A Face in the Crowd
Tagline – POWER! He loved it! He took it raw in big gulpfulls… he liked the taste, the way it mixed with the bourbon and the sin in his blood!
Starring – Andy Griffith (Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes), Patricia Neal (Marcia Jeffries), Anthony Franciosa (Joey DePalma), Walter Matthau (Mel Miller), Lee Remick (Betty Lou Fleckum).
Released – May, 1957
Directed By – Elia Kazan
Produced By – Newtown Productions
Distributed By – Warner Brothers
Description – Ozark guitar picker Larry Rhodes is discovered in an Arkansas jail by Marcia Jeffries. He is invited to sing on a radio show where his down home humor and charm start him on a meteoric rise in entertainment popularity.
Given the nickname “Lonesome” Rhodes by Jeffries, he lands a Memphis television show. It is here that the dark side of Rhodes begins to show once he realizes that his popularity brings with it… power. He and Jeffries begin an affair which is followed by an accepted marriage proposal.
His continued success lands him his own show in New York City. More money, more power, more moral deterioration.
A woman shows up claiming to be Rhodes’ real wife, Rhodes betrays his discoverer and new wife Marcia Jeffries by running away with a 17 year drum majorette. Fame, influence, arrogance, and money have created a monster.
It becomes a sure bet that the moral course taken by Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes can only lead to pain and disaster.
NOTABLE: A Face in the Crowd provided the film debut of Andy Griffith and Lee Remick.
Director Elia Kazan and Screenwriter Budd Schulberg spent months researching the advertising world, even gaining access to ad agency meetings, in order to gain an understand as to the way Madison Avenue approaches and shapes the thinking of the American public.
Lee Remick’s baton twirling majorette required her to show up weeks before shooting in order to train with local high school majorettes.
A Face in the Crowd was the return to the big screen for actress Patricia Neal who had suffered a nervous breakdown after a much-publicized affair with actor Gary Cooper.