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A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama, Music | 1 June 1957 (USA)
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2:12 | Trailer
An Arkansas drifter becomes an overnight media sensation. As he becomes drunk with fame and power, will he ever be exposed as the fraud he has become?

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Andy Griffith ... Larry 'Lonesome' Rhodes
Patricia Neal ... Marcia Jeffries
Anthony Franciosa ... Joey DePalma
Walter Matthau ... Mel Miller
Lee Remick ... Betty Lou Fleckum
Percy Waram ... Gen. Haynesworth
Paul McGrath ... Macey
Rod Brasfield Rod Brasfield ... Beanie
Marshall Neilan ... Sen. Worthington Fuller
Alexander Kirkland ... Jim Collier
Charles Irving Charles Irving ... Mr. Luffler
Howard Smith ... J.B. Jeffries
Kay Medford ... First Mrs. Rhodes
Big Jeff Bess Big Jeff Bess ... Sheriff Big Jeff Bess
Henry Sharp 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:

Get the Bum Dressed - His 40 Million Women are Waiting! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Budd Schulberg's A Face in the Crowd See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Newtown Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before Elia Kazan ever met Andy Griffith, he had heard his comedy monologue records, the most famous being the "What It Was, Was Football" routine, which enjoyed constant airplay on Southern radio stations during the early '50s. See more »

Goofs

When radio announcer shows up at jail, closeup of cornerstone states Clay County but Sheriff greets her and welcomes her to Tomahawk County jail. Clay County Arkansas is where the scene was shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Earl Wilson: Oh, Miss Jeffries!
[as he jogs over to the KGRK network's station wagon]
Earl Wilson: Good morning Marcia! Well, I think we have just what you're lookin' for; we always get a good haul on the Fourth of July.
[in reference of her periodic head-hunting for local broadcasting talent on her radio show: A Face in the Crowd]
Marcia Jeffries: Good! Come on, let's go.
[they then drive over to the town jail]
See more »


Soundtracks

Mama Guitar
(1957) (uncredited)
Music by Tom Glazer
Lyrics by Budd Schulberg and Tom Glazer
Sung by Andy Griffith
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Demagogue in Denim
7 April 2004 | by pensmanSee 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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