The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - Weird Comfort Watching
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Weird Comfort Watching|
A Face in the Crowd (1957) with Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau, Lee Remick and Anthony Franciosa.
This is not "Andy from Mayberry". I love this movie because (a)Every time I watch it I think, "Dammit, Andy Griffith was a hell of an actor" (b)You could remake this story and set it in 2012 and no one would know the difference.
Griffith plays a drifter in the deep South who finds himself in the local jail for public drunkenness. As part of a local color story he gets the chance to sing a song with his guitar on a local radio show. He is a hit and the movie traces his path from local to state to national fame. It's from the Paddy Chayefsky school of screenwriting and you can smell the heat of summer in the rural South as well as the hear the whisper of the city from a penthouse.
It's a freaking gem.
I've seen part of this and would love to watch the rest of it. I love the line, "This is not Andy from Mayberry." I have a similar reaction watching Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo - it was so against type to have him play someone so genuinely creepy.
Hrm. Now I want to see Andy Griffith act.
Having grown up with The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock being proverbially stuffed down my throat, this is completely different from anything he had done before and most of what he did afterward. I read somewhere that after he did this movie, he loved working with Elia Kazan (who directed it) but that he never wanted to play a character like that again.
Tony Franciosa was brilliant as Griffith's best friend, too.