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

Screenwriter/Author Budd Schulberg Dies at 95

“I could have been a contender, I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”


One of the most famous lines in film history, spoken by Marlon Brando as Terry Mallory in “On the Waterfront” was written by Budd Schulberg who passed away yesterday at 95 years of age.

Schulberg won an Oscar for his screenplay and a place in cinema history. Schulberg’s protaganist were the little guy against the machine like Terry Mallory. His also wrote the accliamed novel  “What Makes Sammy Run”  whose Sammy Glick claws his way to the top of the Hollywood cesspool by any means neccasary. Schulberg called Glick  “The Horatio Alger spirit gone mad.”  Other works included the screenplay for Kazan’s “A Face in the Crowd”, another story of blind ambition and the novel “The Harder They Fall”  filmed in 1956.   

Attached is the New York Times obit.