Buck Privates

Synopsis: Bud and Lou enlist in the army in order to escape being hauled off to jail, and soon find themselves in basic training. To their dismay, the company's drill instructor is none other than the cop who was all set to run them off to the hoosegow in the first place! The boys end up having a whale of a time getting under the skin of their humourless nemesis.
Genre: Comedy, Musical, War
Director(s): Arthur Lubin
Production: Universal
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination.
84 min


September 14, 1940,

Congress passes the first

peacetime selective service

training act

in the history of the nation.

President Roosevelt signs

The Draft Bill...

an epochal step

in national defense.

Impressive ceremonies...

Secretary of War Stimson

is blindfolded...

draws the first number

from 9,000 sealed capsules.


The first number drawn

by the Secretary of War

is serial number...

And the youth of America prepare

to become peacetime

buck privates.

- That's no way to drive, Martin.

- Sorry, sir.

The line forms

on the left.

You play


Everything seems to be running

smoothly, Captain Johnson.

Yes, sir, we're getting

a fine group of men.

- More teeth and less flat feet.

- That's splendid.

I'll see you later.

- Captain Johnson.

- Yes?

I'm Randolph Parker.

Dad's in Washington now

heading some kind

of defense board.

- I suppose you've heard from him?

- No.

Oh, well I'm sure

you will.

Dad's bound to want

me working with him.

So, about this order

to report for training...

Why of course, Mr. Parker, I understand.

If you'll just

step in here,

we'll be delighted

to take care of you.


You're sure this

won't take long?

Oh no. You'll hang

your hat there please.


- And your coat, too.

- My coat?

And the rest of your

clothes please.

- Doctor:
Tonsils okay. Open please.

- The rest of my...

- Wide.

- 155, next.

Tonsils okay.


- Wide please.

- 175. Next.

- Name?

- I'm Robert Martin.

Number 158.

158? Say, that's

a nice number.

Imagine me being

first prize in a raffle.

Give a boy a break, Officer.

He's reporting for service.

That's the stuff.

That's fine and dandy.

I don't want

to give you any sales talk,

but in my time,

I've advertised tooth powder

face powder, foot powder

and flea powder.

I've lived on the bounty

of the county

and done my boardin'

with the warden.

Never have I ever

had the opportunity

of presenting such

merchandise to the public.

Feel that material. That's

enough. Now, friends,

ordinarily this tie would sell in any

haberdashery for a dollar and a half.

But am I asking you for

a dollar and a half? No.

Am I asking you

for a dollar? No.

Am I asking you

for 50c? No.

All I'm asking for

is 10c.

Now wait a minute. Let me

get a word in... or two.

Go on, go ahead. I'll

listen to you for a while.

Thanks kindly. Neighbor,

how much money have you got?

- I've got in the vicinity of $28.

- You've got $28?

In the vicinity. In the

neighborhood I've got three bucks.

- Then, you've got $3?

- Roughly speaking.

- Roughly speaking?

- When you smooth it out I've got a buck.

Then you have a dollar?

You have a dollar.

That's all I want to know.

The gentleman buys 10 ties.

How can he sell

ties that cheap?

We ain't got no overhead. We haven't

even got a license to sell these ties.

- Feel that material.

- It won't wrinkle or fade.

Fade, Smitty,


What's wrong?

What's wrong?

The "oper-cay"

is here

The "oper-cay"...

Come here!

Get in the cab.

Hey, cabbie,

step on it.

We're trying

to get away from a cop.

- Cops:
Oh yeah?

- Ooh-ooh!

Herbie! Quick,

get in line.

- We'll hide in the movies.

- Yeah, and when we get in we'll stay a long time.

- Get a couple tickets.

- Okay.

- Whoop.

- What are you, a wise guy?

You want to fight?

Take your coat off.

It's much cooler

this way, ain't it?

Go ahead, get a couple of tickets.

What's your hurry? We

got rid of that dumb cop.

- How much to get in?

- Nothing.

We're going

to give you $21.

Oh, bank night.

Giving any dishes away?

- No, tin plates.

- Tin plates, what a novelty.

Now we can start

our new set.

- Step inside.

- Come on or we won't get a seat.

Hey, usher.

Hey, you,

what picture's

playing in here?

- You're in the army now.

- Good, I never saw that picture.

Calling Dr. Coldwater.

What's this

"Calling Dr. Coldwater?"

- It must be a double feature.

- Ah, yes.

- Draftee?

- Not a bit.

- Do you feel it?

- No.

I feel very

comfortable in here.

Right over there.

Let's register before

the drawing starts.

Think you're

gonna win, huh?

Step right up, boys.

Sign right here, please.

- "Please"? What polite ushers.

- Quiet!

And let me have your

signature right there, please.

I'd be delighted.

And I hope I win.

Congratulations, men.

- We're glad to have you in the army.

- Both:
Thanks. What?!

- Smitty:
The army?

- You won.



- Whoop-whoop!

- Going someplace, boys?

Yeah, yes,

we're going someplace.

We're going in the army

and you can't touch us.

Oh, so you're

going in the army, eh?

Well, I'll be

seeing you.

What am I

laughing at?

What are you putting

your tie on for?

Somebody might

come in.

239. You just

made it.

If you'd been over 240, we'd

have had to turn you down. Next.

- Hey, Smitty, did you hear that?

- Yes.

- If you're over 240 Ibs. they don't take you.

- That's right.

Boy, am I lucky. Get a

load of this. 241, hm-hmm!

Oh, sit down before

you get in trouble.

Get away.

1- 6-4, 164.


239, next.

158 and 1/2.


173 and 1/4.


164, next.

Set still. You act as

though you've got a hot foot.

Hot foot? Brother, you've got

a very poor sense of direction.

158 and 1/2.


Boy, this is arson.

164. Next.

That's you,



Okay, Smitty,

have a good time

in the army.

It's going

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Arthur T. Horman

Arthur T. Horman (September 2, 1905 – November 2, 1964) was an American screenwriter whose career spanned from the 1930s to the end of the 1950s. During that time he wrote the stories or screenplays for over 60 films, as well as writing several pieces for television during the 1950s. more…

All Arthur T. Horman scripts | Arthur T. Horman Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Buck Privates" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 May 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/buck_privates_4781>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    Buck Privates

    Browse Scripts.com

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.