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MASH (1970) Poster

(1970)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (3)  | Character error (3)  | Continuity (12)  | Crew or equipment visible (1)  | Factual errors (5)  | Plot holes (1)  | Revealing mistakes (4)

Anachronisms 

The football helmets worn in the game are of late 1960s vintage, with a plastic "shell" design and face masks. A football game during the Korean War would likely have featured leather-style helmets, and no face masks.
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During the football game, when the men in the wheelchairs get tackled there are high tension power lines in the background.
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One of the Japanese language versions of U.S. songs played on Armed Forces Radio is "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo," which wasn't written until 1952 and released in English that August, a year after the setting of the film.
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Character error 

Margaret's surname is scripted as "Houlihan". The 'O' was added due to a slip of the tongue by G. Wood and Roger Bowen, the only two people who refer to her as "O'Houlihan" in the whole movie.
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Trapper tells a joke about the racehorse Man o' War, saying that the horse died at age 36. Man O' War only lived to be 30 in reality.
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Trapper John (Elliott Gould) was not only not dressed or groomed within the regulations of the US Army of the 1950's, it wasn't acceptable during the 1970s filming of movie. There's no way that a military officer (doctor or not) would be allowed to report to a military unit looking as he did.
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Continuity 

At the 14 minute mark you can see Trapper in the operating theater, but he hasn't yet arrived to the 4077th.
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The dirt/stubble of Radar's face is inconsistent during the football game, as when he says, "Their ringer spotted our ringer."
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When Hot Lips confronts Lt. Col. Blake after she was exposed in the shower, she stands framed in the doorway of Lt. Col. Blake's tent. To her left, there is a mirror hanging on the tent wall that appears/disappears between shots.
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Cars on a freeway in the background of the football game.
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When the chopper comes in while Hawkeye and Trapper are playing golf there's a good aerial view of the camp and helipad. The nurses who are sunbathing at the bottom of the helipad when the pilot runs down the hill are not in that spot (or anywhere else) during the helicopters arrival. Also, the dirt hillside of the landing pad where Hawkeye and the pilot scuffle is already messed up from previous takes. The freshly turned over dirt is much darker there than elsewhere on the hillside.
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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.
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Just before Hot Lips confronts Lt. Col. Blake after she was exposed in the shower, outside his tent she has considerable soap on the left side of her face, and once inside his tent it's no longer there.
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When O'Houlihan has a discussion with Hawkeye in the mess tent shortly after her arrival, there is a shot over Hawkeye's shoulder where you can see that his glasses have appeared back on his face even though they were off in the previous shot.
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When the chopper comes in while Hawkeye and Trapper are playing golf, Hawkeye is seen on the edge of the pad. In the next shot, he is seen below the edge of the pad.
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While Hawkeye and Duke are driving to the 4077 for the first time, during one of the overhead shots, you can clearly see MASH 4077 painted on the front bumper of the Jeep.
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In the shower, the dog joins the group and sits down between Trapper John and Hawkeye just before Trapper cues the drum roll. In the group shots after Hot Lips is down on the shower floor, the dog is gone.
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When Hawkeye first appears and is waiting for his driver, it is raining and there are puddles on the ground. When he and Duke drive off with the jeep, the sun is out and the ground is dry.
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Crew or equipment visible 

During the talk in the office about having a football game, a light, presumably from one of the cameras, can be seen reflected in one of the men's sunglasses.
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Factual errors 

Hawkeye gives amphetamines to Ho John so that he will fail his draft board physical. However, Ho John displays the characteristics of depressant abuse; he basically just stands there in a listless stupor. Amphetamine abuse should do the opposite; he should be nervous, excitable, and talkative. Correction: While most people on amphetamines react differently, those who have ADD or ADHD do have the appearance of being on depressants because of the chemical reaction in their bodies which is why children unfortunately are given amphetamines as a treatment for such a diagnosis. It has even been know to cause them to fall asleep and make them feel as if they are in a fog.
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When stealing the jeep in the opening scene, Hawkeye and Duke, freshly arrived in Korea, would have no idea how to get to the 4077th, yet the overhead shots imply that they know just which direction and roads to take.
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An announcement is made that Yom Kippur cannot be held on Friday due to extenuating circumstances, but those who wish to observe may do so on Sunday. Yom Kippur never falls on either a Friday or a Sunday; an "alternate" day for the holiday that could actually occur would be Saturday.
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When Trapper and Hawkeye go to Japan, their Jeep driver is wearing what a ring on his 4th finger that would definitely never be allowed by the army in the 1950s, even if it is a unusual wedding ring.
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The mileage post that appears just before the pool table scene incorrectly lists 'The Bronx' as 'Bronx'. Not a native New Yorker, Altman missed the error in the final cut.
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Plot holes 

While Col. Blake, Father Mulcahy, and others are waiting for the helicopter carrying Major O'Houlihan to arrive, Lt. Dish can be seen sitting in the jeep in dress uniform displaying the glassy-eyed stare she employs much later in the film when she ships out after administering "therapy" to Painless Waldowski. Obviously this uncut scene was shot with a different plot sequence in mind.
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Revealing mistakes 

At the beginning of the movie, Hawkeye steals a jeep and drives away. The sergeant in charge sends MPs after him in another jeep, but the MP jeep is immediately stopped by a tire blowout. But when the jeep is parked, all four tires are fully inflated.
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When Hawkeye and Trapper John are in Japan, a "Japanese" nurse speaks in heavily American accented, awkward, and mispronounced "Japanese".
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When Hot Lips is saying good-night to Major Burns at her tent, she opens the door and inside you can clearly see another camp tent with the top of a stove pipe showing on top. Revealing that the front of her tent is actually just a one sided set piece.
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The scenery in the film, especially the outdoor scenes, are clearly those of a semi-arid landscape. South Korea was/is a mountainous and heavily forested nation that has no semi-arid nor desert locations within the country.

Additionally, many of the trees and plants seen in the film are either native to the film's North American filming location or are transplants from other areas of the world. None of them , however, are native to South Korea, the setting of the film.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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