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MASH (1970)

 -  Comedy | War | Drama  -  March 1970 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 49,142 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 215 user | 110 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

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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(from the novel by), (screenplay)
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Title: MASH (1970)

MASH (1970) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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After MASH (1983–1984)
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The Korean War has ended. Colonel Potter, Sergeant Klinger, and Father Mulcahy find themselves together once again, this time at a veteran's hospital.

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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
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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 Hysteria See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War | Drama

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

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 »

Goofs

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 »

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 M*A*S*H: Life with Father (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

When the Lights Go On Again (All Over the World)
(1942) (uncredited)
Written by Eddie Seiler, Sol Marcus and Bennie Benjamin
Sung by the doctors and nurses when the lights go out in the operating tent
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It Brought On Many Changes
8 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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