The Film that Foretold the Rise of Trump

Dace in the crowd

Dace in the crowd

Face in the Crowd

By David Johanssen

Trump’s bombast and apparent megalomania may have no precedent in presidential campaigns, but the template for his remarkable rise and the potential for a hard fall were laid out in a classic film half a century ago. A Face in the Crowd, is a 1957 movie written by Budd Schulberg and staring Andy Griffith as Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, a folksy, charming Arkansas traveler who soars from a filthy jail cell to the pinnacle of American celebrity and political power. Like Trump, Rhodes offers a reminder that one person’s demagoguery is another’s populism. Add a dose of arrogance, and the result looks to some like a dramatic fall waiting to happen.

Documentary and Discussion
How Capitalism Is Killing Itself
Fri, May 20, 5pm
50 pesos

Documentary and Discussion
Einstein’s Extraordinary Universe
Sat, May 21, 5pm
50 pesos

Documentary and Discussion
Where to Invade Next
Wed, May 25, 5pm
100 pesos (includes drink)

A Face in the Crowd
Fri, May 27, 5pm
100 pesos (includes drink)

Documentary and Discussion
Michael Moore Hates America
Sat, May 28, 5pm
50 pesos

All events at: Shelter Theater
Vicente Guerrero 4
154 7524

Friday, May 27, at 7pm: A Face in the Crowd. In this film we see a character, like Trump, who dares to say what regular folks privately think; who has few, if any, filters; and who gets away with rogue behavior because he’s charming and, eventually, successful. 100 pesos (includes drink).

Saturday, May 21, at 5pm: Einstein’s Extraordinary Universe. One hundred years have passed since Albert Einstein first unleashed his highly influential Theory of General Relativity unto the world. These revelations charted a future course of scientific pursuit and never cease to inform our understanding of the universe today. Einstein’s work continues to challenge, shape, and inspire the scientific discoveries of tomorrow. Discussion to follow. 50 pesos.

Wednesday, May 25, at 5pm: Where to Invade Next. Filmmaker Michael Moore visits various countries to examine how Europeans view work, education, health care, sex, and equality. Moore looks at the benefits of schooling in France, Finland, and Slovenia. In Italy, he marvels at how workers enjoy reasonable hours and generous vacation time. In Portugal, Moore notes the effects of the decriminalization of drugs. Through his travels, we discover just how different America is from the rest of the world. 100 pesos (includes drink).

Shelter Theater is part of the Shelter VG4 Cultural Center, located at Vicente Guerrero 4, a short walk from the Jardín down Insurgentes. Telephone 154 7524 or visit to see upcoming events. Shelter VG4’s theater and class/performance space are available for rent.


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