Elia Kazan

A Face in the Crowd

A Face in the Crowd

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 #970

Special 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 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, excerpts from director Elia Kazan’s introduction to the film’s published screenplay, and a 1957 New York Times Magazine profile of Griffith

New cover by Marc Aspinall

Purchase Options

Special 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 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, excerpts from director Elia Kazan’s introduction to the film’s published screenplay, and a 1957 New York Times Magazine profile of Griffith

New cover by Marc Aspinall

A Face in the Crowd
Cast
Andy Griffith
Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes
Patricia Neal
Marcia Jeffries
Anthony Franciosa
Joey DePalma
Walter Matthau
Mel Miller
Lee Remick
Betty Lou Fleckum
Percy Waram
General Haynesworth
Paul McGrath
Macey
Rod Brasfield
Beanie
Marshall Neilan
Senator Worthington Fuller
Alexander Kirkland
Jim Collier
Credits
Director
Elia Kazan
Story and screenplay by
Budd Schulberg
Director of photography
Harry Stradling
Director of photography
Gayne Rescher
Songs by
Tom Glazer
Songs by
Budd Schulberg
Score
Tom Glazer
Edited by
Gene Milford
Production manager
George Justin
Sound
Ernest Zatorsky
Sound editor
Don Olson
Wardrobe
Florence Transfield

From The Current

On the Road with Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg
On the Road with Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg

In this excerpt from an interview on our new edition of A Face in the Crowd, author Ron Briley recounts the research that shaped the film’s insights on politics and media.

A Face in the Crowd: American Character
A Face in the Crowd: American Character

With the current rise of faux-populist demagogues around the globe, this incisive satire of media’s toxic influence on politics is as relevant as it’s ever been.

By April Wolfe

Cinema in the Surveillance Zone
Cinema in the Surveillance Zone

A new series on the Criterion Channel dives into the wages of espionage and paranoia through a mix of Hollywood thrillers and art-house dramas.