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
John Winger's use of the phrase "We are the wretched refuse" to describe how the platoon was made up of men from around the world is a reference to a poem, "The New Colossus", by the nineteenth-century American poet Emma Lazarus. "The New Colossus", describing the Statue of Liberty, appears on a plaque at the base of the statue. See more »
During Sargent Hulka's return speech in the troops' room in Germany the position of a background soldiers tie changes from untidy to perfect presentation between shots. See more »
[while Winger is doing push ups for the bet with Ziskey]
I think you're ready for the Special Olympics...
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Classic Military Comedy With A Vintage Performance By Murray
By today's standards, Stripes probably doesn't hold up to such comedies like Wedding Crashers or Old School where there are laughs every minute of the film. But Stripes is a classic comedy that paved the way for such modern films, and fans of Bill Murray should check it out.
As a kid, I used to watch this movie over and over. My friend and I would rewind the scene where the guys were sitting in the barracks telling each other their stories about why they joined the army. This scene is one of my all-time favorites in any comedy I've ever seen.
Murray's performance is vintage in this film. He is awesome as a smart-alec loser who you just have to root for because of his charm and sense of humor and his ability to not care about anything at all. Ramis is also very good as Murray's best friend; the two have great chemistry together.
Anyone who has ever been in the military will find this movie hilarious. The film does a great job with all the secondary characters such as Ox (John Candy), Elmo (Judge Reinhold), Sergeant Hulka (Warren Oates, and Psycho (Conrad Dunn). The two MPs played by PJ Soles and Sean Young are also sexy and great.
With its 1970s/80s humor and its classic soundtrack, this movie is probably not something anyone under 30 would enjoy. If you like Bill Murray or have been in the military, then you should give this one a look. Rating 8 of 10 stars.
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