Wednesday, July 4, 2012


I think it might have been O'Bvious I'd choose this subject for today.......


Mac Hyman

Andy Griffith

'The United States Steel Hour'
["No Time For Sergeants"]

Multiversal Recastaway



From Wikipedia:
"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 Force. Hyman was in the Army Air Forces during World War II when it was part of the US Army.

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 of the play debuted on Broadway later that year. In 1958, a film version was released.

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 opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on October 20, 1955, produced by Maurice Evans and directed by Morton DaCosta. Griffith and McCormick reprised their roles, 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.

"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.

'No Time for Sergeants' came to the small screen in the fall of 1964. It starred Sammy Jackson who had one line in the film version. 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 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. 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.

Andy Griffith played the role on television, on the Broadway stage, and in the movie.  I'm sure that if one reads the Mac Hyman novel today, it would be impossible to not see the mental image of Andy Griffith as Will Stockdale.  So I think we have a rare Christmas Multiversal to induct into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame this year.

You can view or download the entire production here.

Good night and may God bless you, Andy Griffith....

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