A Face in the Crowd

FaceInTheCrowdSuggested by Kung Fu Zu • This movie charts the rise of a raucous hayseed (Andy Griffith) from itinerant Ozark guitar picker to local media rabble-rouser to TV superstar and political king-maker. Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal) is the girl who discovers the great man in a back-country jail and is the first to fall under his spell.
Info at IMDB.com
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3 Responses to A Face in the Crowd

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’m kicking of the “Videoshelf” feature of the site which will act just like the “Bookshelf” section, but will be for movies and TV/cable shows. I’m using one of the dictionary definitions of “video” which is “the recording, reproducing, or broadcasting of moving visual images.” I certainly don’t mean just movies that appear only on video tape.

    Anyway, the point is that I find this easier to do than a full review. But by the time we get done talking, we might as well have done a review anyway. But this method allows me to get something up easily. And, if I (or someone else) wants to do a full review later, we can have both.

    Mr. Kung recommended this 1957 movie to me, and it’s a good one. I found the editiing to be disjointed in places. Seemingly huge plot elements erupt out of nowhere. At times I thought I had fallen asleep and missed some of the movie.

    Patricia Neal’s character development did not follow smoothly. She starts out as the bold, fearless self-promoter who finds another self to promote (Griffith) and then falls under his spell. Okay, fair enough. Could happen. But for such a savvy self-promoter, it’s stretching things a little how many times she falls under his spell.

    But the main thrust of this movie is a good one. It’s about how television changed the entire political calculus. And this movie should be rightly hailed as one of the first to note this. It should also be condemned for introducing the libtard themes of “corporations are bad,” “conservatives are bad,” “common people are singularly stupid and easily manipulated,” and “liberals such as Walter Matthau are the smart ones who can sit back and tsk-tsk all that goes on, knowing that if only the smart and reasonable people were in charge (read: ‘liberal;) then all would be well.”

    This is a film that combines the indictment of demagogues and TV myth-making with an indictment of American society itself. It’s worth noting the director Elia Kazan used to be a member of the Communist Party, so this is right up his alley.

    Still, it’s a magnificent performance by Griffith. He almost makes you forget his obsequious, if not creepy, endorsement of Obama. (Do you suppose Ron Howard has learned anything since then? I doubt it.) And Patricia Neal is a mixture of good combined with sometimes inappropriate melodramatic over-played horror.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Elia Kazan was an ex-communist who supported the blacklisting, which made his special Oscar a few years ago very unpopular in progressive Hollywood circles. (Strangely enough, I’ve never heard of any of the anti-blacklisters objecting to the treatment of Leni Riefenstahl.)

      Speaking of movies about politics, I will note that the movie The Candidate has a scene in which the title character is greeting workers (who have zero interest in facing a politician on the way home) at a factory gate. That one scene, in and of itself, was enough to eliminate any thought I ever had of actually running for office.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        The point is, it’s worth noting that this myth-busting movie contributed to the overall Lefist/Progressive myth-making. Here’s a comment at IMDB message boards (and a sane reply by someone)

        …. they probably wouldn’t understand that Lonesome Rhoades was the forerunner of Beck, Hannity, Huckabee, O’Reilly, etc. They wouldn’t understand that the joke is on them, that Rupert Murdoch is laughing all the way to the bank, that they’re actually voting against their own economic interests when they listen to the advice of right-wing Fox demagogues.

        The sane answer:

        Of course the movie doesn’t apply at all to Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Dan Rather, Al Franken, Rachel Maddow, or any of the Kneepad Media news anchors et al, right? Liberal=progressive=socialist=communist.

        While watching this movie (like Rush Limbaugh, I know liberals better than they know themselves) I knew this is the kind of delusional garbage I’d find on the IMDB message boards.

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