Sgt. Bilko (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sgt. Bilko (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The classic 1955-59 sitcom The Phil Silvers Show (also known as "You'll Never Get Rich" in its first few episodes) became this high concept comedy with an all-star cast. Steve Martin stars as U.S. Army Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko, a conniving motor pool supervisor who uses his position to finance various get-rich-quick schemes, including illegal gambling, at a Kansas military base. His commanding officer, Colonel Hall (Dan Aykroyd) is mostly oblivious to Bilko's antics. Trouble arrives when the master sergeant's old rival, Major Thorn (Phil Hartman), appears. It seems that Thorn, the butt of several past Bilko capers, is eager to settle the score by spearheading a review of Bilko's records and stealing away his fiancée Rita (Glenne Headley), who may have been left at the altar one too many times. At the same time, military engineer Major Ebersole (Austin Pendleton) is testing a new high-tech "hover tank" that may not be quite ready for deployment. Directed by light comedy specialist Jonathan Lynn, who brought a similar touch to My Cousin Vinny (1992) and Greedy (1994), the updated Sgt. Bilko costarred Cathy Silvers, daughter of the TV show's late star, as Lieutenant Monday. ~ Karl Williams, Rovimore
Rating: PG (adult situations/language)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Andy Breckman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 30, 1998
MCA Universal Home Video


Steve Martin
as Sgt. Ernie Bilko
Dan Aykroyd
as Col. Hall
Phil Hartman
as Maj. Thorn
Glenne Headly
as Rita Robbins
Max Casella
as Dino Paparelli
Eric Edwards
as Duane Doberman
Dan Ferro
as Tony Morales
John Marshall Jones
as Sgt. Henshaw
Brian Leckner
as Sam Fender
John Ortiz
as Luis Clemente
Pamela S. Adlon
as Sgt. Raquel Barbella
Stephen Park
as Captain Moon
Mitchell Whitfield
as Mickey Zimmerman
Austin Pendleton
as Major Ebersole
Chris Rock
as Lt. Oster
Steve Park
as Captain Moon
Henry Hayshi
as First Technician
Debra Jo Rupp
as Mrs. Hall
Richard Herd
as General Tennyson
Steve Kehela
as Master Sergeant Sowi...
Dale Dye
as First Engineer
Rance Howard
as Mr. Robbins
Steph Benseman
as Bartender
Sammy Micco
as Blackjack Dealer
Ursula Burton
as Assistant Casino Man...
Carol Rosenthal
as G.H.Q. Corporal
Henry Hayashi
as First Technician
Anthony Monroy-Marqu...
as Schoolboy Actor
Lauren Kate Weinger
as Schoolgirl Actress
Travis Tritt
as Himself
Reno Wilson
as Radio Disc Jockey
Glenne Hartman
as Rita Robbins
Sally Ann Brooks
as Second Technician
Derek Basco
as Soldier
Phil Headly
as Major Thorn
Carmela Rappazo
as Telephone Operator
Dwayne Chattman
as 1st Soldier
Andrea C. Robinson
as First Vegas Woman
Lynn Tulaine
as Second Vegas Woman
Michael D. Starks
as Boxing Trainer
David E. Cousin
as Craps Dealer
Allan Bragg
as D.O.D. Dignitary
Frank Romano
as Pit Boss
Russell Bobbitt
as Valet Parker
Lauren Weinger
as Schoolgirl Actress
Daryl Mitchell
as Wally Holbrook
Pamela Segall
as Sgt. Raquel Barbella
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Sgt. Bilko

Critic Reviews for Sgt. Bilko

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (12)

Though Martin and a solid supporting cast produce a few scattered moments of near-hilarity, for the most part the terrain here is as flat as it gets.

Full Review… | May 19, 2008
Top Critic

[A] celebration of high jinks.

Full Review… | May 19, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This is shoddy hackwork, replaying classic scenarios (the honest new recruit, audits by Pentagon bigwigs and manoeuvres in Nevada) with such disregard for narrative structure the reels might be in the wrong order.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The film is full of gratifying gags like these, but it also has to strain for newly enlarged scope.

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

Wacky is just the right tone for a spring comedy.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

This Sgt. Bilko should be court-martialed.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sgt. Bilko


Sgt. Bilko is a very good comedy that unfortunately is pretty underrated. Steve Martin is great here and there's plenty of good elements to make up a smart comedy. If you're going in with expectations that this will be a Hangover type comedy, you'll be very disappointed. This is a very funny film that is supported by a good cast, including the late, great Phil Hartman. This is a smart, witty comedy. Steve Martin is very funny here and he makes the film very enjoyable. Sgt. Bilko is a very underrated film. I don't understand why this film has gotten so many bad reviews. This is a fine comedy that will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good Steve Martin flick. Sure, this film isn't perfect, but the cast deliver good comedic performances that make this film a worthy comedy to watch. Steve Martin delivers a good comedic performance that makes this film worth it. Sgt. Bilko may not be a perfect film, but it definitely is an underrated film that doesn't deserve the flack it has received. For what it is, Sgt. Bilko is a smart comedy that has good acting, good laughs and is overall very entertaining. I very much loved this film, and I think that it has plenty of effective comedic moments to make it a worthwhile film to watch.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Remember those secret little comedy gems Steve Martin made in the 80's and 90's that no one ever saw but were amazing? Yeah, this isn't one of them. Sgt. Bilko is not a character anyone can empathize with. He's dishonest, depraved, and virtually unkind. The movie explains that though he has all these faults, he boosts his platoon's morale. Since when did morale building have to include being mean spirited and rude to all hardworking soldiers and make fun of everything America was built on? Martin himself is unlikable, as he stands up his bride at the altar more than once, fixes boxing matches, runs lotteries, and charges everyone for basic necessities, including towels. Even Hartman is stuck in a role where he's supposed to be a villain who is only trying to do his job, unlike Bilko. Out for revenge for the last time Bilko basically got away with murder, Hartman's character sabotages the sergeant by being crooked. So the moral of the story is that you can do what you please, and if it makes everyone somewhat happy you can get away with it? Just plain blah.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


i liked this film. it was a fun comedy, not great and i didnt actually laugh much but martin is always entertaining. this was decent.

danny d

Super Reviewer

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