The side of Andy we don’t choose to remember

I just thought I’d put this up to remind everyone what Andy Griffith was actually capable of as an actor.

This was the only time he showed this kind of scary depth. And I suppose the reason for that is, people preferred his lighter, friendlier side. People didn’t want to be frightened by Andy Griffith. If I had been his agent, I confess, I’d have recommended he keep on being Andy Taylor, so I can’t blame anyone that he never developed a Robert De Niro/Edward Norton kind of rep. His being typecast made the world a warmer place.

But he had this talent, so it should be acknowledged.

20 thoughts on “The side of Andy we don’t choose to remember

  1. `Kathryn Braun Fenner

    This came first.

    His obit in the Raleigh paper says Matlock was closest to his real personality. It also talks about how he never forgot being called white trash by a girl in Mt. Airy and how he seldom went back there.

  2. bud

    A Face in the Crowd was a brilliant acting performance by Andy. It showed the world his versatility. I also liked him in No Time for Seargants. Later in life his country lawyer role as Matlock was also terrific. But his portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor in Mayberry will always be what we know him for. RIP Andy Griffith. You will be missed.

  3. Silence

    I think it was “Dear Prudence” on who said that if you ever make a sex tape, label it “Matlock Season 1” so that your kids will throw it away and not watch it when they are cleaning out your house after you die.

  4. Silence

    @ bud – I can’t stand to watch scary Andy. No Time for Sergeants is one of my favorites however. I made reference to it recently on this very blog.

  5. Steven Davis II

    I have a friend in Mount Airy and big in the project to maintain their city as “Mayberry”. He said they invited Andy back to the annual celebration many times and I think he either turned them down or ignored their invitation nearly every year. I don’t know the reason, but I’m sure there’s more to it than having one girl call him white trash.

  6. Steven Davis II

    Silence, you’re “the best danged Sergeant in the whole danged” blog.

  7. `Kathryn Braun Fenner

    The obits say he felt like he was from the wrong side of the tracks and was made to feel like that growing up and did not like to return.

  8. Phillip

    FITC certainly blew me away the first time I saw it, including Griffith’s performance. I have to confess though that on a second and third viewing, the more unsubtle, hammering-the-message-thru-your-head aspects of it began to bug me a little. This, and some aspects of other movies by various left-leaning directors and writers of the 50’s and early 60’s, is where conservatives’ complaints about the contemptuous snobbery of liberal-media Manhattan/Hollywood types towards “flyover” America originated, and not without some justification. Kazan/Schulberg had more than a touch of the same condescension towards Middle America that Lonesome Rhodes articulates in the movie. (As if the only groups susceptible to fascistic “hypnotism” out there would be those with less “sophistication,” less of the natural cynicism of urbanity).

    But for anybody out there who has NOT seen Face in the Crowd, you really must see it. Whatever its flaws, it’s still a remarkable AND prescient film, and Griffith is dynamic.

  9. Ralph Hightower

    Two words:
    Rush Limbaugh
    Al Sharton
    Glenn Beck
    Jesse Jackson

    Actually, that’s eight! It does indicate the depth of Andy Griffith’s acting ability.

  10. Brad Warthen

    They ain’t the in-FAN-try. They’s the IN-fun-tree. They’s the REAL fighters. The Air Farce is just the heppers…

  11. `Kathryn Braun Fenner

    @Phillip–few older films meet the subtlety we have become used to in finer films of today. Some of that is simply because our viewing has evolved. Older films used to have to show all kinds of action that modern films can elide because we fill in the blanks.

    Plus, being blacklisted probably reduces your subtlety….

  12. jeffrey day

    Andy actually played the bad guy – in this case a really bad buy – in the 1983 TV movie Murder in Coweta County co-starting Johnny Cash. He even had a shaved head as they sent him to the electric chair. I’d never seen Andy before as a bad buy – I was in shock (no pun intended.)

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