No Time for Sergeants (1958) starring Andy Griffith
Technically, No Time for Sergeants is Don Knotts first movie. However, his time on-screen is very brief, playing a neurotic Army officer who gives Andy Griffith’s character, Will Stockdale, one of his tests. As a consolation, however, No Time for Sergeants is a hilariously funny movie. The basic plot has Will Stockdale being drafted into the Army, where attempts by other recruits to harass the country boy fail miserably, due to Will’s easy-going nature, lack of apprehension of some of the insults, and his incredible good luck. After being drafted into the Army’s Air Force, he becomes friends with Ben, whose sole desire is to serve in the Infantry instead, and soon becomes the foil for Irving, and for his barracks sergeant, who’s simply trying to serve out his time quietly … but due to Will’s unintentional interference, he’s soon in danger of losing his rank unless country bumpkin Will passes all of his tests in only 1 week.
It’s a truly laugh-out-loud comedy, as Will makes Army life unexpectedly difficult for his friend, his sergeant, and soon his commanding officers as well. The ending is quite hilarious, with Will, Ben, and the suffering Sergeant King all being transferred to the Infantry — as two commanding officers stand helplessly by. It’s a wonderful build-up to a moment pointing out some of the craziness of life in the military, a good clean comedy, and very highly recommended.
Product Description of No Time for Sergeants
Georgia farm boy Will Stockdale is about to bust with pride. He’s been drafted. Will’s ready. But is Uncle Sam ready for Will? In No Time for Sergeants, Andy Griffith is certifiably funny in the role that clinched his stardom. Wearing a friendly, wide grin, he ambles into the U.S. Air Force — and lots of folks’ll never be the same. They include pint-sized Ben (Nick Adams), big-city bruiser Irvin (Murray Hamilton) and a jittery aptitude tester (Don Knotts). Finally, there’s Sgt. Orville King (Myron McCormick), a don’t-rock-the-boat old-timer driven crazy by Will’s gee-whiz efforts at friendship. Griffith, McCormick and Knotts reprise their winning performances from No Time for Sergeants’ smash Broadway run. Breezily directed by the veteran Mervyn LeRoy (Mister Roberts), it’s definitely time for entertainment!
Editorial review of No Time for Sergeants (1958) starring Andy Griffith, courtesy of Amazon.com
Andy Griffith burst to stardom with this surprisingly funny film adaptation of the Broadway comedy (by, of all people, Ira Levin of Rosemary’s Baby fame). Griffith plays a hillbilly who is drafted into the army where, among other things, he has to wear shoes regularly for the first time. Griffith brings an engaging glee to the role of this likable bumpkin, whose happy-go-lucky demeanor is impervious to insult. Ask him to clean the latrines and he rigs the toilet seats to stand up and salute. The film follows him through basic training and into the paratroops, where he becomes an unlikely hero. A solid supporting cast includes Griffith’s future sidekick, Don Knotts; Nick Adams; and, most notably, the hilariously sullen Myron McCormick. — Marshall Fine