YMMV: Network


  • Acceptable Ethnic Targets: When Beale's show is a ratings champion, and UBS is on the way to its most successful period, Beale delivers a powerful rant about the Arabs buying up land and businesses in America, particularly CCA, the parent company of UBS. And, in a break from previous speeches, he urges viewers to send complaints about this to the White House.
  • Award Snub: A few critics considered it deserved Best Picture more than Rocky.
    • Considering the other nominees that year were All the President's Men, Taxi Driver, and Bound for Glory, you could say that of all five nominated films. YMMV of course, but this was one of those times the Academy should have gone with a five-way tie.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    Jensen: Good morning, Mr. Beale. They tell me you're a madman.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The entire film. May also be Hilarious in Hindsight or Black Comedy or any number of other things. Given Peter Finch's death a few months after the film's release, the ending is even more difficult to watch.
      • Speaking of the ending, recently, a journalist named Anthony Shadid was killed in Syria during a war zone, a war zone in which recent evidence strongly implicated that he was smuggled into the area by his superiors at the New York Times specifically to get intel on war for more ratings/profit, despite the situation worsening compared to their previous attempt to smuggle someone in.
    • One specific example: A fourth major television network, built upon content that's trashier than its rivals and who quickly cancels any shows that don't keep up in the ratings? This may as well have been a documentary on the rise of FOX, if it hadn't been made in 1976.
    • A meta example. Peter Finch, an Australian previously Oscar-nominated for playing a homosexual man, died soon after playing the part of an anti-establishment nutcase and ended up winning a posthumous Oscar for the role. Who does that remind you of?
    • In August 2012, CNN — a network originally dedicated solely to the news — was reported to now be looking into adding a late-night talk show and several reality shows to their programming to boost ratings.note 
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Beale's first remarks on the air after he learns he's fired is that he ran out of bullshit, which then turns his show into a rant program. Sounds much like You Know Whats Bullshit.
  • Memetic Mutation: Beale's "mad as Hell" speech, both in-universe and in Real Life as well.
  • Misaimed Fandom: It bears repeating that while the character of Howard Beale may appear to be a fiery crusader for the common man, he is also an individual undergoing a severe and prolonged mental breakdown, and the film makes clear his behavior is not to be emulated. This, however, doesn't seem to stop people (both fictional and non-fictional) from claiming him as an inspiration.
  • No Ending: Or perhaps it was too abrupt... but the aftermath of Beale's planned assassination is never delved into, except that one of his killers, "the Great Ahmed Khan", escaped.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Invoked in-universe, after Hackett fires Schumacher and tells him he's following Diana Christensen's suggestion of merging the network's news and entertainment divisions:
    Schumacher: I'm gonna spread this whole reeking business in every newspaper, on every network, group and affiliate in this country. I'm gonna make a lot of noise about this.
    Hackett: Great! We need all the press we can get!
  • Not So Crazy Anymore
  • One-Scene Wonder: Ned Beatty as Arthur Jensen.
    • Beatrice Straight as Louise Schumacher. If you're watching this for the first time and know she won an Oscar for her role, you might wonder why, since she doesn't seem to be doing very much... until you get to that scene.
  • Signature Scene: Beale's "mad as Hell" rant.
  • Values Resonance: Network's satirical take on news channels only grows more relevant with every passing year - still every bit as true in the 21st century as in 1976.