"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 stage performance, Andy Griffith noted, he would work gradually up to his most intense moments, but needed to conjure that up spontaneously when shooting such scenes for Elia Kazan. In some instances, he asked to have a few discarded chairs available to destroy, in order to work up his rage before filming. See more »
"Lonesome Rhodes" is in jail for a week for being drunk and disorderly. When he's asked to sing a song, he pulls his guitar out of his case, along with a visible bottle of whiskey. It's highly unlikely the police wouldn't have searched his guitar case as a matter of safety (he could have had a gun in there); certainly, they would have found AND CONFISCATED a bottle of "hooch," especially to a prisoner who was charged with drunkenness in the first place. 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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Entertain the ignorant masses and they'll follow you anywhere.
The fictional story of a vagabond who is discovered and becomes a mega entertainment star who not only aquires fame and fortune but also political power. I came away from this film with the thinking that in 1957 when the picture came out in a strange way it must have terrified viewers. The film was clearly ahead of its time. By todays standards the egotistical, cynical and power hungry Lonesome Rhodes actually is quite tame but in 57 he must have been viewed as a cross between Hitler and Arthur Godfrey. Andy Griffith is nothing less than brilliant as Rhodes. Superb support from Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau, Anthony Franciosa and Lee Remick in her first motion picture. The movie never lags as it grips the viewer from the opening right to the final scene.
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