Friday, July 27, 2012

No Time for Sergeants (1958) review


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.

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