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Stripes (1981)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, War  |  26 June 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 45,215 users  
Reviews: 129 user | 46 critic

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 ...


Thanks to a run of bad luck and go-nowhere jobs, John convinces Russell to join the army so they can get in shape, likening it to a health spa. Once in boot camp, wiseguy John tangles with his by-the-book Sgt. and becomes the unofficial leader for his platoon, made up mostly of other misfits and assorted losers. After somehow making it through graduation, they are given a special assignment but, thanks to John's romantic interest in a pretty MPO, the other men wind up behind the Iron Curtain until John, Russell, their dates and Sgt. Hulka make a daring rescue attempt in explosive style. Written by Warlock <asstgpa@crimjust.ccj.scarolina.edu>

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?


John Larroquette broke his nose while shooting an additional take of a scene of him running through a door. The shot shown in the film is the first take. Heavy makeup was applied to Larroquette's nose for the rest of filming. See more »


During the escape, Ox knocks over a rusty barrel, and reveals a shiny, spotless interior. See more »


Russell Ziskey: [Russell has just accosted John, who is trying to sneak off the base in the middle of the night... Russell has John on the ground] Where do you think you're going? Are you going AWOL? Are you going AWOL?
John Winger: No, I'm deserting.
Russell Ziskey: You idiot! You desert now, it's a federal offense!
John Winger: I'll take my chances with the feds!
Russell Ziskey: You're not going anywhere!
[pulls him up and throws him up against a tank]
Russell Ziskey: You listen to me! You're gonna finish basic training! You're gonna keep your mouth shut, and you're gonna do ...
See more »


Referenced in Chuck: Chuck Versus the Nacho Sampler (2010) See more »


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Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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!

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

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