M*A*S*H (1972–1983)
2 user

Morale Victory 

While Hawkeye and BJ struggle as morale officers of the disgruntled camp, Winchester tries to help a patient whose pianist career seems ruined due to a crippled hand.


Charles S. Dubin


John Rappaport, Larry Gelbart (developed for television by)

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Episode cast overview:
Alan Alda ... Capt. Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce
Mike Farrell ... Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt
Harry Morgan ... Col. Sherman T. Potter
Loretta Swit ... Maj. Margaret 'Hot Lips' Houlihan
David Ogden Stiers ... Maj. Charles Winchester
Jamie Farr ... Cpl. Maxwell Q. Klinger
William Christopher ... Father Francis Mulcahy
James Stephens ... Private David Sheridan
G.W. Bailey ... Sergeant Luther Rizzo
Jeff Maxwell ... Pvt. Igor Straminsky


The officers, enlisted and crew bellyache once too often about the conditions at the 4077. Potter condemns Hawkeye and BJ to act as 'Morale Officers' after a childish treatment of "Tales of Manhattan" (a 1942 classic and one of Mildred's favorite films). Charles performs grueling surgery, certain that the patient, Private David Sheridan (James Stephens) will be forever grateful to him for saving his leg. Instead, David Sheridan, who also sustained permanent nerve damage to three fingers of his right hand, is closer to suicidal than thankful. A gifted concert pianist with training from Julliard, Sheridan believes his hand is his life so his life is now futile. Heckle and Jeckle promise the gang a big gala dinner party; Klinger must deliver. Should they have signed his three day pass before he brought the food back to camp? Knowing and recognizing his own limitations with people, can his deep love of music give Charles the right words to reach David Sheridan and help him to save his ... Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

crushed hand | See All (1) »


Comedy | Drama | War








Release Date:

28 January 1980 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Terror of Tiny Town (1938) is mentioned as a real movie. It's a musical western filmed in 1936 featuring midgets terrified by a gunslinging bully. See more »


When David is playing the piano at the end, he is sitting in the wheelchair with his left side toward the piano (playing with his left hand). From the sound, the piece he is playing makes use of the piano pedals, specifically the damper, but the way he is sitting would make it impossible for him to get his uninjured right leg to the damper pedal to use it. See more »


Major Charles Winchester: Don't you see? Your hand may be stilled, but your gift cannot be silenced if you refuse to let it be.
Private David Sheridan: Gift? You keep talking about this damn gift. I *had* a gift, and I exchanged it for some mortar fragments, remember?
Major Charles Winchester: Wrong! Because the gift does not lie in your hands. I have hands, David. Hands that can make a scalpel sing. More than anything in my life I wanted to play, but I do not have the gift. I can play the notes, but I cannot make the music. You've performed Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Chopin...
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References The Terror of Tiny Town (1938) See more »


Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
Composed by Maurice Ravel
Performed on the piano by James Stephens
See more »

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User Reviews

Charles Finally Shows Compassion
19 April 2015 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

One of the better episodes. As the camp watches a movie (which has been shown numerous times), Hawkeye and B.J. express their disdain for the lack of enjoyment in the camp. This incites others to complain. The boys soon wish they had kept their mouths shut when Potter makes them morale officers. Of course, they haven't a clue what to do, but soon everyone is pushing them to do their jobs. The second plot involves Charles, who has done masterful surgery on a young soldier, saving his legs and his life. The sad thing is he has also a hand injury which ill affect some of his motor skills. To most, this wouldn't be a problem, but this guy is a Julliard grad and a concert pianist. He becomes angry and depressed and Charles can't console him. Back at the morale department, PIerce and Hunnicutt come up with the idea of having a beach party. It's one of those episodes where the factors come to a sweet conclusion without being too maudlin.

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