I recently revisited two Bill Murray classics, Stripes and Groundhog Day. The latter is always on TV and most of us have seen it many times. To go on about how funny and great Bill Murray is in it would be redundant. Stripes, however, I feel is a movie that has fallen through the cracks of time. My generation (I think we’re called Y or something) seems to have blown picking up the Stripes baton. I know many people who haven’t heard of it and assume it’s bad when I bring up a movie they aren’t familiar with.
Stripes has the poor luck of being sandwiched in Murray’s filmography between Caddyshack and Ghostbusters which today have reached mega cult status. Why isn’t Stripes as fondly remembered? Frankly, it’s not as good as the other two. It is however, still the funniest movie about the Army (Eat it, Pauly Shore) and has an extended topless mud wrestling scene featuring the great John Candy. Bill Murray is at his charismatic peak in Stripes blending his notable deadpan humor with an approachable humanistic quality. The film’s very early 80’s in its humor and art design and most notably its director, Ivan Reitman who was THE MAN that decade. Stripes would be his second of four collaborations with Mr. Murray perfecting their shtick three years later in Ghostbusters.
In conclusions, Stripes good. You watch. Vaya con Dios (aka Bill Murray).