6.7/10
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23 user 1 critic

The Private War of Major Benson (1955)

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

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

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 <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They're out to bust the Major See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 December 1955 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

La guerra privada del mayor Benson  »

Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Lieutenant: Major, you're exposed!
Maj. Bernard 'Barney' Benson: Get the men back to their original positions. We'll try it again.
Young Lieutenant: Major, we've executed the maneuver 27 times since noon. The men are tired.
Maj. Bernard 'Barney' Benson: They missed their objective by 17 seconds. Now do it till they do it right.
Young Lieutenant: Yes, sir.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Colgate Comedy Hour: Episode #5.38 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Toy Tiger
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Mancini
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User Reviews

 
Charlton Heston vs. the kids
13 April 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

If there's one characteristic that Charlton Heston portrays well on the screen it's resolve. Whether he's Moses, Judah Ben-Hur or Major Barney Benson, he takes on an assignment and he sees it through.

Somebody at Universal got the bright idea to borrow Heston from Paramount for The Private War of Major Benson in which a professional soldier now assigned to beef up the Reserve Officer Training program at a Catholic military academy. Seems as though the Mother Superior Nana Bryant has some pull with the Pentagon as her brother Milburn Stone is a general and Heston's commanding officer.

And Heston's quite a problem for Stone. Seems as though an eager reporter got a real good sound bite from Heston while he was training troops. Stone figures this request from his sister, the Sister comes at an appropriate time to solve two problems.

Of course Heston and the kids don't really get along. The leadership skills you need to cross the Red Sea and race a chariot are a bit different than heading a boy's military school. Especially when these kids are not even into puberty as most of them aren't. Ironically he gets along best with Sal Mineo who's just entering puberty and offers him some facts of life points of view about the opposite sex. Heston has his eye on school doctor Julie Adams and is embarking on his own quest there.

It's a cute and funny movie and it ought to be since the it was written by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, the folks who brought you Leave It to Beaver. Think of Wally and the Beaver at military school with Charlton Heston as the commander. It's not half bad.


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