Elia Kazan Week! begins at Trailers from Hell with screenwriter Josh Olson introducing Elia Kazan’s brilliant and bitter showbiz sendup “A Face in the Crowd,” starring a never-better Andy Griffith as charismatic, monstrous media sensation Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes.
Elia Kazan’s lacerating portrait of a down home demagogue has never lost its disturbing relevance. Anchored by a ferocious performance by Andy Griffith, Budd Schulberg’s media-savvy satire, based on his story “The Arkansas Traveler”, has survived countless attempts to remake it over the years, largely because its 50s-centric setting is the perfect background to expose the pernicious effect television has had on the US political system. VITA-PIG says, “Is it election day yet?” Lee Remick is memorably lubricious in her film debut.