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Private Benjamin
     

Private Benjamin

4.6 3
Director: Howard Zieff, Goldie Hawn, Eileen Brennan, Armand Assante

Cast: Howard Zieff, Goldie Hawn, Eileen Brennan, Armand Assante

 

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Warner Bros' DVD release of Private Benjamin is a big disappointment for two obvious reasons. First of all, the film can only be viewed in full-screen, pan-and-scan format. Secondly, the film's soundtrack only comes in Dolby Stereo 2.0. The DVD contains English and French soundtracks, and can be viewed with English, French, or Spanish subtitles. It also has colorful

Overview

Warner Bros' DVD release of Private Benjamin is a big disappointment for two obvious reasons. First of all, the film can only be viewed in full-screen, pan-and-scan format. Secondly, the film's soundtrack only comes in Dolby Stereo 2.0. The DVD contains English and French soundtracks, and can be viewed with English, French, or Spanish subtitles. It also has colorful interactive menus and good bios/filmographies on its nine main stars, including Goldie Hawn, Eileen Brennan, and Armand Assante, as well as director Howard Zieff, musician Bill Conti, and writers/producers Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, and Harvey Miller. The film also comes with a theatrical trailer and recommendations (or advertisements) for nine other titles. One wishes that the attention given to advertising the other titles would have been focused on better production notes, a better soundtrack, or, especially, presenting this classic film in widescreen.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Private Benjamin is a beloved film, a rallying call for burgeoning feminists and one of Goldie Hawn's most recognizable star vehicles. However, its narrative is also a mess and only funny in spots. The film doesn't understand what it wants to be -- a goofy military sendup or a tale of a spoiled young woman growing into independence. A smarter script would have had it both ways, but this one meanders, jumping in and out of the barracks and finishing with a third act that has nothing to do with the armed forces. If it had been filmed in the 1990s, Private Benjamin might have taken place entirely within basic training, centering on the struggles of Hawn's Judy Benjamin as she makes painful but funny strides to trade her jewelry for artillery. That might have been too tight and formulaic, but at least it would have been internally consistent. As is, the film jumps from a funny opener involving the absurd death of Judy's new husband (Albert Brooks), to Judy's pronounced difficulties in training, to her sudden rebound to head of the class, where she scores an assignment so select that only men had received it. Little explanation is given for her transition between these stations. And the third act, involving her engagement to a French skeezeball (Armand Assante), can only be considered a very dated, and hollow, feminist victory. The best way to explain the widespread appeal is the viewing public's much-deserved adoration of Hawn, who has some brilliant moments and became one of the most reliable comedic actresses of her generation. When Private Benjamin does trust its sillier instincts, it's a winner.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/29/1997
UPC:
0085391107521
Original Release:
1980
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital]
Time:
1:50:00
Sales rank:
2,007

Special Features

Interactive menus; Production notes; Scene access; Theatrical trailer; Languages: English, Français; Subtitles: English, Français, Español

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Goldie Hawn Judy Benjamin
Eileen Brennan Capt. Doreen Lewis
Armand Assante Henri Tremont
Sam Wanamaker Teddy Benjamin
Harry Dean Stanton Sgt. Jim Ballard
Barbara Barrie Harriet Benjamin
Robert Webber Col. Clay Thornbush
Mary Kay Place Pvt. Mary Lou Glass
Albert Brooks Yale Goodman
James Barnett Actor
Estelle Marlow Actor
Raymond Oliver Actor
Clay Wright Actor
Alan Oppenheimer Rabbi
Everett Covin Band Leader
Robert Hanley Arnie
Lee Wallace Mr. Waxman
Gretchen Wyler Aunt Kitty
Maxine Stuart Aunt Betty
Lillian Adams Mrs. Goodman
Tim Haldeman Stanley Goodman
Kopi Sotiropulos Limo Passerby
Stu Nahan Newscaster
J.P. Bumstead Induction Officer
Hal Williams Sgt. L.C. Ross
Toni Kalem Pvt. Ganelli
Damita Jo Freeman Pvt. Gloria Moe
Alston Ahern Pvt. P.J. Soyer
P.J. Soles Pvt. Wanda Winter
Craig T. Nelson Capt. William Woodbridge
Robin Hoff Red Team Soldier
Ed Lewis Red Team Soldier
Danny Wells Slick Guy
Keone Young Kim Osaka
Paul Marin Leo Lemish
Mimi Maynard Liz Lemish
Alice Hirson Mrs. Thornbush
Wil Albert Lt. Rahmi
Richard Herd General Foley
Sally Kirkland Helga
Lilyan Chauvin Mrs. Tremont
Allison Caine Voice Only

Technical Credits
Howard Zieff Director
Marty Bolger Sound/Sound Designer
Robert F. Boyle Production Designer
Bill Conti Score Composer
Betsy Cox Costumes/Costume Designer
Goldie Hawn Executive Producer
Jeffrey Howard Production Designer
Sheldon Kahn Editor
Nancy Meyers Producer,Screenwriter
Harvey Miller Producer,Screenwriter
Arthur Jeph Parker Set Decoration/Design
Bob Peterson Special Effects
Charles Shyer Producer,Screenwriter
Jerry Sobul Asst. Director
David M. Walsh Cinematographer

Scene Index

Jump to a Scene
0. Jump to a Scene
1. A happy occasion (Credits). [3:02]
2. Princess bride. [5:23]
3. Wedding night, funeral morning. [3:00]
4. Advice from the family. [1:55]
5. Advice from the radio. [2:50]
6. Join the Army and get a condo. [3:03]
7. This is the Army. [2:47]
8. Capt. Lewis. [5:05]
9. "Has anybody ever died from basic?" [6:04]
10. GJ Judy: troublemaker. [4:48]
11. "Think I'll stay." [4:18]
12. Swamp duty. [3:21]
13. Campfire girl talk. [3:11]
14. Infiltration made easy. [2:45]
15. The winning team. [2:36]
16. Let's not keep in touch. [4:22]
17. Lady screams the blues. [4:19]
18. New Orleans and a new man. [7:04]
19. Lady Thornbird. [5:46]
20. A reason to jump. [1:48]
21. Supreme Headquarters, Europe. [3:05]
22. Renewing old aquaintances. [5:49]
23. Henri the Red. [4:29]
24. Wedding plans. [2:46]
25. Prenuptial disagreement. [3:13]
26. Nervous. [4:17]
27. Not so fast. [5:07]
28. There goes the bride (End Credits). [3:14]

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Private Benjamin 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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