The personnel at the 4077 MASH unit deal with the horrors of the Korean War and the stresses faced in surgery by whatever means. The tone at the MASH is established by recent arrivals, surgeons Captains 'Hawkeye' Pierce, 'Duke' Forrest, and 'Trapper' John McIntyre - the latter who Hawkeye knows he's met somewhere, but Trapper who won't divulge where - whose antics can be best described as non-regulation, and in the negative words of one of their fellow MASH-ers: unmilitary. The unit's commanding officer, Colonel Henry Blake, doesn't care about this behavior as long as it doesn't affect him, and as long as they do their job and do it well, which they do. Their behavior does extremely bother fellow surgeon, Major Frank Burns, and recently arrived head nurse, Major Margaret Houlihan, who obtains the nickname 'Hot Lips' based on information they glean about her through underhanded means. Beyond their battles with Frank and Hot Lips, Hawkeye, Duke and/or Trapper help unit dentist Painless ... Written by
I can't believe people here are comparing M*A*S*H with Dr Strangelove. Brilliant satire? Hardly! Apart from the fact that some of its "darkest humour" is patently offensive today - "Hot Lips"' complete humiliation as she's taking a shower, the dentist who thinks he's gay and so has to kill himself (and his decision not to kill himself is only because he finds out he's not gay), etc - the rest of it is really rather obvious and, well, stupid. Ha ha ha, Trapper John has a go at the head nurse in Japan and uses the word "tits!" How terribly risque. (yawn).
And of course, as even those who like the movie have pointed out, it doesn't have a plot. It's a series of rather tedious little vignettes that don't amount to very much before it just suddenly ends. The football game has nothing to do with anything. And what the hell is with Hot Lips' sudden huge character change? She's humiliated by the whole camp when they pull her shower down, obviously distraught she breaks down in front of the CO, who then proceeds to agree with the General to just ignore her complaint - and then suddenly she's a brainless bimbo cheerleader supporting the boys and thinking that the referee's gun has just shot someone. Hello? What the hell?
If you want a brilliant movie that satirises the futility and stupidity of war and the military establishment, watch Dr Strangelove. Kubrick knew what he was doing. "Gentlemen! You can't fight in here, this is the war room!" Now that's irony.
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