Stripes movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Stripes filmed?

1981

About Stripes

Bill Murray and Harold Ramis are cast in the 1981 comedy film Stripes, which is the story of two ne’er-do-wells who decide they should join the military. John Winger (Murray) is a taxicab driver with an attitude problem. Said attitude costs Winger his girlfriend and his job.

After having quite the unlucky day, Winger decides to go visit his friend Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis), who is a teacher. Somehow, John is able to talk Russell into joining the Army along with him.

Russell and John are next seen at a recruiting office, then whisked away to basic training. The pair are stationed at Fort Arnold, not too far from their hometown. They then meet Drill Sergeant Hulka, who is as tough as they come.

Both John and Russell are quite immature, and they soon decide to pursue two women who are military police at the base. The pair go AWOL, which lands them in quite a bit of trouble.

Hulka becomes the chief antagonist for John, who refuses to admit he went AWOL or otherwise take accountability for his actions. Hulka tries to punish John, and he even tells John he’s “not soldier material.” John even decides it’s time for him to go back home, attempting to escape. However, their MP girlfriends stop Russell and John from fighting about John’s plan to leave.

John finally decides he will stay at basic as a favor to Russell. The once-immature John begins throwing himself into basic training. However, a wild night away from the base threatens to prevent John and Russell as well as the other recruits from graduating. Upon their return to base, John makes a highly motivational speech that prompts the soldiers in training to complete their maneuvers.

John eventually leads the platoon in completing their exercises, in spite of the fact that their drill sergeant is injured and unable to participate. As a reward, the base commander sends them to work in Italy. While there, John and the platoon rescue another group of soldiers who have been held captive in then-Soviet Russia. John is hailed as a hero, and he is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

City Locations

Louisville, Clermont, Fort Knox; Kentucky

Location Types

Americana, Military Base, Bars, Restaurants

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, Exotic/Tropical, Rustic

Stripes Locations

The city scenes of the Stripes production were filmed in Louisville, Kentucky, with some army scenes shot at Fort Knox. Scenes that were intended to depict the platoon’s time in Czechoslovakia were shot in Clermont, Kentucky. One place that they filmed a “Czech” location - the Russian outpost - took place at the James B. Beam Distilling Company, a place you may wish to visit for multiple reasons! Even if you don’t imbibe, hearing the history behind this popular company is worth the trip.

The Greystone Park & Mansion was the setting of the German resort. This is located on 905 Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

Some scenes were shot across the state of Kentucky. They include George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge in Louisville and Main Street in Kentucky. The bridge is where the Rude Cab fare scene was shot, and the Army Recruiting Office scenes were shot on Main Street in Louisville.

Kentucky is a beautiful state to visit. There are multiple scenic drives across the state as it is home to a major portion of the Appalachian Mountains. While Frankfurt is the capital city, Louisville is one of the major cities in Kentucky. It’s also home to the Louisville Cardinals baseball team.

The opening scene in Stripes

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, Louisville, KY

John Winger is watching a commercial at a shoeshine shop, and it’s one that invites individuals to join the Army and “be all you can be.” Winger heads out to his cab, and his Oldsmobile peels out in Louisville. Winger stops at the address he’s given, only having his fare to jump out without paying.

Winger gives chase, but he isn’t quick enough. His new fare is an elderly but rich woman. He tells her that the fur around her neck resembles a dog. The two argue throughout the drive. She tries to tell him where to go, but Winger says he knows lots of shortcuts.

Winger speeds with his cab fare, scaring her out of her wits. Winger really plays up frightening the woman. She tells him she will take his name to the proper authorities. Winger stops on the bridge, opens the door and walks across the bridge. This funny scene in Stripes is one of the best in the whole movie.

The Clark Bridge is one of the landmarks of Louisville. The bridge can be found by taking I-229 and North 2nd Street.

The razzle dazzle scene in Stripes

United States Bullion Depository, 397 Redmar Blvd, Fort Knox, KY

After their drill instructor is injured by the hapless Captain, Winger decides he’s going to take charge of the platoon. Of course, the captain doesn’t like Winger at all, so he’s expecting Winger to fail. However, Winger has gotten the support of his platoon, and he’s determined not to ruin this opportunity.

This scene features not only 80s comedian John Laroquette, but the incredible John Candy is also a part of the scene.

The drill is nothing like what the original drill sergeant taught the platoon, but Winger is determined they will graduate. Murray as Winger sounds very much like Elvis Presley. He tells the captain that he and his men have been in “Army training, Sir!”

This scene is one of the most hilarious scenes from Stripes, and Murray nicknames it the “Razzle Dazzle” march. Everyone claps for the platoon, who weren’t expected to graduate. The captain can’t help but to commend the men. The platoon are awarded the EM50 project in Europe. Winger tells the group, “Gentlemen, it’s party time!”

The platoon maneuvers scene in Stripes

Fort Knox, Louisville, KY

One of the favorite quips from this scene is the “Hey, we’re walking!” comment from Russell. Sgt. Hulka is working to whip the new soldiers into shape, and Russell and John try their best to prevent him from doing so at every turn. It’s no wonder that the platoon leader really doesn’t care for John very much.

John and Russell are marching in place. When the sergeant tells them they can walk, they get into the rhythm of the march. Harold Ramis - Russell - begins singing “Doo Wah Diddy.” He’s soon joined by the entire platoon. John and Russell begin swapping verses from the song, and, once again, the entire platoon joins in with them.

It’s moments like this in the movie that provide comic relief scenes in Stripes, and it shows the growing camaraderie within those in the platoon. Winger and Russell do their best to make the most of their time as soldiers, even though Winger has never really tried diligently at anything in his life. Many viewers say this is one of the best scenes in Stripes, especially those who were actually in the military.

It is not possible to visit the Stripes filming location at the Bullion facility on the Fort Knox base. However, it is possible to visit some areas of Fort Knox as long as a person has a valid identification. There is a five-day fast pass that will give civilians access to permissible areas.

Conclusion

Stripes is a comedy in true Bill Murray fashion, but it’s also a film about growing up. Although Murray’s character is immature, when he’s called upon to do what is right, John Winger steps up to the challenge.

Stripes actually received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. Many pointed out the improvisation between Murray and Ramis, which took place in many scenes. Bill Murray was still catapulting off his successful time as a part of the Not-Ready-for-Primetime-Players at Saturday Night Live, and he was also enjoying success in the film Caddyshack when Stripes was released.

In Kentucky, Louisville is a bustling city center that offers tourists a great many things to do. While tourists won’t be allowed inside Fort Knox to see the Stripes film set location, you can tour near the base. The Appalachian Mountains, however, are a must-see on your trip to Kentucky.