The Associated Press was a little slow in moving a story on Andy Griffith’s death today so I quickly penned one myself for telegram.com. I had to mention Lonesome Rhodes.
Of course, everyone remembers Griffith as Andy Taylor in “The Andy Griffith Show” and then later in life as wily old attorney Ben Matlock in “Matlock.” But if you’ve never seen his breakthrough role in 1957′s “A Face in the Crowd,” then you may have missed out on the best performance of his career. In it, Griffith played a down-and-out hobo who rockets to stardom and then falls under the crushing weight of his own fame. This is no Sheriff Taylor.
The role put Griffith on the map and launched his career and it really stretched his emotional range in a way we just never saw in later performances where he played characters known for their level-headedness and modesty.
If you’ve never seen it — and even if you have — grab a copy of “A Face in the Crowd.” You’ll see a Griffith in an entirely new way.