Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Face in the Crowd

A number of movies from the 1950's managed to show the realities of media, whether it'd be movies (Sunset Boulevard, The Bad and the Beautiful), newspapers (Sweet Smell of Success) or television (A Face in the Crowd).

Upon being discovered by talent scout Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal), "Lonesome" Rhodes (Andy Griffith) appears on television and becomes a media sensation. But his taste for fame soon becomes too much.

A Face in the Crowd is honestly one of Elia Kazan's best movies. It sags a little bit during the middle, but it's supported by a strong beginning and ending. It is written by Budd Schulberg who, if you've seen On the Waterfront, clearly wants to show the harsh realities of life and media. Griffith's role as Rhodes is a tour de force (that's saying a lot for a film debut). Neal also gives a solid performance. A Face in the Crowd may not be well known as On the Waterfront or A Streetcar Named Desire, but, like I said before, it's just as great as those two.

My Rating: ****1/2


  1. Nice review Anna, I'm going to have to catch up with this one.

  2. Only Network matches it in denounciating media power. You forgot to mention a brillian young Walter Matthau!


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