‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Director Richard Crenna Said Only Issue He Had with Show Was the ‘Front Door Opened the Wrong Way’

by Clayton Edwards

The Andy Griffith Show was great. It transported viewers and its cast back in time. While on the set, the cast and crew became the citizens of Mayberry. It was an idyllic place. But of course, issues arose.

Conflict is inevitable even in wonderfully peaceful places like Mayberry. However, the citizens and, especially, good ol’ Sheriff Taylor knew how to sort everything out in the end.

There wasn’t much not to like about the series from a viewer’s perspective. However, Richard Crenna, who directed a large portion of the third season of the series, found one thing that drove him crazy. It was something that didn’t make any sense to him.

Crenna talked about the one problem he had on The Andy Griffith Show and how he fixed it in an interview with Archive of American Television before his death in 2003.

Richard Crenna’s Only Problem on The Andy Griffith Show

 Richard Crenna started directing The Andy Griffith Show at the beginning of the third season. He jumped at the chance to take the job when it was offered. Before taking the directing job, he already knew Andy, Don Knotts, and several other people who were involved with the series. So, he went into the new position feeling very comfortable.

Before working on that series, he directed about thirty episodes of The Real McCoys. Both shows had the same kind of humor, so that helped him to be even more comfortable with his new position. This was good. Because, when he saw a problem, he had no qualms about speaking up to get it fixed.

There weren’t many problems on The Andy Griffith Show. However, Crenna spotted on pretty quickly and he couldn’t let it go. The front door of the Taylor house opened the wrong way.

The door opened into the camera. Crenna noted that it had been doing so for the show’s entire run. One day, he asked, “Why is that door opening that way?”

He explained that the way the door opened made shooting scenes in the house clumsy. It cut off line-of-sight. So, when someone entered the house, they would have to open the door, walk in, and come around the door before you could get them in the frame. To him, that didn’t make any sense. So, he demanded that they re-hang the door to open the opposite direction.

That way, when someone entered the house, they would immediately be on-camera and shooting could run more smoothly. In the interview, Crenna said that changing the door was his only real contribution to The Andy Griffith Show. Other than that, his only goal was to keep the show as good as it had always been.