Ernest in the Army

Ernest in the Army is a 1998 American direct-to-video comedy film directed by John R. Cherry III and starring Jim Varney. It is the tenth and final film to feature the character of Ernest P. Worrell before Varney's death in February 2000. In this film, Ernest joins the Army because he wants to drive large vehicles, but ends up being sent into combat. It was shot in Cape Town, South Africa's Koeberg Nature Reserve. John Cherry's son, Josh portrayed Corporal Davis.

Ernest in the Army
Directed byJohn R. Cherry III
Produced byKenneth M. Badish
John R. Cherry III
Written byJohn R. Cherry III (story)
Joseph Dattorre (screenplay)
Jeff Pillars (screenplay)
StarringJim Varney
Hayley Tyson
Distributed byEmshell Producers
Release date
  • February 24, 1998 (1998-02-24)
Running time
85 min.
CountryUnited States

Plot synopsis

Ernest is working as a golf ball collector at a golf range in Valdosta, Georgia, but fantasizes about being a war hero. A friend tells him that if he joins the Army, he will get to drive large vehicles and never have to go into actual combat. He enlists in the reserves, but one day a UN peacekeeping commander Pierre Gullet and the British ambassador visit Ernest's camp and demands that the entire unit including him is to be deployed to the fictional Middle Eastern country of Karifistan, where he and his fellow soldiers have to assist UN troops in the hope of saving the country from being invaded by an evil Islamic dictator named Tufuti of Aziria. Once he began, Ernest and his team investigates a dictator who was responsible for the wars in the nearby village. Suddenly, he finds a lost boy and has to keep him safe until his father is found.


  • Jim Varney as Private Ernest P. Worrell / Army Captain / Arab on Quicksand
  • Hayley Tyson as Cindy Swanson
  • David Muller as Col. Bradley Pierre Gullet (UN peacekeeping commander)
  • Christo Davids as Ben-Ali (lost boy in desert)
  • Jeff Pillars as Gen. Rodney Lincoln (as Jeff Pillars)
  • Duke Ernsberger as Barnes (General's aide)
  • Ivan Lucas as President Almar Habib Tufuti
  • John R. Cherry III as Sgt. Ben Kovsky, aka 'Sarge'
  • Josh Cherry as Corp. Davis


The movie received mixed to negative reviews upon initial release, but eventually gained positive reviews by fans. Today, it's regarded as an adequate finale to the Ernest franchise.

Home media

This film had its first DVD release from First Look Studios on October 1, 2002. It included the extra feature "Your World As I See It". Mill Creek Entertainment re-released both this film and its Bonus Feature along with Knowhutimean? Hey Vern, It's My Family Album as part of the Maximum Ernest and Essential Ernest Collection DVD box sets on October 31, 2006. Image Entertainment re-released Ernest in the Army along with Ernest Rides Again, Ernest's Greatest Hits: Volume 1 and Ernest's Greatest Hits: Volume 2 as the four-disc set Ernest's Wacky Adventures: Volume 1 on June 5, 2012. Image Entertainment re-released this film as part of Ernest Triple Feature on October 1, 2013 along with Ernest Goes to School and Ernest Goes to Africa and for the third time on January 12, 2016 as part of the two-disc set Ultimate Ernest Collection.

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