A female radio reporter turns a folk-singing drifter into a powerful media star.


Elia Kazan


Budd Schulberg (story), Budd Schulberg (screenplay)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





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


"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


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


Drama | Music


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Rod Brasfield. 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 »


[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 »


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

Who it lampoons today depends on who you ask
17 May 2005 | by Bobs-9See all my reviews

Like a lot of people who've commented on this film, I didn't get around to seeing it until late in life, and it seems as relevant today as ever, maybe even more so. I find it interesting that different people, depending on their own viewpoint, project different contemporary personalities into the mold of the film's detestable hero, Lonesome Rhodes. The list of various people Rhodes is compared to includes Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore, or George W. Bush, suggesting that there's enough BS from all sides to go around. I did a double-take on watching this film when the reactionary right-wing presidential candidate that Rhodes promotes begins to pontificate about how un-American the notion of social security is, and how it's high time it was dismantled. That was 1957, and that cause is being worked harder than ever today. I was not aware, until reading some of the other comments here, how central a target Arthur Godfrey was in this story. In fact, I believe Godfrey is actually mentioned by name in the film when Rhodes says something like "Have Arthur Godfrey fill in for me, and tell him I'll return the favor some time."

Anyway, while this film hardly needs yet another accolade, I'll add mine to the list and say that it's one of the great under-appreciated films of its time, and only grows with stature as the years go on. And hallelujah – there's now a well-made DVD of this film that includes an interesting documentary in which we hear from Schulberg, Griffeth, Neal, Franciosa, and some film scholars. About time, too.

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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


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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