M*A*S*H: Season 1, Episode 16

The Ringbanger (21 Jan. 1973)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War
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Hawkeye and Trapper hit it off with a wounded Colonel, but when they discover his combat zeal is costing lives, they conspire to keep him from returning to the front line.



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Episode cast overview:
Linda Meiklejohn ...


Trapper and Hawkeye treat Colonel Buzz Brighton (Leslie Nielson), a seemingly OK guy, for a bullet wound in the leg. Buzz is what Hawkeye calls a "ring banger," the gung-ho quarterback who has to stay in the game: no matter the cost. According to his Army service record, Buzz racked up twice as many casualties while gaining only half the ground; this fact alone makes Hawkeye and Trapper want to bench this QB. Hotlips, on the other hand, is dazzled by his reputation and his good looks. Can the doctors pull off the "Gaslight" of the century and send Buzz reeling, packing and rolling? Will Frank ever learn to keep his pumps in his footlocker? Does Hotlips have her way with Buzz? Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | War





Release Date:

21 January 1973 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the shower scene where Frank and Hawkeye are discussing Margaret (hot lips) getting ready for a date, Frank's dogtags disappear from around his neck without any evidence he took them off. There wasn't enough time between shots for the character to remove them off camera. See more »


Henry's pistol is a Colt Commander, or, more likely a Combat Commander. The Commander, introduced in 1950, is an aluminum-framed compact M1911A1, but was not common in Korea. The Combat Commander is an all steel version introduced in 1970. See more »


Maj. Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan: You're drunk!
Henry Blake: Oh, that's a dirty lie! And I intend to press charges. The minute I'm sober.
See more »


Home on the Range
Music by Daniel E. Kelley
Lyrics by Brewster M. Higley
Performed by McLean Stevenson
See more »

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User Reviews

From the Front to the Back
22 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Leslie Nielsen plays an amiable but dangerous commander of troops at the front. He is reckless and has suffered excessive casualties. He has been operated on after being shot in the thigh, but yearns to get back to the front. Wen the boys realize what a danger he is they begin to work to get him reassigned away from a combat post. They begin to gaslight him by implying that Frank Burns is gay and interested in him, Margaret and Henry are drinking buddies and involved, and that he has lost his sense of reality. They keep moving his quarters to different places. Things fall nicely into place as his own paranoia begins to manifest itself. This is a hilarious episode. Henry is particularly funny in a scene where Hawkeye and Trapper get him drunk. McLean Stevenson was really a fine comedic actor. It's too bad we lost him at such a young age.

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