Network tells the story of the news anchorman Howard Beale, who is about to retire. His share had been constantly dropping and the death of his wife had affected his personal life, so the only thing he had left was his job, which would also be taken away from him.
All of it drives him mad, and he becomes the people's prophet against the adversities of the recessionary seventies. When disclosing a deal with the Saudis, Beale faces the chairman of the corporation, who changes his mind into telling people they are not sovereign individuals but part of a continuum that serves a corporative world with no values whatsoever. This is not greeted by the masses and Beale's audience drops, sealing his fate.
On the other hand, with Wall St. and economic woes being more known to the public, Rollover 1981 is a movie that will engage the finance enthusiast, especially hard money advocates. It portraits an finance executive who, again, discloses a deal with the Saudis for them to turn all their dollars to gold without the market noticing it. Notice that the dollar was at its weakest, and the US was immerse in an estanflationary spiral until P. Volcker took over and raised interest rates precisely in 1981. It is remarkable that the facts occurring in this movie apply even more today than in 1981. From a very well written user comment on IMDB:
This is an unusual film: an adult thriller about the danger of fiscal manipulation. It's also unusual in that it remains relevant, perhaps even more so than when it was released; no less a person than renowned investor Warren Buffet has recently been warning of the dangers of having so much U.S. debt held by countries whose political agendas may not always require a stable or strong U.S. economy.
But is it a good film? With some reservations, I would argue that it is. Director Alan Pakula and cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno have done a very good job of shadowing the action; rarely does anything take place in strong light, and then almost always when the action either involves the Saudis (the first meeting between the cartel and Lee Winters, played by Jane Fonda, for example) or serves their interests (e.g. the death of bank inspector Mr. Fewster). The locations, large and small, take on their own lives; the World Trade Center becomes a monolithic anthill, and there is a wonderfully ominous shot of the arrangement for Lee Winters's death being made by two men amid a crowd on a descending escalator which captures powerfully the essential isolation of the individual amid the crowds, and thus wordlessly encapsulates the underlying political concern of the film. The 720 degree pan just before the film's ambiguous coda is a marvel, one of those things which looks quite simple until one realizes the amount of work that must have gone into making it work smoothly. [...]
The screenplay handles the difficult task of dramatizing monetary transactions well; it is less effective when portraying the love scenes, especially the initial motivation for the central affair. But the climactic confrontation between Hume Cronyn and Kris Kristofferson is spot on; rarely does a character reveal moral bankruptcy as starkly as does Cronyn's, yet his words and his delivery both demonstrate his utter unawareness of the truth about himself. Indeed, the script generally manages to be both clear (albeit complex, requiring attention) and straightforward without becoming preachy or overly didactic.
Two highly memorable films that I strongly recommend