The staff of an army hospital in the Korean war find that laughter is the best way to deal with their situation.

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Top Rated TV #211 | Won 8 Golden Globes. Another 54 wins & 153 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce (251 episodes, 1972-1983)
...
 Major Margaret Houlihan (251 episodes, 1972-1983)
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 Maxwell Klinger (215 episodes, 1972-1983)
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 Father Francis Mulcahy (213 episodes, 1972-1983)
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 Colonel Sherman T. Potter / ... (180 episodes, 1974-1983)
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 Captain B.J. Hunnicut (179 episodes, 1975-1983)
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 Corporal Walter Eugene O'Reilly (174 episodes, 1972-1979)
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 Lieutenant Kellye Yamato / ... (167 episodes, 1973-1983)
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 Major Charles Winchester (131 episodes, 1977-1983)
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 Major Franklin Marion Burns (121 episodes, 1972-1978)
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Storyline

The 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital is stuck in the middle of the Korean war. With little help from the circumstances they find themselves in, they are forced to make their own fun. Fond of practical jokes and revenge, the doctors, nurses, administrators, and soldiers often find ways of making wartime life bearable. Nevertheless, the war goes on, Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 September 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

MASH  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(255 episodes) | (256 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)| (1972-1973)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With the encouragement of shows like: All in the Family (1971), Sanford and Son (1972), The Streets of San Francisco (1972), Emergency! (1972), Kojak (1973), Happy Days (1974) and Little House on the Prairie (1974), the shows with surrogate parental roles, and with the departure of McLean Stevenson, M*A*S*H needed a surrogate father for the show's unit to look up to rather than one who didn't know what was going on half the time. The producers at that time found Harry Morgan, a huge fan of the show who also became friends with Gene Reynolds years before. See more »

Goofs

Dates jump back and forth during the series. Many early episodes featuring Trapper John and Henry are set in 1952 or 1953, while others with Col. Potter and B.J. are set in 1950 or 1951. See more »

Quotes

Hawkeye: Klinger, get back here as fast as you can. We want a few minutes before the party to beat the daylights out of you.
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Crazy Credits

In the closing credits of the episode "Tuttle", "Captain Tuttle" is listed as playing "Himself". See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fabulous comedy but with serious message of war's horror
25 April 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is surely one of the most popular TV series of all time and deserving of every bit of its popularity. Set at the 4077th MASH unit during the Korean War, it chronicles the assorted ill adventures, wisecracks & pranks, and touching relationships between the surgeons, nurses, and various support personnel.

The comedy revolves around the wise cracking but compassionate surgeon, Captain Benjamin Franklin ('Hawkeye') Pierce. His original surgical colleague buddy and partner in pranks, Trapper John McIntyre, is later replaced by Captain BJ Hunnicut. Fellow surgeon, Major Frank Burns, is a neurotic idiot and the usual butt of their jokes. The married Frank is carrying on a torrid affair with Major Margaret Hoolihan (Hot Lips), the unit's Head Nurse. Frank is later succeeded by Major Charles Winchester III, a pompous & arrogant snob from a wealthy, aristocratic old Boston family. The commanding officer of this wacky but competent surgical unit is the rather indecisive but affable Colonel Henry Blake, who is killed en route home to the States when his chopper is tragically shot down. He is succeeded by Colonel Sherman Potter, a strict but lovable father figure with a penchant for horses. Other regulars include the boyish & lovable Corporal Radar O'Reilley, the company clerk with a sixth sense for choppers bringing in wounded, Corporal (later Sergeant) Maxwell Klinger, who, desperate for a military mental discharge, dresses in assorted women's fashions to prove his insanity, and Father Francis Mulcahy, the quiet, kind, & rather bumbling Catholic priest and company chaplain.

The jokes are endless with constant banter between the various characters. Klinger's fashions always elicit laughs, as he sports his legendary extensive ladies' wardrobe of evening gowns, nun's habits, peasant skirts, even an elaborate Statue of Liberty costume...all in combination with his hairy face and legs. Radar is warm, fuzzy, and adorable, everyone's favourite innocent young kid brother, as he sleeps with his Teddy Bear, misses his mom & Uncle Ed back on the farm in Iowa, is delightfully naive about relationships with women (i.e. sex), and sips grape knee highs while his colleagues all prefer stronger brew (sometimes from the officers' own personal still in their tent). As for Father Mulcahy, it is heartwarming to view a clergyman cast in such a kind, caring, unselfish, and totally sympathetic light. Although always devout and noble, this priest nevertheless experiences his own inner conflicts.

However, Hawkeye is the real star of the show, absolutely charismatic and appealing with such a kind heart beneath that witty & cynical exterior, as he womanizes practically every nurse within sight. As the series progresses, he experiences his own personal dramas, which include coming to grips with his own alcoholism. The episode is extremely moving when Radar berates Hawkeye (his idol) for being drunk during surgery.

I definitely prefer the later seasons with the more highly developed three dimensional characters, BJ, Potter, and Charles as opposed to the earlier shows with Trapper, Henry, and Frank. Trapper is a one dimensional adulterous trickster; I actually find his character tedious and unsympathetic. By contrast, BJ is totally endearing with his determination (despite temptations) to remain faithful to his distant San Franciscan wife, while also acutely missing being part of his little girl's early years. Henry is lovably incompetent but interesting only from the point of view of his touching relationship with Radar. On the other hand, Colonel Potter is a real leader, army strict but fatherly and with a heart of gold. Also, the insufferably pompous yet actually very human, insecure, & rather lonely Charles is so much more interesting than the idiotic, adulterous Frank. Frank's character grows boring after a handful of episodes.

Furthermore, Margaret's character is much better developed in the later episodes after she dumps Frank, when she becomes a more three dimensional individual herself. I love the episode where she longs to feel accepted by her nurses and included as one of the group with their bull sessions and illicit fudge making antics; it really shows Margaret's vulnerability. Also, some interesting chemistry develops periodically between Hawkeye and Margaret during the later seasons.

A tip of my hat to every single one of the magnificent stars...McLean Stevenson (Henry), Wayne Rogers (Trapper), Mike Farrell (BJ), Henry Morgan (Potter), Larry Linville (Frank), Loretta Swit (Margaret / Hot Lips), David Ogden Stiers (Charles), Gary Burghoff (Radar), Jamie Farr (Klinger), William Christopher (Father Mulcahy), and especially Alan Alda (Hawkeye).

Of course, despite the almost non stop laughs, the series features by sharp contrast, an ongoing deadly serious theme revolving around the horrors of war. The medical personnel constantly quip and play tricks so that they can cope with the horrific injuries and deaths they are forced witness on a daily basis. It's a message that is brought home in every episode, but through the clever use of humour. Thus it comes across as an extremely well crafted serio-comedic series.


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