Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Voldstad ...
Stillman's Aide
Lance LeGault ...
Roberta Leighton ...
Glenn-Michael Jones ...


At the end of a very bad day when he realizes his life has gone and is going nowhere, John Winger is able to convince his best friend, Russell Ziskey, whose life is not much better, to enlist in the army, despite they not being obvious soldier material. In basic training, they are only two of a bunch of misfits that comprise their platoon. However, it is still John that is constantly butting heads with their drill sergeant, Sergeant Hulka. Two of their saving graces are Stella and Louise, two MPs who get them out of one scrape after another. Their entire platoon is in jeopardy of not graduating. But what happens during basic leads to their entire platoon being assigned to an overseas mission in Italy, to test a new urban assault vehicle, the EM-50 project. John and Russell decide to take the EM-50 for an unauthorized test drive to visit Stella and Louise who have been reassigned to West Germany. In the process, the rest of the platoon, Hulka, and Hulka's immediate superior, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The story of a man who wanted to keep the world safe for democracy...and meet girls


Action | Comedy | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

26 June 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cheech and Chong Join the Army  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)


$85,300,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended) | (extended)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The cast improvised virtually all of the dialog where they sit around and tell their back stories. This includes Bill Murray's lines about 'Lee Harvey' making out with a cow and calling Sgt. Hulka a 'big toe'. See more »


Position of John's pack and cap when he's stopped from going AWOL by Russell. See more »


[after a shoe shine]
John Winger: I don't think I've ever been this happy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Four actors with the first name "John", are listed back -to-back in the final credits: John Candy, John Larroquette, John Voldstad and John Diehl. See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: GI (Annoyed Grunt) (2006) See more »


Da Doo Ron Ron
Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Extremely funny movie, another Bill Murray classic
20 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Everyone is funny in this film. Every performance is first-rate and each character adds something to the humor of this movie.

Stripes begins with Bill Murray losing his job, his car and his girlfriend all in the same day. His buddy Harold Ramis is also leading a lackluster life teaching the English language to foreigners who know only curse words. These depressing circumstances set the stage for Murray to convince Ramis to come with him and join the Army.

Basic training, a hard-ass drill sergeant, female military police and naked mud wrestling consume the rest of this hilarious film. Anyone who appreciates smart-ass humor should see this. However Murray and Ramis are the focal point of most of the humor in Stripes and are very easy to relate to. Also stars John Candy, P.J. Soles, Sean Young, John Larroquette and Judge Reinhold.

14 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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