The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1/ Episode 27: Ellie Saves A Female: April 17, 1961. 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS:
The episode opens in Walker’s Drug Store- a young woman is looking at the cosmetics that are setting out. Ellie comes over and samples her up. Andy walks in- and knows her- she is Frankie Flint- a farm girl. Ellie who had sprayed some perfume called ‘Midnight Madness’ on Frankie- sprays some on Andy. Ellie tries to give some samples of the cosmetics to Frankie but she says her father wouldn’t want her to have them. As she leaves the drug store Frankie eyes the cosmetics over again- clearly fascinated.
After Frankie leaves Ellie talks about how she feels sorry for Frankie. Andy tells her she hasn’t been around these parts very long- that people don’t like others interfering in their business. Opie comes in- and smelling the perfume on Andy- tells him he smells pretty and asks him if he’s been to a beauty parlor.
When Andy walks into the jail Barney notices the perfume on Andy and ribs him some. Andy doesn’t like it and Barney reminds him that it’s ok when you tease me but it’s not funny when the joke is on you. Ellie then walks in. She’s not giving up on Frankie and the cosmetics. Andy brings up his objections but Barney steps up and talks real brave about what he’d do. Ellie then convinces Barney to take the ‘female warpaint’ out to the Flint farm to Frankie. But the more Barney thinks about it- he backs down- to which Ellie sweet talks Andy into doing it.
Andy and Ellie show up at the Flint farm-and Frankie is in her work clothes sawing wood. Ellie has a box of samples on her and tells Frankie what she has and it is being given to her- so she can give them feedback on how she likes them. Along comes Farmer Flint-and he is not a friendly fellow. He tells Andy and Ellie that ‘Frankie has no need for these things.’ Ellie tells him he’s not being fair- to which Farmer Flint tells her ‘It’s not for you to judge.’
They get back to town but Ellie isn’t backing down. Barney gets all brave again and talks tough- about what he’d say to Farmer Flint- so Ellie volunteers Barney to go out and just do that. Barney confronts Farmer Flint- but when he gets a negative reaction to Flint- he backs away- but he reminds himself that he promised Ellie- so he sneaks around the farm for a while- everywhere he goes Farmer Flint seems to be- but Barney avoids him. Finally Barney is in with the pigs when Frankie walks in. Barney tells her he is taking her into town. Frankie goes with him. Ellie dolls Frankie all up and brings the new Frankie- now Frances into the jail and they both are amazed at how pretty she now looks.
Andy and Ellie take Frances back to the farm. For some reason Farmer Flint must not have realized Frances had been gone? Farmer Flint doesn’t even recognize Frances. When he finds out who that other lady with Andy and Barney is- is Frances- he admits she looks very pretty but there is no use for that one the farm. The he has no sons and the farm is all he and Frances have.
Andy decides to try another tactic- backing Farmer Flint- but he tells him he isn’t using her efficiently. He takes Frances over and sits her on the fence- between the Flint farm and another farm where four young men are conveniently at work. Andy comes back to Farmer Flint and suggests that a more efficient way to use Frankie may be to marry her off- and he’d have a son in law etc… to which Farmer Flint says nothing but smiles and shakes his head. Andy has a point I guess.
In the final segment- Frances is again in the drug store all dressed up looking at the cosmetics. Barney comes in and Andy and Ellie make him out to be the hero –and Andy says he needs to be decorated- and sprays him with some of the ‘Midnight Madness’ perfume- to which Barney flips out- and leaves the store in a huff.
- Andy has slid back into his homespun country talk of earlier in the season- which is annoying. Barney and Ellie are the strong points of this uneven episode. 60 years ago this episode may have gotten by but I think it would draw some criticism today- especially at the end where Andy is basically telling Farmer Flint that his daughter could be used for breeding.
- The actor who played Farmer Flint- R. G. Armstrong was in fact in real life-one of Andy Griffith’s best friends.
- Costs of things- Opie when he makes his brief appearance in the episode- asks for 5 cents for a candy bar. Frankie in the drug store gets chewing tobacco for her father- which costs 20 cents.
- As I mentioned in the summary- usually it is Andy poking fun at Barney- in this episode Barney gets to poke fun at Andy [ the perfume]
- Of course this is the only episode where we see Farmer Flint and his daughter Frankie.
Andy Griffith- Sheriff Andy Taylor
Don Knotts- Deputy Barney Fife
Rony Howard- Opie Taylor
Elinor Donahue- Ellie Walker
Edris March- Frankie ‘Frances’ Flint
R.G. Armstrong- Farmer Flint
Bob McQuain- Jenkins Boy
Directed by Bob Sweeney
Written by Frank Tarloff