Sgt. Bilko

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -1

Back in 1955-59, Phil Silvers originated the wacky Army Sergeant Bilko in a very popular TV series. Now, Steve Martin recreates Sgt. Bilko with plenty of originality and some of the zaniest antics you'll ever see in the movies. He's in charge of the motor pool at Fort Baxter, but this turns out to be just a front for his gambling enterprises on the base. He and his inept, fun-loving motley crew conduct gambling parties, dog races, betting contests, and raffles for the soldiers. They also rent out Army vehicles to the base personnel. Through clever maneuvering and advance alert systems, Bilko's men manage to keep the base commander, Colonel Hall (Dan Aykroyd), from knowing about it. But trouble arrives in the form of Major Thorn, played by Phil Hartman, who is determined to get even with Bilko for a past grievance. Thorn not only pries into Bilko's motor pool activities for evidence of fraud, but even tries to win over Bilko's girlfriend, Rita Robbins (Glenne Headly). Steve Martin steals the show with his frantic, hilarious performance and Sgt. Bilko turns out to be a laugh-out-loud comedy of the first order.

All of Bilko's deception and money-making activities are portrayed in a comical, light-hearted manner and really can't be taken seriously. However, it's carried too far when his men and their lady friends are shown waking up from a drunken party. Also, some will be offended by a few comical remarks about a man suspected of being homosexual and a man in a dress flirting with one of the Army officers. One scene in a nightclub features heavy drinking and a woman dancing suggestively. Happily, foul language is limited, but does include some crudities, two s-words and four other obscenities. The film has no sexual content, but women in low-cut dresses are shown a few times. Bilko is a decent, caring guy and all his men love him. His girlfriend loves him, even though he has stood her up at the altar three times. It's a real shame that this rollicking comedy has just enough foul language and questionable humor to keep it from being appropriate for youth and families.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (9) times - Mild 6, Moderate 3

Obscene Language: Several (6) times (s-word 2, Others 4)

Profanity: Exclamatory - Once

Violence: Several times - Moderate (boxing match, tank crashes into spectator stand, man knocked out by golf ball, man pushed through window, trucks and cannons blown up)

Sex: None

Nudity: None but near nudity few times (low-cut dresses)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (woman dances suggestively in nightclub)

Drugs: Few times (aftermath of drunken party shown, drinking in bars and nightclubs, whiskey drinking in Army facility)

Other: Gambling and drinking portrayed in comical vein

Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: 10 years and older

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.