Private Benjamin

1980 film by Howard Zieff

Private Benjamin is a 1980 film about a spoiled, wealthy woman who joins the US Army after her husband dies of a heart attack on their wedding night. She finds out that life in the Army is not the glamorous job she expected it to be.

Directed by Howard Zieff. Written by Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, and Harvey Miller.
The Army was no laughing matter. Until Judy Benjamin joined it!

Pvt. Judy BenjaminEdit

  • What, the Army couldn't afford drapes? I mean, I'll be up at the crack of dawn here!
  • Has anyone ever died from basic?
  • [After being issued with an Army uniform] Excuse me, sir, is green the only color these come in?


[First day of recruit training. Sergeant Ross is doing roll call.]
Sgt. Ross: Benjamin? Where is Benjamin?
Pvt. Winters: She is still on the bus, asleep!
[Sgt. Ross finds a sleeping Judy on the bus]
Sgt. Ross: [softly] Benjamin. Oh, Benjamin, are you awake?
Pvt. Benjamin: [drowsily]Are we at the camp?
Sgt. Ross: Yes, you have arrived at the camp.
Pvt. Benjamin: That bus ride was harrowing! I'll sleep it off.
Sgt. Ross: [roaring] Off the bus! NOW!

Pvt. Benjamin: I think they sent me to the wrong place.
Capt. Lewis: Uh-huh.
Pvt. Benjamin: See, I did join the army, but I joined a different army. I joined the one with the condos and the private rooms.
Cpt. Lewis: I got news for you, Princess. THERE IS NO OTHER ARMY!

Pvt. Benjamin: To be truthful with you, I can't sleep in a room with 20 strangers.
Capt. Lewis: Oh dear.
Pvt. Benjamin: And I mean look at this place. The army couldn't afford drapes? I'll be up at the crack of dawn here!

Pvt. Benjamin: Have you seen the bathroom?
Capt. Lewis: Do you think that the latrine... do you think that it's unsanitary?
Pvt. Benjamin: It's disgusting! There are urinals in there!

Sgt. Ross: Everybody up! Everybody, Benjamin.
Judy: Oh God, you can't mean me. I worked the night shift. Go check out the bathroom, it's fabulous!

Cpt. Lewis: BENJAMIN! You are unfit to wear this uniform!
Pvt. Benjamin: No shit!

Pvt. Benjamin: What do you want from me? I didn't ask her to punish everybody! Do you think I like schlepping in the rain all day and all night?
Pvt. Winter: Just keep marching, Benjamin.
Pvt. Benjamin: My name is Judy! J-U-D-Y Judy and I'd like somebody to call me by my name! Oh, okay I took my life in my own hands, I made a mistake fine I'm sorry! I'll never do it again! I wanna wear my sandals... I wanna go out to lunch. I wanna be NORMAL again!

[Judy is escorted to a soldier's lounge where she is surprised to see her parents]
Pvt. Benjamin: Mom, Daddy?
Harriet Benjamin: Oh, sweetheart!
Teddy Benjamin: What happened, Judy? We did not hear from you since Yale's funeral. Then out of the blue we get a call from some man who tells us you joined the United States Army?!
Cpt. Lewis: Just sign these papers and you are as good as home. [to her parents] It is a pity we are losing her. She was such a delight to have in our company.
Teddy Benjamin: Well that is it. From now on we never let Judy out of our sight. We decide what to do.
Pvt. Benjamin: I am sorry, but I must go back and graduate. Mom, Daddy, I will see you then. Captain Lewis.
[Judy renders a sharp salute and returns to barracks, leaving all three people with an astonished expression]


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