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Faye Dunaway as Diana Christensen: 10 Quotes About the Iconic Role

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 02:57 PM

Faye Dunaway has played many characters since breaking into acting in the 60s. From Bonnie in “Bonnie and Clyde” in 1967, to Evelyn Mulwray in “Chinatown” in 1974, to Phyllis Gold in “The Twilight of the Golds,” Dunaway has charmed audiences. But Faye Dunaway as Diana Christensen, in 1976s “Network,” is perhaps one of her best known and most acclaimed roles. Here are 10 quotes about her iconic role:

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“Even when Diana is too blunt a weapon in Chayefsky’s attack on network soullessness, however, there’s no denying that Dunaway plays the role to the hilt, exactly as conceived. Watching her confidently rattle off reams of brittle, wised-up dialogue, it’s easy to imagine her excelling as a Rosalind Russell or Katharine Hepburn type in Hollywood’s golden era,” said Mike D’Angelo, a features writer for The Dissolve.

“Dunaway gives a seductive performance as the obsessed programming executive,” said Roger Ebert of Dunaway’s portrayal of the “ratings-hungry programming executive who is prepared to do anything for better numbers.”

Vincent Canby said in a 1976 review in The New York Times, “Network can be faulted both for going too far and not far enough, but it's also something that very few commercial films are these days. It's alive. This, I suspect, is the Lumet drive. It's also the wit of performers like Mr. Finch, Mr. Holden, and Miss Dunaway.” Regarding Dunaway’s abilities as an actress, he added, “Miss Dunaway, in particular, is successful in making touching and funny a woman of psychopathic ambition and lack of feeling.”

“Faye Dunaway has never been better: striking and ferocious as the cutthroat programming executive gripped by success, we get the sense that she obsessed over the part for months in order to ensure hitting all the right notes (which she does, flawlessly),” said David M. Keyes on his review site Cinamaphile.com.

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In a Spectator review, Clancy Segal said, “Faye Dunaway is chillingly funny (and accurate) as the ratings-obsessed programmer…”

A.D. Murphy recognized Dunaway’s role in “Network” as one of her finest in a 1976 review of the film in Variety. “Faye Dunaway and William Holden, each in two of their finest performances, plus Peter Finch and Robert Duvall star in this superbly cast and handsomely produced Howard Gottfried production.”

“Alongside roles in ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ and ‘Chinatown,’ Dunaway's performance in ‘Network’ remains among her most accomplished. It's easy to see what Schumacher saw in Christensen, even though he knew who and what she was – she's as easy to love as she is to hate,” said James Berardinelli on ReelViews.com.

In New West, Stephen Farber said, “Faye Dunaway rises to the challenge of the role and gives the performance of her career…Dunaway has never before given a performance of such dizzying energy; her work here is a revelation.”

“In this stunt role, her usual self-consciousness is turned into comic rapport with the audience; she's not the remote, neurotic beauty – she's more of a clown. And though her Diana isn't remotely convincing – she's not a woman with a drive to power, she's just a dirty Mary Tyler Moore – it's a relief to see Dunaway being light. She puts us on the side of the humanoids,” said film critic Pauline Kael in The New Yorker.

“She was the nerve center of the film – agitated, sensation seeking, and as cold as TV itself. At the same time, she was a believable neurotic career woman and a comic-book video creature--the medium and a massage – and she won the best actress Oscar for it,” David Thomson said of Dunaway in “The New Biographical Dictionary of Film.”

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Faye Dunaway has played many characters since breaking into acting in the 60s. But Faye Dunaway as Diana Christensen, in 1976s “Network,” is perhaps one of her best known and most acclaimed roles.
faye dunaway, diana christensen, actress, movies
Thursday, 14 May 2015 02:57 PM
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