The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

They Were Collaborators #373

Andy Griffith and Elia Kazan


Vanwall said...

An absolutely riveting performance by Griffith, plus scalding work by Matthau and Neal - it's so fascinatingly close-to-real, you can't not watch it, like a train wreck. A talent wasted in TV comedy dreck, Griffith is great on the recent "Waitress" - shows what he could've been doing for years.

Brent McKee said...

But how much of what he was doing instead was because people couldn't see him as more than just Andy of Mayberry or the guy who recorded "What it was was football." And I confess I get a laugh about that story of the backwoods minister who somehow gets into a football game in his quest for a "big orange" soft drink.

Peter L. Winkler said...

The early portion of the film where Neal discovers Lonesome Rhodes is very good. Alas, much as I love Schulberg's novels, the rest of the film is assaultive, unsubtle and shrill. Griffith is very good when he's not pushed to guffaw and yell too much, but really, the role of Lonesome should have gone to Mitchum.

Vanwall said...

Sure, it would've been a different film with Mitchum, and not particularly better - it's a black comedy, possibly the deepest, darkest ever to come out of the US, and it needed that kind of over-the-top performance from Griffith, I feel. I wonder what would've happened if he had never made "No Time for Sergeants".

Tommy O'C said...

Poor Andy Griffith. Wasting all those years along with the five-time Emmy winner Don Knotts on one of the all-time classic TV shows (and one that was often damn funny).

Yes, his acting ability was under-rated. But I don't think Griffith has the kind of regrets that the elitists here are projecting on to him.

And Mitchum in place of Griffith in A Face in the Crowd? I have two words for that: Cape Fear (the original). There, that's four words. No way. And as to "what would've happened if head never made 'No Time for Sergeants,' he might have spent years kicking around in middling Sixties fare.