From Twitter: Ron Howard @RealRonHoward
Andy Griffith His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I’m forever grateful RIP Andy
Most of us remember Andy as Sheriff Andy Taylor (249 episodes) or as Matlock (181 episodes). There’s one more role you might have missed.
Griffith’s first movie role was Lonesome Rhodes in ‘A Face in the Crowd.’ He played one of the most despicable on-screen characters ever–a two faced, power hungry megalomaniac. Rhodes was a backwoods musician catapulted to instant fame on television. Once he saw what his fame brought he wanted more and wouldn’t let truth, propriety, or even the contempt he held for his own fans stand in his way.
The movie starred Griffith and Patricia Neal. It was written by Budd Schulberg and directed by Elia Kazan who had paired earlier for Brando’s ‘On The Waterfront.’.
From Bosley Crowther’s review, New York Times – May 29, 1957: In a way, it is not surprising that this flamboyant Lonesome Rhodes dominates the other characters in the story and consequently the show. For Mr. Schulberg has penned a powerful person of the raw, vulgar, roughneck, cornball breed, and Mr. Griffith plays him with thunderous vigor, under the guidance of Mr. Kazan.
This is Andy Griffith in a way you’ve never seen him. He was gritty and evil.
The movie still runs on Turner Classic Movies from time-to-time. It was a role of a lifetime and worth seeing even today.