A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  June 1957 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 9,303 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?


Film debut of Andy Griffith. 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 »


Mel Miller: [of TV] You gotta be a saint to stand all the power that little box can give you.
See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.105 (2011) See more »


Just Plain Folks
(1957) (uncredited)
Music by Tom Glazer
Lyrics by Budd Schulberg
Sung by Andy Griffith
See more »

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User Reviews

Country corruption and TV production
17 November 2004 | by (KC, MO) – See all my reviews

Their collaboration cemented in infamy with "On the Waterfront", Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg create this thang. And what a thang it is! Andy Griffith gives the performance of his career, and nobody knows it. Much like Lonesome Rhodes'

elusively corrupt character, this film has become one revered by some, and

unseen by those that should see it most.

Schulberg shows a charismatic vagrant and his hayseed charm revolutionize

television. Along with the increased income, fame greedily kills the bumpkin

within, and turns him into something much worse, if you can believe it: a TV star. Schulberg wrote another provocative work, his book about Hollywood and its

dirty denizens, "What Makes Sammy Run?". Study him and this fantastic and

awe inspiring Kazan film, and you will see why great films that followed winked and tipped their hat; films that include Paddy Chayefsky's "Network", Jimmy

Brooks' "Broadcast News", Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" and P.T. Anderson's


This film truly is a masterwork and an incredible, incredible performance by

Andy Griffith. 10 outta 10!

32 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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