In the 1970s, terrorist violence is the stuff of networks' nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS Television Network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way. We then see how this affects the fortunes of Beale, his coworkers (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen), and the network.Written by
Bruce Janson <[email protected]>
When Diana and Max are discussing adding Sybil the Soothsayer to the UBS Network Evening News, Diana claims that there are actual tarot card readers and other prognosticators offering investment advice on Wall Street. While there have been rumors of fortune tellers working on Wall Street for many decades, the prohibitions against SEC-registered investment advisers assuring their clients of success has had a dampening effect on many would-be soothsayers registering to be able to give investment advice, until recently. Starting in 2008, with the economic meltdown, many more fortune tellers have become registered with the SEC, and more and more clients are turning to them for their securities recommendations. See more »
It is said early on that at one point, Beale's evening news program had as high as a 16 HUT rating. As HUT stands for Households Using Television, a HUT rating of 16 would mean only 16% of sets were in use, a low figure for that time of day where at least 60% would be expected. Additionally, the HUT rating applies to all programs airing at that hour. Individual program figures are reported as Household ratings or Household share. A rating is a percentage of all sets in the survey area, a share is a percentage of all sets in use at that hour. See more »
This story is about Howard Beale, who was the news anchorman on UBS TV. In his time, Howard Beale had been a mandarin of television, the grand old man of news, with a HUT rating of 16 and a 28 audience share. In 1969, however, his fortunes began to decline. He fell to a 22 share. The following year, his wife died, and he was left a childless widower with an 8 rating and a 12 share. He became morose and isolated, began to drink heavily, and on September 22, 1975, he was fired, ...
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I just finished watching this movie and was blown away. Sidney Lumet's satire shows the hollowness of television and the mindless generation that is produced from an excess of it. This film is shocking and eye-opening also showing executives' mad quest for ratings.
The acting in this film is superb. Peter finch stars as the TV anchor who becomes an "angry prophet who denounces the hypocrisies of our time." We gradually see how he first preaches to the common everyman, but is then exploited by the slick executives to achieve their one goal: Ratings. Faye Dunaway also shines as the Vice President in charge of programming who finds herself becoming less aware of the difference between television and reality. William Holden also lends fine support.
As the acting and directing in this film are exquisite, the message it portrays is a very strong one. This scathing indictment of TV is necessary for everyone to see.
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