Movie of the Week: “A Face in the Crowd”

I’m adding a new feature to this site that I’m calling “Movie of the Week.” Why this, and why now? Quite frankly, because I need something to write about. Current events are mostly depressing, and how much more is there to say about David Bowie and spam?

Well, there’s probably plenty more to be said about David Bowie, actually. All in good time.

Movies are generally underrepresented on The Philter relative to their importance in my life. This is partly because I think they are overrepresented in the culture at large. Do a series of elaborate and expensive dreams deserve so much analysis and scrutiny, when there are so many real problems in the world? Probably not; but here we are.

Because I have a thing for order, we’re going to start with the letter “A.” Some people would say that my first selection, A Face in the Crowd, really should be filed under “F.” But I’m in charge here, as Mr. Haig would have said.

Released in 1957, A Face in the Crowd stars Andy Griffith as Lonesome Rhodes, a no-account Arkansas drifter who rises to fame, wealth, and power thanks to the then-new medium of television. Now before your train of thought gets too far down its track: The Andy Griffith that appears in this film is a far cry from Sheriff Andy Taylor or Matlock. Lonesome Rhodes is the quintessential wolf in sheep’s clothing — outwardly charming and genial, but devious, corrupt, and ruthlessly ambitious underneath — and Griffith gives an amazing, not to say shocking, performance. Don’t believe me? Watch this:

I’ll have more to say about this movie, I hope, throughout the week. And your comments are welcome of course. But for today I’m going to call that a post and be happy about it.

2 Responses to “Movie of the Week: “A Face in the Crowd””

  1. Merle Baggard Says:

    I haven’t seen this one, but have heard of it. Seems a lot like Elmer Gantry with Burt Lancaster. Have you seen that one?
    I love Andy.

  2. Knox Bronson Says:

    I think I am going to have to watch this movie, based on that clip, after all these years of your encouragement. Wow.

Leave a Reply