A Face in the Crowd – 1957 Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, and Walter Matthau

The story centers on a drifter named Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes (Griffith, in a role starkly different from the amiable “Sheriff Andy Taylor” persona) who is discovered by the producer (Neal) of a small-market radio program in rural northeast Arkansas. Rhodes ultimately rises to great fame and influence on national television.

The film launched Griffith into stardom but earned mixed reviews upon its original release. Later decades have seen reappraisals of the movie, and in 2008 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

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