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A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama | June 1957 (USA)
An Arkansas hobo becomes an overnight media sensation. But as he becomes drunk with fame and power, will he ever be exposed as the fraud he has become?

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(story), (screenplay)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Percy Waram ...
Gen. Haynesworth
Paul McGrath ...
Macey
Rod Brasfield ...
Beanie
Marshall Neilan ...
Sen. Worthington Fuller
Alexander Kirkland ...
Jim Collier
Charles Irving ...
Mr. Luffler
Howard Smith ...
J.B. Jeffries
Kay Medford ...
Big Jeff Bess ...
Sheriff Big Jeff Bess
Henry Sharp ...
Abe Steiner
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Storyline

"A Face in the Crowd" charts the rise of a raucous hayseed named Lonesome Rhodes from itinerant Ozark guitar picker to local media rabble-rouser to TV superstar and political king-maker. Marcia Jeffries is the innocent Sarah Lawrence girl who discovers the great man in a back-country jail and is the first to fall under his spell. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

POWER! He loved it! He took it raw in big gulpfuls...he liked the taste, the way it mixed with the bourbon and the sin in his blood!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Budd Schulberg's A Face in the Crowd  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Patricia Neal, the production would have been too expensive to film in Hollywood, which necessitated the need for on-location shooting. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Marcia is recording Larry in the jail, she surreptitiously records him as he is warming up. When he announces that he's ready, she reveals the microphone and then stops the tape. However, when she is replaying the tape, Larry can be heard asking if she had the recorder on the whole time. See more »

Quotes

Mel Miller: [commenting on one of Lonesome Rhodes' on-air tirades after the two have had a falling out] I'll say one thing for him, he's got the courage of his ignorance.
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Connections

References The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Vitajex Jingle
(1957) (uncredited)
Music by Tom Glazer
Lyrics by Budd Schulberg
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User Reviews

 
"A guitar beats a woman every time!"
20 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film shows what a fine actor Andy Griffith truly is, and what roles he could have mastered had he not chosen the Mayberry path instead.

Directed by Elia Kazan, the political drama and satire of commercialism "A Face in the Crowd" is the story of Lonesome Rhodes (Griffith), a charismatic guitar-playing drifter who is discovered by radio executive Marcia Jeffries (the husky-voiced Patricia Neal) while in jail on a public drunk charge. He catapults to radio and TV stardom under the guise of being an aw-shucks homeboy who loves his fans. In fact, Lonesome Rhodes is a slimy, greedy, egotistical, manipulative womanizer with underhanded political aspirations and nothing but contempt for his gullible audience. The film was far ahead of its time in its theme and telling, and Andy Griffith gives a blazing performance that rivals Burt Lancaster's in "Elmer Gantry" (for which Lancaster won an Oscar). That this film wasn't even nominated for any awards is very surprising.

I also am saddened that it's never been released on DVD; it's one of the best of its kind I have ever seen, and was certainly Griffith's plum role and best performance. With a stellar supporting cast, including Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau, Tony Franciosa and a beautiful Lee Remick in her first film role, "A Face in the Crowd" is a must-see film, and should eradicate any opinion you may have that Griffith was only capable of his wholesome TV roles of Sheriff Taylor and Ben Matlock.


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