Up 1,603 this week

Private Benjamin (1980)

R  |   |  Comedy, War  |  10 October 1980 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 17,167 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 22 critic

A sheltered young high society woman joins the United States Army on a whim and finds herself in a more difficult situation than she ever expected.


0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Overboard (1987)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A cruel but beautiful heiress screws over a hired carpenter, who later is the first one to find her when she gets amnesia. Looking for a little revenge he convinces her that she's his wife.

Director: Garry Marshall
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Edward Herrmann
HouseSitter (1992)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Con artist Gwen moves into Newton's empty house without his knowledge, and begins setting up house posing as his new wife.

Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, Dana Delany
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Reunited by the death of a college friend, three divorced women seek revenge on the husbands who left them for younger women.

Director: Hugh Wilson
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Diane Keaton
Protocol (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The US needs to convince the visiting emir Khala'ad of Othar to allow an American military base in his strategic realm. Clueless nightclub waitress Sunny Ann Davis accidentally spots and ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Chris Sarandon, Richard Romanus
Wildcats (1986)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Molly McGrath's dream is to coach high school football, and when her dream is realized in the form of a tough inner city team, she has a harder time than she expected trying to whip them into shape.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Swoosie Kurtz, Robyn Lively
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When a woman learns of an immortality treatment, she sees it as a way to outdo her long-time rival.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn
Nine to Five (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot find a way to turn the tables on him.

Director: Colin Higgins
Stars: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton
Foul Play (1978)
Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A shy San Francisco librarian and a bumbling cop fall in love as they solve a crime involving albinos, dwarves, and the Catholic Church.

Director: Colin Higgins
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Burgess Meredith
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An old flame discovers her ex-boyfriend from the past is a relocated FBI informant out to stop the bad guys.

Director: John Badham
Stars: Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn, David Carradine
Cactus Flower (1969)
Certificate: M Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A dentist pretends to be married to avoid commitment, but when he falls for his girlfriend and proposes, he must recruit his lovelorn nurse to pose as his wife.

Director: Gene Saks
Stars: Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, Goldie Hawn
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Wrongfully turned into a fugitive, a writer seeks the help of his ex-wife, who is now married to an attorney.

Director: Jay Sandrich
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Charles Grodin
Swing Shift (1984)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A woman finds romance when she takes a job at an airport plant to help make ends meet after her husband goes off to war.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Christine Lahti


Cast overview, first billed only:
Teddy Benjamin
Harriet Benjamin
Pvt. Mary Lou Glass
1st Sgt. Jim Ballard
Yale Goodman
Estelle Marlov ...
Vocalist at Wedding
Everett Covin ...
Lee Wallace ...
Mr. Waxman


When her husband dies on their wedding night, Judy decides to join the United States Army. She realizes that she has never been independent in her entire life. What looks like a bad decision at first, turns out not so bad at all. That is, until her superior officer makes sexual advances on her. She has been transferred to NATO headquarters in Europe and (re)meets the Frenchman Henri Tremont. Judy and Henri decide to marry, but will they? Written by Berend Meijer <bmeijer@euronet.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The army was no laughing matter until Judy Benjamin joined it.


Comedy | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La pícara recluta  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)


$69,800,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Off-duty service men and women were used as extras for the war games and basic training sequences as the replica basic training course was so authentic. See more »


During Pvt. Benjamin's visit to Paris when she first goes to Henri's house and he is getting ready to play soccer the next morning he only has on one red sock. When he slips on Max's pee he has on two socks and then in the next second he is once again wearing only one sock and still holding the other. See more »


Harriet Benjamin: It's November here, Kissy.
Teddy Benjamin: It's November everywhere, genius.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue:

When Judy Benjamin was eight years old, she confessed her life's desire to her best friend.

"All I want," Judy whispered, "is a big house... nice clothes, two closets, a live-in maid, and a professional man for a husband."

Today, all of Judy's dreams come true. See more »


Referenced in Entourage: Dramedy (2010) See more »


Hava Nagila
Israeli folk song
played at Judy and Yale's wedding reception
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A woman searching for her identity
14 July 1999 | by (California) – See all my reviews

What I've always enjoyed about this film is that, once you get past all the slapstick and Jewish American Princess jokes, you find the story of a sheltered young woman seeking her identity and independence. Judy Benjamin has been raised in a very coddled existence, believing she can do nothing, and that her only value is to be someone's wife, or attached to a person in some way. When her husband dies on her wedding night, she foolishly joins the army, where her inability is played for laughs. But this is not what the film is really about, in the long run. When her parents come to retrieve her, Barbara Barrie as Judy's mom is literally holding the pen, showing Judy where to sign. To me, this scene is very believable. It's as if Judy finally realizes that she has set herself up to fail. She decides to stay and proves that she can do a good job, she just believed she couldn't.

Perhaps my perspective is different because I saw this film first in 1980 when I was 18 years old, but I still enjoy it to this day. I can overlook the portions that are not very PC by today's standards. It was, after all, a different world then. I find Goldie Hawn's performance to have great comic timing and believability. Eileen Brennan is memorable in her role, even though it is a bit stereotypical by today's standards. Barbara Barrie and Sam Wanamaker are hilarious as Judy's parents, and Robert Webber is unforgettable as Col. Clay Thornbush. I will always enjoy this film, perhaps always from a different viewpoint.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Would the Army really have let her stay? judasfm
The Ending jpar0308
Kate Hudson Remake Dan-136
Good Premise. But Fizzles Toward The End. jbartelone
What is the blue stuff? vixsmith1982
Where is the Special Edition DVD??? gnlew
Discuss Private Benjamin (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: