Thoughts From The Andy Griffith Show Episode Andy and the Gentleman Crook (1961)
Synopsis: The Mayberry jail is picked to temporarily house famous con man 'Gentleman' Dan Caldwell (Dan Tobin). His personality manages to charm everyone he talks to from his cell, especially Opie (Ron Howard). However, Andy (Andy Griffith) is suspicious of Dan's motives.
How long does Opie get for a school lunch? Apparently, it is long enough for him to come all the way over to the courthouse, have a picnic lunch with his dad and aunt, and walk back to the school. That seems like an awfully long time, even by 1960s standards, especially since, as far as I can tell, the school isn't across the street.
Andy is lucky not to have been shot. Yeah, I get the comedy aspect of Barney (Don Knotts) accidentally shooting the floor while practicing his quick draw skills. I'm just saying, with him waiving that gun around as much as he was, it's very fortunate a stray bullet didn't catch the sheriff right between the eyes. I feel like maybe he needs to go to some sort of gun safety training before getting his gun back, especially since this episode also proved he doesn't know how to keep track of it.
Why is the sheriff's office so dirty? Andy and Barney spend most of their time hanging around in the courthouse doing nothing. Neither of them thought to pick up a broom and mop before they had a special prisoner? It's not even as though they have a television or cell phones to keep them distracted. Heck, if nothing else, I would think Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) would insist on cleaning it for them. I highly doubt she would have put up with all that dirt.
How has Opie not been kidnapped or worse? Andy sure has no issue letting his young son converse with all sorts of dangerous criminals. Behind bars or not, that can't be safe. What if there was a jailbreak? Wouldn't taking the sheriff's son hostage be a guaranteed ticket out of the county? Yes, I know he got a little suspicious this time around but it's not like he made any effort to stop it.
I wish they would have done a slightly better job telling us more about Gentleman Dan. I get he's supposed to be a celebrity criminal, but, other than a few hints, the episode never fully explains why he's so famous. I feel like there is information missing. Simply committing crimes couldn't possibly be enough.
Where were the rest of Mayberry's residents? This is a town that once turned out in full force just to watch an armored truck pass through. You mean to tell me the jail has a famous criminal and not one single person in town found an excuse to go to the courthouse? Did the writers forget where this episode was taking place?
Final Opinion: The overall episode proved to be kind of predictable, especially when Gentleman Dan tried to make his escape. However, I still thought the episode had enough funny moments to make it worth taking the time to watch at least once.
My Grade: B