No Time for Sergeants

Synopsis: Hillbilly, Will Stockdale, drafted into the United States' Air Force, combines crushing naivety, stubbornness, a completely literal mind, and amazing physical strength. Will the Air Force survive all the numerous experiences?
Genre: Comedy, War
Director(s): Mervyn LeRoy
Production: Warner Home Video
119 min




What is it, Pa?

Come out here.

Listen. Your ears are better than mine.

Somebody's coming.

I don't hear nothing.

Turn off that whatchama-call-it.

- The radio.

- I know what you call it. Turn it off.


First, I heard one of them cars.

Then it stopped.

And now

somebody's coming down the hill.

You hear?

Y'all stay right here.

If I call, come a-running.

Pa, that ain't no way to welcome folks.

Maybe it's kin.

Kin don't come in no cars.

See if you can wake up

that old hound dog.

Hey, Blue?

Come on, Blue.

I got a big old catfish head for you.

Come on, Blue.

Never seen such a crickety dang pit

in my whole life.

Stuck up all over here and everything.


- Are you Will Stockdale?

- Howdy.

Three dang times this month,

I've been out here...

Don't you point your finger

in my boy's face.

Are you threatening me with a firearm?

I'm a government representative

on business.

Busting up here

without saying howdy or nothing.

- What government?

- U.S. government. The draft board.

This boy's been called for the draft.

He never reported.

He's a draft dodger.

Fold in that finger, sir.

I'm warning you, fold in that finger.

He could go to jail for that.

He's in today's group.

And this is your last chance.

If you don't leave with that group

at 12 a. m...'re gonna be in more trouble

than you ever did see.

You already got one offense against you.

- Not answering my letters.

- I never got no letters.

Don't tell me you can't read. You could've

got somebody to read them to you.

- So that ain't no excuse.

- You mean to stand there...

...and tell me to my face

my boy can't read?

- Now, look...

- You think my boy...

...who has gone to school...

...and who has read more times

than you could shake a stick at...

...couldn't read a puny little old letter,

if he wanted to?

By dog, sir.

I never got no letters.

I don't think I can stand

to listen to any more of this.

Get that book.

No, sir, what you think

don't mean nothing to me...

...but we are gonna settle this here question

right here and now...

...and not have

no more foolishness about it.

Read at him.

"Once there was a boy named Tony...

...who wanted a pony.

So he went to his mama and said:

'May I have a pony? '

And his Mama says:

'No, Tony, you may not have a pony."'

Go on.

"So he went to his papa and said:

'Papa, may I have a pony? '

And his papa says:

'No, Tony, you may not have...

...a pony."'

End of the book,

he gets the pony anyhow.

Now that we have settled

if or not my boy can read...

- Pa.

- you best be getting off my property...

...and back in that car of yours

and out of range...

- Pa, be Christian to him.

- Christian?

You know

what the Lord would've done...

...if a man come all hot

and stomping onto his property...

...without saying howdy or nothing?

Scaring his chickens

and saying folks can't read?

Sir, would it be all right

if me and Pa speak private-like?

- Okay, but make it short.

- Thank you, sir.

Come on, Pa.

And don't try any funny business.

Because I ain't alone here.

Set yourself, Pa.

Now, listen, Pa.

I don't think

this here draft's such a bad idea.

I mean, I'd kind of like to go.

There's a whole lot of fellas there

and they all march along right, snappy like.

You listen to me, boy.

Going in the draft

don't mean just going into town.

It means Macon and Atlanta

and still further.

I've been to Atlanta, you know that.

When I was no older than you.

I told you how them folks laughed at me

and called me smart names.

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John Lee Mahin

John Lee Mahin (August 23, 1902, Evanston, Illinois – April 18, 1984, Los Angeles) was an American screenwriter and producer of films who was active in Hollywood from the 1930s to the 1960s. He was known as the favorite writer of Clark Gable and Victor Fleming. In the words of one profile, he had "a flair for rousing adventure material, and at the same time he wrote some of the raciest and most sophisticated sexual comedies of that period." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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