M*A*S*H (1972–1983)
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Death Takes a Holiday 

While local orphans attend a Christmas party in the mess tent, Hawkeye, B.J., and Margaret try to save the life of a critically injured solider so that his family won't think of Christmas as the day that their father died.

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(teleplay by), (teleplay by) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Choi Sung Ho
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Jeff Maxwell ...
Sally Imamura ...
Yoshi Hoover ...
Korean Boy (as Yoshiki Hoover)
Perren Page ...
Jeep Driver / Staff Sargent
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Storyline

It's Christmas time again. The surgeons and staff are throwing a Christmas party in the mess tent, and the children from the local orphanage are coming to join in the fun. B.J. donates a box of fudge from Peg and Charles donates some smoked oysters. Everybody in camp thinks Charles is a Scrooge, but, under the cover of darkness that night, Charles generously and anonymously donates packages of chocolate bars from home to the orphanage. The Christmas party takes off without a hitch. Colonel Potter dresses as Santa Claus and the children are having fun, but Hawkeye, B.J., and Margaret miss out on the festivities when a mortally wounded man lands in pre-op. When learning the man is a husband and loving father, B.J. tries with all his might and skill to delay the man's death so his family won't remember this Christmas as they day their daddy died. Will they succeed? Or will they somehow be able to move the hands of time so the man makes it until after Christmas? Written by <Explorerds6789>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

christmas | directed by star | See All (2) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

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Details

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Release Date:

15 December 1980 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is from the movie Death Takes a Holiday (1934). See more »

Goofs

When Charles pulls up to the house where the orphans live, you can clearly hear frogs croaking in the background. This episode is centered around Christmas. Frogs would be hibernating in December in Korea and therefore would not be croaking. See more »

Quotes

Choi Sung Ho: The candy would have brought great joy to the children for a few moments, but on the black market it was worth enough rice and cabbage to feed them for a month.
Major Charles Winchester: It is sadly inappropriate to give dessert to a child who's had no meal.
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Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.73 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Twelve Days of Christmas
(uncredited)
Traditional
Hummed by Jamie Farr
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User Reviews

 
This One Makes Me Cry
23 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It is Christmas and the supply truck containing dinner has been hit by the enemy. So everyone ponies up with their treats from home to help the orphans celebrate. All except Charles, who gives up a can of smoked oysters. This seems chintzy, but it turns out he follows a tradition. He has large packages of candy that he delivers to the poor on Christmas every year. This is no exception. He drives to the place the kids live to carry this on. Of course, everyone calls him Charles Ebeneezer Winchester because they don't understand what he is doing (anonymously). The other plot is an attempt to keep a sniper victim alive long enough so he doesn't die on Christmas Day. An incredibly touching episode.


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