When a news anchorman (Finch) is given two weeks’ notice because of poor ratings, he does something unusual to attract more viewers: he looks into the camera and says he will kill himself on live television in the coming days. Enter the director of programming (Dunaway), who plays a bit of hardball to keep America glued to the set long enough to get her next promotion. Still a brilliant satire, it’s only sad so many real networks seem to have adopted it as a straightforward how-to guide.

Director: Sidney Lumet

Screenplay by: Paddy Chayefsky

Starring: Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, William Holden

Major nominations on original release : Academy Award® for Best Picture, Director, Actor Finch (won), Actress Dunaway (won), Supporting Actor Beatty, Supporting Actress Straight (won)

See all nominees