Andy Griffith, one of America's most beloved actors, passed away recently. We remember him so well as the sheriff of Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show or as Private Will Stockdale in No Time For Sergeants. We may also remember him as Matlock, from the TV series of the same name. A select few might also remember him from his short lived Science Fiction series Salvage One. Always he was the mild mannered father- like figure who seemed to get the job done with down- home wisdom and honest effort. So what would you say if I told you that after watching Andy in his first film A Face in the Crowd, I was unable to watch Sheriff Andy without thinking "What a sleezeball?"
A Face in the Crowd features Andy Griffith as down on his luck drifter Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes. Lonesome's one possession besides the clothes on his back is his guitar. His ability to play, sing and his gift for gab reminiscent of Will Rodgers, take him from an Arkansas jail to radio and finally to television. Like many talk radio personalities Lonesome Rhodes uses his show to foster his own ideals. Fame takes its toll and power corrupts. Lonesome is caught in his own trap and like a page out of today's news he is revealed for who he really is. This film is a must see for Andy Griffith fans; a chance to see him at his best in a role that is not typical of the image we have of him. I deeply mourn the loss of Andy Griffith. I will always remember him as Sheriff Andy Taylor and the kind hearted Will Stockdale. But I will never forget that as an actor he was much more than either of these parts and was easily able to take on whatever personality a role required.