The Wash. Post entertainment columnist mentioned this during a chat today:
Turner Classic Movies will air an Andy Griffith tribute on July 18 and the lineup is a good one. Do not miss "A Face in the Crowd" if you've never seen it. It's a whole different side of Griffith -- directed by Elia Kazan. It's at 8 that night. They're also showing "No Time for Sergeants," etc...
Meanwhile, TV Land has scheduled an "Andy Griffith Show" marathon this weekend.
Alas, I'm on basic analog cable and Cox in its infinite wisdom took TCM away from us a couple years ago.
A good TV movie to dig up if you want to see the darker side of Griffith is...Savages
(no relation to this weekend's Oliver Stone movie; this 1974 movie was based on a novel called Deathwatch)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072116/plotsummary
A successful Los Angeles lawyer and hunter, Madec, (Andy Griffith) receives a rare permit to hunt Bighorn Sheep in the nearby Mojave Desert. He hires a timid college student named Ben (Sam Bottoms), who will drive him into the desert with his Jeep CJ and help show Madec where the bighorn are. Ben is studying to be a geologist, so therefore he knows the desert very well.
After accidentally shooting an old prospector with his Winchester Model 70 rifle and trying to cover it up, Ben argues that the honest thing to do would be for the two of them to report the accidental shot, but Madec is too important to sit in jail. It is then that Madec decides to eliminate the only witness to the crime, Ben. Madec forces Ben to strip down to nothing but his shorts at gunpoint.
Madec decides that this will be easy, because he will not have killed Ben himself, and he will make up a story saying that the two became separated, Ben went crazy, tore off all his clothes and died within a matter of hours due to dehydration and heat. Ben sees this as an opportunity to walk forty five miles to the nearest highway.
But Madec won't let this accidental kill destroy his career, so he is watching him the whole way and aiming at him with his powerful rifle. The rifle's power shows as the old prospector's lungs are blown out of his back. After trying to climb a butte, Ben is shot by Madec causing him to fall giving him back injuries. Time is running out as he begins to hallucinate. Suffering from dehydration, hunger, sunburn, and gunshot wounds, Ben needs to find, food, water, shelter, and a weapon to stop Madec and save himself.
I remember my brother and I watching this on TV when it premiered in 1974. It has a a cool ending: