Visionary Writers of Books and Movies from Decades Ago

Recently, I was chatting in comments with my friend Sue Dreamwalker about one of her posts about the state of the world and what we have to do to help make it a better world. Something she said sparked a famous quote I still use from way back in 1976 from the movie Network, this classic, infamous line: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”

The storyline back then, uncannily was written as fiction, but so fitting for current times. The basis of the story was a fictional news station – UBS Network during the 1970s when terrorism was the new up and coming violence that was high up in the news. The aging news anchor, Howard Beale, played by the iconic, Peter Finch, gets fired as the new dawn of ‘ratings on TV’ determine your worth as a news anchor.

During that era, there was plenty of turmoil going on, not unsimilar to today’s world – pre – our technology driven world where there were no tech devices and we relied on newspapers, radio and TV for world news. TV ratings became tied to profits with advertising being the bread and butter of revenues. This was also a time of no cable news outlets and a limited amount of national news stations.

Howard Beale becomes angry as he sees the writing on the wall, greed is taking over service and loyalty, as plenty of ugliness was going on at the time. Howard ultimately, goes on a tirade On Air, threatening to kill himself live on air, and subsequently, stirs up huge ratings. His famous quote from this tirade: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Beale goes on to tell the audience how they are being duped with news that are lies and coverups, as sensationalism becomes a good hook for ratings.

Here a few more poignant quotes from some of Beale’s speeches:

“But, man, you’re never going to get any truth from us. We’ll tell you anything you want to hear; we lie like hell…”

“Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube. This tube is the gospel, the ultimate revelation; this tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers; this tube is the most awesome goddamn propaganda force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people…”

I rate this movie one of the greatest movies of the times that depicts humanity and greed, and is more than relevant today. Here’s the infamous scene below where Howard goes on a tirade, all the while Faye Dunaway, his boss, starts to get all excited because his wrath is great for their ratings. But he puts out a wake up call and the people respond: (Finch won an Academy Award particularly for this scene)

I find it almost frightening that quite a few books written back in the 70s and 80s in a fictionally created story, have come, and on their way to coming to fruition. 1984 by George Orwell, wrote essentially, about Big Brother. Margaret Atwood’s horrifying tale of the Handmaids is essentially, parallel to what’s happening in the US now with the crushing of Roe v. Wade and women’s rights.

And let’s go back further to Aldous Huxley’s, Brave New World, written in 1932, his most classic masterpiece that was mandatory reading in my high school. A story about world controllers said to be creating the perfect society through brain-washing and genetic engineering.

Not scary enough? How about Sinclair Lewis’s book – It Can’t Happen Here, a cautionary tale about how craftily a government gets taken over by fascism, and turns it into an authoritarian scary country all in the name of power and greed, demonstrating the fragility of democracy – also written back in 1938. Hmm, almost sounds like a scenario that tried to play out in 2020. Then there’s Ray Bradbury’s, Farenheit 451 where a fireman takes on destroying books in fears that people may learn too much and not be able to be controlled. Hmm, again.

Those are just a few books to mention, then referred to as dystopian genre, but if you go read reviews on these books where people who’ve read them decades ago, as well as the younger generation reading now, there is a common thread in comments, and that is the revelation that these stories were written so long ago as fiction and are becoming real life, and all generations are relating the same, collectively.

Did all these writers write about their fears of the future, or for sheer entertainment?

I’m an addict when it comes to reading reviews. I read reviews for everything I buy online, most especially books. Perhaps, that’s why I enjoy writing reviews. If you learn to take the majority of reviews as relevant and honest opinion, and also read the one and two star reviews, we usually find that the majority of the reviews will give a truthful opinion and review. You will also find, on a mostly 5 star rated book that has a few low star reviews, those reviews are usually, nonsensical or irrelevant. Many uneducated reviewers will rate an author’s work or a product with low stars because they are pissed at their untimely or shabby delivery of the product. This has nothing to do with the book or the product, yet seeds doubt in a potential buyer’s thoughts.

But I digress, and wanted to leave you here with some comments people left on the video clip above of Howard Beale’s madness speech:

The comments I’ve chosen to share below are just a few of the over 4400 comments on the video, and most of them all saying the same in personal ways:

“Is it weird that this made my cry? The energy is so contagious”

“God this scene is so relevant in today climate!”

“America in 2020: “I’m apathetic as hell and I’ll take whatever you give me as long as I have my Netflix.”

“This is exactly the problem, people think that just being mad and telling everybody and then going and sitting back down in your armchairs is gonna fix anything. Don’t tell people you’re mad, do something about it”

“One of the greatest movies ever made! So prophetic, so relevent, so true. From 1976. We are living this right now!”

“Tears in my eyes because this is so close to truth. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

“45 years later, still feels relevant, arguably even more so now.”

106REPLYView 4 replies

“If you ask me. I certainly think it’s time we all start getting ‘mad as hell’ and get educated on what is happening in our world.”

“He won the Oscar for this scene alone.”

“I remember when this aired on tv. My kids went to the window without me knowing it and they started yelling that they were as mad as hell and weren’t going to take it anymore. Then, slowly from one neighborhood to the next the chorus was taken up, dogs started barking and you could here the kids laughing from one house to another. Will never forget. Hard to believe it has been 44 years ago that happened.”

“This is with no doubt one of the best speeches in the whole history of cinema. What a goosebumping performance!!!”

“Just one of the greatest movies ever made. Still as relevant today as it ever was. Everyone needs to watch it”

“How did so many of the cautionary tales from the 20th century, end up becoming the instruction manuals for the 21st?”

“One of the greatest movies ever made! So prophetic, so relevent, so true. From 1976. We are living this right now!”


Personally, I think we should all, collectively, be mad as hell and take heed to truth, compassion, and be doing good things to make the world and this planet a better place to live in, not just for ourselves, but for the generation(s) that will follow.


53 thoughts on “Visionary Writers of Books and Movies from Decades Ago

  1. I do remember that film very well, Debby, and I think I’ve rewatched it recently as well. I agree with your comments about the movie and the novels as well. Of course, we now have social media to contend with as well, to spread misinformation. We’ve had recent scandals with some reporters, here in Spain, and well… Truth and fiction come to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Debby. I haven’t watched Network, but now I will. And scary how many cautionary, dystopian books have come to fruition, especially in the US. The results of the Roe versus Wade reversal are starting to show up with horror stories of women going to the hospital while bleeding to death and being denied care because doctors can’t remove the dying fetus until its heart stops. The lack of empathy and common sense here is outrageous. I am “mad as hell.” There, you got me all riled up again and it’s only 8:30 in the morning. Thanks for taking a stand, my friend. It’s important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Diana. And I’m not going to apologize for riling you up either. People should be riled, and I’m happy if my post helps in some way. Yes, what the not so supreme court has done is killing and going to kill many women. Governments have NO BUSINESS butting in on medical life-saving issues. NONE! And yes, I’m mad as hell too. Hugs my friend. ❤ xx

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Good one, Debby. I still am concerned with people’s view that the government should do something about things that aren’t going well. The pandemic taught us that the government is not good at helping out at the local level. We now have here in the US calls for more subsidies, health legislation, and even $50 Billion for chip manufacturing. Surely people understand that Orwell and others warned of the corruptive factor of too much power. Handing out money is the best way to accumulate power. Our federal government is making decisions based on the leftist philosophy that the rights of the individual need to be subordinated to the rights of the whole. It will be interesting to see how far this goes.


    1. I hear you John. We have the same here in Canada blaming government for the handouts. Seems damned if we do or don’t these days. But so much seems out of control. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Scary! I have a feeling that those books and movies have been created by authors who are experts on human behavior or great predictors of the future. We are not learning anything from history. It’s disappointing. Power, greed, and money seem to often win. It’s a sad world, indeed. That was a very poignant video clip, Debby. I should probably watch that movie one day.


    1. Thanks so much Liesbet. Seems we are on the same wavelength about things. I feel exactly that, people are not learning from history and power just keeps getting bigger and more at the expense of the little guys – us. I do hope you get to watch the movie. I just rewatched it last week after 40 years, and just found it oh so relevant. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If past, present, and future exist simultaneously, any one of us could glimpse the future at any given moment. But we’d most likely recognize what we’re seeing as precognition within a linear timeline, rather than the concentric circles of existence. The authors you mention were tuned in, knowingly or unknowingly, and the energy they encountered sparked their imaginations. What’s interesting is that so many of them put pen to paper in exploring their insights. Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange (1963) and Ira Levin’s This Perfect Day (1970) are two more examples. The important thing to remember is that time – although an illusion – is fluid, and nothing is set in stone.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I completely agree about how so many dystopian type books are coming to be reality instead of fiction. I immediately thought of The Handmaids Tale when the supreme court overturned Roe vs. Wade. I don’t know where we are heading but we all need to get mad enough to do something to stop the snowball rolling downhill!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I would have been a junior in high school when this film came out. I remember it well, though I think I only watched it once. Of course, I remember that scene because of the character’s anger. There are probably few among us who haven’t felt like that from time to time. There are many technological advantages, but one particularly frustrating thing is how things change that we have no control over. I know sometimes things have to switch because the scammers have found a way around the system. On the other hand, sometimes I get the sense that other things change as a means of companies finding a way to gauge us out of more money.

    I think it’s a tricky balance for humans. We must stick up for our rights yet not get obsessed with everything. I feel angry stressed-out people tend to live shorter lives. I tend to stay away from people who always seem constantly embroiled in drama—much of it self-created. I’m out here, trying to live my best life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your attitude Pete. I think the worst of it all is exactly that – companies looking for ways to keep gauging because big corps keep getting bigger with no caps and biting into all of us because they can. I totally understand Howard Beale. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Debby – I’ve been thinking like this too – but not as angry, because it’s not an energy I need to expend in this time … I can only note things I think … and live as best I can for everyone – what ‘frustrates me’ … is I’ll never know how life changes in the next 50 years or more … I’d love to have that future explanation!! Great post … love it – and I’ll check out the film and clip soon. Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve never seen the movie “Network,” so you opened my mind to something new. I’ll have to look for this movie. As author’s we have the uncanny ability to ask the hard questions… what if? I know most fiction that turns to reality begins in just that simple way. I’ve thought about the same thing, Sis. I do think there is something to the old belief that we should take care what we write, say, or think. Once it’s out there it takes on its own persona. That’s why disinformation spreads the way it does. Excellent discussion. ❤


  10. Great post, Debby. About two years ago, I rewatched 1984. This time it REALLY hit home. Scary stuff. I don’t know about other writers, but I research everything. I don’t accept the common narrative unless I’ve dug into the issue. It’s tedious, and the whole process has left me more concerned than ever, but I’m driven to do it. I’ve even studied the investments of key elected officials and reviewed their voting records. If you go down that rabbit hole, you find it very disillusioning. Crazy times for sure, but what I try to do is bridge the divide — with kindness and facts. 💗


    1. Hi Gwen! Ditto my friend. I too must always research what I see and hear. Sadly, it’s often confirming and disillusioning. I also reread 1984 two years ago. You said it – kindness and FACTS matter. ❤


  11. Wow, Debby, I haven’t seen the movie, but watching this scene gave me goosebumps! I’ll have to watch it now. Before I even read further in your post, Brave New World and 1984 came to mind. It’s scary, to say the least. I don’t want to stick my head in the sand because I am mad as hell, but I also don’t want to glue myself to the news either. When things are out of our control, it’s distressing and can create a foreboding mindset, which isn’t healthy. I could say more, but I’ll stop here. 🙂 Thank you! This post is powerful! Hugs! 💞


    1. Hi Lauren. I hear you loud and clear. And so much toxic news can be toxic. But Howard’s quote came to mind when talking to my friend Sue and one thing led to another in my head, and so I felt compelled to write this. The movie is almost 50 years old, yet compelling to watch. Thank you for reading and adding to the conversation. Hugs to you. ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have a mutual friend in Sue, Debby, and her posts are always uplifting, yet profound and telling in what the world, planet, and all of us are enduring in current times. I plan to watch the movie, definitely, after reading your post. Thanks again for bringing it to my attention. 💗💗


      2. My pleasure Lauren. And so not surprised you follow Sue’s blog. She is a very wise and intuitive woman, well connected with our planetary events. Hugs ❤ xx

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Great movies, great books. What comes to mind is the line from the Peter Paul and Mary song, “When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”


  13. What a passionate article, Debby, and you are so right. I remember that movie so well, it was fantastic, especially that one unforgettable scene. Toni x


  14. Powerful and so relevant today, Debby! My current book is about the manipulation of facts through social media because I’m horrified at how easy it is to whip people up into a frenzy over something that isn’t true. I’ve not seen this film but it’s on my radar now.
    (I couldn’t ‘like’ any of these comments because my browser won’t let me.)


    1. Thank you Trish. And it is so very frightening the way people are swayed by social media. I shouild look very forward to reading that book! And sorry about the browser issues. Thanks for the good intentions. ❤


  15. I think Debby people are now waking up and getting ‘Mad as Hell’ as they take of the blinders to what is happening and how its affecting our everyday living, while we are told one thing, the elite jet about using twice, three times as many carbon foot prints than the average person in private jets and gas guzzling cars.
    Not surprising then that the dear people of Sri Lanka rose up and outstared their political leaders, Not surprising that the Netherlands and farmers there are rising up as they plan to take their lively hoods of hundreds of years of family built up farms away.
    We are seeing ripple effects gradually toppling over some of the leaders around the world and the latest to go was the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigned.. that is now around 6 leaders around the world in recent weeks..
    People are Mad as Hell, and have been for a long, long while, taking to the streets..
    There were massive protests here in the UK in London, France, Germany and Australia.. Yet not a peep from the msm who keep quiet on the revolution going on behind the scenes…

    The Film and clip shows exactly how the media operates and I cannot blame entirely the news anchors who are given a script to read which by the way if you compare them around the world echo one another.. Like the ‘Build Back Better’ campaigns and the slogans those who stand in front of the cameras give out while doing something entirely different themselves…
    It takes a brave induvial with courage and backbone to stand up and be counted. Sadly many just want to go with the narrative for peace and quiet because the do not wish to upset the apple cart… Even though they know all the apples are bad..

    Many thanks for the shout out Debby…. And totally agree about all of those books…. But we are after all the ‘Creators’ and what we think is what we are creating…
    I Know the score on the 3 D reality, and my vision is no longer lingering too long in its grip… What is coming down the pipe line is a choice… We either change it by learning to change ourselves, or we will become a statistic and casualty among the pages of history… The choice is ours to make..
    What I do see, is people are now waking and realising they need to make a stand… And we all do that in various ways. Not all need go out in the streets with banners… We can help the consciousness evolve in different ways by using Love and our empathy, compassion and to a degree tolerance… How much we tolerate before we get mad as hell, is when it affects us all on a personal level…

    Apologies again… Seems my head has cleared from the vertigo i have experienced last few days and I am on a rant roll LOL…..
    Many thanks again…. and delete my rants if needed…. Sometimes we just have to say what is in our hearts..
    Love to you Debby ❤ Sue x


    1. Sue, I would never delete your shared wisdoms. I appreciate your messages shared right here. I know of what you speak well as people are waking up and the time is now for sure. Love and empathy are dearly needed right now. And as you say we must focus our atterntions on the greater good, not the evil that surrounds us. Peace and love to you my lovely. ❤ ❤ xx


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