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 US 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.
Refer to No Time for Sergeants (1955) (United States Steel Hour).
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.
An expanded version of the play, written by Ira Levin, opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on 20 October 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 14 September 1957.
Refer to No Time for Sergeants (1958).
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.
Refer to No Time For Sergeants TV Series Overview (1964-1965).
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.
A Dell Four Colour 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 Theakstonisation, a process by which the original comics have the colour 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.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date:
- Film: 29 May 1958.
- TV Series: 14 September 1964 to 03 May 1965.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.