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
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 »
The manual for the EM-50 that Harold Ramis' character is reading in the hangar states the manual is from the War Department instead of saying Department of Defense. The Department of War existed from 1789 - 1947. See more »
A Bit Disappointing, But Overall A Good Comedy (Just Not Great)
The story of a man who wanted to keep the world safe for democracy...and meet girls
Bill Murray and Harold Ramis star in `Stripes,' a military satire which went on to spawn many copies, including the horrible `Police Academy' series.
John Winger (Murray) is a down-on-his-luck cabbie. Russel Ziskey (Ramis) is an equally unfortunate friend of Winger's. After finally losing his cabbie job, Winger decided that the military is the best place to go, so he coaxes Ziskey into signing up as well.
I remember hearing a lot about `Stripes.' It was supposed to be a really hilarious movie. So, you could say I had high expectations for the film. I was more than pleased when it finally played on TV not too long ago, and after all these years I finally got to view it for the first time.
Bill Murray uses his smart-aleck persona to a great advantage in this film. This was one of his first post-SNL films, and it's no wonder this film spawned a film career for him. Harold Ramis is funny as his complete opposite of a friend. In the film, Murray is a big pain for Warren Oates (great as Sgt. Hulka). If you've never noticed, Steve Guttenberg completely ripped Murray's character off in `Police Academy,' but I already mentioned that.
There are some big laughs in this film, and I'd give it four stars, however, I felt that the end was thrown together a bit crudely. The plot kind of went haywire.
`Stripes' was a bit disappointing for me; however, it is a good comedy, and a clever satire on the army/military. Plus, there are some excellent actors and co-stars in this film, including the hilarious John Candy as Ox. Overall, I'd give the film a 3.5/5 stars. Not great, but worth watching for sure.
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