Stripes (1981)

34 mistakes

(8 votes)

Other mistake: In the private conversation scene with Bill Murray and "Sarge" in the latrine at basic (Sarge's office) the toilet bowl in the back left corner is installed backwards. (00:43:03 - 00:45:10)

Continuity mistake: At the bus station, both MPs are wearing Specialist-5 rank on their uniforms. Later in the movie they seem to have been demoted to Specialist-4.


Factual error: At the graduation, the MP's are wearing the National Defense Service Medal. This is authorized for active duty during times when "national emergency" has been declared during times of conflict. It was awarded for service during the Vietnam war, ending in 1974, and not awarded again until the Gulf War in 1990. To wear it, the women would have had to been in the service in 1974, which would mean they've got at least 6 years of service by the time the movie came out. On their class A uniforms, they aren't wearing any service stripes, meaning they've been in for less than 3 years.


Other mistake: During the graduation scene, if you watch as the platoons are marching by, you can see that several members are not in cadence as they should be. This also includes the men walking between the platoons that are supposed to be setting the cadence and they are out of step with the platoon in front and behind them.

Factual error: During basic training, civilian clothes are locked up in a storage room; therefore, none of the troops would have access to them.


Factual error: It is highly unlikely that junior enlistees would have clearance or access to a TOP SECRET manual for the Urban Assault Vehicle. Also, the manual shows "WAR DEPARTMENT" on the cover. The correct name since 1947 was the Department of Defense.

Factual error: The German license plate on the car parked at the "Schloss Hotel" starts with the letters "WH." This was reserved for Nazi Wehrmacht Herr (Army) vehicles and was discontinued in 1945. In addition, there is no hyphen (Bindestrich) separating the letters from the numbers. There is also no circular inspection / tax stamp sticker on the plate.

Revealing mistake: The couple make love in the General's bedroom in the US. Later they make love in a German hotel room. The same set is used for both scenes.

Factual error: Stillman's aide is wearing his hat indoors. Soldiers do not wear head gear indoors unless they are armed.

Factual error: Francis "Psycho" points a knife at Winger. Weapons of any kind are absolutely prohibited in basic training. Granted he could've smuggled it in, but it most likely wouldn't make it past the shakedown part when arriving at basic. The Army and Marines prohibit weapons of any kind in basic training.


Factual error: A couple of issues with military awards as seen in the film: First, Sergeant Hulka is wearing the WWII Victory Medal, which he would not be eligible for according to his self-stated time in service (28 years, making his date of enlistment sometime in the early 1950s since the film is set in the early 1980s). Second, Captain Stillman wears the United Nations Service Medal for Korea, even though he is obviously far too young to have fought in the Korean War. (01:15:43)

Continuity mistake: When Bill Murray finishes the 5 pushups and wins the bet, in one shot there are 3 singles on his chest, in the next shot there are about 7, then back to 3. (00:11:30)

Factual error: The mortar round which injures Sergeant Hulka isn't realistic. If it was a training round, its explosive would not have been sufficient to knock down the tower (based on where it lands - near the base of the tower) ; if it was an actual high explosive round, everyone within a 25-meter radius (basically all the recruits) would have been killed or seriously wounded by shrapnel.

Continuity mistake: When they're fighting and the two girls (MP's) drive up in the Jeep, you can see the shadow of one of the girls walking in front of the Jeep's headlights, but in the next shot they're just getting out of the Jeep.


John Winger: We are Americans with a capital A, huh? You know what that means? Do you? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuge. We're the underdogs. We're the mutts.

More quotes from Stripes

Trivia: The "kitchen utensil" scene between Bill Murray and PJ Soles was completely improvised.

More trivia for Stripes

Question: Why are Czechoslovak border guards speaking Russian? The Soviet Red Army would not be guarding the border with West Germany.

Answer: In 1981 Czechoslovakia was part of the Warsaw Pact and thus under the Iron Curtain. The Soviet Union would not fully allow the satellite states to do their own border security, so Soviet guards were placed.


More questions & answers from Stripes

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