Welcome To The Party Pal celebrates one of the most prescient films of all time, one that foretold how mass media, celebrity, commerce, and politics would be horribly intertwined, Elia Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd…
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In this episode of Welcome To The Party Pal, host Michael Shields — with the help of actor / comedian / writer / director and host of the podcast God Ween Evan, Will Nunziata — dissects A Face in the Crowd, the 1957 film starring Andy Griffith (in his film debut), Patricia Neal, and Walter Matthau, and directed by Elia Kazan (Gentleman’s Agreement, On The Waterfront, East of Eden, A Streetcar Named Desire). The story centers on Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, a drifter who is discovered by the producer of a small-market radio program in rural northeast Arkansas. Rhodes ultimately rises to great fame and influence on national television, but at a great cost.
In this episode Michael and Will explore the themes present in the movie that are relevant fifty years after the film premiered. They examine how a film that while funny, embracing of a doomed romantic narrative and a captivating rags to riches tale, can now be looked at as a momentous warning of what can happen when power and corruption meets the media age. Join in on a look back on a film that explores how the medium of television can aid in the rise to ultimate power, and one that even foretold the rise of President Donald Trump.