A sheltered young high-society woman joins the United States Army on a whim and finds herself in a trickier situation than she ever expected.

Director:

Howard Zieff
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Goldie Hawn ... Judy Benjamin
Eileen Brennan ... Capt. Doreen Lewis
Armand Assante ... Henrí Trémont
Robert Webber ... Col. Clay Thornbush
Sam Wanamaker ... Teddy Benjamin
Barbara Barrie ... Harriet Benjamin
Mary Kay Place ... Pvt. Mary Lou Glass
Harry Dean Stanton ... Sgt. Jim Ballard
Albert Brooks ... Yale Goodman
Alan Oppenheimer ... Rabbi
Estelle Marlov Estelle Marlov ... Vocalist at Wedding
Everett Covin Everett Covin ... Bandleader
Robert Hanley ... Arnie
Lee Wallace ... Mr. Waxman
James Dybas ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The trick that Judy and her fellow soldiers use to infiltrate the other side and ultimately win the war game: changing the color of their armbands, is the same ploy used in "The Dirty Dozen" (1967) to win the war game that convinced their commanders that they were qualified for their upcoming task. Charles Bronson didn't use his underwear as a fake armband though. See more »

Goofs

When the girls are in the war games and capture the Red Team truck the Sgt throws the keys away. Army vehicles do not require keys to start. The ignition is hardwired to a start button on the dash. EDIT: Every vehicle in the Army then required a key. If the vehicle did have a starter button (a switch on floor akin to the old headlight dimmer switches in cars) it would still be secured when parked by a chain welded to the floor and running up through the steering wheel and secured with a padlock. You can start it, but you can't steer it unless you have the key. Throwing away the key isn't a factual mistake. See more »

Quotes

Yale Goodman: Lift your back leg.
Judy Benjamin: I don't have a back leg.
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Crazy Credits

As the entire end credits are playing, Judy is running on a trail after leaving the altar. See more »


Soundtracks

Body and Soul
(1930) (uncredited)
by Edward Heyman (as E. Heyman), Robert Sour (as R. Sour), Frank Eyton (as F. Eyton) and Johnny Green (as J. Green)
played by jazz band in lounge
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User Reviews

 
Goldie as the world's most unlikely soldier...
30 August 2006 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Thanks mainly to a clever script and the presence of GOLDIE HAWN and EILEEN BRENNAN, this is the kind of service comedy that brings back reminders of how this sort of thing was done back in the '40s with comedies like SEE HERE, PRIVATE HARGROVE or YOU'RE IN THE ARMY NOW or BUCK PRIVATES.

But this time, it's a woman enlistee who has to go through the rigors of boot camp (arguably, the best segments in the whole film and the funniest). Goldie is a spoiled rich girl who thinks the Army is going to be a respite from her problems as a woman who lost her husband on her wedding night. She's in for quite a learning experience and the gags come fast and furious for the first half-hour or so.

Then, when romance enters the story, it becomes rather uneven as she has an affair with a Frenchman, ARMAND ASSANTE, who turns out to be a first-class heel. By the end of the film, she decides to re-enlist rather than return to the civilian life she found so empty.

It's a decidedly uneven comedy, but Goldie's perfect comic timing and ability to switch gears when romance is called for, shows she had more dimension as an actress than anyone suspected. She was nominated for an Oscar for her Private Benjamin--and Eileen Brennan, hilarious as Capt. Doreen Lewis won a supporting role nomination.

Goldie's fans should love this one; and after all, it's not supposed to be taken seriously, it's all done tongue-in-cheek style.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Private Benjamin See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,739,769, 12 October 1980

Gross USA:

$69,847,348

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$69,847,348
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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