Actors: Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Walter Matthau, Lee Remick
|Review Summary and Plot Commentary about A Face in the Crowd|
|Three years after "On the Waterfront," the same team of director Elia Kazan and writer Budd Schulberg made this much lesser known and sorely underrated classic. Patricia Neal plays Marcia Jeffries, a young reporter who does a local show for her uncle's Arkansas radio station called "A Face in the Crowd" and discovers a charismatic and talented hobo named Larry Rhodes in the local jail. Rhodes plays guitar, sings blues and rockabilly, and can talk up a storm. Dubbed "Lonesome Rhodes" by Marcia, he makes a meteoric climb to the top of the entertainment world, picking up powerful conservative backers and political connections and turning arrogantly corrupt along the way. It's a cynical portrait of advertising, entertainment, and politics, with excellent writing and fine acting. Matthau is the writer with a conscience ("Just let the vermouth kiss the gin"), Tony Franciosa in his second film is the scheming young manager, and in her screen debut 22-year-old Lee Remick beats Kirsten Dunst for sheer beauty and sexiness as a teenaged champion baton twirler Rhodes marries after a whirlwind romance. But it is Andy Griffith, aged 30 in his film debut, who offers the most astounding performance in the lead role. One can't help thinking he burned himself out giving it his all!
--David Loftus, Resident Scholar
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|Analysis of A Face in the Crowd|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Time/era of movie:
- performer or comedian
Strong "rags to riches" component?
- emotionally unstable
- (man) average
Events of movie makes character more...
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- hard edged
Sense of humor?
- Cynical sense of humor
- Average intelligence
- average physique
Secondary Main Character
How much in movie?
- White (American)
- Deep South
- New York
- rude people
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
Movie makes you feel...
- all mixed up
Sex/nudity in movie?
What kind of sex:
- vague references only
Check here if B&W
- Occasional swearing
If lots of song/dance...
- lot of singing
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).