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Private Benjamin (1980)

R  |   |  Comedy, War  |  10 October 1980 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 16,788 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 20 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.

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Title: Private Benjamin (1980)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La pícara recluta  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$69,800,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Goldie Hawn signed onto Private Benjamin in June 1979 and went through boot camp training for six weeks. See more »

Goofs

After the "war games", the women are back at their barracks and had been dancing to "We Are Family" and Captain Lewis comes in to address them wearing an off-white Australian-style "bush hat." On it, an improper eagle device, that of an enlisted woman, was clearly shown. Those of an officer do not have the circular brass base but are the more impressive large-eagle emblem of an officer. See more »

Quotes

Judy Benjamin: Henri, you are a shmuck.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Rock Soup (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Down by the Riverside
(uncredited)
traditional spiritual
played by jazz band in lounge
See more »

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User Reviews

 
As Uneven As The Times
31 October 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE POST Vietnam War years were a sort of mixed bag of conflicting attitudes, changing social mores and an unsure future. Every one of these elements are reflected in the films of that era and the elements that comprise the uneven mood and mission of PRIVATE BENJAMIN are typical.

ALTHOUGH THE CONFLICT in Southeast Asia is not a player in the film, the now (1980) vilified Military is at the center of the story. One could gather that the writer and production team inferred that one's choosing to join or to make a career of the Armed Forces was below the dignity of anyone who wishes to "make anything of himself."

PROMOTED AS A COMEDY starring vehicle for Miss Goldie Hawn, the movie proves to be much more complex. We concede that, yes it is a comedy in the Classic, Shakespearean sense and there were many a moment of high readings on the old laugh-meter. But there is always an underlying feeling of tension, uncertainty and indecision.

THE PERFORMANCES BY the cast were better than average; with star Goldie Hawn and Eileen Brennan's lively interpretations of the women of the U.S. Army being the most interesting aspect of this uneven and preachy comedy-drama.

THE FOLLOWING YEAR (1981) Warner Brothers launched a PRIVATE BENJAMIN TV Series; which ran on CBS. In the series, Eileen Brenan reprised her role from the feature film. She was the only hold over./


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