The Andy Griffith Show

Season 2 Episode 6

Opie's Hobo Friend

2
Aired Monday 9:30 PM Nov 13, 1961 on CBS
7.4
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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A drifter shows up in Mayberry and strikes up a friendship with Opie, and Opie learns the hard way about choosing friends.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Outstanding Characterization

    10
    The Andy Griffith Show was first and foremost a comedy but every now and then they slip in an episode that's both poignant and meaningful not to mention very well written. What makes Opie's Hobo Friend a standout is both the timeless performance by Buddy Ebsen (known to most of the world for his role as Hillbilly patriarch Jed Clampett in The Bevery Hillbilllies) and the outstanding writing. The episode centers around Opie's relationship with David Browne, a seemingly sterotypical drifter still quite common in the 1960's. Browne's "fluid" view of the world is in sharp contrast with Andy's absolute morality and yet Browne is not portrayed as a bad guy but rather someone who, as he says eloquently, chooses a life most men only dream of. Browne's solution to Andy's delimma with Opie is the kind of stuff that you might see in movies and it's so well acted by both Ebsen and Griffith it really is unforgettable. Round out the episode with a great performance from a young Ron Howard and this really does stand out as one of the best episodes of the series.moreless
  • An amazing tour-de-force for Buddy Ebson!

    9.5
    This is one of the strongest, most powerful episodes in the series. In its quiet and delicate way the issue of morality and right and wrong is addressed in such a profound way that I was left haunted by the character of the hobo. The acting of Buddy Ebsen is so superb that all the actors are lifted up a notch or two in there portrayals (and that is saying a great deal as the acting in this show is almost always so professional). A not-to-be missed episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • David Browne: (on his influence on Opie) Who's to say that the boy would be happier your way or mine? Why not let him decide?
      Andy: No, I'm afraid it don't work that way. You can't let a young 'un decide for himself. He'll grab at the first flashy thing with shiny ribbons on it. Then when he finds out there's a hook in it, it's too late. Wrong ideas come packaged with so much glitter, it's hard to convince him that other things might be better in the long run. All a parent can do is say, "Wait. Trust me," and try to keep temptation away.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Buddy Ebsen appeared on The Andy Griffith Show less than a month after the release of Breakfast at Tiffany's - a movie in which he had a small but important role that revived his waning career and lead to his being cast as Jed Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. His appearance aired only a week before Crime-Free Mayberry - the episode his future boss, Paul Henning, penned for the show.

    • David Browne is a classic American archetype - the hobo. Although the hobo "lifestyle" saw its peak during the Great Depression, there were still a large number of these vagabond travelers around in the early 1960's. However, due in large part to the implementation of the welfare system in the mid 1960's and tougher local vagrancy laws, the hobo seemingly vanished from the American landscape by the end of the 60's.
      Andy's attitude toward David Browne, general acceptance without actual approval, was fairly common. Although most folks saw petty theft and vagrancy as crimes, hobo's were often tolerated due to the fact that many were simply down on their luck. What makes David Browne interesting is that he clearly chooses the life he lives. He appears to have both the intelligence and the ability to lead a "normal" life, but instead chooses to live the nomadic life - with all of its illusory freedoms.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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