A Face in the Crowd (1957) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Face in the Crowd1957

A Face in the Crowd (1957)



Critic Consensus: A raucous Andy Griffith channels the corruptive influence of celebrity in Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd, a prescient critique of American media.

A Face in the Crowd Photos

Movie Info

In this drama, Andy Griffith makes a spectacular film debut as Lonesome Rhodes, a philosophical country-western singer discovered in a tanktown jail by television talent coordinator Patricia Neal and her assistant Walter Matthau. They decide that Rhodes is worthy of a TV guest spot and he becomes an overnight sensation.

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Andy Griffith
as Lonesome Rhodes
Patricia Neal
as Marcia Jeffries
Walter Matthau
as Mel Miller
Lee Remick
as Betty Lou Fleckum
Percy Waram
as Col. Hollister
Charles Irving
as Mr. Luffler
Howard Smith
as J.B. Jeffries
Howard I. Smith
as J.B. Jeffries
Kay Medford
as First Mrs. Rhodes
Alexander Kirkland
as Jim Collier
Marshall Neilan
as Sen. Fuller
Big Jeff Bess
as Sheriff Hosmer
Henry Sharp
as Abe Steiner
Willie Feibel
as 1st Printer
Larry Casazza
as 2nd Printer
Faye Emerson
as Herself
Burl Ives
as Himself
Mike Wallace
as Himself
Sandra Wirth
as baton twirler
Kim Chan
as Radio Announcer
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Critic Reviews for A Face in the Crowd

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (6)

Instead of implying their criticism of TV values through asserting their own, Kazan and Schulberg make a token gesture of protest, in which they have no faith.

March 31, 2020 | Full Review…

A Face in the Crowd has never ceased to be relevant.

February 27, 2008

What starts out as a seemingly liberal tract rapidly becomes a smug, cynical exercise in misanthropy.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

This sizzling and cynical exposure... also presents Andy Griffith as the key figure in his first screen role.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A little overdone, but Neal and Remick are brilliant.

August 1, 2002 | Rating: 4/5
Top Critic

Andy Griffith, as a hick radio star modeled on Arthur Godfrey, delivers an astonishing, sinister performance in Elia Kazan's 1957 essay on media demagoguery.

January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for A Face in the Crowd


A drifter becomes a radio personality, becomes a television personality, becomes a national influence, all by cleverly telling people what they want to hear while playing a simpleton. It so closely hews to the current trump presidency that it counts as precognitive. Andy Griffith is a whirlwind force as the cheesy manipulator but Patricia Neal holds her own as the woman holding onto a lit firecracker (no pun intended). Lee Remick surprises by baton twirling.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


This one is disturbing for all the right reasons. Watching Andy Griffith play a money-grubbing, amoral, unlikeable bastard is like watching Mister Rogers play Hannibal Lector. After all, this is the same Andy that kept the streets of Mayberry safe for all those years and the same Andy that taught Opie how to fish and throw a curve ball. It's even more unnerving because Griffith does it so well.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


Holy central performance Andy Griffith! This movie is full on fantastic. Elia Kazan has brought to life a story that is years ahead of it's time. A must see.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

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