A down on his luck gambler links up with free spirit Elliot Gould at first to have some fun on, but then gets into debt when Gould takes an unscheduled trip to Tijuana. As a final act of ... See full summary »
Pinky is an awkward adolescent who starts work at a spa in the California desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie's room-mate. Mille is a... See full summary »
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
The scene where Father Mulcahy is blessing the jeep was improvised. Actor Rene Auberjonois found the blessing in a copy of the Army Chaplain's Handbook, and thought it would be a good addition to both the story and to his character. The director agreed, and the scene was shot in one take. See more »
Just before Hot Lips confronts Lt. Col. Blake after she was exposed in the shower, outside his tent she has considerable soap on the left side of her face, and once inside his tent it's no longer there. See more »
You know you're in for something very odd when the theme song is named "Suicide is Painless".
This is, inexplicably, considered an anti-war movie, as only a viewer who has never actually seen one could describe it (and what Altman said about his own work doesn't sway me - he outfoxed himself). On the contrary, the whole story is about the love of the war, of the situation that allows the hijinks to exist in the first place. If you doubt it, ask yourself: Is there is single serious moment here? Nope, it's insouciant from front to back, and therein lies its magic -- the ability to sustain the surreal tone.
Note how there are four narratives at work. There is what we see, tailored to the idea of "new cinema", including the nudity for comic effect. Note also the arrangement of the doctors, a la Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" in the 'black capsule' scene.
Not quite in line with this is what we hear. This is trickier, because there's an effect intended by the juxtaposition of unrelated film footage with audio, mostly dialogue. This is encapsulated on a smaller scale in the 'Hot Lips' scene - the idea that we're listening in with the aid of a microphone and PA.
The third is the juxtaposition of football and band music, reviving the idea of silent film-era slapstick humor.
And fourth, the simultaneously omniscient and clueless PA announcements, revealing that this is all about the making of itself, later adopted in "The Player", for example.
This the necessary precursor to "Animal House", "Caddyshack" and "Stripes", among others.
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