A Face In the Crowd

A Face In the Crowd

Directed by Elia Kazan • 1957 • United States
Starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau

A FACE IN THE CROWD chronicles the rise and fall of Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes (Andy Griffith), a boisterous entertainer discovered in an Arkansas drunk tank by Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal), a local radio producer with ambitions of her own. His charisma and cunning soon shoot him to the heights of television stardom and political demagoguery, forcing Marcia to grapple with the manipulative, reactionary monster she has created. Directed by Elia Kazan from a screenplay by Budd Schulberg, this incisive satire features an extraordinary debut screen performance by Griffith, who brandishes his charm in an uncharacteristically sinister role. Though the film was a flop on its initial release, subsequent generations have marveled at its eerily prescient diagnosis of the toxic intimacy between media and politics in American life.

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A Face In the Crowd
  • A Face In the Crowd

    Directed by Elia Kazan • 1957 • United States
    Starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau

    A FACE IN THE CROWD chronicles the rise and fall of Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes (Andy Griffith), a boisterous entertainer discovered in an Arkansas drunk tank by Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal), a loc...

Extras

  • Ron Briley on A FACE IN THE CROWD

    In this interview, shot in 2018, Ron Briley, author of “The Ambivalent Legacy of Elia Kazan: The Politics of the Post-HUAC Films,” discusses the origins of the Lonesome Rhodes character in the biographies of populist celebrities such as Will Rogers and Arthur Godfrey. He also addresses the politi...

  • Evan Dalton Smith on Andy Griffith

    A FACE IN THE CROWD was Andy Griffith’s first film role; he would go on to be most famous for his folksy portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor on television’s “The Andy Griffith Show.” In this interview, shot in 2018, Griffith expert Evan Dalton Smith discusses the actor's difficulties with the role o...

  • Facing the Past

    In this 2005 documentary, actors Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, and Anthony Franciosa; screenwriter Budd Schulberg; and film scholars Leo Braudy and Jeff Young discuss A FACE IN THE CROWD.