Private Benjamin (1980)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, Harvey Miller
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 1, 2001
Warner Bros. Pictures


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 Newscaster

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
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Private Benjamin

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Funny fish-out-of-water comedy with lots of sexual content.

Full Review… | January 21, 2015
Common Sense Media

Goldie Hawn gives a charming, Oscar-nominated performance in this lightly feminist service comedy.

Full Review… | May 1, 2011

Goldie Hawn at the height of her powers.

November 6, 2005

Funny, popular Goldie Hawn comedy set in army boot camp.

June 12, 2005
Kansas City Kansan

Private Benjamin is a comic fairy tale with a delightful performance by Goldie Hawn.

Full Review… | January 29, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

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.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


Goldie Hawn -- I remember when she was cute. Sadly, cute grimaces don't make up for talent.

Christian C

Super Reviewer


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.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Private Benjamin Quotes

– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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