Monday, April 10, 2017


Arkansas, 1950's.  A small town radio station has a show called "A Face in the Crowd".  It's about normal folks and their normal lives.  One day they feature the guitar playing and banter of a drifter named Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes.  He's an overnight sensation and before long his popularity has reached Memphis and finally New York City where he gets a television show that is watched by over 50 million people a week!  That's all well and good...except for the fact that ol' "Lonesome" Rhodes is a complete fake that'll do and say anything to make a quick buck...or make a quick fuck with a teenage girl.

While the basic story of A FACE IN THE CROWD is still as relevant today as it was in 1957...sadly we've gone way, way beyond a fake entertainer suckering the stupid masses out of their money.  And because of that, this film feels out of date.  Another thing that lessens the power of the film is "Lonesome" Rhodes didn't have any enemies.  His rise to fame seemed very easy and while I'm sure that was done on purpose, I still think it would have been more entertaining if there had been a power struggle or something.  Maybe a government official who saw through Lonesome's bullshit?   That's just my two-cents.

As it is though, A FACE IN THE CROWD is a well-made film and Andy Griffith makes a great con man.  Patricia Neal is great as well and I wish that Walter Matthau had a bigger role.