Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Private Benjamin (1980)

Private Benjamin (1980)

Widowed on her wedding night, sheltered socialite Judy Benjamin proves susceptible to a persuasive recruitment officer extolling the joys of life in the “new” army.

But, however unfit Judy may be for the military, the army is even less prepared for her.

At a time when everyone was looking for a star vehicle for Goldie Hawn, she turned up in this high-octane tale about a Jewish princess who joins the US Army.


It’s basically a one-joke effort, but that joke has Hawn throwing herself with great gusto into the role of a bewildered spoilt brat who comes good and her Oscar-nominated performance has huge charm.

If only director Howard Zieff had allowed someone else to get a look in – the members of the supporting cast are mere satellites around a perky sun – and the screenplay had been broadened to contain more than just gags about broken fingernails.

Even so, Eileen Brennan (as best supporting actress) and the writers also received Oscar nominations.

Judy Benjamin
Goldie Hawn
Captain Doreen Lewis
Eileen Brennan
Henri Tremont
Armand Assante
Colonel Clay Thornbush
Robert Webber
Teddy Benjamin
Sam Wanamaker
Harriet Benjamin
Barbara Barrie
Private Mary Lou Glass
Mary Kay Place
Sergeant Jim Ballard
Harry Dean Stanton
Yale Goodman
Albert Brooks

Howard Zieff