Sunday, May 29, 2011
Sunday Viewing: A Face in the Crowd, 1957
This is the story of Lonesome Rhodes (Griffith), a drifter and criminal who is discovered (quite by accident) in an Arkansas prison by Marcia Jeffries, a radio producer. Jeffries (Patricia Neal) enlists Rhodes (whose real name was Larry) to sing on her radio program. Rhodes is an instant hit and quickly becomes a radio staple. His behavior, at first, displeases the show’s sponsors as he continually mocks their products. He’s fired, but his fan-base is so enormous that he’s quickly sky-rocketed to fame.
Andy Griffith gives a brilliant, and truly disturbing performance which makes you wonder who much of his real personality was Andy Taylor and how much was Lonesome Rhodes. The character is said to be based on several similar performers of the 1950’s including Arthur Godfrey, and possibly an evil Will Rogers.