A Face in the Crowd 1957 (1957) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: 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? Runtime: 126 mins Release Date: 01 Jun 1957
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 <more>
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.
If you think that the extend of Andy Griffith's acting ability is playing a good old boy sheriff or aging lawyer. Do yourself a favor and watch this movie. In it he shows the many shades of the character Lonesome Rhodes, pulling you in with his charm amd homespun philosophy until you realize that there is a snake hiding in that Downhome sheeps clothing. I have watch this film many times and am always fascinated by the subtle hints early in the film to what he eventually reveals to the world.a five star movie that was way ahead of it's time.
An outstanding performance by Andy Griffith! (by franco-10)
I just find it hard to believe that Andy Griffith received no kudos or award nominations for his role as Lonesome Rhodes in this movie. His performance is quite amazing. I think that because he played such an obnoxious person, one that we really come to dislike, that people confused the role with the actor. I just saw it on TV Dec, 2002 , and maybe the world of 1957 just was not ready for this kind of realism.
"A guitar beats a woman every time!" (by ClassicAndCampFilmReviews)
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, <more>
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.
Country corruption and TV production (by zappalives)
Their collaboration cemented in infamy with "On the Waterfront", Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg create this thang. And what a thang it is! Andy Griffith gives the performance of his career, and nobody knows it. Much like Lonesome Rhodes'elusively corrupt character, this film has become one revered by some, andunseen by those that should see it most.Schulberg shows a charismatic vagrant and his hayseed charm revolutionizetelevision. Along with the increased income, fame greedily kills the bumpkinwithin, and turns him into something much worse, if you can believe it: a TV star. <more>
Schulberg wrote another provocative work, his book about Hollywood and itsdirty denizens, "What Makes Sammy Run?". Study him and this fantastic andawe inspiring Kazan film, and you will see why great films that followed winked and tipped their hat; films that include Paddy Chayefsky's "Network", JimmyBrooks' "Broadcast News", Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" and P.T. Anderson's"Magnolia".This film truly is a masterwork and an incredible, incredible performance byAndy Griffith. 10 outta 10!
I cannot believe that I missed this movie for all these years! I just saw this 1957 movie in July 2001 on AMC. I had never even heard of it. It is a great movie, on the theme of mass manipulation by a TV personality who becomes interested in political power and nearly fools the public, but is finally exposed. It is much better -- and much earlier -- than other films on this theme.Andy Griffith stars his film debut! , and is excellent. Also in the cast are Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau, and Lee Remick, all of whom are very good. The story is by Budd Schulberg who also wrote "On the <more>
Waterfront" , and it is directed by Elia Kazan. It is sort of in a film noir style, and has many great shadowy shots as it explores the depths of exploitation and betrayal.The AG character, Lonesome Rhodes, has many similarities to Bill Clinton -- from Arkansas, a guy with a huge personality and a way with the public, who is "discovered" and promoted by a woman who directs his career all the way to the top. But he has a huge ego and is a philanderer, and is finally revealed for what he really is, though the public was fooled for a long time. He also betrays the woman who made him great, and who loves him, by taking up with a much younger woman. The woman, played by Patricia Neal, takes revenge by exposing his megalomania and actual disrespect for the common people.If you have not seen this, put it high on your "to do" list.
One of the best pictures I've seen to date. Griffith had the part of the womanizing, opinionated, lazy, loud mouthed bum down pat. In fact, the entire cast was superb in this dynamic, gripping, and in the first half, uproariously funny drama which clearly shows how ego can not only destroy the egotist but those close to him. This film is an equal to Griffith's fine performances as Horton Maddock in "Savages" and Howard Pike in "Hearts of the West". 4 stars.
Prophetic (by michaelf)
Supposedly critizized for being too unrealistic when first released, "A Face in the Crowd" shows the results of when demagogues and image makers take control of the media. With television ads relying on image and labels over issues, this movie is more relevant today than when it was made. Lonesome Rhodes could very well be working for the RNC today.
Quite horrifying (by jd-116)
This is the story of an unprincipled huckster, a creepy piece of low-life with an element of charisma, the common touch, who is picked up and pushed forward by a manipulative female self-publicist. Yes, this is the story of a philandering Arkansas hillbilly who makes it big by exploiting his talent for charm, dissimulation demagoguery and deceit. "This whole country's just like my flock of sheep... Rednecks crackers, hillbillies, houseprouds, shut-ins, pea-pickers, everybody that's got to jump when somebody else blows the whistle... They're mine. I own 'em. They think <more>
like I do. Only they're even more stupid than I am so I gotta think for 'em...." This is a great film which was a shocking warning to us all. What a shame that it had been forgotten by the time of the 1992 Presidential election.