No Time for Sergeants

Last updated
No Time for Sergeants
First edition cover
Author Mac Hyman
CountryUnited States
Publisher Random House
Publication date
October 1, 1954 [1]
Media typePrint

No Time for Sergeants is a 1954 best-selling novel by Mac Hyman, which was later adapted into a teleplay on The United States Steel Hour , a popular Broadway play and 1958 motion picture, as well as a 1964 television series. The book chronicles the misadventures of a country bumpkin named Will Stockdale who is drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II and assigned to the United States Army Air Forces. Hyman was in the Army Air Forces during World War II when it was part of the US Army.


Adaptations in other media

Ira Levin adapted Hyman's novel for a one-hour teleplay that appeared as an episode on The United States Steel Hour television series in 1955. An expanded version appeared on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre later that year. In 1958, a film version was released.

Television adaptation (1955)

Ira Levin's adaptation of the novel appeared live on 15 March 1955, on The United States Steel Hour , a television anthology series. It starred Andy Griffith as Will Stockdale, Harry Clark as his nemesis and inadvertent mentor Sergeant Orville King, Robert Emhardt, Eddie Le Roy, and Alexander Clark. The kinescope recording of the broadcast is available.

Broadway play

An expanded version of the play, written by Ira Levin, opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on October 20, 1955, produced by Maurice Evans and directed by Morton DaCosta. Griffith reprised his role, Myron McCormick played Sgt. King, Roddy McDowell played Will's army buddy Ben, and Don Knotts made his Broadway debut as Corporal Manual Dexterity. Scenic designer Peter Larkin won a Tony Award in 1956, and Andy Griffith was nominated for a Tony for Best Featured Actor. The play ran for a total of 796 performances, closing on September 14, 1957.

Motion picture

See No Time for Sergeants (1958 film)

No Time for Sergeants was filmed and released by Warner Bros. in 1958. The film was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starred Griffith, McCormick, Knotts, and most of the rest of the original Broadway cast. Warner Brothers contract stars Nick Adams as Stockdale's fellow draftee Benjamin B. Whitledge and Murray Hamilton as Irving S. Blanchard joined the cast.

Television series

No Time for Sergeants
Based onNo Time for Sergeants
by Mac Hyman
Composer George Duning
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes34
Executive producers
  • Robert Hoffman
  • Jacques R. Marquette
  • Byron Chudnow
  • Milt Kleinberg
Running time30 min
Production companies
Distributor Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
Original network ABC
Picture format Black and white
Audio format Monaural
Original releaseSeptember 14, 1964 (1964-09-14) 
May 3, 1965 (1965-05-03)

No Time for Sergeants came to the small screen in the fall of 1964. By this point, Griffith and Knotts were both established as stars of The Andy Griffith Show and were no longer available. The television series No Time for Sergeants starred Sammy Jackson who had had one line in the film version. [2] [ unreliable source? ] When Jackson read that Warner Brothers was going to produce a television sitcom version of No Time for Sergeants for ABC he wrote directly to Jack L. Warner saying that he was the best choice for the role and asked Warner to watch a certain episode of the series Maverick as proof. Ten days later Jackson was told to come to the studio to test for the role. [2] Jackson won the role over several actors including the better known Will Hutchins, a Warner Brothers Television contract star who formerly played the sympathetic Sugarfoot and had also been in the No Time for Sergeants film. [3]

Unlike Jim Nabors' Gomer Pyle (of the Andy Griffith Show spin off of the same name, inspired by No Time for Sergeants), Jackson's Stockdale was no idiot; rather he had an unlimited amount of common sense, which was displayed in various episodes.

The series had an unusual episode, "Two Aces in a Hole", which resembled the 1964's films Dr Strangelove and Fail Safe (displaying nuclear destruction wrought by the US Air Force) combined with a black comedy parody of the hypnosis of The Manchurian Candidate . Stockdale and his friend Ben witness a stage hypnotist's show (played by Pat Collins "The Hip Hypnotist" [5] [ unreliable source? ]) from backstage and are accidentally hypnotized to respond to code words that will turn them into World War II bomber pilots or revert them to their own selves. Under the effects of hypnosis, the two airmen appropriate a bomber loaded with weapons, with which they attempt to nuke the now-friendly Germans.

Part of the William T. Orr-produced stable of Warner Bros. Television programs, the series was produced by George Burns's production company. It preceded Burns' own Wendy and Me sitcom (which starred Burns and Connie Stevens) on ABC's Monday night schedule. But, opposite The Andy Griffith Show , the series headlined by the original star of all the earlier versions of No Time For Sergeants, it was trounced in the ratings and only lasted one season. It was also shown in the UK on ITV from 1965 to 1969. [6] [ unreliable source? ]

Andy Clyde, formerly of The Real McCoys , had a supporting role in the television series as Grandpa Jim Anderson. Ann McCrea, while also appearing as a regular on The Donna Reed Show was cast as Amelia Taggert in the 1964 episode "O Krupnick, My Krupnick".

Episode list

TitleDirected byWritten byAir date
1"The Permanent Recruit" Richard Crenna William Burns, John L. Greene, Elon Packard and Norman PaulSeptember 14, 1964 (1964-09-14)
2"Blue's Wild Yonder" Leslie H. Martinson UnknownSeptember 21, 1964 (1964-09-21)
3"Bloodhounds Are Thicker Than Water"Leslie H. MartinsonUnknownSeptember 28, 1964 (1964-09-28)
4"Grandpa's Airlift"Leslie H. MartinsonUnknownOctober 5, 1964 (1964-10-05)
5"Two Aces in the Hole" Jeffrey Hayden UnknownOctober 12, 1964 (1964-10-12)
6"The Spirit of 75" Sidney Lanfield Seaman Jacobs & Ed James October 19, 1964 (1964-10-19)
7"Bully for Ben"Leslie H. MartinsonUnknownOctober 26, 1964 (1964-10-26)
8"Will Gets a Right-Hand Man"Leslie H. MartinsonUnknownNovember 2, 1964 (1964-11-02)
9"Have No Uniform Will Travel"Leslie H. MartinsonUnknownNovember 9, 1964 (1964-11-09)
10"The Farmer in the Deal"Jeffrey HaydenSeaman Jacobs & Ed JamesNovember 16, 1964 (1964-11-16)
11"Will Goes to Washington" Hollingsworth Morse Seaman Jacobs & Ed JamesNovember 23, 1964 (1964-11-23)
12"The $100,000 Canteen"Hollingsworth MorseUnknownNovember 30, 1964 (1964-11-30)
13"O Krupnick, My Krupnick"Charles R. RondeauUnknownDecember 7, 1964 (1964-12-07)
14"Do Me a Favor and Don't Do Me Any"Sidney LanfieldSeaman Jacobs & Ed JamesDecember 14, 1964 (1964-12-14)
15"Stockdale's Island"Charles R. RondeauUnknownDecember 21, 1964 (1964-12-21)
16"Stockdale's Millions"Charles R. RondeauUnknownDecember 28, 1964 (1964-12-28)
17"Two for the Show"Charles R. RondeauUnknownJanuary 4, 1965 (1965-01-04)
18"The Living End"Charles R. RondeauUnknownJanuary 11, 1965 (1965-01-11)
19"My Fair Andy"Charles R. RondeauUnknownJanuary 18, 1965 (1965-01-18)
20"Stockdale, General Nuisance"Leslie H. MartinsonUnknownJanuary 25, 1965 (1965-01-25)
21"Too Many Stockdales"UnknownUnknownFebruary 1, 1965 (1965-02-01)
22"A Hatful of Muscles"UnknownUnknownFebruary 8, 1965 (1965-02-08)
23"Where There's a Way, There's a Will Stockdale"UnknownUnknownFebruary 15, 1965 (1965-02-15)
24"It Shouldn't Happen to a Sergeant"UnknownUnknownFebruary 22, 1965 (1965-02-22)
25"How Now, Brown Cow"UnknownUnknownMarch 1, 1965 (1965-03-01)
26"The Case of the Revolving Witness"UnknownUnknownMarch 8, 1965 (1965-03-08)
27"The Sergeant's Kimono"UnknownUnknownMarch 15, 1965 (1965-03-15)
28"Stockdale of the Stockade"UnknownUnknownMarch 22, 1965 (1965-03-22)
29"Will's Misfortune Cookie"UnknownUnknownMarch 29, 1965 (1965-03-29)
30"The Day Blue Blew"UnknownUnknownApril 5, 1965 (1965-04-05)
31"Whortleberry Roots for Everyone"UnknownUnknownApril 12, 1965 (1965-04-12)
32"Andy Meets His Match"UnknownUnknownApril 19, 1965 (1965-04-19)
33"Target: Stockdale"UnknownUnknownApril 26, 1965 (1965-04-26)
34"The Velvet Wiggle"UnknownUnknownMay 3, 1965 (1965-05-03)


The four comics inspired by No Time For Sergeants NoTime4SargeFairUse.jpg
The four comics inspired by No Time For Sergeants

A Dell Four Color Issue 914 comic book version of this story, illustrated by Alex Toth and published in July 1958, follows the movie's narrative. Three follow up issues in the 1960s tied into the short-lived TV series that starred Sammy Jackson. Greg Theakston's Pure Imagination released The Alex Toth Reader, v2 in 2005. The art has been painstakingly reproduced from the originals by a process that has been come to be known as Theakstonization, a process by which the original comics have the color leached out, leaving only the black and white line art, which is then reproduced to appear exactly as it did at the time of original publication. One of the stories offered is the original movie adaptation.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andy Griffith</span> American actor, television producer, Southern-gospel singer, and writer (1926–2012)

Andy Samuel Griffith was an American actor, comedian, television producer, southern gospel singer and writer whose career spanned seven decades in music and television. Known for his Southern drawl, his characters with a folksy-friendly personality, as well as his gruff but friendly voice, Griffith was a Tony Award nominee for two roles. He gained prominence in the starring role in director Elia Kazan's film A Face in the Crowd (1957) and No Time for Sergeants (1958) before he became better known for his television roles, playing the lead roles of Andy Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968) and Ben Matlock in the legal drama Matlock (1986–1995).

<i>The Andy Griffith Show</i> American sitcom TV series (1960–1968)

The Andy Griffith Show is an American situation comedy television series that aired on CBS from October 3, 1960, to April 1, 1968, with a total of 249 half-hour episodes spanning eight seasons—159 in black and white and 90 in color.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ira Levin</span> American novelist, playwright (1929–2007)

Ira Marvin Levin was a Jewish-American novelist, playwright, and songwriter. His most popular works are the novels A Kiss Before Dying (1953), Rosemary's Baby (1967), The Stepford Wives (1972), This Perfect Day (1970), and The Boys from Brazil (1976), as well as the play Deathtrap (1978). Many of his novels and plays have been adapted into successful films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Don Knotts</span> American actor and stand-up comedian (1924-2006)

Jesse Donald Knotts was an American actor and comedian. He is widely known for his role as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, a 1960s sitcom for which he earned five Emmy Awards. He also played Ralph Furley on the highly rated sitcom Three's Company from 1979 to 1984. He starred in multiple comedic films, including the leading roles in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) and The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964). In 2004, TV Guide ranked him number 27 on its 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list.

<i>The Danny Thomas Show</i> American sitcom

The Danny Thomas Show is an American sitcom that ran from 1953 to 1957 on ABC and from 1957 to 1964 on CBS. Starring Danny Thomas as a successful night club entertainer, the show focused on his relationship with his family, yet went through a number of significant changes in cast and characters during the course of its run. Episodes regularly featured music by Thomas, guest stars and occasionally other cast members as part of the plot.

<i>Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.</i> American television sitcom

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. is an American situation comedy that originally aired on CBS from September 25, 1964, to May 2, 1969. The series was a spin-off of The Andy Griffith Show, and the pilot episode was aired as the season finale of the fourth season of its parent series on May 18, 1964. The show ran for a total of 150 half-hour episodes spanning over five seasons, in black-and-white for the first season, and then in color for the remaining four seasons. In 2006, CBS Home Entertainment began releasing the series on DVD. The final season was released in November 2008.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hal Smith (actor)</span> American actor (1916-1994)

Harold John "Hal" Smith was an American actor. He is credited in over 300 film and television productions, and was best known for his role as Otis Campbell, the town drunk on CBS's The Andy Griffith Show and for voicing Owl in the first four original Winnie the Pooh shorts and later The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

<i>The United States Steel Hour</i> Television series

The United States Steel Hour is an anthology series which brought hour long dramas to television from 1953 to 1963. The television series and the radio program that preceded it were both sponsored by the United States Steel Corporation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dub Taylor</span> American actor (1907-1994)

Walter Clarence Taylor, Jr., known professionally as Dub Taylor, was an American character actor who from the 1940s into the 1990s worked extensively in films and on television, often in Westerns but also in comedies. He is the father of actor and painter Buck Taylor.

Sammy Jackson was an American actor, known particularly for his roles reflecting rural life, and a country music disc jockey, although he also played pop-standards during 1983 at Los Angeles's KMPC. He also recorded several 45 RPM singles in country and rockabilly styles between 1959 and 1965.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stanley Adams (actor)</span> American actor and screenwriter

Stanley Adams was an American actor and screenwriter. He appeared in many television series and films, notably Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Lilies of the Field (1963), and in TV series from Gunsmoke to the Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" in which he played a salesman selling tribbles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jay Novello</span> American actor (1904–1982)

Jay Novello was an American radio, film, and television character actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Will Hutchins</span> American actor

Will Hutchins is an American actor most noted for playing the lead role of the young lawyer Tom Brewster, in the Western television series Sugarfoot, which aired on ABC from 1957 to 1961 for 69 episodes.

<i>The New Andy Griffith Show</i> American sitcom TV series (1971)

The New Andy Griffith Show is an American sitcom that was broadcast in the United States on CBS in 1971 on Fridays at 8:30 ET. It debuted on January 8, 1971, and ended on May 21, 1971.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roger Perry</span> American actor

Roger Perry was an American film and television actor whose career began in the late 1950s. He served as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force during the early 1950s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Addison Richards</span> American actor

Addison Whittaker Richards, Jr. was an American actor of film and television. Richards appeared in more than three hundred films between 1933 and his death.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barney Phillips</span> American actor (1913–1982)

Bernard Philip Ofner, better known by his stage name Barney Phillips, was an American film, television, and radio actor. His most prominent roles include that of Sgt. Ed Jacobs on the 1950s Dragnet television series, appearances in the 1960s on The Twilight Zone, in which he played a Venusian living under cover on Earth in "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?", and a supporting role as actor Fletcher Huff in the short-lived 1970s CBS series, The Betty White Show.

<i>No Time for Sergeants</i> (film) 1958 film by Mervyn LeRoy

No Time for Sergeants is a 1958 American comedy film based on a play by Ira Levin inspired by the original novel. It was directed by Mervyn LeRoy, starring Andy Griffith and featuring Myron McCormick, Don Knotts and most of the original Broadway cast, joined by Warner Bros. contract player Nick Adams and Murray Hamilton.

Paul Smith is an American comic character actor with a perpetually perplexed or, alternatively, bemused expression, who, during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, appeared in scores of television episodes, primarily sitcoms, including regular roles in five series, and was also seen in numerous theatrical features, television films and commercials, frequently in brief, sometimes unbilled, comedic bits. Best known for The Doris Day Show (1969-1971).

No Time for Sergeants (<i>United States Steel Hour</i>) 14th episode of the 2nd season of United States Steel Hour

"No Time for Sergeants" was an American television play that was broadcast by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) on March 15, 1955, as part of the television series, United States Steel Hour. The production starred Andy Griffith who made his television debut in the production. The production was nominated for Emmy Awards for best program of the year and for Alex Segal as the best director in a live series.


  1. "Books Published Today". The New York Times : 21. October 1, 1954.
  2. 1 2 Television Heaven Forum - 60's Comedy set in US Air Force
  3. p.138 Lamparski, Richard Whatever Became Of -? Eight Series 1982 Crown Publishers
  4. Television: The New Season - TIME
  5. [ bare URL PDF ]
  6. No Time for Sergeants (TV Series 1964) - IMDb