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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.

Director:

Ivan Reitman

Writers:

Len Blum, Daniel Goldberg (as Dan Goldberg) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,257 ( 296)

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The U.S. Army was actually very helpful and cooperative during filming, which surprised Ivan Reitman since the script depicts the military as being made up largely of buffoons. See more »

Goofs

Col. Glass has two ribbons reversed. The Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation should be ahead of the Republic of Vietnam Nam Presidential Unit Citation. See more »

Quotes

Corporal, Stillman's aide: [Stillman is in his office, using a telescope to spy out his window and into the women's shower... Glass and the corporal walk in] Excuse me, C-C-Captain...
Captain Stillman: [angry] When I don't want to be disturbed...
Col. Glass: [interrupting] STILLMAN!
Captain Stillman: [breaks the window and sends the telescope through it, then turns around and stands at attention] Yes, sir!
Corporal, Stillman's aide: Colonel Glass to see you, sir.
Captain Stillman: I can see that, Corporal! Dismissed.
[to Glass]
Captain Stillman: Oh, it's a pleasure to see you, sir!
Col. Glass: Let's skip the bullshit, Captain. I have a problem, and I ...
[...]
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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 »

Alternate Versions

The broadcast television version features an altered version of the scene where Captain Stillman is watching the female soldiers as they shower. In the original version they are entirely nude, however in the broadcast version they are only shown from the neck up. See more »


Soundtracks

Rubberband Man
Written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed (uncredited)
Performed by The Spinners
Courtesy of Atlantic Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
It Can Stand Up To Goofballs.
15 December 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Despite the fact that there is no way on God's green earth or this country's army that such a set of circumstances could ever happen, that's still no reason not to enjoy Stripes. The film is in a long line of service comedies that date all the way back to Charlie Chaplin's Shoulder Arms and further than that. Even Shakespeare found some humor in army life, just read how Falstaff made do in the service of his king.

Of course Falstaff wasn't a drill sergeant like Warren Oates who had a platoon of underachievers with the likes of Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and John Candy as recruits. As is usual the service comedies make a mistake in that the basic training company stays intact with the same sergeant. In real life Oates would have taken a drink when the eight weeks was done and gone on to some fresh young trainees.

But some brain in the Pentagon decides that what a new type urban assault vehicle needs is some fresh recruits to maintain it, reasoning if the vehicle is worthy it can stand up to goofballs. The vehicle looks like your ordinary average camper, in fact Murray and Ramis while they're guarding it decide it would be a great chick magnet. So they pick up a pair of female MPs in P.J. Soles and Sean Young.

The officer in charge is John Larroquette who isn't much better than the recruits he has and when the vehicle turns up missing, he sounds the general alarm worthy of the Captain in Mister Roberts. He leads the whole troop after Murray and Ramis right into at that time Communist Czechoslovakia and some nasty Russians. Good thing they didn't have their A team playing either.

Stripes is your typical armed service comedy with a nice Eighties twist from Bill Murray and a crew from Saturday Night Live just coming into their prime as players. John Larroquette is the best in the film, imagine ADA Dan Fielding in an army uniform and you got Larroquette's character. You notice the New York County DA's office never gives Fielding any really big cases to handle.

And yes that vehicle can withstand anything and it has more tricks than James Bond's Astin-Martin. To see what and how much, you have to watch Stripes.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,130,197, 28 June 1981

Gross USA:

$85,297,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$85,297,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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