to kill himself. When ratings spike, the network executives – including a Machiavellian Faye Dunaway – encourage him to continue his “act,” but their exploitation of his pain only makes him crazier. Network is staged as a series of rants: primarily Beale’s bug-eyed bursts of doomed honesty, but also ones from William Holden, as the news-division head trying to hold back the waves of sensationalism; Robert Duvall, as the corporate shark screaming about stock prices; and Ned Beatty, who gets one scene as the CEO of the network’s parent company and turns it into a terrifying, crystal-ball sermon on corporate globalization. Despite Beale’s histrionics, it is Dunaway who truly mesmerizes. Her executive demands “angry shows” and she pursues their creation with a single-minded soullessness. When she sees a piece of sensational video footage, those famous eyebrows excitedly arch and her face literally glows.