Oscar Movies: Network (1976)–Winner of 3 Acting Awards

MGM/United Artist (Gottfried-Paddy Chayefsky production)

Oscar Nominations: 10

Picture, produced by Howard Gottfried
Director: Sidney Lumet
Screenplay (Original): Paddy Chayefsky
Actor: William Holden
Actor: Peter Finch
Actress: Faye Dunaway
Supporting Actor: Ned Beatty
Supporting Actress: Beatrice Straight
Cinematography: Owen Roizman
Film Editing: Alan Heim

Oscar Awards: 4

Actor: Finch
Actress: Faye Dunaway
Supporting Actress:
Screenplay

Oscar Context:

“Network” is one of the few films in the Academy’s annals to receive five acting nominations, two of which in the Best Actor category: Finch and Holden. Three of the quintet won: Finch, posthumously, Dunaway, and Beatrice Straight.

The Supporting Actor winner was Jason Robards for “All the President’s Men,” and Haskell Wexler won the Cinematography Oscar for the biopic, “Bound for Glory.”

Each of the 1976 Best Picture nominees was artistically superior to the winner, “Rocky.” Alan Pakula’s “All the President’s Men,” produced by Robert Redford, was a good political thriller about the Watergate scandal, based on the best seller by the two Washington Post reporters, Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) and Bob Woodward (Robert Redford).

Sidney Lumet made an outrageous farce, Network, about the potential power of television, that for some reason many people took as a serious drama. And Martin Scorsese followed up his “Mean Street” with “Taxi Driver,” a film about political and social alienation, embodied by Robert De Niro in a grand performance.

Of the five nominees, however, the message of “Rocky”, the rise to stardom of an obscure “nobody,” which paralleled both the actor’s life off screen and President Jimmy Carter’s 1976 election, was the most upbeat and the least controversial. And it was also the most befitting of the nation’s mood in its Bicentennial celebrations.