Network, the 1976 powerhouse of a motion picture, in which its statements on national and world politics, Hollywood, the television industry, and the human population in general resonate more relevant in today’s age than ever before, celebrates its 40th anniversary this week.
Directed by Sidney Lumet, with an Academy Award-winning screenplay written by the genius small and big screen writer Paddy Chayefsky, Network, originally released on November 27th, 1976, doesn’t pull any punches whatsoever, in terms of its script, narrative, themes and especially its performances. Faye Dunaway leads an ensemble group of Hollywood’s finest, including William Holden, Ned Beatty, and Robert Duvall, all of whom explode across the screen while naturally spouting dialogue of the highest intellectual and emotional order.
Sunset Boulevard and Sabrina 2-Disc Collector’s sets
The Paramount Centennial Collection
Directed by Billy Wilder
Starring Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olsen, Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn
Paramount Home Entertainment
Release date: November 11, 2008
In my mind, there is a Holy Trinity of filmmakers. Three directors who, among all their work, you could find any and every reason for watching a film. There’s Akira Kurosawa, there’s Stanley Kubrick”¦
And then there’s Billy Wilder.
Wilder lived the longest, died the latest, won the most Oscars, displayed the most versatility and yet somehow, for some strange reason, is the most underseen and underloved among this recent group of self-styled movie geeks. Yeah, everyone’s seen The Shining and A Clockwork Orange, and yes there are some who try to boost their cred by watching Seven Samurai, but it’s depressing to see how few have seen at least one Wilder film”¦. Or even name one.
With the possible exception of Howard Hawks (who made films as dissimilar as The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo, His Girl Friday and the original The Thing), no mainstream Hollywood director has ever shown Wilder’s utter refusal to be pigeon-holed into one kind of movie. Wilder made films as disparate as The Apartment and Double Indemnity. As Stalag 17 and The Seven Year Itch. As the long lost Ace In The Hole and the woefully underrated The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.