Private Benjamin

1980 R 1h 50m DVD

Private Benjamin

1980 R 1h 50m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
After her husband drops dead on their wedding night, spoiled society girl Judy Benjamin (Goldie Hawn) decides to join the army -- a choice with consequences both explosive and explosively funny. The situation is mined (no pun intended) for plenty of laughs, but in the end, this classic comedy is about Judy's inspiring search for identity and independence. Eileen Brennan co-stars as the tough-as-nails captain determined to teach Judy a lesson.
Goldie Hawn, Eileen Brennan, Armand Assante, Robert Webber, Sam Wanamaker, Barbara Barrie, Mary Kay Place, Harry Dean Stanton, Albert Brooks, Alan Oppenheimer, Craig T. Nelson
Howard Zieff
Full Screen 1.33:1
Spanish (Neutral), English, French
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 16+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 16+
age 16+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Private Benjamin, a 1980 award winner and box office bonanza for Goldie Hawn, is a salute to the young women who were just beginning to assert themselves in the early years of what was then known as "women's lib." Although it's a comedy through and through -- with lots of laughs, broad send-ups of chauvinistic men, fairy-tale moments that cling to and then shatter stereotypes -- it was as timely as it was silly. Its R rating is a result of numerous sexual scenes, which include partial nudity, foreplay, implied oral sex, and sexual intercourse shot from the participants' shoulders up. Most of these scenes are intended as humor. One comic attempted sexual assault encounter feels particularly outdated and tasteless. Salty language ("goddamn," "hell," "ass", "s--t") and sexual chatter about orgasms and prior sexual experience is heard occasionally. Some Jewish stereotyping includes a prototypical lavish Jewish wedding, the Jewish princess, a Jewish doctor, and a generally affluent culture. One scene finds an inebriated army officer trying to inspect her troops; some casual drinking occurs as well. A campfire scene shows a group of female soldiers sharing a marijuana cigarette and getting stoned. Lots of characters smoke.

Sexual Content

Numerous lovemaking scenes: off-camera oral sex in a car; high-spirited kissing and foreplay before a couple has sex on a bathroom floor (during the actual sexual activity, lovers are seen only from the neck up); a nearly nude couple is caught in the act in the back of a truck; a senior officer starts to rape an enlisted soldier on the floor of an airplane, but she escapes; a new relationship for Private Benjamin results in several bedroom sex scenes (no nudity). Other scenes include partial nudity, skimpy underwear, a painting of a bare-breasted woman, and discussion of orgasms, "first times," and satisfaction during sex.


A brief fight breaks out between Private Benjamin and another new recruit. They tussle, fall over cots, smash into a locker. An attempted rape ends when the would-be victim flees. The heroine punches an arrogant, sexist male.


Swearing and sexual remarks include "ass," "holy s--t," "hell," "schmuck," goddamn," "Jesus," "orgasm," and "I'm coming." Women discuss their first sexual experience, orgasms, and sex in general.

Social Behavior

Made in 1980, the film promotes women stepping out of previously accepted gender roles and encourages women and girls to develop self-esteem and forge new paths.


Cuisinart, La Costa Resort, Panasonic.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Five women smoke marijuana and get stoned around a campfire. A bar scene shows customers drinking. A female army officer gets drunk and conducts an inspection while intoxicated. Many characters smoke.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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