A Face in the Crowd begins, as many stories of meteoric success do, in a small, quiet country town. Not all of them, however, begin in a jail. This is where Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal, The Day the Earth Stood Still) first meets Larry Rhodes (Griffith), a hobo with a powerful personality and a mean streak as wide as the Mississippi River. Christening him “Lonesome” Rhodes for the benefit of her morning radio show, “A Face in the Crowd,” Marcia is quickly enthralled by the down-home, folksy charm of the filthy but exuberant Rhodes. So are the radio listeners. Soon, Rhodes is a regular feature on the show, eventually becoming its host and developing a large fan following, and an ego to go with it.
After discovering the power that he wields over people by destroying the local sheriff with a stinging prank, Rhodes begins his journey to national fame via television, with Marcia at his side (and eventually, in his bed). But his inherent viciousness manifests itself in more and more dramatic ways behind the scenes, even as his friendly, folksy persona continues to increase in popularity, until a powerful business tycoon realizes that he can use Rhodes’s popularity to change the course of a national election in his favor—provided that he can keep the star from self-destructing under the weight of his own personality. —DVDverdict.com
Kazan was born Elias Kazancoglu in Istanbul to a Greek father from Kayseri, Turkey and a Greek mother from Istanbul, where her family were cotton merchants who imported cotton from Manchester, England, and sold it wholesale in Istanbul to various merchants, both Greek and Turkish, who took the goods out to the provinces. His family emigrated to the United States in 1913 and settled in New York City, where his father, George Kazanjoglu, became a rug merchant. Kazan’s father expected that his son would go into the family business, but his mother, Athena (née Sismanoglou), encouraged Kazan to make his own decisions. His family name ‘Kazanjoglou’ (an alternate spelling is Kazantzoglou) is Turkish, meaning “The son of a cauldron maker”, where the root word ‘kazan’ means cauldron or boiler. It was and still is common to find people of Greek, Jewish, Assyrian, Armenian, and Kurdish lineage with Turkish family names or where the root words in the names are uniquely Turkish.
Kazan attended… read more
Wow, wow, wow... Better than Network and Meet John Doe. Great masterpiece, especially first one hour and the final (unfortunately final is too long. Reminds me of Scarface and Sunset Blvd, of course LOTR: Return of the King style!). "Behind every successful man there's a woman". This is my third Patricia Neal movie and third is a masterpiece, again. She is gorgeous. I adore her. Black Mirror fans must see this movie.
Ignore the comment below. Kazan's modern portrayal of media, hunger for fame and a man's downfall earns a spot next to Lumet's "Network" in the shelves. Griffith's brilliant performance put him, in a life-imitates-art twist, in the nation's film spotlight. It's hard to believe so much happens in less than two hours' time. The ending is one of the best I've seen in a while. And what is there to be said of the lovely Patricia Neal, such a delight to see.
Insulting crap. We're supposed to look down on Lonesome Rhodes due to his contempt for his audience, because he thinks they're idiots, but Schulberg's script and Kazan's direction work so hard to unsubtly spell out every single meaning that I can't help but feel that they think we're idiots as well. Outstanding animalistic performance from Griffith though. He could have played Jekyll and Hyde.
"Actress Patricia Neal, who rebuilt a troubled career to win an Academy Award only to face a more desperate battle for survival when three