Ron Howard, a good guy | EW.com

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Ron Howard, a good guy

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Tonight I’ll be doing my TV critic’s duty watching MTV’s two new shows, Bromance and The City (horror-shows or guilty pleasures? we’ll decide tomorrow, OK?). But before they air, I’d advise you to check out tonight’s TCM special Ron Howard: 50 Years In Film (8 pm/EST). (This ends up being a coincidental follow-up to yesterday’s post on The Andy Griffith Show, in which Howard played Opie.)

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Tonight’s documentary focuses, in extensive interviews, on Howard as an adult. Howard is nothing if not modest, and he’s built a tidy, modest career as a director. I really like the first feature he directed, a fast little B-picture from 1977 called Grand Theft Auto, which TCM will air after the documentary. Sure, this documentary is timed to promote Howard’s latest film, Frost/Nixon, but it doesn’t smell of plugola. Under the guidance of director Richard Schickel, Ron Howard: 50 Years In Film is as quietly thoughtful as its subject. Sure, Howard has directed some clunkers (How The Grinch Stole Christmas; Willow), but he’s provided a lot of undeniable mass-audience pleasure.

So I ask you: What’s your favorite Ron Howard-directed film? Splash? Cocoon? Apollo 13? A Beautiful Mind? Or some other work by the red-haired man, whom I’ll always admire for the way he narrated Arrested Development?