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Character and Theme-focused Screenplay Analysis

Great Films

Network: A Screenplay Analysis

Posted by jennine lanouette on Friday, January 11th, 2013

Network Film Peter Finch

Projected Release: Fall, 2017.

When Network was first released in 1976, it was received as a far-fetched, that-will-never-happen hilarious comedy. But by the late 80s, Geraldo Rivera was already blurring the lines between news and entertainment. With each decade since, the outlandish conceits of Network have only proven to be more and more true. Although the film says it is the story of Howard Beale, the main character is actually Max Schumacher as the voice of reason amidst the encroaching profit-motivated chaos. But Network is not, fundamentally, a character-driven story. It is a plot-driven story as we see the conflict play out between the old guard, who is upholding a revered standard of objective journalism, and the new guard, who wants to exploit the news to get better ratings. But the plot only exists to serve the film’s theme story, in which we see the world of network news change substantially from 1950s Edward R. Murrow-style news-as-Truth, with a capital T, to the flashy, audience pandering news-as-entertainment we see on television today.

You can watch Network on the following Video On Demand websites:

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