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Private Benjamin is a 1980 Americanmarker comedy film starring Goldie Hawn. The film was one of the biggest box office hits of 1980, and also spawned a short-lived television series. The film is ranked 82 on the American Film Institute's "100 Funniest Movies" poll, and 58 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies".

Plot details

Hawn plays Judy Benjamin, a JAP who joins the U.S. Army after her new husband dies on their wedding night. Duped by a sneaky recruiting sergeant, who lets her believe military life to be more glamorous than it is, she has a rude awakening in boot camp. Her superior officer Captain Doreen Lewis takes special delight in making her life hell. Judy is forced to re-evaluate her conduct when given the option of quitting the Army on psychiatric grounds. She chooses to stick it out, and has a series of adventures which eventually lead to promotion.

During her service Judy meets Henri Tremont, a dashing French doctor. However, their romance is short-lived when he returns to Paris and she to her army career. Later Judy manages to be assigned to NATOmarker headquarters in Paris, where she meets up with Henri again. He proposes marriage; she accepts, but must give up her army career to do so.

Later in the relationship Judy discovers Henri's controlling side, when he tries to 'remake' her, and when forced to sign a complicated prenuptial agreement in his favor. Then, when she finds out Henri is madly in love with an old flame with whom he has already cheated on her, she realises she is in danger of losing her hard-won independence. She walks out on her wedding and Henri just before they take their vows.


Awards and nominations

Private Benjamin was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Goldie Hawn), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Eileen Brennan) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.

American Film Institute recognition

Television series

In 1981, Private Benjamin was made into a television series starring Lorna Patterson, Eileen Brennan, Hal Williams, Lisa Raggio, Wendie Jo Sperber and Joel Brooks (it originally aired 1981 – 1983).


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