While modern audiences may miss some of the references in No Time for Sergeants, that shouldn't get in the way of them enjoying this laugh riot of a film. Indeed, many who approach Sergeants skeptically will find themselves totally disarmed by its simple charms. After all, who hasn't seen more service comedies than he's care to count -- many of which use many of the same situations and variations on the same characters as can be found in Sergeants? But there's an air of freshness about the film, even many decades after its creation, so that even when county bumpkin Andy Griffith falls into a familiar fish-out-of-water situation, viewers will still find themselves amused. More than amused -- engaged. For that is Sergeant's secret weapon: it has a heart. Not a gooey, sappy one -- a pulsing, glad-to-be-alive, isn't life wonderful heart that comes across as real and sincere, rather than manufactured (even if its plotting COULD be called manufactured). Credit Mervyn LeRoy's deft direction and John Lee Mahin's laugh-a-minute screenplay, but reserve the lion's share of credit to Griffith's disarming, lovable portrayal. It is a role he was born to play and he shines throughout. The rest of the cast, including Nick Adams and Myron McCormick, are excellent -- but Griffith is superb.
by Craig Butler review