Andy Griffith and Patricia Neal made a movie together (before Griffith became Andy Taylor and long before Matlock ever suited up). The 1957 movie was titled “Face in the Crowd” and also starred Anthony Franciosa, Walter Mathhau, and Lee Remick.
Synopsis: An Arkansas hobo (Andy Griffith) becomes an overnight media sensation. But as he becomes drunk with fame and power, will he ever be exposed as the fraud he has become?
A Face in the Crowd was directed by Elia Kazan. Other Kazan movies included:
- A Streetcar Named Desire (Vivien Leigh, Malon Brando, Karl Malden, Kim Hunter)
- On the Waterfront (Marlon Brando, Karl Malden)
- East of Eden (James Dean, Burl Ives)
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell)
- Splendor in the Grass (Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty)
- Man on a Tightrope (Gloria Grahame – better known as adorable Ado Annie in Oklahoma and Violet Bick in It’s a Wonderful Life)
- Baby Doll (Karl Malden – again, Carroll Baker)
Elia Kazan also directed “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” on Broadway. Why isn’t this man a household name?!
As someone who has grown up with Andy Griffith reruns and never missed an episode of Matlock live or in reruns, it’s bizarre to see Andy Griffith as a character like Larry ‘Lonesome’ Rhodes in Face in the Crowd. But it’s actually great for all of us Andy Griffith fans to see that, when the actor had something to really sink his teeth into, he could chomp down with the best of them.
Buy A Face in the Crowd on DVD:
Also, on Amazon, I found the GREAT The Elia Kazan Collection, shown below.