An Arkansas drifter is discovered by the producer of a small radio station and becomes an overnight media sensation, ultimately rising to great fame and influence on national television. But after becoming consumed by his power, will he ever be exposed as the fraud he has become?]]>
A Face in the Crowd
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Top Customer Reviews
He never did. He went on to endear himself to millions on The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock-- the folksy but wise nice guy. While I was watching A Face In The Crowd for the first time (it took me until age 40 before I discovered this film), I felt numbed, my emotions felt...BLASTED. I told my husband that I didn't think I could ever watch Matlock again-- how could this towering terror have "sold out" by playing the nice guy the rest of his life? How DARE he deprive his audience of the power he so obviously was able to bring to the screen? I was perplexed, even angry-- what happened?
Now that I've heard the story of why his career took the path it did, I can watch his other work, smile, and appreciate it all the more. Because it's OK; they caught lightning in a bottle with this one. Most actors go their entire lives without leaving this kind of legacy.
I'd never seen Patricia Neal play her emotions this raw, either. The HOWL she lets out when she throws herself across the console to keep Rhodes on the air...Kazan had a way of really wringing his actors.
I won't go into any synopsis or further analysis; other reviewers have done just fine on that count. However, I am dumbfounded that this film is NOT on DVD, was NOT nominated for a single Academy Award; while I suppose the latter can be explained away by the politics of the times, it doesn't explain why Wiley and Bona's otherwise exhaustive tome "Inside Oscar" doesn't even MENTION the film as having made an impact. We were paranoid, yes, and we were cautious then (what goes around,comes around,huh?), but were audiences and critics also deaf, dumb, and blind? I intend to do further research on that note; this film is not likely to leave my psyche soon.
One day she goes to the county jail for that face which, it turns out, belongs to Larry Rhodes. He speaks right up and says, "What's in it for me?," a phrase that becomes his magic words. She gives him the luminous name Lonesome Rhodes and puts him on her morning show where he becomes an immediate local hit. Here on radio he proves he can get people to do outrageous things just by asking. Lonesome has the stuff, star quality, and becomes a radio personality. No need of wands for Lonesome--he has his own magic: the raw vitality of animal magnetism even sight unseen.
Before long Marcia and Lonesome go to Memphis for his own television show.
On their way there, she learns he is really a warty toad inside that Prince Charming disguise, but as a princess is wont to do, she ignores it. In Memphis Lonesome is growing in influence and growing to fit inside that influence. He brings a black woman off the streets and asks the television audience to help raise money to rebuild her burned down house. More than enough money is raised. It's a magic kingdom, television is, with all kinds of far-reaching influence.
Lonesome proves he can sell anything his way-- by belittling the product or boosting the product. He becomes a "wielder of opinion, a man of influence, a strong hand of the elite to guide the masses," and is backed by a maker of presidents. At this point the toad has shed that skin to become a troll.
Meanwhile, what has happened to Princess Marcia? Who is the real knight who comes to the rescue? And what happens to that troll?Read more ›
If this film was too easily dismissed when released, it has become all the more plausible and relavent in recent years. Certainly, the current popularity of talk radio can be seen as a fulfilment of the film's prophecy. However, a more disturbing parallel can be made between Rhodes and the recent emergence of several political leaders whose popularity has been based less on their abilities and more on the "straight-talking" personalities that they skillfully display to a public disillusioned with "politics-as-usual." (Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura being just two of the more obvious examples.)
Best known for working with certifiably great actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean, Elia Kazan assembled a cast for A Face in the Crowd that may appear unlikely at first.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really great, unexpected, movie from Andy Griffith before he was locked into his Mayberry persona. Really forward thinking for its time.Published 5 days ago by Tamara M.
An early version of the Narcissistic Personality Disordered, Donald Trump. If you look it up in the DSM, Trump fits all the measures as does Lonesome Roads.Published 19 days ago by Wendy Nolan
Definitely worth watching during the current election season.Published 2 months ago by Richard W Matcham
If the 1960's Batman had been more like "The Dark Knight", Andy Griffith would have been a shoo-in to play the Joker.Published 3 months ago by Angela Rovnyak
A good example of whats happening in the media today. Excellent film with great performances..Published 3 months ago by Norman Miller