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



, (as Dan Goldberg) | 1 more credit »
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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?


In 1993 Bill Murray reflected, "I'm still a little queasy that I actually made a movie where I carry a machine gun. But I felt if you were rescuing your friends it was okay. It wasn't Reds (1981) or anything, but it captured what it was like on an Army base: It was cold, you had to wear the same green clothes, you had to do a lot of physical stuff, you got treated pretty badly, and had bad coffee". See more »


During the battle scene, the RV is shot by a cannon on a roof top, you can see the gunner moving the trigger after the shot, and there was no recoil. See more »


Sergeant Hulka: When I tell you move, you'll move fast. When I tell you to jump, you're gonna say, "How high?" And make no mistake. I don't care where you come from, I don't care what color you are, I don't care how smart you are, I don't care how dumb you are, 'cause I'm gonna teach every last one of you how to eat, sleep, walk, talk, shoot, shit like a United States soldier. Understand?
Cruiser: Yes, sir.
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 Community: Pilot (2009) 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

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User Reviews

Great Murray
29 May 2003 | by (West Chester, Pa) – See all my reviews

May be THE classic Bill Murray movie, with Murray, Ramis, Candy and other oddballs making it in the Army. There are three general sequences - Murray pre-Army, basic training, and the mission (occurring after Murray and Ramis "borrow" Army test vehicle with their MP girlfriends). Each of the sequences are funny, I personally like Murray pre-Army best and the mission least. Warren Oates as "Sgt. Hulka" is a modern classic. Over twenty years later and this is still the reigning service comedy.

28 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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