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MASH (1970)

R | | Comedy, Drama, War | March 1970 (USA)
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The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and hijinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war.

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Writers:

(from the novel by), (screenplay)
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2,020 ( 339)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Roger Bowen ...
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'Me Lai' Marston
Indus Arthur ...
Lt. Leslie
Ken Prymus ...
PFC. Seidman
...
Sgt. Gorman
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

M*A*S*H Gives A D*A*M*N. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

March 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

M*A*S*H  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$81,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (PG)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

M.A.S.H. stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. They remained in US Army service until 2006 when the last one was donated to Pakistan. See more »

Goofs

Margaret's surname is scripted as "Houlihan". The 'O' was added due to a slip of the tongue by G. Wood and Roger Bowen, the only two people who refer to her as "O'Houlihan" in the whole movie. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lt. Col. Henry Braymore Blake: Radar.
Cpl. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly: Yes, sir. I'll get ahold of Major Burns...
Lt. Col. Henry Braymore Blake: I want you to get a hold of Major Burns...
Cpl. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly: ...Tell him to hold a couple day surgeons over into the night shift.
Lt. Col. Henry Braymore Blake: Tell him we're going to have hold a couple of surgeons over from the day shift out of the night shift.
Cpl. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly: I'll put in a call to General Hammond in Seoul...
Lt. Col. Henry Braymore Blake: Get General Hammond down there in Seoul, tell him to send us those new surgeons right away.
Cpl. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly: ...I hope he sends us those two new surgeons. We're sure gonna need'em.
[Leaves]
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Robert Altman cast so many unknowns in the movie that after one or two known actors, the cast credits all say "Introducing" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo
(1953) (uncredited)
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Lyrics by Helen Deutsch
Sung in Japanese over the loudspeaker
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Clearly an important part of film history, but the years haven't been kind to it (in my eyes)
8 August 2010 | by (US) – See all my reviews

I should probably watch this again, since so many consider it a masterpiece. Maybe I was over-prepared (Hey, it took me a second viewing of 'Citizen Kane' to get my past pre-set expectations!). But while I could see why M*A*S*H was groundbreaking and important for a Hollywood film of it's day (lack of the usual clear narrative line, anti-war stance, overlapping, improvised dialogue, sexuality, bloody operating room scenes serving as ironic counterpart, etc), it felt pretty dated and unfocused. There are some very funny moments, but a lot of the ironies seem easy, and there's a lack of a true darker underpinnings and ideas, unlike, say, 'Dr. Strangelove'.

A lot of the humor is juvenile, cruel and silly. And while I get that's the point – nothing can be more deeply juvenile, cruel and silly than war, it got repetitive and heavy handed after a while. The performances are good, but beyond Robert Duvall, none of the characters have much in the way of dimensions. People stay exactly what we think they are from the moment we meet them.

Walter Chow makes a good argument on the web site 'Film Freak Central', that the sexism, homophobia, etc are the whole point. Altman is saying we're ALL beasts at heart, even if we act like we're bucking the system. It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure I buy it's what Altman was intending.


7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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