A Face in the Crowd
Directed by Elia Kazan. US. 1957. NR. 125 minutes. Warner Bros. 35mm.
Sun., September 1, 2013
When you think of actors like Andy Griffith, Fred MacMurray and Henry Fonda, what do you picture? Really nice, sometimes heroic, caring, brave and friendly guys you would like to know, huh? Well this month the Colonial is going to give you a chance to see them and other stars playing some of the nastiest people you could imagine, and doing it very well. In this first film of the series, Andy Griffith (in the first and best dramatic role of his career) plays Â“Lonesome Rhodes,Â” a seemingly nice, good oleÂ’ country boy and cornpone philosopher who gets his big break in the early days of live television. However, as the man said, what you see is not always what you get. Watch Griffith gradually unveil his characterÂ’s true nature as he becomes increasingly popular and powerful, a nature that would surely be quite a shock to Aunt Bee and Opie! Co-starring Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau as LonesomeÂ’s friends and supporters, this is an exceptionally powerful and perceptive film, and one with even more resonance today than when it was first released. (NOTE: Watch closely for such future stars as Lee Remick, in her first screen role, as well as Rip Torn and Lois Nettleton.) (Bill Roth)