Stripes (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

Stripes (1981)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A charming, self-elected leader winds up commanding an outfit of misfits.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Dan Goldberg, Len Blum, Harold Ramis, Daniel Goldberg
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 18, 2001
Columbia Pictures


Harold Ramis
as Russell Ziskey
Warren Oates
as Sgt. Hulka
P.J. Soles
as Stella
Sean Young
as Louise
John Larroquette
as Capt. Stillman
John Diehl
as Cruiser
Lance Le Gault
as Col. Glass
William Lucking
as Recruiter
Fran Ryan
as Dowager
Nick Toth
as Guard
Dave Thomas
as Master of Ceremonies
Robin Klein
as Cheerleader
Robert J. Wilke
as Gen. Barnicke
Robert Klein
as Cheerleader
Bob Wilke
as Gen. Barnicke
Lois Areno
as Stillman's Girl Frie...
Samuel Briggs
as Corporal
Joseph X. Flaherty
as Sgt. Crocker
Hershel B. Harlson
as Shoeshine Man
Timothy Busfield
as Soldier with Mortar
Solomon Schmidt
as Store Owner
Craig Schaefer
as Soldier Outside Moto...
Arkady Rakhman
as Immigrant
Pamela Bowman
as Cruiser's Girl
Gino Gottarelli
as Russian Officer
Gene Scherer
as Russian Officer
Dawn Clark
as Mud Wrestler
Juanita Merritt
as Mud Wrestler
Susan Mechsner
as Mud Wrestler
Sue Bowser
as Mud Wrestler
Linda Dupree
as Mud Wrestler
Leslie Henderson
as Mud Wrestler
Gerald J. Counts
as Russian Soldier
Yetim Buntsis
as Russian Soldier
Semyon Veyts
as Russian Soldier
Larry R. Gillette
as Russian Soldier
Larry Gillette
as Russian Soldier
Glen Leigh Marshall
as Russian Soldier
Dale Prince
as Russian Soldier
Bill Paxton
as Soldier
Jeff Viola
as Policeman
Robert Du Laine
as Policeman
Robert Dulaine
as Policeman
Robert Klein
as Cheerleader
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Stripes

Critic Reviews for Stripes

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (7)

The premise and star remain out of whack until the rambling, diffuse screenplay finally struggles beyond basic training.

Full Review… | December 18, 2015
Washington Post
Top Critic

Stripes will keep potential felons off the streets for two hours. Few people seem to be asking, these days, that movies do more.

Full Review… | October 5, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The balance of the film consists of time-tested commercial material, most of which is still working fine.

Full Review… | April 1, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

[Reitmam] manages a reasonable success rate at pulling off the numerous verbal and sight gags with which the script is peppered.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An anarchic slob movie, a celebration of all that is irreverent, reckless, foolhardy, undisciplined, and occasionally scatological. It's a lot of fun.

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

Mr. Murray hasn't yet reached the point at which his routines can be sustained for more than 10 minutes at a time. But he has achieved a sardonically exaggerated calm that can be very entertaining.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Stripes


It's odd how a comedy from 1981 can seem more outdated than say one from 1961. Irreverent is the nicest way to put it. That's not to say Stripes isn't worth watching. It's occasionally hilarious. At the time, the film was the third on which Harold Ramis collaborated with Bill Murray, but the first in which the two actually appeared on camera together. The chemistry of their effortless friendship in real life, easily translates on screen. There's some terrific moments leading up to their arrival at Fort Arnold. The meet-and-greet scene in the Army barracks is a highlight for everyone involved. Ox (John Candy) and Psycho (Conrad Dunn) have amusing introductions. Legend has it that Bill Murray's "Chicks Dig Me" speech, including the bit about Lee Harvey and the cow, was improvised, Their basic training and on through their graduation feature some extremely funny bits. Unfortunately the dramatic momentum runs out of steam during the final act. Up until then, it's quite entertaining. Nostalgic viewers old enough to have originally seen it during the 80s should enjoy it even more.

Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer


Three years prior to Ghostbusters, Ivan Reitman made this half-forgotten little comedy gem. While not as perfectly timed as said classic in its humor, it's still an enjoyable watch with just as great of a cast. Especially as it features two of the busters: namely Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. Another name worth mentioning is the late great John Candy, who earns credit for some of the film's funniest moments. The plot reminds me of an American version of the Swedish comedy Repmånad, which came out two years before it in 1979. In comparison, I was just about equally entertained, but if I could only have one of them in my shelf, I would have to go with the one starring Murray. Because when all is said and done, there's nothing or at least very little in the world that can top that man's comedic genius.

Mike S

Super Reviewer

Funny and entertaining, Ivan Reitman's picture have great comedians on the screen, in hilarious situations, but present a kind of boring ending for a terrific 80's comedy classic.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Stripes Quotes

Soldier: Any one of you homos putcha hands on me...and I kill ya...
– Submitted by Melanie D (3 years ago)
John Winger: We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh. You know what that mean? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of ever decent county in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts!
– Submitted by Dann M (4 years ago)
Russell Ziskey: My father always told me never hit another person in anger unless you were absolutely sure you could get away with it.
– Submitted by topher h (4 years ago)
Sgt. Hulka: Son, there ain't no draft anymore.
– Submitted by topher h (4 years ago)

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