Sidney Lumet (1976)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This was a thunderous, strangely eerie swansong for Peter Finch, who plays a bilious and increasingly demented TV anchorman, ranting on air against his powerlessness. It's a bravura performance from Finch - who was awarded a posthumous Oscar - given full flight by Paddy Chayefsky's daring, sumptuously satirical script, which throws a continuous hail of barbs at the electronic eye. Sidney Lumet directs with wild aplomb, allowing Finch free rein and keeping up a furious pace. Criticised by some at the time for a certain naivety and lack of subtlety, this remains one of the most devastating condemnations of the media's urge to exploit.


A newsreader has a breakdown on air and begins denouncing the hypocrisy of American society, becoming a cult figure as a result. Seeing this as an opportunity to boost ratings the TV network exploits the situation to the full. Sidney Lumet's satirical drama, starring Peter Finch, William Holden, Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall.

Cast & Crew

Howard Beale Peter Finch
Diana Christensen Faye Dunaway
Max Schumacher William Holden (2)
Frank Hackett Robert Duvall
Nelson Chaney Wesley Addy
Arthur Jensen Ned Beatty
Louise Schumacher Beatrice Straight
Great Ahmed Khan Arthur Burghardt
TV director Bill Burrows
George Bosch John Carpenter
Merrill Grant Ken Kercheval
Director Sidney Lumet
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Contains swearing. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray
Drama Comedy