6.9/10
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153 user 59 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.

Director:

Ivan Reitman

Writers:

Len Blum, Daniel Goldberg (as Dan Goldberg) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,126 ( 1,279)

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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 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:

The story of a man who wanted to keep the world safe for democracy...and meet girls

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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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
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

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Sergeant Hulka: You're all in this together!
[to Psycho]
Sergeant Hulka: One of these men may save your life one of these days. You understand that?
John Winger: Then again, maybe one of us won't.
See more »

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 TV version omits all the nudity in the strip club scene, and replaces it with alternate takes, such as Psycho playing pinball. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Deadpool (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A Bit Disappointing, But Overall A Good Comedy (Just Not Great)
24 January 2003 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

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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