Friday, July 24, 2009

A Face in the Crowd

When the list is made of most versatile actors, Andy Griffin is going to be there. For anyone who only knows him as Sheriff Andy Taylor in the nearly 250 episodes of The Andy Griffin Show, seeing him in No Time For Sergeants might not be a stretch. He seems more like one of the residents from the hills outside Mayberry than the Sheriff. But as Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes in A Face in the Crowd, he is the drifter who would have passed through the small town, stolen all the girlfriends, and had all the businesses willingly empty their cash registers for him. Even though just a face in the crowd, he knew how to make his way, to seize the day, to make every moment count for him.

Not an admirable character by any measure, Lonesome’s insight into pop culture is astonishing. Or perhaps not. Each age (and ages are getting shorter and shorter) believe it is the first one to be run-over by mass media and its ability to get so many thinking the same way so fast. What people do today on YouTube, Lonesome did on radio and then television.

Again, a fine story, great cast, unusual setting all in the hands of Kazan makes for a great film.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorites. I LOVE showing this movie to people who don't like the Andy Griffith show.Oh, you think Andy is just a hick sheriff or Matlock? HA!