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Andy Griffith, Villain – Gone

from The Atlantic

Why People Still Watch ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

Now as when it first aired, the series is a refuge from modern life, not a reflection of it.

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AP Images

Andy Griffith was a great villain. Anyone who has seen Griffith’s film début can attest to that. In 1957’s A Face in the Crowd, directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg, Griffith—who died today at age 86—plays a backwoods drifter who becomes a TV host and uses the show to gain political power. It’s a dark, brooding, quietly scary performance. It’s also stunning to watch.

That’s because Griffith’s public persona was anything but dark. The actor began on stage as a comic storyteller—jovial, self-effacing, and filled with folksy wisdom. That image would define him, despite the occasional foray into playing against type.

He first found fame with What it Was, Was Football. In it he portrayed a country bumpkin who stumbles upon a college football game and tries to figure out what he’s seeing. The routine, released as a single in 1953, became a novelty hit. Griffith jumped to TV, debuting in No Time for Sergeants. (A few years later, reprising the role on film, he would meet a short, gangly, bugged-eyed budding comic genius named Don Knotts.) More TV followed. In 1960, Griffith guest-starred on an episode of Make Room for Daddy, playing a country sheriff who catches city slicker Danny Thomas speeding in his fancy car.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on July 3, 2012 by Editor

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