‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Here’s How the Series is Linked to Iconic Film ‘Gone with the Wind’

by Suzanne Halliburton

Bet you didn’t know there’s a link between “The Andy Griffith Show,” a TV show set in a sleepy small town, and the flawed, but classic movie “Gone With the Wind.”

How could this be?

First, some background.

The Andy Griffith Show was a wildly popular program in the 1960s. The show ran from October, 1960 through April, 1968. It’s about a rural town in North Carolina. There’s no such place as Mayberry. But that was the TV home of Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith), his son Opie (Ron Howard) and Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier).

Taylor was the town sheriff and his cousin, Barney Fife (Don Knotts) was his deputy. The Mayberry citizens made the show so much fun, from Gomer and Goober Pyle, the gas station attendants, to Floyd the Barber to Otis, the town drunk, who locked himself into the jail.

The show ended its run on top. When Griffith quit after eight years, the Andy Griffith show was No. 1 in the ratings. The show spun off more programs, from Mayberry R.F.D., to Gomer Pyle. The character of Goober even made the transition to Hee Haw.

The show never won anything for comedy or drama. But Don Knotts dominated the outstanding supporting actor category at the Emmys. He won five times.

You can watch returns in either black and white or color.

Andy Griffith Show and Gone With The Wind Both Set In South

Meanwhile, there’s Gone With the Wind, the Civil War-era love story. The movie was released in 1939. It was based in Georgia, with parts of the movie set at Tara, the plantation owned by the O’Hara family. Much of the movie also was set in Atlanta.

The movie was the top-grossing film of the year. And it made more money than any other for the next 25 years. Critics also loved Gone With the Wind. The movie was nominated for 13 Academy Awards. It won 10, including best picture. Vivian Leigh, who played Scarlett O’Hara, won for best actress. Hattie McDaniel, who was Mamie, won for best-supporting actress.

So what’s the common link?

Think about geography — North Carolina versus Georgia. Was that it?

Sort of, but on the opposite end of the country.

Both the TV show and the movie were filmed on the same sound stage, but in California. So the rural south came from a studio in Culver City, near Los Angeles.

The studio is historic. It once was owned by reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. Legendary filmmakers Cecil B DeMille and David O. Selznick also had studio ownership. Selznick produced Gone With the Wind. The 1937 version of A Star Is Born also was filmed there.

It also was the site of a ton of TV shows, including Lassie, Batman, Scrubs, Cougar Town and Arrested Development.

When the Andy Griffith show was made there, it was called Desilu Studios. That was back when comedian Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz owned it.

So, now you know the link between the Andy Griffith Show and Gone With The Wind.