M*A*S*H (1972–1983)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | Drama | War
8.5
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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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Title: M*A*S*H (1972–1983)

M*A*S*H (1972–1983) on IMDb 8.5/10

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Won 8 Golden Globes. Another 52 wins & 152 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce (251 episodes, 1972-1983)
...
 Major Margaret Houlihan (242 episodes, 1972-1983)
...
 Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger / ... (213 episodes, 1972-1983)
...
 Father Francis Mulcahy (210 episodes, 1972-1983)
...
 Colonel Sherman T. Potter / ... (180 episodes, 1974-1983)
...
 Captain B.J. Hunnicut (179 episodes, 1975-1983)
...
 Lieutenant Kellye Yamato / ... (167 episodes, 1973-1983)
...
 Corporal Walter Eugene O'Reilly / ... (156 episodes, 1972-1979)
...
 Major Charles Winchester (131 episodes, 1977-1983)
...
 Major Franklin Marion Burns (120 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

Plot Keywords:

nurse | doctor | colonel | korean war | korea | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 September 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

MASH  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

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

Charles carried a photograph of himself having lunch with movie star Audrey Hepburn, whom he met through a family associate. Though thoroughly charmed by Hepburn, Charles had still never seen any of her movies. See more »

Goofs

As a rule in the service, a person is only awarded one Purple Heart (the first time they're wounded) and then oak leaf clusters for subsequent injuries. However, multiple characters throughout the series have or receive more than one purple heart. See more »

Quotes

Frank Burns: Attention all Allied personnel! There are only about half a dozen stars visible, sky-wise. I am directly under the brightest one.
Hawkeye: Very good, Frank.
B.J.: They'll start looking for us in Bethlehem.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Muppet Show: Loretta Swit (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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Differences in the military (then and now) crockett_john
If you were assigned to the 4077th? crockett_john
How long would Hawkeye have survived in the real Army in the Korean War? crockett_john
Characters who changed the most throughout the series? crockett_john
Do you prefer M*A*S*H with or without canned laughter? old-skool101
Capt. 'Spearchucker' Jones old-skool101
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