A Face in the Crowd

1957

A Face in the Crowd

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 27

94%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,984
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A Face in the Crowd Photos

Movie Info

In this drama, Andy Griffith makes a spectacular film debut as Lonesome Rhodes, a philosophical country-western singer discovered in a tanktown jail by television talent coordinator Patricia Neal and her assistant Walter Matthau. They decide that Rhodes is worthy of a TV guest spot and he becomes an overnight sensation.

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Critic Reviews for A Face in the Crowd

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (4)

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

    Feb 27, 2008
  • What starts out as a seemingly liberal tract rapidly becomes a smug, cynical exercise in misanthropy.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • This sizzling and cynical exposure... also presents Andy Griffith as the key figure in his first screen role.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Not until Robert Redford's Quiz Show had a movie so clearly illustrated the power of the idiot box -- in this case, its ability to mold the minds of susceptible Americans who will swallow anything that passes before their eyes.

    May 4, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • a masterful, enthralling work of both disturbing prescience and in-the-moment acuity

    Apr 17, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Face in the Crowd

  • Apr 03, 2018
    A drifter becomes a radio personality, becomes a television personality, becomes a national influence, all by cleverly telling people what they want to hear while playing a simpleton. It so closely hews to the current trump presidency that it counts as precognitive. Andy Griffith is a whirlwind force as the cheesy manipulator but Patricia Neal holds her own as the woman holding onto a lit firecracker (no pun intended). Lee Remick surprises by baton twirling.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 21, 2012
    This movie is absolutely terrifying. The combination of the eerily truthful prediction of the conglomeration of business, media, politics, and popular personality to manipulate the public along with Andy Griffith's manic performance (Its probably the best thing he's ever done) creates a film that still feels relevant, like its warning us of something we still have the capability to stop. I hesitate to praise it too much on that basis, as the film has so many other great elements (Patricia Neal, Kazan's direction) . . . its just outstanding on all fronts.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 20, 2009
    Andy Griffith as a country boy who has nothing then has everything & back to nothing again.WOW!!! I cant believe I hadnt heard of this flick earlier.What a GREAT movie
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 2009
    WOW. Who knew he had it in him?!! Andy Griffith -- yes, THAT Andy Griffith -- gives a blistering performance in his first film role as Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes, a drunk, belligerent drifter "discovered" by Arkansas radio personality Patricia Neal. He starts off small as a hayseed philosopher/musician, then gets more and more famous until he is a nationwide star and teen heartthrob with his own show. In the process, he becomes (or maybe reveals himself to be) a megalomanical bastard. He's a womanizer, a heavy drinker, loud, abusive, moneygrubbing and insensitive. But also, he is handsome and lusty, and brings Miss Prim Patricia Neal out of her sexual shell. The scene of her inviting him into her hotel room and the kiss in the hall was HOT. The scene close to the end where he is on a balcony, his life and fame falling apart around him, reminds one almost of Adolf Hitler or Mussolini, getting high on the adulation of his fans. How he went from a wildman character like this to mild-mannered Mayberry Sheriff Andy Taylor I will never know. I remember years ago another film -- called Murder in Coweta County -- in which Griffith played an amoral character, and people were shocked -- that is, except for anyone who had ever seen this film. I'm curious though....I wonder if the impact was the same for the people who didn't have Andy Taylor to compare Lonesome Rhodes to? Maybe they were instead amazed how such a complete asshole could play a quiet noble character like Andy? The world may never know...
    Cindy I Super Reviewer

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