A reader writes:
In Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd (1957), Andy Griffith makes his film debut as Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes, a vagrant with folksy charm who gets put on the radio and turns out to be a genius at using good ol' country hokum to manipulate his audience into supporting the politics he supports. He ends up remaking an uptight Republican candidate into a 'reg'lar fella' who hunts, sits around the cracker barrel talking politics, etc. And eventually we see more and more of the manipulator behind Lonesome's mask and what he really thinks of his followers.
I've thought of A Face in the Crowd more than once since Sarah Palin's ascent, and even moreso since her "reality show" debuted. If the film were remade today, people would think Palin was a huge inspiration.