Andy Griffith made an unforgettable screen debut in this film as Lonesome Rhodes, a cracker-barrel philosopher discovered by Marcia Jeffries (Neal), who puts him on her local television station in Arkansas. His down-home wit and backwater jokes soon gain a wide audience, after which one of
the state's largest stations picks up his show, followed by a network, until his face is seen throughout the land and his homespun wisdom becomes the creed of large numbers of Americans. But Jeffries and her assistant, Mel Miller (Matthau), soon realize that good old "Lonesome Rhodes" is not the
kindly rural savant he appears to be.
Director Elia Kazan and writer Budd Schulbe...