A Face in the Crowd (1957)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Face in the Crowd Videos & Photos

Movie Info

Andy Griffith makes a spectacular film debut in this searing drama as Lonesome Rhodes, a philosophical country-western singer discovered in a tanktown jail by radio talent scout Patricia Neal and her assistant Walter Matthau. They decide that Rhodes is worthy of a radio spot, but the unforeseen result is that the gangly, aw-shucks entertainer becomes an overnight sensation not simply on radio but, thereafter, on television. As he ascends to stardom, Rhodes attracts fans, sponsors and … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Budd Schulberg
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 10, 2005


as Lonesome Rhodes

as Marcia Jeffries

as Joey Kiely

as Mel Miller

as Betty Lou Fleckum

as Col. Hollister

as Mr. Luffler

as J.B. Jeffries

as J.B. Jeffries

as First Mrs. Rhodes

as Jim Collier

as Sen. Fuller

as Sheriff Hosmer

as Abe Steiner

as 1st Printer

as 2nd Printer

as Herself

as Herself

as Himself

as Himself

as baton twirler

as Radio Announcer
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for A Face in the Crowd

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (5)

A Face in the Crowd has never ceased to be relevant.

Full Review… | February 27, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

What starts out as a seemingly liberal tract rapidly becomes a smug, cynical exercise in misanthropy.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

This sizzling and cynical exposure... also presents Andy Griffith as the key figure in his first screen role.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Andy Griffith, as a hick radio star modeled on Arthur Godfrey, delivers an astonishing, sinister performance in Elia Kazan's 1957 essay on media demagoguery.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Griffith's hungry, lunging performance is a shock and a revelation to anyone who knows him primarily from The Andy Griffith Show or, God knows, Matlock.

Full Review… | August 3, 2015

A fascinating early look at the unholy alliance between politics and entertainment, the corporations controlling it all. With Griffith's wild performance, even though the film has its flaws, it's worth viewing.

Full Review… | July 10, 2012

Audience Reviews for A Face in the Crowd


This one is disturbing for all the right reasons. Watching Andy Griffith play a money-grubbing, amoral, unlikeable bastard is like watching Mister Rogers play Hannibal Lector. After all, this is the same Andy that kept the streets of Mayberry safe for all those years and the same Andy that taught Opie how to fish and throw a curve ball. It's even more unnerving because Griffith does it so well.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


Holy central performance Andy Griffith! This movie is full on fantastic. Elia Kazan has brought to life a story that is years ahead of it's time. A must see.

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


I never thought I'd ever use the word amazing to describe any performance by Andy Griffith but I've got to hand it to the man -- he was amazing. He played a folksy and infinitely lovable hick and a power-drunk bastard with equal magnificence. Director Elia Kazan's initial shot at a burgeoning form of entertainment serves as an eons ahead of its time lightning rod that's more relevant now than ever. Kazan's direction is fantastic (especially when the spectacular Patricia Neal snaps in the sound booth) and the script is biting. The supporting cast (particularly Walter Matthau) was brilliant and I see yet another movie I want to kick myself in the ass for not seeing sooner. I loved this movie so much I want to freak out.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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