A Face in the Crowd

A Face in the Crowd

DVD - 2005
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A hobo becomes an overnight celebrity. But, as usual, more fame leads to more power, and more power leads to more corruption. Will he be exposed as the fraud that he is?


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Sep 11, 2018

1957's "A Face In the Crowd" was, indeed, a decidedly unappealing story that centered around the rise and fall (thankfully) of a power-mad hillbilly.

This film's (unconvincing) bottom line was this - "If the media is behind it, they can turn even the most vile and obnoxious derelict into a mega-star." (Oh!? Really!?)

IMO - "A Face In the Crowd" was, without question, a bona-fide train wreck where actor, Andy Griffiths, as the "Lonesome" Larry Rhodes character, literally, chewed up the scenery, non-stop.

(Yawn! What a bore!)

Jan 23, 2017

"They're mine! I own 'em! They think like I do. Only they're even more stupid than I am, so I gotta think for 'em. Marcia, you just wait and see. I'm gonna be the power behind the president - and you'll be the power behind me!"-Lonesome Rhodes
I expect we'll be hearing more about this 1957 film more during the Trump era. Director Elia Kazan and writer Budd Schulberg, who teamed so successfully for "On the Waterfront," put together this cautionary tale of media manipulation and populism run amuck. A radio host (Patrica Neal) discovers guitar-playing drunk Lonesome Rhodes in an Arkansas jail and helps make him into an aw shucks TV star who also shills for politicians and companies. Rhodes is played, in a complete departure form his TV roles, by Andy Griffith. He's corrupt, angry, and charming. Neal is equally good as she molds him, but than can't contain him. At times is plays like Elvis getting into politics and at times it plays like a darker, more cynical version of Capra's political films like "Meet John Doe" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." It also suggest what might've happened Co-starring Walter Matthau and, in her film debut, Lee Remick. Despite two comments, Mercedes McCambridge is NOT in this film. Somewhat dated, but a mostly effective and still relevant film. The DVD includes a short doc with Griffith, Neal, and Schulberg that discusses the making of the film and situates it in the context of the 50s (McCarthyism, HUAC). An inspiration for Tim Robbins's film "Bob Roberts."

Dec 14, 2015

Very Good 1957 Elia Kazan movie exploring emerging relationship between politics and television.

The accompanying special features focus on post WWII connection between communism and entertainment industries, including the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearings and the Hollywood blacklist.

7duffy Sep 01, 2014

Andy Griffith is excellent. Unlike anything on his Mayberry or Matlock shows. Good movie, great direction. Holds your interest and doesn't disappoint with a stock ending.

Jun 28, 2014

Without A Face in the Crowd we would never have known the acting range of Andy Griffith. He goes from a bum to a big celebrity in this Elia Kazan movie. Kazan picked Patricia Neal, Walter Mathau and Lee Remick to round out the cast. They all work together to make a memorable movie. I doubt you will recognize Andy Griffith as you have known him in the past.

Feb 23, 2014

It was Mercedes McCambridge in this movie, who was also in the original version of All the King's Men. Patricia Neal was great in Hud.

kevfarley Aug 08, 2012

The 'prequil' to Mad Men,.. and the Oz behind the curtain, revealing how we got to be where we are now with media manipulation ! This film was WAY before its time (...and it was not well recieved). But it is wonderful to watch it now ! (P.S. Kev's PICkS: If you respond to "A Face in the Crowd", then check out another gem, "Ace in the Hole".)

Jul 29, 2012

Elia Kazan does it again, with this exceptional '57 parable of a yokel turned megalomaniac's "fifteen minutes...". Andy G., (who just went on to that Mayberry in the sky, R.I.P.), delivers a mind-blowing film debut as the salivating demagogue. Patricia Neal's rendering of the unfortunate who lit the fuse to said weapon of mass destruction is no less impressive. Her eyes are (were) beyond expressive. I've never seen 'King of the Deadpan' Walter Matthau smile so much (well, in film's beginning). Supporting cast, script, 'Vitajex' (lol) -- the whole package. Awesome. FIVE STARS.

laustcawz Jul 23, 2012

"There are also excellent performances by Mercedes McCambridge, who discovers Lonesome in a small Southern jail..."

True, it's been a while since I've seen the film, but wasn't that Patricia Neal??

Jul 04, 2012

While Andy Griffith is remembered most for his television roles, his performance in this brilliant, highly prescient movie about the relationship between politics and the media was probably his best. In this searing movie, a collaboration between Bud Schulberg and Elia Kazan, a young Andy Griffith plays the charismatic Lonesome Rhodes, a media sensation who is manipulated for political purposes. Griffith is electric, almost burning his way out of the movie. There are also excellent performances by Mercedes McCambridge, who discovers Lonesome in a small Southern jail, and Lee Remick as his cheerleader flame. This is a great movie!!

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Jul 29, 2012

Lonesome Rhodes (to Marcia Jeffries): "Gimme a chance to lubricate my adam's apple! (swigs some booze) ...Nothin' like a little snake medicine to put ya in the mood! ...Oh, a guitar beats a woman, ANYTIME!! ...You know, I never have seen a woman I could trust like this ol' guitar... She's always there waitin' for me to pick her up and hold her... Never asks me for money, or goes cheatin' around when I ain't lookin'... And if she gets a little sour, why, I just give her a little twist, like so, and we're right back in tune together!"

Jul 29, 2012

Lonesome Rhodes: "I don't want no 'job'!" J.B. Jeffries: "Why not?" Lonesome Rhodes: "It's too much like work, man!"

Jul 29, 2012

Marcia Jeffries: "Grand Ole Opry - that's the big time!" Lonesome Rhodes: "Oh, it never hurt none to play hard to get... You oughta know about that." Marcia Jeffries: "You don't seem to be pining for lack of company." Lonesome Rhodes: "I get extra hungry in the mornin'... You cold fish, respectable girls... Inside you crave the saaame thing as the rest of 'em... Tell old Lonesome the truth..." Marcia Jeffries: "You're on in eight minutes." (she leaves)

Jul 29, 2012

General Haynesworth: "We've got to face it. Politics have entered a new stage - the television stage. Instead of long-winded public debates, the people want capsule slogans: "Time for a change." "The mess in Washington." "More bang for a buck." Punchlines, and glamour."

Jul 29, 2012

Lonesome Rhodes: "I'm not just an entertainer. I'm an influence... a wielder of opinion... a force! A force..."

Jul 29, 2012

(both men believing they're off the air) Actor on Rhodes' show (about Senator Fuller): "... can you really sell that stiff as a man among men?" Lonesome Rhodes: "To those morons out there? Shucks... I could take chicken fertilizer and sell it to them as caviar. I could make them eat dog food and they'll think it's steak. Suuure, I got 'em like this... You know what the public's like? A cage full of guinea pigs. Good Night, (you stupid idiots...) Good Night, (you miserable slobs...) They're a lot of trained seals. I toss them a dead fish and they'll flap their flippers."

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