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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 think "MASH" is not as good as many people say, for me it's not a classic. This Robert Altman movie, made during the Vietnam war years, talks about a group of doctors during the Korea conflict. The film was a big hit when it came out, maybe because it was the first movie to talk about army in a funny way -it teased the US Army...
Today the film looks old and overrated and the political sarcasm seems very weak, actually. There's no doubt that Altman wanted to do an antihero film, but after all "MASH" is a portrait of doctors who make jokes and tries to survive with humor. Themes like stupidity and horror of war are not treated, there isn't an analysis of this. Where's the antimilitarist message?
Even if it's an Altman movie, the film looks like a long TV movie. The director made much better movies. The only interest here, to me, is seeing young actors like Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Tom Skerritt, Robert Duvall, René Auberjonois and Sally Kellerman.
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