Tag Archives: Robert Duvall

I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this any more!

Network movie posterThis week we’re plunged back into the seventies with Network, a satire on the ruthlessness of TV executives. Anchorman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is unceremoniously ‘retired’ after the ratings on his news show dip, then threatens to kill himself live on air. After an unexpected rise in Howard’s ratings, the ruthless TV bosses decide to capitalise on his breakdown by giving him a new show…

I’d never even heard of Network before Ian suggested we do it for the podcast a few weeks back. In the way of these things though, as soon as I found out about it I started seeing references to it everywhere – it’s even referenced in the new Alan Partridge film. It was also a massive deal when it was released – Network was a huge hit in 1976 and won an unprecedented 3 out of the 4 Oscars for acting (and it was only pipped to the post for Best Picture by Rocky).

So why had I never heard of it until now? Well, for a start, it rarely gets shown on TV (unlike its rival Rocky), and in some ways it’s aged badly. The film couldn’t be more seventies if it tried – all wide lapels and even wider trousers, set against a background of current affairs stories such as the oil crisis and the Patty Hearst kidnapping. It dates the film a little, but it also gives you a great feel for the seventies as a period, highlighting the important stories of the time and the frazzled mood of the US nation. (We watched Kentucky Fried Movie the other day and that also provided a brilliant snapshot of life in the seventies, but in a much more boob-and-kung-fu-heavy kind of way).

Despite its seventiesness though, Network is remarkably current in terms of its themes, and prescient in terms of its depiction of manipulation by the mass media. As Ian points out in the podcast, the film’s only mistake is that it thinks TV audiences only want to watch ordinary people if they’re terrorists or oddjobs, when in fact reality TV has shown that people will happily watch pretty much anyone doing anything.

All in all Network is a pretty decent film that’s buoyed by stunning performances from its all-star cast of Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, William Holden and Robert Duvall, but it’s slightly let down by uneven tone and pacing, and a slightly garbled denouement.

Last but not least, our Secret Sponsor for this week is Get Reel (@GetReel) – check out their fantastic website over at http://www.get-reel.net.

If our review has piqued your interest in the film, you can buy the Network DVD from Amazon by clicking here (and we get a little bit of cash if you do – thanks in advance).

Anyway, without further ado, let us present our feature presentation:

Click here to download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Podcast 053 – Network

Click below to subscribe on iTunes, join our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog. Feel free to say nice things about us on iTunes!

Director: Sidney Lumet Year of release: 1976 Studio/Distributor: MGM/United Artists Country: USA

Podcast 053: Network

This week we dive back into the seventies with the multi-Oscar-winning Network, a disturbingly prescient satire of the ruthlessness of TV executives.

101 Films Podcast 053 – Network

What the hell do you know about surfing, Major? You’re from goddamned New Jersey!

Apocalypse NowPodcast 50! The big 5-0. That’s right, we’re almost half way through our list of 101 Films. To celebrate we didn’t want to do any old film, but a bona fide classic. So after much discussion, and having a quick check which films I hadn’t seen (let’s be honest, it’s always me who hasn’t seen the big films) we went for Apocalypse Now.

Apocalypse Now is the last great ’70s’ movie. This is the second Francis Ford Coppola film on our list, which in 101 Films terms makes Coppola as good a director as Robert Hamer – well done Francis! Set during the Vietnam War, Apocalypse Now follows US Army Special Operations Officer Captain Willard, played by an intense Martin Sheen, as he journeys up the Nung River on a mission to kill the gone-rogue Colonel Kurtz, played by an even more intense and pretty much insane Marlon Brando.

I think it would be fair to say that Lewis and I did worry that we had bitten off more than we could chew in covering this film. Simply put, there’s too much to talk about! There’s the amazing direction, the haunting images and story, the fantastic and bizarre performances, the insanity of how the film was made, the various interpretations of what the film says about war… Where do you start?!

Well, we’ve never let our own ignorance or lack of preparation stop us from talking about a film before, and we’re not going to let it stop us at number 50! So we did the usual: dived in and talked about what we saw in the film and what it made us think about. Hope you enjoy it.

In hindsight the film was a good one to pick for our 50th as there seem to be a lot of parallels between what it had to say about the Vietnam War and us doing these podcasts – both seemed never-ending, both slowly destroyed those involved and, at the end, both seemed like a terrible waste of time. The horror… the horror.

We have an extra special Secret Sponsor this week. Over the last few weeks we’ve been asking people to like our Facebook page, in particular we wanted to get 50 likes by our 50th podcast. Long-time listener and friend of the show Eoin Boyle heeded our call and was the 50th person to like the page. Not only that, he also recommended Apocalypse Now. So congratulations Eoin, when the history of 101 Films comes to be written, you will be at the very least an important footnote.

Though he doesn’t have a blog or podcast you can get all the Boyle action you need by following him on Twitter: @e_boyler.

Thanks to everyone who has listened to our podcasts over the last 18 months or so. We feel the best is yet to come and have all sorts of plans for the future. Keep sending in those recommendations!

If our review has piqued your interest in the film, you can buy the Apocalypse Now DVD from Amazon by clicking here (and we get a little bit of cash if you do – thanks in advance)

Anyway, without further ado, let us present our feature presentation:

Click here to download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Podcast 050 – Apocalypse Now

Click below to subscribe on iTunes, join our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog. Feel free to say nice things about us on iTunes!

Director: Francis Ford Coppola Year of release: 1979 Studio/Distributor: Zoetrope Studios/United Artists Country: USA

Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

The Godfather. Probably one of the greatest films ever made. It has seeped into so much of popular culture that there are references to the film in everything from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith to The Rugrats Movie. So in this introduction to the latest 101 Films Podcast, the temptation is to make weak jokes and ‘hilariously’ misquote lines of dialogue. Well, surprisingly, that’s not going to happen here!

Instead we’ll just give you a simple overview of what Lewis and Ian talk about in Podcast 014: Marlon Brando’s performance, how fantastic the film is, Al Pacino being awesome, hats, Zardoz, the influence of gangster films on gangsters, Lewis’s Butterfly Puzzle and George Lucas. Also listen out for the brand new Trivia Quiz jingle! So c’mon, give it listen. Go on, it’s great. Really, listen, or we’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse… Ah damn it.

Without further ado, here’s this week’s feature presentation… Click below:

Or download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Podcast 014 – The Godfather

OR subscribe on iTunes by clicking on the link below:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola Year of release: 1972 Studio/Distributor: Paramount Country: USA

Podcast 014: The Godfather

The Godfather: probably one of the greatest films ever made. Join us as we discuss Marlon Brando’s performance, how fantastic the film is, Al Pacino being awesome, hats, Zardoz, the influence of gangster films on gangsters, Lewis’s Butterfly Puzzle and George Lucas. Also listen out for the brand new Trivia Quiz jingle!

101 Films Podcast 014 – The Godfather