- 1 hr 51 min
Onionhead is a 1958 comedy-drama film directed by Norman Taurog and starring Andy Griffith, Felicia Farr, and Walter Matthau. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Weldon Hill and follows the story of a young sailor named Al Woods (Griffith) who is assigned to a new ship in the United States Navy during World War II. The film opens with Al Woods arriving on his new ship and meeting the crew. He quickly realizes that life in the Navy is not what he expected as he is subjected to strict rules and regulations. Despite this, Al does his best to fit in with the other sailors and make friends. One of Al's new friends is a young woman named Sally (Farr), who he meets on shore leave. Initially, Sally is resistant to Al's advances, but eventually, the two begin a romantic relationship. However, their relationship is complicated by the meddling of Sally's father (Matthau), who disapproves of Al because he is a sailor. As the story progresses, Al faces a series of challenges both on and off the ship. He is forced to deal with a difficult superior officer and navigate the complicated social hierarchy of the Navy. Meanwhile, his relationship with Sally becomes increasingly strained as her father tries to break them apart. The film is notable for its humorous tone, which is balanced by moments of more serious drama. The characters are well-drawn and complex, particularly Al, who is portrayed as a flawed but likable protagonist. Griffith delivers a standout performance as Al, displaying a range of emotions throughout the film. The supporting cast is also strong, particularly Farr, who brings depth and nuance to her portrayal of Sally. Matthau, while in a smaller role, is also memorable as Sally's overbearing father. The film's visual style is straightforward but effective, with Taurog using static shots and medium close-ups to focus on the characters and their interactions. The film's score, composed by Roy Webb, is also noteworthy, providing a poignant backdrop to the emotional scenes. Overall, Onionhead is a charming and enjoyable film that offers a unique perspective on life in the Navy during World War II. It manages to balance humor and drama effectively, resulting in a memorable and entertaining experience.