Private Benjamin (1980)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Devastated when her brand-new husband (Albert Brooks) drops dead on their wedding night, Jewish American princess Judy Benjamin (Goldie Hawn) is receptive to the pitch delivered by a duplicitous recruiter for the Women's Army Corps. Quickly adivsed by topkick Captain Lewis (Eileen Brennan) that she should not look forward to the private room, fancy clothes and sauna bath that she'd been promised, Judy is forced to go through basic training like any other "grunt". This turns out to be a real growth experience for the pampered Private Benjamin, who for the first time in her life has to work for her privileges. A brief misadventure with a lascivious paratroop officer (Robert Webber) nearly sours Judy on army life, but she turns out to be a darned good soldier-and a woman with a highly developed sense of self-esteem, which enables her to weather a further disappointing romantic fling with French phsycian Henri Tremont (Armand Assante). Private Benjamin turned out to be one of Goldie Hawn's most profitable vehicles. The 1981-82 TV sitcom spinoff starred Lorna Patterson in Goldie's role, with Eileen Brennan repeating her film characterization of the long-suffering Captain Lewis. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
as Judy Benjamin
as Capt. Doreen Lewis
as Henri Tremont
as Col. Clay Thornbush
as Teddy Benjamin
as Harriet Benjamin
as Pvt. Mary Lou Glass
as Sgt. Jim Ballard
as Yale Goodman
as Band Leader
as Mr. Waxman
as Aunt Kitty
as Aunt Betty
as Mrs. Goodman
as Stanley Goodman
as Limo Passerby
as Induction Officer
as Sgt. L.C. Ross
as Pvt. Ganelli
as Pvt. Gloria Moe
as Pvt. P.J. Soyer
as Pvt. Wanda Winter
as Capt. William Woodbr...
as Red Team Soldier
as Red Team Soldier
as Slick Guy
as Kim Osaka
as Leo Lemish
as Liz Lemish
as Mrs. Thornbush
as Lt. Rahmi
as General Foley
as Mrs. Tremont
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Critic Reviews for Private Benjamin
Goldie Hawn gives a charming, Oscar-nominated performance in this lightly feminist service comedy.
Goldie Hawn at the height of her powers.
Funny, popular Goldie Hawn comedy set in army boot camp.
Private Benjamin is a comic fairy tale with a delightful performance by Goldie Hawn.
Why do people like this movie? I don't get it,
Military mockery featuring Hawn as a spoiled princess in army boots. Private Benjamin deserves combat pay for its slaphappy fish-out-of-water premise...a real hoot-and-a-half
Ugh! I lose faith in Americans when they make garbage like this into a hit.
Great first half, boring second half.
This isn't the army in the commercials, but it's Goldie at her best.
Audience Reviews for Private Benjamin
Thinking that it's a vacation spot, Jewish American Princess joins the Army.
Goldie Hawn, whose work never impressed me before, gives an excellent performance, mostly in her silence. Her cold, hurt stare at her father when her parents come to pick her up from boot camp, her dead-pan sex scene - she's great in the in-between moments.
The film's femme-power message is good, but most of the story belies believability. Even the dumbest person wouldn't believe the myths about vacation condos in the Army, Private Benjamin's defeat of the opposing squad, the lecherous superior officer, her time in Paris, even the cliche of girls sitting around talking about how they lost their virginity - it's all too trite and too convenient and bespeaks heavy-handed writing. This story doesn't unfold; it jumps.
Overall, Hawn's work is remarkable, but the film's flimsy plot leaves much to be desired.
It's a good film, but only for it's obvious target audience. It has a few funny moments but it got boring in it's second half and ran out of steam. The performance of Goldie Hawn is great but everything else could have been better leaving this chick flick as enjoyable as accidentally signing up for the army.More
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