During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his remote 10th Century castle hoping a battle there against the advancing Germans will not lead to its destruction and all the heritage within.
Three navy men run into a shady producer who convinces them to invest into his new show. When they meet the show's female star attraction, they're sold. Have they become the latest showbiz players or just three more suckers?
Toward the end of World War II, a small company of American GI's occupy an ancient castle. Their commander has an affair with the countess in resident. One guy falls in love with a Volkswagon. A baker among them moves in with another baker's wife. A group of shell shocked holy rollers wander the bombed out streets. A GI art historian tries vainly to protect the castle and its masterpieces.Written by
Jim Sadur <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bruce Dern said that Burt Lancaster's wife arrived on the set while her husband openly showed a relationship with his mistress Jackie Bone, one of the crew members. See more »
Despite the fact that the Americans capture a German tank and drive away in it; although how they did so after hitting with a bazooka is another point; the tank is never used in the defense of the castle. See more »
Thanks to this film, I can never entirely think of "Private Benjamin" as a comedy about a society girl in the army (not that this one doesn't have a lot of funny moments, of the very strange kind). "Hessian" is right - it's so strange, you almost have to either love or hate it, and I'm completely attached to it. With the kinds of actors in it, it's really hard to think of anyone as especially standing out, but (as attached as I've always been to Burt Lancaster) the answer would almost have to be Patrick O'Neal as Beckman. It took me a long while to think of it, but he's almost like the Eleanor character in The Haunting, because of the way he's taken over by the castle completely, and his "private war" with the major because of it. One of the best scenes was between him and Private Benjamin (played by Al Freeman Jr.), who was pictured as his "soulmate" in a way. Beckman admitted that he'd been a war hero (before the beginning of the story), but he wrote it off as being temporarily crazy. Benjamin said, "But you'd fight to save this castle." Beckman said, "Yes - but I don't know who. Which side."
One of the best funny lines was one of Peter Falk's - "Swim the moat? What the hell war is this?"
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