"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
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 »
Oh, Miss Jeffries!
[as he jogs over to the KGRK network's station wagon]
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]
Good! Come on, let's go.
[they then drive over to the town jail]
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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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