Thursday, June 19, 2008

Movies You Haven't Seen But Should: A Face In The Crowd

A Face in the Crowd (1957) is an epic motion picture starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, and Walter Matthau, and directed by Elia Kazan. The screenplay was written by Budd Schulberg, based on his own short story "Your Arkansas Traveler". The story centers on a "country" comedian, a common thug named Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes (Griffith, in a role starkly different from the amiable "Sheriff Andy Taylor" persona), who is discovered by the producer (Neal) of a small-market radio program in Piggott, Arkansas.

And here it is on the IMDB
Lonesome Rhodes: This whole country's just like my flock of sheep!
Marcia Jeffries: Sheep?
Lonesome Rhodes: Rednecks, crackers, hillbillies, hausfraus, shut-ins, pea-pickers - everybody that's got to jump when somebody else blows the whistle. They don't know it yet, but they're all gonna be 'Fighters for Fuller'. They're mine! I own 'em! They think like I do. Only they're even more stupid than I am, so I gotta think for 'em. Marcia, you just wait and see. I'm gonna be the power behind the president - and you'll be the power behind me!

Lonesome Rhodes: A guitar beats a woman every time.

Lonesome Rhodes: Listen, I'm not through yet. You know what's gonna to happen to me?
Mel Miller: Suppose I tell you exactly what's gonna happen to you. You're gonna be back in television. Only it won't be quite the same as it was before. There'll be a reasonable cooling-off period and then somebody will say: "Why don't we try him again in a inexpensive format. People's memories aren't too long." And you know, in a way, he'll be right. Some of the people will forget, and some of them won't. Oh, you'll have a show. Maybe not the best hour or, you know, top 10. Maybe not even in the top 35. But you'll have a show. It just won't be quite the same as it was before. Then a couple of new fellas will come along. And pretty soon, a lot of your fans will be flocking around them. And then one day, somebody'll ask: "Whatever happened to, a, whatshisname? You know, the one who was so big. The number-one fella a couple of years ago. He was famous. How can we forget a name like that? Oh by the way, have you seen, a, Barry Mills? I think he's the greatest thing since Will Rogers."
[Mel turns and starts to leave. Then, he turns back towards Lonesome]
Mel Miller: Beanie!
[Beanie, who is manning the automatic appalause machine, instinctively pulls the switch, unleashing a massive abundance of cheers. The machanical jubilation continues as Mel joins Marcia in the waiting elevator, leaving Lonesome alone in the empty penthouse with his broken dreams]

1 comment:

Mabeuf said...

One of the greatest movies of all time. Andy Griffith is incredible. Amazing. The plot is as timely today as it was in 1957, maybe even more so. This is definitely a movie you should see.