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A Face in the Crowd

A Face in the Crowd(1957)


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  • Hits the nail on the head

    • Patrick Keenan
    • 1/25/19

    Note to Kevin- preachy and overwritten- you mean like most of your reviews?

  • A pretty solid movie

    • Tim Caldwell
    • 1/10/19

    I just watched the movie for the first time and wow! Was I impressed. Pretty solid performances from the cast. Well written and directed. Could complain about the editing and ADR but that would be nitpicking. The story have been told lots of times. A man plucked from obscurity, becomes a star. Gains more and more power and gets an even bigger ego. And then the ending happens where he loses it all. What saves the movie is the honesty it portrays. You know from the beginning that Andy Griffith is playing an unlike-able character. And that's never forgotten in the movie. While his character is portraying someone the general public loves, he's still a jerk. The two things I wished they had done with this is #1: I wished they had developed Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau's characters more. She loves Andy's character. But not much is really explored there. Same with Walter's character. But even tho Andy and Patricia give almost over the top performances, they're believable and grounded in reality. And #2: Even tho it tops out at 2 hrs and 10 mins, it could've used another half hour for character development. Even with those complaints, it's still a solid movie. Something I would watch again.

  • Over-praised, over-wrought, over-the-top

    • jay
    • 1/9/19

    This is probably Kazan's most over-estimated picture, though in 1957 the idea that the mass media are turning us into mindless livestock may have seemed scathing and new. It is sunk by Andy Griffith's broad and over-wrought performance. No doubt Kazan got what he wanted from Griffith, but.... Lordamercy! (TCM recently aired "Hearts of the West", which showed how much Griffith had grown as an actor in less than 20 years.) This film needs to be hosed down - it's virtually unwatchable.

  • Reply to previous comment

    • David H.
    • 8/27/18

    Frankly songstress250, I don"t think YOU were listening to what I said. A Face in the Crowd is one the most perceptive films ever made. The director and the performances were brilliant even down to the actor who played "Beanie." My problem was the guest programmers that evening were using TCM as a forum for their political views. TCM recently has been presenting ads stating that it is a refuge from what is going on around us, but when today's politics are inserted into their programming I think they should be held accountable.

  • Brilliant

    • songstress250
    • 4/18/18

    David H.: Actually, YOU are the one who is making this political. Stand back, take a deep breath, and try to focus on this brilliant portrayal of an ordinary man who is too inexperienced and naive to understand the dangers of power. A top-notch movie with a top-notch cast. Yet you prefer to focus on who the guest was. That tells it all in this day and age.

  • what he was..was the southern..cerebral..assassin.

    • a.morris
    • 1/31/18

    the male lead in this had more work ethic than marlon brando and maybe more talent than Robert mitchum. he should have been offered more movies after this ..but really did not benefit. he was smarter than james stewart..because he let him break in matlock for him..more than a decade before he rebooted it..and made some more sweet tv money. he was always thinking.

  • TCM is no place for politics

    • David H.
    • 10/5/16

    C'mon TCM! Having Jonah Goldberg as a guest programmer for this film was idiotic. If I want the kind of nonsense that Goldberg was spewing I can buy the National Review or tune into Fox News. Perceptive films such as this one or "Network" forecast the abyss that television became so TCM doesn't need to lower itself with these types of commentators which were the result. The same applies to the next film "America America" which I think speaks well enough about immigration that we don't need a sermon about it from Leon Wieseltier beforehand.

  • Space in the Shroud

    • Clichae
    • 10/5/16

    It is my guess that most ( if not all) pop artists of postwar pop culture were discovered, marketed, profited, & disinherited by the well paid servents of the mind bashers from Haley & the Comets to the sacrosanct beatles to Bowie to Devo to Prince to Lyle Lovett to Amy Grant to Madonna to ICP to Tupac to Justin Bieber to Adele & all pop fillers inbetween & to come in the fashion as transparently pictured in this movie!

  • Andy Griffith is like a griffin

    • Jeff Boston
    • 10/4/16

    He's flying all over the place as the mythical beast Lonesome Rhodes, yet he does not chew up all the scenery. The marvelous Mayberry man dominates this cautionary tale of the cult of personality that pounds us with the perpetual problem that power brings: its tendency to corrupt. In his immediate pre-Andy Griffith show career, Andy was simply awesome. This serious study, and the silly and likable "No Time for Sergeants" (the first 2/3 of it remains very funny) show what a national treasure Andy was as an actor.

  • Timeless

    • Maria Ramos
    • 1/6/16

    You would think Kazan was here today watching the presidential campaigns. Donald Trump's supporters need to watch this movie. I. can see Kazan on today's morning talk shows talking about the candidates. Yes, Kazan was way ahead of his time.

  • a face in the rowd

    • kevin sellers
    • 7/13/15

    It's preachy and over written (like a lot of Budd Schulberg's work) but there is no denying the excellence of Andy Griffith and Patricia Neal. Solid B.

  • A Face in the Crowd

    • John
    • 8/4/13

    Overall-4 1/2 out of 5Lead performers-5/5Supporting Cast-4/5Director-5/5Score-4/5Titles-3/5Screenplay-4/5Cinematography-4/5Importance-3/5Recommendation for fans of genre- 4 1/2 out of 5

  • Andy Griffith phenomenal in "A Face in the Crowd"

    • AnnieD
    • 7/15/12

    Any cinephile and/or fan of Andy Griffith must see this movie! I was stunned the first time I saw it probably 15 yrs. ago (on TCM!). His very first scene, in fact the first time his face appears on the screen, left me slack-jawed, and I say that literally. I won't say more about that first scene, so as not to "give it away" to folks who haven't seen it. Quite an amazing performance, especially a first-time performance. It will change the way you think of Andy Griffith. I had a similar experience the first time I watched "Sexy Beast", with Ben Kingsley portraying a brutal, psychotic criminal...after first seeing him in "Ghandi", this was like seeing the anti-Ghandi.You're in for a treat on July 17th when TCM airs "A Face in the Crowd"!!

  • Ah yes, I remember it well!

    • Sal Marino
    • 1/20/12

    I was in high school when they used our majorettes in the movie. An exciting time at Memorial High in West New York, New Jersey. We made it on the big screen. It was an excellent story and an excellent movie.


    • DONNY
    • 5/22/11

    i LOVED THIS MOVIE..because it showed how things can change unexpectedly for the better or for the worse in very short order. It shows that anyone can be taken serious if they take themselves serious first. It is so honest in its depiction of the notion that relations between people and the sexes are complicated and sometimes inexplicable, that it also reveals to a modern audience that relationships were complicated, even back in the day when things were supposedly simpler. While it does show how powerful television would become, it doesn't really explain at all how a huckleberry like Lonesome could use the medium to rise influentially on a national scale. He inspires eruptions in sales, viewership and mattress-burning. He swoons a bunch of women at the same time, including Patricia Neal. He does enough hollering and yelling in the movie to equal atleast thrice what he did in "No time for Sergeants" and "Onion Head" combined. In those movies, like in this one, he played a refreshingly enthusiastic and raw cornflake too, but with a much more believable impact.Having grown up in Florida when it was more rural and agrarian that it is today, I can recall people who put their houses up for sale when a renter like Lonesome moved in nearby. This is the reason I give it four stars instead of five. I consider Griffith to be a a great natural and trained actor, But too much license granted here. Just imagine a guy trying to act like George W trying to act like Andy Griffith and damn near taking over the entire country... oh wait a minute.

  • Prophetiic movie

    • RalphNap
    • 4/3/11

    Every time I see this movie it amazes me on how accurately it predicted, in 1957, how powerful this new medium, television, would become for society. Andy Griffith is mesmerizing as the megalomaniac Lonesome Rhodes. Each of the supporting cast including Patricia Neal, Lee Remick, Tony Franciosa, and Walter Matteau are equal to the task of keeping up with Griffith's "runaway train" performance. Also keep an eye out for Rip Torn as the heir apparent to Lonesome Rhodes. There are many lessons to be learned from this movie, such as how much do we really know about those who use the airwaves to shape our opinions One lesson that rings true today is to always make sure your cellphone is turned off because you never know who may be inadvertently called and hear conversations that are not meant to be broadcast!

  • Love this movie!

    • Mene
    • 8/27/10

    I love this movie. It's one of my favorites. We get a different view of Andy Griffith than in his other roles. He is larger than life, raw. Patricia Neal, as always, is absolutely wonderful. I watch this movie every time it is shown on TCM. It is truly a gem, and I would recommend it to anyone -- especially those who think they know the extent of Andy Griffith's work.

  • A favorite of mine

    • Tobin
    • 8/26/10

    This is a great movie, top to bottom, script, casting, direction. Mr Griffith is great, surprisingly so to me. Ms Neal is, as always, stunning, don't think I have ever seen her in anything where she was not very good. Ms Remick, very under rated actress IMHO, gave her character more depth than I expected when she is first introduced in the movie.Bill and Mary, it is a shame you let your bitter political partisanship color your world so severely that you can't comment on a movie without its influence, I pity you both.

  • A lesson for all.

    • MaryJMartin
    • 8/8/10

    I tend to see this as a prediction of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Glenn Beck (who I liked to call Glenn Blech. I'm sure someone ,more on the right (my positions on abortion and gay marriage would lean in the direction of the right myself) would tend to see it in another way and perhaps we would both be right. Anyway, Andy Griffith is brilliant as is the whole cast.

  • A must see film

    • bill
    • 1/17/10

    In this era of megalomaniacs like Limbaugh, Beck & O'Reilly this story, no make that 'warning', from so long ago gives real perspective to the dangers that corporate run "Fair & Balanced" media pose to us all.

  • A Face in the Crowd (1957)

    • Jay Higgins
    • 10/28/09

    Incredibly directed, fantastic performances, a truly great film. Patricia Neal is amazing. Lee Remick is impressive in an early role and of course Andy Griffith plays a role far different from Sheriff Andy Taylor. Strong direction, excellent cinematography. The writing is amazing. Powerful and engrossing.

  • I'm in radio, captivating, powerful, surprising!

    • Theresa
    • 6/22/09

    I'm a major old movie buff and am thrilled when I find a b/w I've never seen and on top of that outstanding. This movie blew me away in every aspect. Not only was the acting, directing, theme done perfectly by everyone, but seriously it was almost difficult to watch in some parts because I have been in radio for over 12 years, and every single aspect you see there regarding programming, on-air personality egos, the promotions, the agency connection, the politics, and yes, even the romantic aspect between Patricia and Andy were SPOT ON! It was like watching my life and every other character I know in radio. And the other amazing part is that it is timeless, ALL those things still go on today, no lie. So like I said not only was the acting and screenplay some of the finest that will ever be witnessed, the constant reminder of my industry good or bad blew me away, scene after scene, after scene. In particular the end when he is going down the 50 floor elevator, as his ratings are going down point by point because he if finally revealed from behind his mask. Andy was incredible in this film. You like his character immediately then little by little watch it's complexities -- were his demons always there or fueled and created by his radio image and the industry? A fine line. Don't miss this movie. Incredible, unbelievable, mind blowing, heart wrenching, genius! Tens across the board, why this movie didn't sweep the Oscars that year in every category is beyond me.

  • The Dark Side Of Fame

    • Bruce Reber
    • 11/3/08

    I know Andy Griffith mainly from TV, but in "A Face In The Crowd" he gives a powerful performance as a homespun backwoods singer-philosopher who lets others see his good ol boy facade while hiding his dark and dangerous alter-ego.I saw it again Saturday night 11/1/08 on TCM Essentials, and I watch it every time it airs. Besides Griffith, the other actors give fine performances - Patricia Neal as the station manager who discovers Lonesome and turns him into a TV star, Walter Matthau as the writer who sees Lonesome for what he really is, Lee Remick as the teenage baton twirler whom he marries and then dumps when he finds her sleeping around (which he himself has done with many other women)."Face In The Crowd" is the first film to deal with the medium of TV and its potential to influence public opinion.I have heard that the character of Lonesome Rhodes was based on Arthur Godfrey, the 50's TV personality whom they say hid a volatile personality behind his affable public image. Director Elia Kazan and screenwriter Budd Schulberg scored another triumph after they first teamed in "On The Waterfront". It is also a cautionary story about the corrupting influences of fame and power and its destructive effects on the people involved."A Face In The Crowd" rocks! Four stars.

  • Walk the Line prequel?

    • Francesca
    • 10/10/08

    I wonder if Joachim Phoenix viewed/aped Andy Griffith's outstanding, stellar performance in A Face in the Crowd. I was blown away by the drama, power, and sexuality of Andy Griffith in this movie. I'm sorry it didn't get more recognition so that Griffith would continue to be tapped as a super dramatic star.Patricia Neal is a fine dramatic actress but something in this movie -- maybe the interaction between the two -- made her seem more human. Excellent acting.

  • Did he win an Oscar?

    • Linda
    • 6/14/08

    I just saw the movie A Face in the Crowd for the first time and was blown away by Andy Griffith's performance. Did he win an Oscar? Was he nominated? If not, he sould have been. Unforgettable acting!

  • Andy with a touch Of Otis and Ernest T Bass!!!!!!!

    • Maurice
    • 6/14/08

    This film is priceless!!!Great performances..Lee Remick is a perfect doll in this film..

  • Andy Griffith as you've never seen him before

    • ME
    • 6/14/08

    Andy Griffith plays the perfect Narcissist. I watched this movie for the first time a few years ago, and can't seem to get enough of it. Lonesome Rhodes really creeped me out! I would have never expected such a ego centric creature to come from Andy Griffith, but I think he should have explored with more characters in his career. If it weren't for Andy Griffith as Lonesome Rhodes I don't think it would have as much appeal for me though.

  • Griffith Oscar-worthy as Lonesome Rhodes

    • JeromeG
    • 6/13/08

    How Andy Griffith failed to get even an Oscar nomination for his awesome performance as the loathesome Lonesome Rhodes is amazing. He literally carries this movie, something few actors can do.This movie is timeless, particularly in Presidential election years when we should all pay close attention to candidates so we don't wind up electing a "Lonesome Rhodes" character.

  • An incredible performance...

    • Melissa
    • 5/18/08

    Andy Griffith gives an incredible performance in this film. His boisterous laugh and over the top personality are initially charming but slowly become grating and phony. I'm a fan of The Andy Griffith Show and Griffith is an impressive performer on many levels but this is, by far, his greatest. It is surprisingly subtle and incredibly adept.

  • Another side of Andy

    • Joe
    • 11/29/07

    A three star rating is perfectly appropriate for this film. Could have easily been four. When I first saw this film I was amazed to see another side of Andy I had never expected. Unfortunately, the demands of the script or of the director or of the actors never rises above the level of superficial. The excellent camera work saves the day.

  • I LOVE "A Face In The Crowd"!!!!

    • Linda Alexander
    • 11/2/07

    A FACE IN THE CROWD is one of my favorite movies. I always try to watch it if it's on either early in the evening or on the weekends. I grew up watching Andy Griffith on reruns of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW and later on MATLOCK; so, seeing him in this role really blows me away. One of the things that surprises me is that why he wasn't nominated for an Oscar for this role. I guess he was still in his early career at the time. However, I still think he should have received a Oscar nod for this performance. It's like seeing "Andy Taylor"'s evil twin brother on the screen.

  • Great cast+script+director=a classic

    • Don B.
    • 10/31/07

    If all you know about Andy Griffith begins and ends on the streets of Mayberry, you have to see this film. Griffith shows the chops that led to stage success prior to his tv series. The rest of the cast more than holds their own with the country conman, making this one of my favorite movies. Watch and enjoy Face in the Crowd in beautiful black & white.


    • JAY
    • 5/23/07


  • a true treasure

    • michael york
    • 4/13/07

    i absolutely love this film andy griffith gives one of the all time best performances bar none and he is matched by the radiance and intelligence of the lovely patricia neal this film can be watched anytime anywhere

  • YOUNG ANDY....

    • CHRIS
    • 3/19/07

    This is a rare look at Griffith in a wild and wonderfull comic role. This is one that everyone should have a chance to see. A great classic to watch. Today's version of Larry "lonesome Rodes" would be Simon Cowel....... Did I hear Simon's name in there somewhere?

  • An Absolute Unsung Gem

    • Kevin Smyth
    • 2/22/07

    This movie is a rare treat that every cinephile deserves to see.

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