A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  June 1957 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 9,302 users  
Reviews: 134 user | 46 critic

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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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Percy Waram ...
Gen. Haynesworth
Paul McGrath ...
Rod Brasfield ...
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


"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


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!




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Budd Schulberg's A Face in the Crowd  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Marcia Jeffries: You put your whole self into that laugh, don't you?
Lonesome Rhodes: Marcia, I put my whole self into everything I do.
See more »


References The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) See more »


Vitajex Jingle
(1957) (uncredited)
Music by Tom Glazer
Lyrics by Budd Schulberg
See more »

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User Reviews

Demagogue in Denim
7 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Andy Griffith made this film when he was still an actor and not the aw-shucks sheriff of Mayberry. Lonesome Rhodes (Griffith) is more than a TV personality: he is a media demagogue who understands the manipulative power of language and images. You might think a film made in 1957 would be hopeless dated but not this one. It is almost prophetic in its portrayal of modern media. When Marshall McLuhan-I know, who?-wrote The Medium is the Message, he must have had this film partially in mind.

Griffith is perfect: he is a mixture of cornpone and Satan. Patricia Neal is the woman-frequently abandoned and abused--who discovered the man and loves him for what she thought he was. Walter Matthau is the Princeton man who becomes one of the many faceless writers behind the façade of the county wit-Rhodes: the man admired for his `extempore and natural' humor.

Watch early on in the film for a scene taking place in the local jail. In one quick and brief flash of expression, Griffith reveals the true face of Lonesome Rhodes the rest of the film tries to mask. What brilliant acting by Griffith; what brilliant screen writing by Budd Schulberg; what brilliant directing by Kazan.

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