Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 160: Sat Jun 11

A Face in the Crowd (Kazan, 1957): Prince Charles Cinema, 12 noon

All great art stays relevant, but the times can add extra potency. Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd is the story of a vagabond turned TV star turned politician, abusing his power for personal gain. Caught on tape making damaging comments, marrying a woman half his age... it's hard not to see this 1957 film as a parable for the Trump era. But it's also a universal film about the seductive power of appealing to 'the common man', and the cynicism behind populism. From the writer-director team behind On the Waterfront, this film plays the same trick on the audience as its star, Lonesome Rhodes (Andy Griffith), does on its audience: piling spadeloads of charisma to make us accept anything. Duncan Carson

Chicago Reader review:
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. Promoted by Patricia Neal, he swells from a local personality to a national political force. The script, by Budd Schulberg, is pat and badly proportioned, but the picture has a sharp, dirty appeal. With Lee Remick (excellent in her film debut), Walter Matthau, and Anthony Franciosa.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer

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