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Andy Griffith Show Memories : Episode #17 - Alcohol and Old Lace

Updated on January 31, 2008

Alcohol and Old Lace


Andy And Barney, on the hunt for moonshine stills, are surprised when the trail leads them to two seasoned sisters.

Episode Number: 17 Season Number: 1

First Aired: January 30, 1961

Writers: Jack Elinson, Charles Stewart

Director: Gene Reynolds

Cast/Crew/Guest Stars

  • Ron Howard (Opie Taylor)
  • Don Knotts (Barney Fife)
  • Andy Griffith (Sheriff Andy Taylor)
  • Frances Bavier (Aunt Bee Taylor)
  • Howard McNear (Floyd Lawson)
  • Hal Smith (Otis Campbell)
  • Jack Prince (Ben Sewell)
  • Charity Grace (Jennifer Morrison)
  • Gladys Hurlbut (Clarabelle Morrison)
  • Thom Carney (Rube Sloan)

Episode Summary

Andy and Barney believe they have clamped the lid shut on mooshining after making arrests from tips provided by Mayberry's florists, the Morrison Sisters. An inebriated Otis quickly convinces them otherwise and they set out to find and destroy the still that furnished Otis with his spirits. Despite combing the entire county for the still, it's actually Opie who makes the big break in the case. While gathering flowers at the Morrison Sister's nursery, he wanders into their hothouse and gets a glimpse of what he call their "flower making machine." He brings his bouquet of flowers to the courthouse to show Andy and to get a vase that doesn't "smell funny." As he's leaving Opie mentions the so-called machine and describes it to Andy and Barney. Andy and Barney realize, much to the chagrin of of a sobered up Otis, that what Opie saw was a moonshine still. They close in on the Morrison Sisters and their still. Although the Morrison Sisters claim they were selling their "elixer" only for special occasions and celebrations, it's clear they've not only been selling to anyone clever enough to come up with an occasion, but were eliminating their competition by turning in other moonshiners. Despite their lawlessness, Andy only has Barney destroy the still and does not arrest the elderly ladies. Barney takes his trusty ax and "POW POW POW!" - moonshining is dead in Mayberry for the time being.


  • Jack Prince makes his first appearance in the series as moonshiner Ben Sewell. He would later play the same basic character under the name Rafe Hollister. Jack Prince was a trained vocalist. Andy Griffith wanted him to have a larger role in the series, but Prince felt it would take away from his successful singing career.
  • The title of the episode was taken from the title of the 1944 Frank Capra film Arsenic and Old Lace which featured two elderly sisters who were homicidal maniacs.
  • The series was filmed entirely in Hollywood, at Desilu Productions on the former RKO Pictures lot. Mayberry exteriors were shot on the former Selznick International Pictures lot, later known as Forty Acres. The rural fishing hole that opened each episode was Franklin Canyon Lake, just north of Beverly Hills. Franklin Canyon was also the site of the show's Myers Lake and other outdoor locales.
  • The whistled theme song, "The Fishin' Hole" was composed by Earle Hagen (the music coordinator and famous whistler of the show) and Herbert Spencer, with unsung lyrics by Everett Sloane. Hagen also wrote the music for the series.

Andy: "After all... it is National Still Smashin' Day!"

More From Mayberry

Come join in the fun of The Andy Griffith Show Online Hangman Game. It's therapetic! Just take the link below:

The Andy Griffith Show Online Hangman Game

Also see:

Episode #1 - The New Housekeeper

Episode #2 - The Manhunt

Episode #3 - The Guitar Player

Episode #4 - Ellie Comes to Town

Episode #5 - Irresistible Andy

Episode #6 - Runaway Kid

Episode #7 - Andy the Matchmaker

Episode #8 - Opie's Charity

Episode #9 - A Feud is a Feud

Episode #10 - Ellie for Council

Episode #11 - Christmas Story

Episode #12 - Stranger in Town

Episode #13 - Mayberry Goes Hollywood

Episode #14 - The Horse Trader

Episode #15 - Those Gossipin' Men

Episode #16 - The Beauty Contest



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    • profile image

      kacy morrison 

      6 years ago

      This is one of my favorites.. The Morrison Sisters. Maybe because that is my maiden name. I was looking @ when it first aired . I wasn't until December of 1961. Love these shows, good ,clean entertainment!!


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