‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Several Characters, Elements From the Show Went Into This Movie

by Megan Molseed

During his long career, actor Don Knotts has portrayed a variety of characters in multiple roles across TV and film. However, while Knotts has quite a resume of roles there is one that always stands out above the rest as his most recognizable and famous. This, of course, is his role as deputy Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show.

This popular classic TV series stars Andy Griffith as the Sheriff of the ideally sleepy small town of Mayberry. The fan-favorite series was chock-full of hilariously memorable characters. And, many of these same faces appear in the 1966 Don Knotts film The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. This film, notes MeTV, is pretty much The Andy Griffith Show on the big screen.

Fans Of The Andy Griffith Show Get A Real Treat In One Don Knotts Film

Don Knotts stepped away from his Barney Fife character before The Andy Griffith Show officially went off the air. Because of this, there was an obvious Don-Knotts-sized hole missing in the series after the actor left.

However, fans were pleased when Knotts didn’t wait too long in his return to acting after stepping away from the TV series. It was only a short time before Knotts was seen on the big screen starring in the hilarious comedy The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Furthermore, Andy Griffith Show fans would soon learn that Knotts wasn’t the only familiar face to appear in this silver screen production.

The Ghost And Mr. Chicken Has A Lot In Common With The Classic TV Series

The writers behind the 1966 comedy film, James Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum are also the minds behind some of our favorite Andy Griffith Show episodes. These episodes include The Bank Job, High Noon in Mayberry, Mountain Wedding, and Citizen’s Arrest. So, they had some connections when casting the Don Knotts-led film.

In fact, the writers even turned to another one of the show’s writers, Harvey Bullock while developing the screenplay for The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. The film was even inspired by Bullock’s The Haunted House episode.

However, these are not the only connections The Ghost and Mr. Chicken has to the popular TV series. Many actors from The Andy Griffith Show are featured in the 1966 film. Some of these players include Hal Smith who plays the town drunk Otis Campbell in the comedy series. He portrays Calver Weems in the movie. Hope Summers who plays The Andy Griffith Show’s, Clara Edwards portrays Susanna Blush in the the1966 film.

Another familiar face from The Andy Griffith Show who appears in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken includes (among many others) the woman who portrays Barney Fife’s voice teacher in the series, Reta Shaw. Shaw portrays Mrs. Halcyon Maxwell in the movie. The film also features actor Cliff Norton as the bailiff. Norton portrays Wally of Wally’s Fillin’ Station in the hit Andy Griffith-led TV series.