• Unrated, 1 hr. 59 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Mervyn LeRoy
    In Theaters:
    May 29, 1958 Wide
    On DVD:
    May 4, 2010
  • Warner Home Video

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No Time for Sergeants Reviews

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jjnxn
jjnxn

Super Reviewer

August 4, 2011
Silly little comedy walks a fine line between charm and idiocy. What puts it over is the performances and the script full of humourous lines. Myron McCormick is wonderfully flustered as Sgt.King and Andy Griffith plays the simpleton Will Stockdale with just the right amount of innocence so he does't come across as a buffoon just a not very clever, naive but good hearted bumpkin. Nick Adams is also highly enjoyable as Andy frustrated buddy. Don Knotts only has one scene but he steals it.
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

July 17, 2008
Hysterically funny.
kenscheck
September 23, 2012
Andy Griffith rose to fame through his early comedic albums (such as his hilarious description of the game of football) and his performance in the teleplay "No Time For Sergeants", a role he returned to on Broadway and then finally...in this feature length film version from 1958. Griffith is funny as the happy-go-lucky but not too bright Will Stockdale, a country boy drafted into the US Air Force. Griffith is great in the lead, and you can see why he became popular enough to garner his own TV series...and if you watch the early episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" you can see that Griffith is playing Stockdale and his persona from his records a bit, before toning it down to become the best straight man in sitcom history. Don Knotts also has a small role in the film, but a memorable one.
wolverineland
February 26, 2011
You can clearly see where Griffith received his inspiration for the Gomer Pyle character when you see his performance in No Time For Sergeants. Griffith plays a Georgia hillbilly named Will Stockdale who is drafted into the U.S. Air Force and becomes a constant pain in the butt to his easy going but also spit and polish Sgt. King played by the likeable Myron McCormick. Nick Adams plays Stockdale's friend and bunkmate Ben Whitledge and great character actor Murray Hamilton plays the awesome role of Irvin Blanchard, a middle aged college boy who always wears shades and who relishes the bully role in Stockdale's barracks. This hilarious film follows one romp after another as Will is constantly trying to help his buddy Ben get transferred into the infantry. Based on the hit Broadway play with Griffith & McCormick reprising their roles for the film.
chiphall72
July 14, 2007
It's a little over-the-top, but Andy Griffith is very likable as the naive draftee. It's a fun ride.
realkelleytoo
June 15, 2007
tihs is the first film i saw andy in.when i saw it as a child i didnt get alot out of it,but,as an adult i thought it was a major hoot! if you like andy griffith,this one is for you. realkelleytoo
April 19, 2014
Screwball military classic. Seems like the Forrest Gump of his day. Griffith and Knotts outside of Mayberry in different roles. Demonstrating the wisdom of the adage, "If you can't beat em, join em."
The Movie King
September 21, 2013
Before he played the Sheriff without a gun Andy Taylor in what is likely the greatest TV comedy of all-time, The Andy Griffith Show, Andy Griffith started his wonderful career out with a little-known comedy called No Time for Sergeants. While it's not that well-known today, the film helped make Andy Griffith more popular, which led to his role in the acclaimed show I mentioned. As for the film, I can clearly see why Andy was so excellent in his roles.

In the film, Andy Griffith plays Will Stockdale, a Southern American farmer who's been drafted to serve in the Air Force. Despite being dragged to the base in handcuffs (due to his father hiding the draft notices), Stockdale is excited about serving his country, but his lack of knowledge of the military in general brings him to the subject of ridicule. But Stockdale, despite this, still intends to make things right, but he unintentionally keeps annoying his fellow army men.

The film also features Nick Adams as Stockdale's army pal Ben, who longs to join the infantry, Murray Hamilton as Private Irwin, who, according to Stockdale, is suffering from a "disease" called ROTC, Myron McCormick as the annoyed Sergeant King, and in his big-screen debut, Don Knotts makes a one-scene appearance as a coordination officer.

The story started out as a famous novel which was then made into a TV movie also starring Griffith, which would then be made into a Broadway play. Either way you see it, the film version of No Time for Sergeants is a very funny comedy.

Now I was a little skeptical of the film first cause it takes its time for it to develop. The opening scene with Griffith being recruited I felt was a little stereotypical when it comes to depictions of Southerners and there just wasn't much comedy in this scene. But once we go into the barracks, then the film becomes a truly funny masterpiece. Tons of comedic sequences are put in this film, and they're very funny, which is funny cause the film was directed by Mervyn LeRoy, who was best known for directing dramas like I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang. But, the great thing is, the comedy is truly funny comedy.

Who makes the film the funny film it is? Well, the answer is easily Andy Griffith. Like his role as Andy Taylor in the already mentioned masterpiece show he starred in for eight years, Griffith could have made his Southern drawl comedic approach a little goofy and silly, but what he does is take the drawl, make it into an form of innocence, and creates a dumb but truly funny character. He also can move people in terms of American pride, especially in a scene where Griffith compliments a trumpeter playing "Taps". As for the comedy, Griffith leads into some very hilarious moments in the film, such as a scene where he becomes the "Public Latrine Officer", a sequence involving Don Knotts (who, just like he would steal the show as Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show, would steal his one scene here), a sequence involving a psychiatrist, and the ending involving his supposed death. Nick Adams also had some memorable moments as Griffith's army buddy, and while it might have been funnier had Don Knotts done the role, Adams was still funny in the role just the same. Myron McCormick is also funny as the annoyed Sergeant King, particularly in his facial expressions.

No, it will never outdo The Andy Griffith Show, but for his first film appearance, Andy Griffith provides that sense of innocence and simple country humor that makes No Time for Sergeants a funny film. If you loved The Andy Griffith Show, then you would enjoy this film as well.
February 28, 2013
Great little comedy made before Andy & Barney would be household names.
STARPORT75
June 6, 2010
I love this one. Andy Griffith was great. I've never seen a comedy quite like this.
September 15, 2012
A laugh out loud comedy classic. I don't know how many times I have seen this and find it refreshingly funny. Refreshing because it's a film with no profanity and no sexual innuendos, just damn funny. A naive country bumpkin, Will Stockdale (Andy Griffin), is drafted into the air force where he is a fish out of water. Will's antagonist, the obnoxious Irvin Blanchard (Murray Hamiton), Will's high strung buddy, Ben Whitledge (Nick Adams), the stern drill sergeant, Sgt. King (Myron McCormick), and manual dexterity corporal, Corporal Brown, (Don Knotts playing in his first film and, from here on out, permanently attached to Griffen by the hip), are played to perfection. The scene with Knotts is a hoot and one of the films best scenes. All minor characters are outstanding and also played to perfection contributing to the films chemistry. This classic comedy is a must see.
gillianren
August 2, 2012
The Broad Comedic Character Who Would Become Gomer Pyle

It doesn't surprise me that there is a long list for this on Netflix. After all, Andy Griffith did just die, and most of the people of my generation only seem to know him from the TV show. We think of him as warm, gentle, folksy. (Or, yes, as Matlock, but I think most of us only know [i]Matlock[/i] from Grandpa Simpson's fixation with him.) I am not the only person who is inclined to eulogizing dead celebrities by finding their most notable work. Oh, sometimes, that comes to finding any work whatsoever. Even in this day and age, not everything is instantly available. Some things take tracking down, and sometimes, I've already examined the best-known works. I did [i]Face in the Crowd[/i] years ago, and the site decided in the Great Change that it wasn't okay with letting me review TV shows. Not that I'm inclined toward watching enough of either show to review it anyway.

Will Stockdale (Griffith) has been drafted. (More on certain of the details anon.) His father (William Fawcett) has been tearing up his draft notices, so he is considered a draft dodger. He is taken to the bus in handcuffs, though it turns out he's really just humouring the draft officer. He's shown to be ridiculously strong. Also dumb. He pairs up with Ben Whitledge (Nick Adams), a descendant of many generations of infantrymen who has now been drafted into the Air Force and desperately wants a transfer. Will wants to transfer, too, because they're buddies, and he wants to stick with his buddy. He tries to convince Sergeant Orville C. King (Myron McCormick) that they should be allowed to transfer. All sorts of hilarity ensues, and of course things happen so that Sergeant King is forced to be along with Will and Ben through almost the whole sequence of events, because it's funny to watch the poor man's humiliation, I guess.

The book on which this was based was written during World War II, or anyway before the Air Force was split off into a separate branch of the military. In the days since it has, it has never needed to draft people. At least, according to IMDb. (Actually, my dad was a recruiting sergeant for the Air Force at the tail end of Vietnam, but he died when I was six, so I don't know much about his experiences at it.) I'm also not terribly clear on the possibility of transferring between branches of the service; I suspect it takes more than the signing of a single piece of paper. I guess they felt the need to carry as much as possible from the book into the play and the play into the movie, even though things had changed in the years since the book had been written. I mean, it's funny enough that Ben wants to be in the infantry, though family history can be a powerful thing. But it's not that funny.

Really, I didn't find the movie as a whole all that funny. It was laughing-at humour, which I hate at the best of times, but it blended that with this weird sense that Will was the only person of the lot of them who was really worth anything. I mean, the whole thing about Sergeant King's putting Will on permanent latrine-cleaning duty? And Will thought it was an honour? That didn't work for me. I acknowledge that "it doesn't bother him, so it's not a punishment" wouldn't much fly with the military, because they are working to standardize so much. And I do support that. I really, really do. However, this was a man who referred to the latrine as a "kind of big outhouse." My initial response to his ignorance is not to laugh at him. It's to wish they'd make sure he got some basic schooling. It breaks my heart that anyone can grow up quite as ignorant as Will has, and that never really gets addressed except when we're getting more people to laugh at him.

I suppose most people are delighted by the brief appearance of Don Knotts as Corporal John C. Brown, who administers the manual dexterity test. (Which is an awfully short test, I'd also like to point out. And I don't see why so many of the tests are solo.) However, I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of Don Knotts at the best of times. I had a fondness for certain things he was in, and he seems to have been a nice guy personally, but for the most part, his work leaves me cold. (And he was nice enough so that I suspect he'd have understood that more than a lot of other people would about their own work. Vince Vaughan, for example.) However, my only moment of pure delight in the movie came toward the end, when a series of wacky happenstances have gotten Will and Ben on a bomber crew. What actually happened on the bomber was tedious enough so that I wanted to just turn the movie off. However, there is a very brief uncredited performance as the co-pilot by a man still billing himself--though he is uncredited here--as Jameel Farah. Or, as we know him today, Jamie Farr.
The Creep
July 27, 2012
Aside from the series, this is the first Andy Griffith work I've seen, and it was pretty funny for its time.

PLOT:Will Stockdale (Andy Griffith) is a simple-minded, country bumpkin that lives with his pa near Tobacco Road in Georgia. When he's picked for the draft and nearly arrested (thanks to his pa tearing up his draft letters), he's shipped out to the Air Force barracks, where he befriends the small and jumpy Ben Whitledge (Nick Adams). They both realize later on in the movie that they both want to be transferred to the infantry, where the real heroes are. When Stockdale asks his sergeant, Sergeant King (Myron McCormick), King puts him on latrine duty and makes him PLO (Permanent Latrine Orderly). However, when the colonel find out, King has to get Stockdale classified or lose his job. So now, Stockdale must find a way to get classified fast and also be put in infantry with Ben. If you know Andy Griffith by now, you know this isn't going to work out well. It's a simple plot executed pretty well for its time.

ACTING:The acting is actually pretty great. There really isn't a bad performance in this movie. Griffith, Adams, and McCormick come out to be a different type of three stooges; a screwball trio, if you will. They all play their parts well and to the best. The other shiners are Don Knotts as Corporal Brown, James Millhollin as the psychiatrist, and William Fawcet as Pa Stockdale. The only performance that I felt fall a smidgeon short of great was Murray Hamilton as Irvin Blanchard.

SCORE:The score was mainly made up of big band music and military themes such as "Taps", "The Star-Spangled Banner", and "When the Saints Go Marchin' In". It was pretty standard, but not bad.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was pretty great considering how the times were in comedy and such. It was a pretty funny film all around. However, I felt that it fell a little in humor from its time of release. It is just a simple screwball comedy set in the military, but I think that kind of helps its fall a bit, for the jokes don't live funny as long as the more clever laughs. Some scenes still did come off as clever and stole the humor away from some of the simple stuff, however. I also felt that the first half of the movie succeeded way over the second half from when they leave the barracks. It's still a pretty funny little movie even now.

OVERALL,a great screwball comedy with a simple plot, great acting, typical-yet-good score, some clever scenes, a great first half, and great humor for its time, but it's a little too simple which causes it to fall in funniness from its time.
kombat
June 16, 2012
One of the funniest movie i've seen in a while , Andy Griffith was just amazing in it .
starlett2005
June 1, 2012
No Time for Sergeants is a funny film. It is about a country bumpkin who is drafted into the U.S. Air Force. Andy Griffith and Nick Adams give excellent performances. The screenplay is well written and witty. Mervyn LeRoy did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the comedy. No Time for Sergeants is a must see.
April 14, 2012
The best comedy ever!
kingofthecorn
December 4, 2010
(***): Thumbs Up

A funny film.
Mojo M.
September 1, 2010
Great Movie. Black and White, but I hope that doesn't deter some from watching this movie. The humor is quite different. Almost slap stick, with some very funny physical
scenes, but really the humor is deeper than that. This movie made Andy Griffith a Star. Setting the roots for the Andy Griffith Show, although they really don't share much, other than Andy Griffith portrays a lovable Southerner. His Character in this movie is more physical, and less intelligent, but just as like able. He plays a nearly illiterate Hillbilly, but not entirely as his father proves in one very funny scene. I have seen it many times over the years, and always enjoy it. It even has a Don Knotts Cameo part. He doesn't play his character in the least from the Andy Griffith Show, but is very memorable. Fun for all ages, except for the very young.
garfield2710
August 27, 2010
If you enjoy laughing and if you like Andy Griffith, then you'll love this film. This film is just a non-stop laughing roller coaster that doesn't stop until the final words roll across the screen. Here is my advice. If you haven't seen it yet, make a plan to rent it or buy it and plan a movie night. You won't regret it. If you have seen it, but it's been years, go back and rediscover the laughs.
jeff43
May 27, 2010
If you love comedies and you have never seen this film, you are in for a treat my friend. This little black and white film which is based on the play by the same name has several very clever, well thought out, chuckles. However, what stands this movie out from 99% of all other comedies, this has a truly hilarious, side splitting scene. This scene just isn't "cute" or "clever" but probably the best comedy scene ever on film.

Most people think of Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor or, gulp, Matlock. I will always think of Andy Griffith as a PLO...permanent latrine orderly.

I love comedies, they're my favorite films. I honestly believe this is the best comedy of all time. If you have a chance to see it, do so. You won't be disappointed.
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