6.6/10
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26 user 4 critic

The Private War of Major Benson (1955)

Approved | | Comedy, Family, Romance | 2 December 1955 (Finland)
As a disciplinary measure, the Army transfers a heavy-handed Major to a ROTC academy where he must shape-up cadets and improve the school's overall ratings.

Director:

Jerry Hopper

Writers:

William Roberts (screenplay), Richard Alan Simmons (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Maj. Bernard R. 'Barney' Benson
Julie Adams ... Dr. Kay Lambert
William Demarest ... John
Tim Hovey ... Cadet Thomas 'Tiger' Flaherty
Nana Bryant ... Mother Redempta
Tim Considine ... Cadet Lt. Gerald Hibler
Sal Mineo ... Cadet Col. Sylvester Dusik
Milburn Stone ... Maj. Gen. Wilton J. Ramsey
Mary Field ... Sister Mary Theresa
Joey D. Vieira ... Cadet Cpl. Scawalski (as Donald Keeler)
Gary Pagett Gary Pagett ... Cadet Lt. Molony
Mickey Little Mickey Little ... Cadet Lt. Hanratty
Don Haggerty ... Harold Hibler
David Janssen ... Young Lieutenant
Richard H. Cutting ... Monsignor Collins
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Storyline

A Major noted for advancing with his mouth before thinking is given a choice: to be drummed out of the Army, or take command of and shape up the ROTC program at Sheridan Academy before it fails its next inspection. At Sheridan he encounters three hundred pre-teen cadets who range from rascally to adorable, and a female doctor who has just the right prescription for him. Written by Martin H. Booda <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They're out to bust the Major See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 December 1955 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

La guerra privada del mayor Benson See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tim Considine, who plays the sensitive (if not coddled) cadet who is berated by Major Benson in this film, would later play the battle-fatigued soldier who gets slapped by the title character in Patton (1970). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Lieutenant: Major, you're exposed!
Maj. Bernard 'Barney' Benson: Get the men back to their original positions. We'll try it again.
Young Lieutenant: Major, we've executed the maneuver 27 times since noon. The men are tired.
Maj. Bernard 'Barney' Benson: They missed their objective by 17 seconds. Now do it till they do it right.
Young Lieutenant: Yes, sir.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Colgate Comedy Hour: Episode #5.38 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Toy Tiger
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Mancini
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A nice little change of pace
26 February 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a very unusual film for Charlton Heston, as he plays a hard as nails major that is forced to be the commandant of a boys military school. Seeing his gruff and perfectionistic ways meet the reality that these are only children makes this a cute film and HIGHLY reminiscent of Clifton Webb's MR. SCOUTMASTER--another great family film about a grumpy old guy who is eventually tamed by the boys. Sure, this makes the film awfully predictable, but sometimes I am just a sucker for a little bit of sentimentality--provided it is paired with some comedy to keep it from being too schmaltzy--as in the case of this film. Also, like MR. SCOUTMASTER, the real star of the film is a very small and very endearing little boy--played in this film by an adorable Tim Hovey. The bottom line is for all this to work, the film had to be well-written and the writers DID earn an Oscar nomination for Best Original Story. So see this film--and MR. SCOUTMASTER--two excellent family films that are lots of fun regardless of your age.

FYI--This film was later remade as MAJOR PAYNE.


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