970 A Face in the Crowd

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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domino harvey
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970 A Face in the Crowd

#1 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:45 pm

A Face in the Crowd

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A Face in the Crowd chronicles the rise and fall of Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes (Andy Griffith), a boisterous entertainer discovered in an Arkansas drunk tank by Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal), a local radio producer with ambitions of her own. His charisma and cunning soon shoot him to the heights of television stardom and political demagoguery, forcing Marcia to grapple with the manipulative, reactionary monster she has created. Directed by Elia Kazan from a screenplay by Budd Schulberg, this incisive satire features an extraordinary debut screen performance by Griffith, who brandishes his charm in an uncharacteristically sinister role. Though the film was a flop on its initial release, subsequent generations have marveled at its eerily prescient diagnosis of the toxic intimacy between media and politics in American life.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New interview with Ron Briley, author of The Ambivalent Legacy of Elia Kazan
• New interview with Andy Griffith biographer Evan Dalton Smith
Facing the Past, a 2005 documentary featuring actors Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, and Anthony Franciosa; screenwriter Budd Schulberg; and film scholars Leo Braudy and Jeff Young
• Trailer
• PLUS: An essay by critic April Wolfe and a 1957 New York Times Magazine profile of Andy Griffith

KJones77
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#2 Post by KJones77 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:47 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:45 pm
Confirmed via this month's newsletter clue
Now only Klute is left to be announced from that old OOP WB list.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#3 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:05 pm

Funny, I just read Tom Carson's takedown of the film. I don't think it's a bad film at all, and the strengths (particularly Griffith) generally outweigh the shortcomings.

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domino harvey
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#4 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:07 pm

Props to anyone who could finish that article

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hearthesilence
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#5 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:28 pm

I make it my life's mission to find domino's least favorite reading material.

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domino harvey
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#6 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:51 pm

I'm sure there's a George Saunders website somewhere that could save you a lot of time

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#7 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:17 pm

Put me in the camp that thinks it’s brilliant and very foretelling. Griffith and Neal deliver great performances.

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Lowry_Sam
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#8 Post by Lowry_Sam » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:25 pm

Finally! We’ve been waiting a long time for this one

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knives
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#9 Post by knives » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:32 pm

I'm in the Pro camp as well. How this isn't one of his best recognized films is beyond me.

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domino harvey
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#10 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:52 pm

It is, the person who wrote that article is just a loon

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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#11 Post by nitin » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:43 pm

Great film, hopefully Klute also announced soon.

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knives
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#12 Post by knives » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:56 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:52 pm
It is, the person who wrote that article is just a loon
My understanding is that its stock has risen a lot in recent years, but like America America it is still viewed as second tier to the Brandos
etc.

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whaleallright
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#13 Post by whaleallright » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:37 pm

Oh, I think Tom Carson's piece was mostly quite correct about the limitations of the film. Though I simultaneously wish he would have been more charitable in recognizing the film's inventiveness (which, I agree, tends to flag around the halfway point) and the paucity of alternative representations that would have been possible in Hollywood. (Salt of the Earth, a much more authentically leftist project from the same era and not as good of a film, was barely distributed.)

And I could have done without the snide castigations of the "liberal" audience, but then again that's the Baffler's reason for being. (I've been a subscriber off and on since the 1990s, and you can sum up their ethos as a kind of politicized narcissism of small differences.)

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britcom68
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#14 Post by britcom68 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:08 am

I will live in anticipation of the final release to see who Criterion chooses for the essay and inevitable interviews (the possibilities in this current era in American politics is endless). I have a feeling this is one release where they will actually have more people wanting to contribute than they have room to accommodate (going to be one crowded closet). I really hope they get Fran Lebowitz again to moderate a discussion.

On a separate and unrated note, can anyone confirm about the Castle and WB rights for ownership and home-media/streaming? Reason I ask is that unless Face in the Crowd was a one-off, this likely means Baby Doll could be forthcoming as well according to prior discussions here on WB-titles.

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Malickite
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#15 Post by Malickite » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:36 pm

britcom68 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:08 am
I really hope they get Fran Lebowitz again to moderate a discussion.
:-&

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knives
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#16 Post by knives » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:37 pm

whaleallright wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:37 pm
Oh, I think Tom Carson's piece was mostly quite correct about the limitations of the film. Though I simultaneously wish he would have been more charitable in recognizing the film's inventiveness (which, I agree, tends to flag around the halfway point) and the paucity of alternative representations that would have been possible in Hollywood. (Salt of the Earth, a much more authentically leftist project from the same era and not as good of a film, was barely distributed.)

And I could have done without the snide castigations of the "liberal" audience, but then again that's the Baffler's reason for being. (I've been a subscriber off and on since the 1990s, and you can sum up their ethos as a kind of politicized narcissism of small differences.)
What makes you see this as even aiming to be a leftist work? I've always take it to be more along the lines of a work interested in castigating a certain cult of personality and celebrity then a left or right sort of thing.

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whaleallright
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#17 Post by whaleallright » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:51 am

Well, aside from Schulberg and Kazan's liberalism (which remained a strong part of their identities even though their testimony before HUAC necessitated a break with their hard-left past) and their own comments on the film, which indicate they were concerned more with the threat of right-wing populism than anything from the left, the film itself makes it about as clear as a studio film would permit that Rhodes is a kind of stalking horse for reactionary interests. But I agree that the film's primary interest is as a kind of media satire not as a specific critique of right-wing populism.

The ending to the film is the weakest part for me, although the preachiness overtakes the inventiveness a while before that. Like so many others before and after them, Schulberg and Kazan restored to a not-particularly-convincing contrivance to get themselves out of the narrative situation they've set up. Funny(?) enough, although Rhodes's naked hypocrisy proves his undoing once revealed, Donald Trump's own contempt for his followers and transparent self-dealing seems to only further endear him to the core of his supporters. I guess the film's real weakness is that it failed to imagine a Fox News....

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swo17
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Re: Forthcoming: A Face in the Crowd

#18 Post by swo17 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:31 pm


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FrauBlucher
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Re: 970 A Face in the Crowd

#19 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:14 pm


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Re: 970 A Face in the Crowd

#20 Post by yoloswegmaster » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:16 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:14 pm
Beaver
Damn, I really thought you were gonna say "A Face in the Beaver"

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 970 A Face in the Crowd

#21 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:21 pm

I leave the beaver/svet witticisms to others

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 970 A Face in the Crowd

#22 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:45 am


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