Onionhead is a 1958 comedy-drama film set on a U.S. Coast Guard ship during World War II, starring Andy Griffith and featuring Felicia Farr, Walter Matthau, Erin O'Brien, James Gregory, Joey Bishop, and Claude Akins. It was directed by Norman Taurog and was written by Nelson Gidding and Weldon Hill from Hill's novel. "Weldon Hill" was the pseudonym of William R. Scott, a native Oklahoman who based the novel on his own World War II service in the Coast Guard.
Griffith had experienced success with his previous service comedy, No Time for Sergeants, and Onionhead was an attempt to cash in on that success. It was marketed as an uproarious comedy but is actually a comedy drama with some fairly dark themes. Onionhead was such a notorious flop that it drove Griffith into television, according to Griffith's videotaped interview in the Archive of American Television.
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