A Face in the Crowd (1957) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Face in the Crowd (1957)

A Face in the Crowd (1957)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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Andy Griffith
as Lonesome Rhodes
Patricia Neal
as Marcia Jeffries
Walter Matthau
as Mel Miller
Lee Remick
as Betty Lou Fleckum
Percy Waram
as Col. Hollister
Charles Irving
as Mr. Luffler
Howard Smith
as J.B. Jeffries
Howard I. Smith
as J.B. Jeffries
Kay Medford
as First Mrs. Rhodes
Alexander Kirkland
as Jim Collier
Marshall Neilan
as Sen. Fuller
Big Jeff Bess
as Sheriff Hosmer
Henry Sharp
as Abe Steiner
Willie Feibel
as 1st Printer
Larry Casazza
as 2nd Printer
Faye Emerson
as Herself
Burl Ives
as Himself
Mike Wallace
as Himself
Sandra Wirth
as baton twirler
Kim Chan
as Radio Announcer
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for A Face in the Crowd

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (4)

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

February 27, 2008

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

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

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.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

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.

August 3, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

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.

July 10, 2012 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

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
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
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
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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