The Private War of Major Benson (1955)

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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 594 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 1 critic

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


They're out to bust the Major See more »


Comedy | Family | Romance


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Release Date:

2 December 1955 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

La guerra privada del mayor 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?


St. Catherine's Military School, which still exists in Anaheim, California, supplied the scenery and its students as extras for the film. The K through 8th grade school is the only Catholic Military School west of the Mississippi. It was established in 1880. See more »


Maj. Bernard 'Barney' Benson: Pull yourself together, Flaherty.
Cadet Thomas 'Tiger' Flaherty: I can't help it, I'm gonna throw up!
See more »


Remade as Major Payne (1995) See more »


Toy Tiger
Music by Henry Mancini
See more »

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User Reviews

A nice little change of pace
26 February 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a very unusual film for Charlton Heston, as he plays a hard as nails major that is forced to be the commandant of a boys military school. Seeing his gruff and perfectionistic ways meet the reality that these are only children makes this a cute film and HIGHLY reminiscent of Clifton Webb's MR. SCOUTMASTER--another great family film about a grumpy old guy who is eventually tamed by the boys. Sure, this makes the film awfully predictable, but sometimes I am just a sucker for a little bit of sentimentality--provided it is paired with some comedy to keep it from being too schmaltzy--as in the case of this film. Also, like MR. SCOUTMASTER, the real star of the film is a very small and very endearing little boy--played in this film by an adorable Tim Hovey. The bottom line is for all this to work, the film had to be well-written and the writers DID earn an Oscar nomination for Best Original Story. So see this film--and MR. SCOUTMASTER--two excellent family films that are lots of fun regardless of your age.

FYI--This film was later remade as MAJOR PAYNE.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Brilliant Prequel to 'Major Payne' !!!!! blakeaasgaard
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