No Time for Sergeants

Year: 1958
Directed By: Mervyn LeRoy
Written By: John Lee Mahin (screenplay), Ira Levin (play), Mac Hyman (novel)


I am a proud southerner. More importantly I am a proud North Carolinian and nobody has ever been more beloved in North Carolina than Andy Griffith. He grew up here, he went to college at UNC, and he made it big time but always stayed true to his roots. I have driven the Andy Griffith Parkway myself and I have been to Mayberry (Mt. Airy). Since before I was old enough to talk I have been watching The Andy Griffith Show. I am a third generation fan as my dad is a big fan and to this day my grandfather still watches reruns of “Andy and Barn” on a daily basis  As I grew up, the wisdom of Andy Griffith, albeit via The Andy Griffith Show or Matlockwas ingrained into the principles that I live by today.

I came by this movie in the most obvious of ways I suppose; it was passed down to me through my family.  This is honestly the only movie that this kind of scenario applies to but my father watched this movie with his dad and he watched it with me. That makes it special for me but aside from that it would be obvious to anybody who watched it how funny it is.  Andy Griffith was a timeless comedian, one of the greats that will always be funny no matter how the times have changed.

This movie preceded Griffith’s run on his famed television show and was more or less what helped him make a name for himself.  Griffith broke into acting in 1955 with a role in a one hour teleplay of No Time for Sergeants adapted from the book for a TV special.  He later reprised the role for an expanded version created for Broadway.  He was actually nominated for a Tony Award for the role but didn’t win.  In 1958 he again reprised the role for this film and the rest is history.  This story was a significant factor in Griffith’s rise to success and it would also go on to inspire other media such as the Gomer Pyle show.

There is a small cameo from Don Knotts in the film. It wouldn’t be right without one right? This was actually the first collaboration between Andy Griffith and Don Knotts, who would go on to share a lifelong friendship afterwards. What I like most is just the opportunity to appreciate how funny Knotts was.  I have had the privilege of seeing Don Knotts work his talents many times in the role as Barney Fife.  I especially enjoy an opportunity to see him doing something different. I love the fact that in doing something different he still doesn’t fail to be funny.  Don Knotts was a very funny man and I think it is important we don’t forget the legends that make everything comedians do today possible.  Knotts was one of those men and I hope he is remembered for all time.

I love this movie and I enjoy each and every opportunity I get to see it.  It’s not a film I often have success talking people into because so many people my age and younger turn their noses up to a film so old.  It’s given me common ground to start conversations with older generations many times in the past though and I always appreciate the opportunity to get into a conversation with such.  I am a firm believer in giving seniors their due respect and I am always looking for ways to show it because I find it fulfilling personally.  When I can talk to them about popular movies from their generation it helps. More often than not they are surprised by my interest in them at all.

If you find yourself in position to see this film then seize the opportunity.  You won’t be disappointed and it will give you an idea of the value of older films.  Films have always been made to entertain and while times have changed rapidly some of them never lose the ability to make us laugh.  This is one of those films and it is worth you time to see it.


I am about to commit such a blasphemous act, according to anyone in the South, especially my home state of North Carolina, but I need to confess that I HATE The Andy Griffith Show. I cringe every time I even hear the whistle to the theme song. You have to understand though, everyone down here loves that show, they have a favorite episode and think Don Knotts was the funniest man that ever lived. I don’t even understand my reasoning, except that I just can’t stand it. I hate the goody-goodyness of the whole thing. The super thick southern accents, and the Aunt that cooks and has dinner on the table and the cleaning done all the time, it all just drives me nuts. I hate it.

Having said all of that, I don’t hate Andy Griffith. I think his life is really interesting and to make a career like he did is something to admire. This movie is actually really funny. I remember watching it the first time, going into it with a negative attitude assuming I would hate it. Although it is set in the same southern tone of most of the projects he worked on, I found it to be an interesting take on a military movie with a Southerner as the main character. His accent is THICK. Most movies even today still hate our accents down here. But Andy Griffith made a really impressive career for himself, despite that southern twang and good ol’ boy attitude.

And this video of Braid Paisley’s Waiting on a Woman, is one of my all-time favorite Andy Griffith appearances. SEE RYAN, I DO like Andy!

5414832_1_lFor the time, this poster is pretty creative. It uses Patriotic colors, and usually that can be hard to do without it being overly in-your-face Patriotic. I think it’s subtle, but important to the story line. I think it gets the idea across and makes people interested. Also, because this was such a popular Play and book before it made it to the big-screen, I think people already knew what the movie would be about. This gave more leeway for the design process. Andy was still a new kid in town at this point, so I think it was wise to leave his face out of the main scene.


NEXT MOVIE: Not Another Teen Movie (2001)

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