Mayberry Man, a new film by the sons of an Andy Griffith Show guest star, premiered on September 5 in Danville, Indiana. Stark and Cort Howell, sons of Hoke Howell who played PFC Dudley A. “Dud” Wash on the show, initially funded the film with a Kickstarter campaign. Now, it’s coming to theaters around the Midwest as well as a few choice streaming services.
The movie was presented at the Heartland International Film Festival on Oct. 9 in Indiana. Fans can also watch the festival online until Oct. 17 at heartlandfilm.org. As far as theaters go, the film is booked by request. If you want to see it on the big screen in your town, information is on mayberryman.com. There are a few dates in Indiana, for those of you who live there. On Oct. 17 it’s playing at the Historic Aircraft Theater in Franklin, Indiana; on Oct. 21 through 28 it’ll be at Yes Cinema in Columbus, Indiana.
Mayberry Man is also available to rent or buy on Amazon, which began on Oct. 1, or fans can purchase a DVD from the website.
What Is ‘Mayberry Man’ About?
Mayberry Man follows Chris Stone, a disgruntled actor and son of a fictional Andy Griffith Show star as he’s court-ordered to attend a Mayberry Fest. While he’s there, he meets the residents of the small town, who recreate the show’s characters like Barney Fife and Floyd Lawson. Being surrounded by the wholesome atmosphere and meeting so many people affected by the show gradually changes Chris’ attitude towards life.
The movie mostly filmed in Mount Airy, North Carolina, Andy Griffith’s real hometown. A good portion of the film also put Danville, Indiana on the map. Mount Airy was the inspiration for Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show; the town celebrates with an annual Mayberry Days festival, which in turn was the inspiration for Mayberry Man.
What’s cool about Mayberry Man is that the film crowdfunded nearly $200,000 to start the budget off, and gave people who donated small roles in the movie as extras.
Howell knew he couldn’t just recreate the classic 1960s series in a movie; he had to come up with a totally original concept. The idea came to him while he was at a Mayberry festival in 2018, signing autographs in his father’s place, and grew from there. Howell described it as “almost a period piece without being a period piece.” The film is chock-full of wholesome Mayberry imagery, which lends to the overall tone of the movie.
Chris Hudson, director of The Mayberry Effect documentary, spoke to the Indy Star about Mayberry Man, saying, “I think that whole nostalgia wave right now helps a movie like Mayberry Man’ because it just gets down to the humanity of us all.”