3 Stars

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A Face in the Crowd chronicles the rise and fall of Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes (Andy Griffith), a boisterous entertainer discovered in an Arkansas drunk tank by Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal), a local radio producer with ambitions of her own. His charisma and cunning soon shoot him to the heights of television stardom and political demagoguery, forcing Marcia to grapple with the manipulative, reactionary monster she has created. Directed by Elia Kazan from a screenplay by Budd Schulberg, this incisive satire features an extraordinary debut screen performance by Griffith, who brandishes his charm in an uncharacteristically sinister role. Though the film was a flop on its initial release, subsequent generations have marveled at its eerily prescient diagnosis of the toxic intimacy between media and politics in American life.

FILM INFO

  • Elia Kazan
  • United States
  • 1957
  • 126 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #970SPECIAL FEATURES
    • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
    • New interview with Ron Briley, author of The Ambivalent Legacy of Elia Kazan
    • New interview with Andy Griffith biographer Evan Dalton Smith
    • Facing the Past, a 2005 documentary featuring actors Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, and Anthony Franciosa; screenwriter Budd Schulberg; and film scholars Leo Braudy and Jeff Young
    • Trailer
    • PLUS: An essay by critic April Wolfe and a 1957 New York Times Magazine profile of Andy Griffith

    New cover by Marc Aspinall

    April 23, 2019

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Published by

Ronald Epstein

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