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A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama, Music | 1 June 1957 (USA)
Trailer
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

Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg observed the political arena by going to Washington, DC, where they interviewed future President Lyndon Johnson, studying the way he walked, talked and presented himself in private and in public. See more »

Goofs

In the protest scene outside of the mattress store, protesters set fire in a trash barrel that has the letters D.S.N.Y., presumably for "Department of Sanitation of New York". However, this scene is set in Memphis. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Bamboozled (2000) 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

 
"A guitar beats a woman every time!"

This film shows what a fine actor Andy Griffith truly is, and what roles he could have mastered had he not chosen the Mayberry path instead.

Directed by Elia Kazan, the political drama and satire of commercialism "A Face in the Crowd" is the story of Lonesome Rhodes (Griffith), a charismatic guitar-playing drifter who is discovered by radio executive Marcia Jeffries (the husky-voiced Patricia Neal) while in jail on a public drunk charge. He catapults to radio and TV stardom under the guise of being an aw-shucks homeboy who loves his fans. In fact, Lonesome Rhodes is a slimy, greedy, egotistical, manipulative womanizer with underhanded political aspirations and nothing but contempt for his gullible audience. The film was far ahead of its time in its theme and telling, and Andy Griffith gives a blazing performance that rivals Burt Lancaster's in "Elmer Gantry" (for which Lancaster won an Oscar). That this film wasn't even nominated for any awards is very surprising.

I also am saddened that it's never been released on DVD; it's one of the best of its kind I have ever seen, and was certainly Griffith's plum role and best performance. With a stellar supporting cast, including Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau, Tony Franciosa and a beautiful Lee Remick in her first film role, "A Face in the Crowd" is a must-see film, and should eradicate any opinion you may have that Griffith was only capable of his wholesome TV roles of Sheriff Taylor and Ben Matlock.


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