Paddy Chayefsky David Thomson - Essay

David Thomson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Network is a furious and infuriating tangle. Is it a brilliant shocking corrosive satire on America's dwelling in screened imitations of reality, or is it a snake devouring its own tail? Is the satire cleansing or only huckster raillery, responsible anger turned into self-contempt or the cynicism that ravishes every ideal? It is a reckless but literate film, incoherent and pretentious, piercing yet evasive. It is itself very like TV, the monster it mocks…. Network is thunderously written and as contentious as Paddy Chayefsky's last picture, The Hospital. Every time I saw the film in America, audiences identified with its haphazard spleen and applauded at the end. Was that simply a version of the...

(The entire section is 714 words.)