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:





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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?


John Winger's habit of hiding his money when removing it from his pocket is lifted from Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush in A Day at the Races (1937). See more »


In the end scene at the airfield, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis' characters (and others) are welcomed as heroes. Ramis's character is speaking to reporters but what he's saying doesn't match up to his lips talking. See more »


John Winger: Tito Puente's gonna be dead, and you're gonna say, "Oh, I've been listening to him for years, and I think he's fabulous."
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 'Halloween' Unmasked 2000 (1999) See more »


Rubberband Man
Written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed (uncredited)
Performed by The Spinners
Courtesy of Atlantic Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Funny as hell!
5 March 2002 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Stripes is a raunchy, adult comedy from critically acclaimed producer/director Ivan Reitman (Evolution, Kindergarten Cop). And it stars Bill Murray (The Royal Tenenbaums), Harold Ramis (As Good as it Gets), John Candy (Uncle Buck), Warren Oates (True Grit).

Low life cab driver John Winger (Bill Murray) loses a lot in 2 hours. That is his job, his apartment, his girlfriend, his car. So, he decides that he's had enough of his pathetic life in New York, so he decides to join the army. He also talks his friend Russel Ziskey (Harold Ramis) into joining with him.

When they finally do join, they are both put into a platoon drilled by Sgt. Hulka (Warren Oates) who has his eye on John. They both go through weeks and weeks of hell by doing basic training and putting up with Sgt. Hulka. But, they full fill their goal by meeting Stella (P.J. Soles) and Louise (Sean Young), two beautiful MP's who have their eys on Russel and John.

As the story moves on, they go to battle in Germany and end up in more hilarious confilcts.

I must say, I think that Warren Oates was a perfect choice for Sgt. Hulka, and that he was so brilliant and funny with the character. I give him graditude. 1921-1982

This is not a movie for kids, but teens may enjoy it if they are looking for a hilarious comedy. STRIPES is 100% classic and comedy!

21 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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