A Face in the Crowd (1957) Elia Kazan

I originally had Orson Welles “Touch of Evil” scheduled for today, however, with the death of Andy Griffith earlier this week I decided to repost an old review of A Face in the Crowd I wrote a few years ago for the now defunct website Halo-17. Then the horror struck. I had no copy of my original review saved! The website was shut down, so I could not even retrieve anything from on-line. I generally keep a copy of all my reviews on my PC, but this one apparently got away. All I could find was a paragraph of notes I had taken for background. Still determined to put out a review, I began with those notes and, though a bit rushed, came up with what you will read here. It is not the best, but it will have to do.  Oh yeah, Welles Touch of Evil, which has been brewing on the back burner for a month or so now, has been rescheduled once again, and will  appear here two weeks from today.

The rise of the media star as an influence in our lives has never been greater. From Presidential politics to what we watch on television and listen to on the radio; the media star influence’s us all.  Oprah Winfrey can persuade millions on what book to read or who to vote for in an upcoming election. Since the 1950’s the power of television cannot be under estimated. Mass communication was now available at a level undreamed of and unavailable before. As far back as the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debates, when the camera revealed JFK as good looking, confident and in control, while his opponent then Vice-President Richard Nixon appeared with a five o’clock shadow and a sweaty brow, the use of television had the power to shape voters opinions and ideas then and ever since. In the most recent Presidential debates, between Obama and McCain in 2008 your saw it once again. As Obama explained his policies, the camera showed McCain tightlipped and anxious, almost itchy or unwilling to wait for Obama to finish so he could jump in. Continue reading

A Face in the Crowd (1957) Elia Kazan

With the Film Forum in New York doing a three week  tribute to the work of Elia Kazan, I thought it would be a good time to provide a link to a review I wrote on this film for Halo-17.

Click here for the Film Forum web site

Click here for my Halo-17 review

Click here here for my short tribute to screenwriter Budd Shulberg. 

Books about Elia KazanAmerica, America
The Master Director Discusses His Films (Jeff Young)
Elia Kazan: A Biography (Richard Schickel)
A Life (Elia Kazan)
Kazan on Directing (Kazan and Lahr)
Kazan on Kazan (Michel Ciment)

Novels by Elia Kazan
The Arrangement
The Assassins
The Understudy
America, America
Acts of Love
The Anatolian

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