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Return To Mayberry DVD Review


A rocky return.

1986’s “Return To Mayberry” is, of course, a follow-up/TV movie to the beloved “The Andy Griffith Show.” The plot finds Andy returning to Mayberry after spending 20 years in Cleveland. Upon his return, he discovers that things have changed and that Mayberry is changing with the times. Opie is about to be a father (and Andy a grandpa), Barney is running for Sheriff, and there appears to be some sort of lake monster (don’t ask). Basically, the plot is just an excuse to see most of the fan favorite characters again including Gomer and Goober.

As you can probably guess, “Return To Mayberry” is a nostalgic trip that is heavy on fan service. It’s basically one big reunion movie that allows fans of “The Andy Griffith Show” to catch up on the characters lives. The film is at its best when it actually focuses on the characters. Barney in particular has a rather strong character arc here and his story is easily the best part of the film. It doesn’t hurt that Don Knotts gives a strong and sometimes moving performance either.

Character moments aside, however, the movie often feels forced and, at times, very awkward. There’s something weird about seeing everyone and everything in color without a laugh track. On top of that, the movie includes some downright embarrassing and cringey moments including The Darlings music numbers and the profoundly stupid monster plot that drags the film down big time.


Presentation: 4:3. How does it look? Despite the presence of some dirt specs, the movie is in shockingly good shape. A very impressive transfer.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital Stereo. How does it sound? A perfectly fine transfer.

No extras.

Overall Thoughts: If you’re a long time fan of “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Return To Mayberry” is worth a watch just to see Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, Ron Howard and others back again. Just don’t expect anything resembling greatness.

June 8, 2017 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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