by Tavis, May 30, 2005 3:29 PM
In many ways Chayefsky's work has melded the diametrically opposed concepts of the studio driven era of the '50s with the emergence of the new Hollywood in the '60s and '70s. Starting in television, Chayefsky made an impact with his 1953 teleplay Marty starring Rod Steiger. (A film version was later done in 1955 with Ernest Borgnine that won Best Picture, Actor, Director and Screenplay.) This collection covers the end of his career, when he was using his unpretentious eye to explore such topics as medical reform, mass-media culture (with a surprising hint at television's current obsession with reality TV), and the psychedelic religious experience. The three screenplays that make up this collection, The Hospital, Network, and Altered States, comprise a thoroughly engrossing cross-section from one of Hollywood's most sagacious writers.