Ostensibly, the film's chief (and only real) focus had always been its lead character, Lonesome Rhodes, given a lustful reading here by a riveting Andy Griffith, a performance driven by Lonesome's narcissistic, power-driven appropriation of the country. But, arguably, more unsettling is the "journey" of Patricia Neal's Marcia Jeffries, created by the collaborating auteurs.
Initially a small-town journalist who works for her uncle's modest media outlet in Pickett, Arkansas, she produces a popular, raggy radio show titled "A Face in the Crowd" that exploits Lonesome's conservative radicalism and, by extension, celebrates Marcia as his most enthusiastic benefactor/enabler.
At the outset, oblivious to his danger, Marcia wears a little straw hat (photo above) and brandishes a tiny, hand-held tape recorder. She's rather quaint. Towards the end of the film, her transformation/makeover into a Martini-sipping sophisticate who hangs out in dark bars is complete (photo below).
And the process doesn't take very long.
Punctuation Police... For close to 30 years, I've engaged in a running battle with copy editors about the absence of an apostrophe in the title of D. A. Pennebaker's 1965-67 Bob Dylan documentary. It's "Dont Look Back," not "Don't Look Back." Editors have invariably added the apostrophe.
As explined on Wikipedia, "The original title of this film is Dont Look Back, without an apostrophe in the first word. D. A. Pennebaker, the film's writer director, decided to punctuate the title this way because 'It was my attempt to simplify the language.'"
Despite the DVD's title, Dylan never never recorded a song titled "Dont Look Back," per reader Bill Wolf in his response below.
In the commentary track to the DVD release, Pennebaker said that the title came from the Satchel Paige quote, "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you," and that Dylan shared this view.
That voice!: And it's rarely noted, but director Morton Da Costa provided the voice of Edwin Dennis reading his last Will and Testament during the opening moments of Da Costa's film of "Auntie Mame."
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~photography: Warner Bros. 1957©