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
The date of the film's release, June 26, 1981, is the same as the date on the Springfield Daily Examiner newspaper announcing of Sergeant Hulka: "ARMY HERO RETIRES" at the end of the film. See more »
When the men assemble on the parade ground for their impromptu performance at graduation, a yellow hash mark is visible on the ground that tells them where to turn right as they double-time into position. See more »
He quit his job and lost his girlfriend. before Lost in Translation and Broken Flowers, he was just a wacky pain-in-the-ass recruit that gave Sgt. Hulka (Warren Oates) nightmares. When it comes to comedy Bill Murray is a winner hands down.
Add in John Candy; John Larroquette as the peeping Capt. Stillman; Judge Reinhold; Harold Ramis; the quick peep at Roberta Leighton; and the hot Lois Hamilton and you have a military comedy of errors that will keep you in stitches.
Of course there is a lot of beautiful scenery in this film in the showers and in the mud pit.
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