I had a big long post already worked up and then my computer crashed and took it with it. Everytime I've used Blogger recently it's had an auto-save on it but apparently it wasn't working tonight.
Good job, asshats.
The short version is that I flat out loved this flick and am frankly amazed that I managed to get all the way through both film and journalism school without having seen it. Fortunately I've rectified that and it's absolutely going in my rotation of frequently watched flicks.
While I agree that Peter Finch is brilliant as disgraced newsman Howard Beale, I disagree with giving him the Oscar over Robert DeNiro in Taxi Drive. In hindsight, that's just plain wrong. Faye Dunaway on the other hand deserved her Oscar and more for playing a woman so obsessed with ratings and network shares that she can't stop talking shop even in the middle of sex.
There is one bravura scene after another, but my favorite has to be one towards the end of the film where the network executives (lead by a blue suit wearing Lance Henriksen in one of his first roles) are re-upping their contract with a modern communist guerrilla organization. Their leader can't stop complaining about getting squeezed on the syndication rights and hearing that sort of talk considering the situation had me in stitches.
This is on everyone's Top 10 of All Time lists for a reason, folks. If you've never seen it then you simply must do so. It's even more relevant these days when the television they spoofed in the 1970's could well be the television of the present day.