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The Private War of Major Benson (1955)

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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 578 users  
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A Major noted for advancing with his mouth before thinking is given a choice: to be drummed out of the Army, or take command of and shape up the ROTC program at Sheridan Academy before it ... See full summary »



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Title: The Private War of Major Benson (1955)

The Private War of Major Benson (1955) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Kay Lambert
Tim Hovey ...
Cadet Thomas 'Tiger' Flaherty
Nana Bryant ...
Mother Redempta
Cadet Lt. Gerald Hibler
Cadet Col. Sylvester Dusik
Maj. Gen. Wilton J. Ramsey
Mary Field ...
Sister Mary Theresa
Cadet Cpl. Scawalski (as Donald Keeler)
Gary Pagett ...
Cadet Lt. Molony
Mickey Little ...
Cadet Lt. Hanratty
Don Haggerty ...
Harold Hibler
Young Lieutenant
Richard H. Cutting ...
Monsignor Collins


A Major noted for advancing with his mouth before thinking is given a choice: to be drummed out of the Army, or take command of and shape up the ROTC program at Sheridan Academy before it fails its next inspection. At Sheridan he encounters three hundred pre-teen cadets who range from rascally to adorable, and a female doctor who has just the right prescription for him. Written by Martin H. Booda <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Happily yours from Universal-International See more »


Comedy | Family | Romance





Release Date:

2 December 1955 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

A Guerra Privada do Major Benson  »

Box Office


$600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie was loosely remade in 1995 as the Damon Wayans movie, "Major Payne." See more »


Mother Redempta: Heaven moves in mysterious ways Major... Heaven and General Ramsey
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Remade as Major Payne (1995) See more »


Toy Tiger
See more »

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User Reviews

The Private War of Major Benson (1955) ***
18 March 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

A wonderfully charming little comedy written by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher (Leave It To Beaver). During the filming of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, Cecil B. DeMille had a mild heart attack and the production shut down. Charlton Heston decided this comedy would be perfect for him to do in the meantime and tried hard to get the part, even though it was a Universal movie and COMMANDMENTS was being made at Paramount. Heston wanted the film so badly that he agreed to work quickly and for no salary and settle for a share of the profits (which turned out very well for him, as MAJOR BENSON became somewhat of a success).

Heston is a tough as nails army major who treats his soldiers roughly and pulls no punches when saying what's on his mind. When he causes the Army embarrassment, his general decides to assign him to ROTC duty for one last chance to get his act together. He is sent to a Catholic Military Academy for boys, where he has a difficult job adjusting to them and dropping his rough exterior when leading them through their training. Heston proves he is able to play comedy and is quite good in the film. Also in the cast is Sal Mineo as one of the older cadets in the school, and Julie Adams (right after she made CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON) as a doctor who finds it hard to resist Major Benson. A real scene stealer is 6 year old Tim Hovey, the "Private". *** out of ****

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