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MASH (1970)

R | | Comedy, Drama, War | March 1970 (USA)
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2:56 | Trailer

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The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and high jinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war.

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Writers:

(from the novel by), (screenplay)
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2,325 ( 183)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Hawkeye Pierce
... Trapper John McIntyre
... Duke Forrest
... Maj. Margaret 'Hot Lips' O'Houlihan
... Maj. Frank Burns
Roger Bowen ... Lt. Col. Henry Blake
... Father John Mulcahy
... Sgt. Major Vollmer
... Lt. 'Dish'
... Cpl. 'Radar' O'Reilly
... Dr. Oliver 'Spearchucker' Jones
... 'Me Lai' Marston
Indus Arthur ... Lt. Leslie
Ken Prymus ... PFC. Seidman
... Sgt. Gorman
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Storyline

The personnel at the 4077 MASH unit deal with the horrors of the Korean War and the stresses faced in surgery by whatever means. The tone at the MASH is established by recent arrivals, surgeons Captains 'Hawkeye' Pierce, 'Duke' Forrest, and 'Trapper' John McIntyre - the latter who Hawkeye knows he's met somewhere, but Trapper who won't divulge where - whose antics can be best described as non-regulation, and in the negative words of one of their fellow MASH-ers: unmilitary. The unit's commanding officer, Colonel Henry Blake, doesn't care about this behavior as long as it doesn't affect him, and as long as they do their job and do it well, which they do. Their behavior does extremely bother fellow surgeon, Major Frank Burns, and recently arrived head nurse, Major Margaret Houlihan, who obtains the nickname 'Hot Lips' based on information they glean about her through underhanded means. Beyond their battles with Frank and Hot Lips, Hawkeye, Duke and/or Trapper help unit dentist Painless ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

M*A*S*H Gives A D*A*M*N. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

March 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

M*A*S*H  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$81,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (PG)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fourteen-year-old son of Director Robert Altman, Mike, wrote the lyrics to the theme song "Suicide is Painless". Because of its inclusion in the subsequent television series, he continued to get residuals throughout its run and syndication. His father was paid seventy-five thousand dollars for directing, but his son eventually made about two million dollars in song royalties. See more »

Goofs

In the mess tent scene after Hot Lips' and Frank Burns' tryst, Hawkeye's coat sleeve has a small wet stain BEFORE Hot Lips sloshes hot cereal on it. After Hot Lips spills the cereal on Hawkeye's coat no cereal appears on his sleeve. The camera cuts away and back to Hawkeye, revealing a large glop of the cereal. The camera again cuts away and back, showing the same smaller wet spot but no cereal. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lt. Col. Henry Braymore Blake: Radar.
Cpl. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly: Yes, sir. I'll get ahold of Major Burns...
Lt. Col. Henry Braymore Blake: I want you to get a hold of Major Burns...
Cpl. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly: ...Tell him to hold a couple day surgeons over into the night shift.
Lt. Col. Henry Braymore Blake: Tell him we're going to have hold a couple of surgeons over from the day shift out of the night shift.
Cpl. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly: I'll put in a call to General Hammond in Seoul...
Lt. Col. Henry Braymore Blake: Get General Hammond down there in Seoul, tell him to send us those new surgeons right away.
Cpl. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly: ...I hope he sends us those two new surgeons. We're sure gonna need'em.
[Leaves]
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The end cast credits are read over the PA system, without titles. See more »


Soundtracks

Hail to the Chief
(1810) (uncredited)
Written by James Sanderson
Sung with revised lyrics by various characters
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Clearly an important part of film history, but the years haven't been kind to it (in my eyes)
8 August 2010 | by See all my reviews

I should probably watch this again, since so many consider it a masterpiece. Maybe I was over-prepared (Hey, it took me a second viewing of 'Citizen Kane' to get my past pre-set expectations!). But while I could see why M*A*S*H was groundbreaking and important for a Hollywood film of it's day (lack of the usual clear narrative line, anti-war stance, overlapping, improvised dialogue, sexuality, bloody operating room scenes serving as ironic counterpart, etc), it felt pretty dated and unfocused. There are some very funny moments, but a lot of the ironies seem easy, and there's a lack of a true darker underpinnings and ideas, unlike, say, 'Dr. Strangelove'.

A lot of the humor is juvenile, cruel and silly. And while I get that's the point – nothing can be more deeply juvenile, cruel and silly than war, it got repetitive and heavy handed after a while. The performances are good, but beyond Robert Duvall, none of the characters have much in the way of dimensions. People stay exactly what we think they are from the moment we meet them.

Walter Chow makes a good argument on the web site 'Film Freak Central', that the sexism, homophobia, etc are the whole point. Altman is saying we're ALL beasts at heart, even if we act like we're bucking the system. It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure I buy it's what Altman was intending.


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