A movie fit for Donald Trump's inauguration day | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A movie fit for Donald Trump's inauguration day

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 10:25 AM

click to enlarge FACE IN THE CROWD: Andy Griffith stars.
  • FACE IN THE CROWD: Andy Griffith stars.
Entertainment Weekly notes that Turner Classic Movies has scheduled a fitting movie for Friday, the day Donald Trump will be sworn in as president of the United States.

This Friday, viewers across the country will have the opportunity to flip on their televisions to watch a power-hungry, media-savvy celebrity rise to megalomaniacal heights. We’re referring of course to Elia Kazan’s 1957 film A Face in the Crowd, which TCM will air in the hours after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

A darkly comic cautionary tale about the dangers of fame and politics intertwining, the film stars Andy Griffith as a plainspoken drifter who becomes a populist hero via radio and TV appearances. As his ambition, ego, and disdain for his audience grow, he begins to spin out of control and is ultimately brought down by a vitriolic rant caught on a hot microphone.

Arkansas angle, courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History:

A Face in the Crowd was a 1957 movie drama based on the short story, “Your Arkansas Traveler,” written by Budd Schulberg. It concerns a fictional Arkansas native, its opening scenes were set in northeast Arkansas, and it was filmed on location in Piggott (Clay County) using local residents as extras. The film marked the screen debut of Andy Griffith and Lee Remick, along with being Walter Matthau and Tony Franciosa’s first major roles. It is significant for its prophetic theme of the cult of celebrity, the power of television, and the merging of entertainment and politics.

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