The Andy Griffith Show

Season 1 Episode 27

Ellie Saves a Female

Aired Monday 9:30 PM Apr 17, 1961 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
28 votes
  • Ellie saves a female... from a lack of lipstick and heels

    In this here episode, Ellie sets out to help poor Francis "Frankie" Flint, who is so busy doin' work more properly suited for the menfolk, she don't got no time fer more womanly pursuits, like wearin' per-fume and gettin' all gussied up. At first Andy reckons it ain't none of their never mind, even if Frankie does seem powerful glum. If'n her daddy wants to control how his daughter (who looks like she's well into her twenties) lives her life, why, that's only fittin' and proper. But common sense tells us that a woman who don't wear makeup and purty dresses is just plain defyin' the natchural order o' things. In the end, Sheriff Andy saves the day when he points out to ol' farmer Flint that the real value of a daughter is to act as bait fer a strappin' young husband who can do the choppin' and the plowin' hisself. That is, assumin' the feller in question don't got no high-falutin' notions 'bout gettin' a job other than farmin', like bein' a doctor or a teacher. But that won't happen as long as farmer Flint has a say in who Francis hitches up with.


    All joshin'... er, kidding aside, I'm perhaps being a little unfair towards this episode. The only part that really rubbed me the wrong way is Andy's solution to Francis' dilemma: convincing her father that her time would be better served landing a husband who can help out with the farm instead of her. Perhaps I'm seeing more sexism at play here than there really is. After all, if anybody in Mayberry was an advocate for defying gender stereotypes, it was Ellie. As for Andy, despite some sexist leanings, he didn't seem concerned about a woman doing farm work more traditionally done by males. It's only because "Frankie" was so obviously unhappy that the pair intervened.


    I agree with the other reviewer here that it's nice to see Ellie take charge- I just thought it was maybe a tad unfortunate that in this case, her big mission is to give another girl a makeover, especially since this is her penultimate episode. After her character mysteriously vanishes (maybe she ran off with the new doctor from the episode "The New Doctor"), there won't be anyone left around to buck the status quo or challenge Mayberry and the show's viewers with progressive notions about gender equality.


    The message I initially got from this episode was that a woman can't be happy unless she's allowed to look and act feminine, but now that I've thought about it some more, maybe that's not what was intended at all. The real tragedy wasn't that Frankie wasn't feminine enough, but that she didn't have a say in the matter. Maybe the episode was just saying that a woman should be allowed to live her life how she wants, which is an idea anybody should be able to get behind.
  • Pygmalion arrives in Mayberry!

    I love this episode for several reasons. Ellie Walker takes center stage and is a woman with a mission. It is nice to see a female character take charge (and that's why this particular character got phased out by the end of the season---she was much too cerebral for Andy). I love Barney "kidnapping" the farm girl, and his scene in the barn is HYSTERICAL! The ending of this episode is beyond perfect--and Andy Taylor shows his wisdom and ability to handle people in a beautiful and positive manner. I had tears in my eyes when I watched this episode for the first time. A wonderful example of the show's inherent gentleness and goodness.
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