174 user 67 critic

Stripes (1981)

R | | Comedy, War | 26 June 1981 (USA)
Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun.


Ivan Reitman


Len Blum, Daniel Goldberg (as Dan Goldberg) | 1 more credit »
2,916 ( 851)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Murray ... John
Harold Ramis ... Russell
Warren Oates ... Sgt. Hulka
P.J. Soles ... Stella
Sean Young ... Louise
John Candy ... Ox
John Larroquette ... Capt. Stillman
John Voldstad ... Stillman's Aide
John Diehl ... Cruiser
Lance LeGault ... Col. Glass
Roberta Leighton Roberta Leighton ... Anita
Conrad Dunn Conrad Dunn ... Psycho
Judge Reinhold ... Elmo
Antone Pagán ... Hector (as Antone Pagan)
Glenn-Michael Jones Glenn-Michael Jones ... Leon


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


Today's army needs men of courage... honesty... integrity... ambition. Instead, they got John Winger. See more »


Comedy | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Chevy Chase and John Belushi were considered to play John winger. Dan Aykroyd was considered for the role of Russell Ziskey. See more »


During basic training civilian clothes are locked up in a storage room therefore none of the troops would have access to them. See more »


John Winger: My philosophy: a hundred-dollar shine on a three-dollar pair of shoes.
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Crazy Credits

As the entire end credits are playing, Ox and the soldiers are marching while leaving the airport See more »

Alternate Versions

For the extended DVD release, the German version was completely redubbed. See more »


Referenced in Family Guy: Encyclopedia Griffin (2015) See more »


Do Wah Diddy Diddy
Written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich
Performed by Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, John Candy, Judge Reinhold and cast members during marching manoeuvres
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User Reviews

Pretty Good Comedy
8 February 2006 | by no-skylineSee all my reviews

Three giants of American comedy Bill Murray, John Candy and Harrold Ramis star in this often funny, occasionally hilarious tale of misfits joining the army. This is along the lines of Police Academy in plot but slightly less zany in delivery due to the deadpan delivery of Rammis and particularly Murry who plays the ultimate slacker.

It has to be said there are some comedy misfires in here and the ending is maybe a bit much, but overall this is a good little comedy. Murray is of course excellent as is most of the supporting cast, John Candy is maybe a little underused as Ox. Also the film is definitely of it's time (the cold war still in full swing, boo ruskies and reds etc) but that wont spoil your enjoyment.

7/10 - Not up there with Murray and Ramis best (Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters) but worth a watch on cable or rental.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Russian | Polish

Release Date:

26 June 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cheech and Chong Join the Army See more »

Filming Locations:

Kentucky, USA See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,130,197, 28 June 1981

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


| (extended) | (extended) | (extended)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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