Pros:script, cast, direction, story
Cons:characters and events sometimes lack credibility
My respect for Andy Griffith as an actor rose considerably after seeing him in two very good films from the late 1950s, "A Face in the Crowd" and "No Time for Sergeants". While it seems that Griffith has always played Southerners, he doesn't play them all the same: each role is a different character entirely. Griffith shows his talent and range in his early film and television work. He was equally capable in both comedic and dramatic roles, and he was even a good singer.
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Griffith is a naive (but not stupid) yokel drafted into the Air Force as a Private. His inexperience and misconceptions with the Real World cause endless troubles for those in contact with him, especially world-weary Sergeant Myron McCormick and querulous bunkmate Nick Adams. Don Knotts has a cameo, and the Griffith-Knotts chemistry is as strong as it would be in "The Andy Griffith Show".
"No Time For Sergeants" could very well have been a harmless but stupid comedy. That it is much more than that is to the credit of Griffith, who gives his hayseed character genuine depth, and the script, which is based on the novel by Mac Hyman.
That is not to say that the film is perfect. The boot camp has an overly relaxed atmosphere, and the only time Griffith gets a deserved dressing down is when he gapes in amazement at a WAC officer (Jean Willes). It does seem an amazing coincidence that a lost Air Force plane should wander into a nuclear test. Also, Murray Hamilton's character, a bullying Private, is not well developed.
Still, "No Time For Sergeants" is an entertaining comedy, with excellent performances from Griffith and McCormick. (72/100)