M*A*S*H: Season 9, Episode 9

Taking the Fifth (19 Jan. 1981)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 114 users  
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Klinger happens upon a bottle of vintage French wine and Hawkeye uses it to lure a nurse into his clutches. Winchester deals with Klinger to get more bottles of the wine. Col. Potter trades... See full summary »


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Title: Taking the Fifth (19 Jan 1981)

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Episode cast overview:
Charles Hallahan ...
Colin Turnbull
Margie Impert ...
Lt. Sandra Palmer
Judy Farrell ...
Jan Jorden ...


Klinger happens upon a bottle of vintage French wine and Hawkeye uses it to lure a nurse into his clutches. Winchester deals with Klinger to get more bottles of the wine. Col. Potter trades with the Canadians for a special anesthetic forbidden by the U.S. Army. Written by Kathy Hofmann

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | War





Release Date:

19 January 1981 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title is a combination of puns. One is based on the act of refusing to testify under oath in a court of law or any other tribunal (such as a Congressional committee) on the grounds that the answers that would be given could be used as evidence against the witness to convict him or her of a criminal offense under the Fifth Amendment of the United States' Constitution. The other is a reference to the old way of measuring alcohol using the English Imperial amounts. Before going to the metric system, large bottles (like a fifth of Scotch) held one-fifth of a gallon. See more »


Potter mentions the US Army had recently banned the use of curare for medical units. The US Army never approved the use of curare in the first place. See more »


Hawkeye: [Spurned by yet another nurse] Don't you know you should never end a proposition with a sentence?
See more »


References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »


Love for Sale
Written by Cole Porter
Performed by Alan Alda
See more »

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User Reviews

Sometimes One Gets Boreauxed
23 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Once again, Hawkeye takes his male chauvinist pig show on the road. He commandeers a bottle of wine which Charles realizes is a fine one. But our inimitable Captain won't let go of it. So he decides to offer it to any nurse is willing to go out with him for a romantic evening. He becomes insufferable. He eventually gets a letter from one who signs herself "Sweet Preserves." Meanwhile, the unit needs curare for an anesthetic which the Army won't give them. They need to tap a Canadian unit where it is legal. Potter and Klinger have to go out and risk their lives to get some of this. Meanwhile, the wine has a curious fate as does Hawkeye.

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