Random Film Of The Week: A Face In The Crowd


 

While most Americans will be remembering the late, great Andy Griffith from his lengthy stints on two hugely popular CBS TV shows The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, (both in perpetual reruns somewhere around the country) I’ll always be more fond of his much more compelling movie debut, A Face In The Crowd.

In this classic 1957 Elia Kazan film (which was Griffith’s big-screen debut), his character of Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes explodes onto the scene in a still amazing performance that makes the movie even more enthralling to watch today. What makes the film so important is how precisely it nails Rhodes’ rise from vagrant jailbird to media superstar with his own national TV show (with help from a small town news reporter played by the great Patricia Neal) and later, his fall from fame’s grace are so compelling that for me, nearly all of Griffith’s later TV work pales in comparison.

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