The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1/ Episode 7: Crime -Free Mayberry. November 20, 1961. 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS.
In this episode- a couple of con men come to town- one posing as an FBI man, the other as a photographer. The FBI man tells them in the latest crime reports Mayberry has been found to have the lowest crime rate of any town and he is in town to study how it is done. Of course Andy plays it down- and doesn’t seem all that excited or interested where Barney of course is not only taking a lot of the credit but is getting big headed over it. It isn’t until late in the episode that they zoom in on the FBI man and his photographer friend and we find out what Andy seems to have known all along that these two guys are trying to con them and rob the bank. A big ceremony is held- Mayor Pike presiding- and the FBI man talking and talking -while the photographer cracks the lock. When he cracks the lock and walks into the vault- he finds Andy sitting there waiting for him. He thanks the man- it took him only 15 minutes to get in- while for the last 15 years they hadn’t been able to get the vault open- since they lost the code and the company that made the vault had gone out of business. Barney is all bummed out- he was fooled. How did you know Andy- Andy told him no FBI man would be photographed like this etc.
A cleverly written show. I hadn’t seen this one in some time and was surprised myself when it turned out these two guys were crooks. Barney is of course Barney in this episode- writing songs about himself and Andy to make them into folk heroes- and Andy is the Andy we are coming to know and like in this season- the smartest man in town who is a couple steps ahead of everyone else- but not being showy about it. There is a lot going on in this episode- and a lot of characters involved- but it’s all done well. The Andy-Barney relationship plays well in this episode also. Another 5 star episode.
Andy Griffith- Sheriff Andy Taylor
Don Knotts- Deputy Barney Fife
Ronny Howard- Opie Taylor
Frances Bavier- Aunt Bee Taylor
Howard McNear- Floyd Lawson
Hal Smith- Otis Campbell
Dick Elliot- Mayor Pike
George Petrie- Joe Layton
Stanley Farrar- Ray Watson
Elisabeth Talbot-Martin- Margaret Williamson
Edmon Ryan- Fred Jenkins
Directed by Bob Sweeney
Written by Paul Henning