Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Note on Patricia Neal in Elia Kazan's "A Face in the Crowd"

The actress Patricia Neal died yesterday at the age of 84. To toast this amazing but somewhat-forgotten star, I recommend this classic film:
"A Face in the Crowd" (1957) is possibly the most bitter, toxic indictment of human cruelty, avarice, celebrity, corruption and yes, the public's willingness to be duped by charisma and folksiness (sound familiar?) ever filmed. It is grotesque, darkly funny and also terrifying.

You may not have seen this film but you will see its influences. "Simpsons" fans will remember the episode when Krusty gets kancelled? When Gabbo (and later Kent Brockman) gets caught on air calling his kid fans "Little SOBS", that is a tribute to this film.

Also, you will never look at Andy Griffith the same way after you watch this.
A final note: Neal had an affair with Gary Cooper, married Roald Dahl, lost both her children to horrifying tragedy, had three strokes while in her 40's, and continued to act.

She died of lung cancer, a tragedy, but man, she had a great, sexy voice.

And enjoy this clip...

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