Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The versatile Mr. Griffith

I originally posted this back in 2009.  I have been so sad about the death of my Fantasy Father, Sheriff Andy Taylor, that I forgot about this movie. Andy Griffith could be a devastating villain, and in the age of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, his performance is even more impressive.


Bad Andy

Back in 1957, a virtual unknown named Andy Griffith played a virtual unknown named Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes. His easy, "aw shucks" charm covers a dark heart and massive ego. Thanks to his natural talent and a knack for knowing what the public wants, Lonesome rises rapidly from a 2-minute radio curiosity to a national TV sensation, selling his loyal audience on everything from his sponsors' products to the candidates who bribe him. He's a complete, charismatic fraud.

This movie, A Face in the Crowd, was made years before Andy Griffith became Sheriff Andy Taylor and put Mayberry on the map. It's rattling to see him as a hard drinking, coarse, cruel womanizer and opportunist. I guess I forgot he was an actor, not a small-town lawman. And the comparison between Rhodes and a certain right wing radio commentator who today is drunk with his own power and importance is inescapable.

If you get a chance to see A Face in the Crowd, don't miss it. I'm watching it on TCM right now and am hooked. 

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to check this out because I can't imagine him as a boozy lout.


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