MASH (1970)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama, War


MASH (1970) Poster

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.

TIP
Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.

7.6/10
63,031

Videos


Photos

  • Robert Altman in MASH (1970)
  • Indus Arthur and Roger Bowen in MASH (1970)
  • Elliott Gould and Jo Ann Pflug in MASH (1970)
  • Robert Altman in MASH (1970)
  • Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould in MASH (1970)
  • Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould in MASH (1970)

See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


8 February 2004 | bob the moo
An enjoyable, episodic comedy but not the classic many claim it to be
And then there was Korea. In an understaffed and overstretched medical camp Lt Col Blake puts an order in for more surgeons. Dispatched to him in a stolen army jeep are Captain's Hawkeye Pierce and Duke Forrest who immediately start chasing the nursing staff and annoying their tent mate Major Burns. When chest cutter Trapper John McIntyre joins them in the camp it starts a working practice that ignores authority and tries to find as much fun as possible in the middle of their bloody war.

I had watched the TV show for a long time before I finally got to watch the movie - I prefer the cynical comedy of the film although I have always loved the more sitcom style approach of the series. Many critics have hailed this as an anti-war film that exposes the brutal effects of war; to some extent I suppose that is true but it is far from being a part of the main narrative - even to call it a theme would be generous! It does have some scenes of blood and gore but it is far from having anything substantial to say about the cruelty of war.

Instead I always find this film to be a very episodic, freewheeling comedy, some bits of which work and some others don't. On the whole it is pretty funny and uses the sort of sporadic dialogue and action to move it forward. At times it is based on imaginative banter between Trapper and Hawkeye and at others it is out and out slapstick such as the chaotic game of American football at the end of the film. The downside of this is that sections of it just don't work - Painless Paul's dilemma is pretty uninspiring at least - however, on the whole it is energetic and very funny. Altman's use of overlapping dialogue and his usual use of overlapping scenes as opposed to a traditional narrative flow is good here but it would have been better if it had been toned down somewhat.

The cast is what really carries the film - the plot is weak and they have no characters other than what they create themselves and, although the dialogue is good, I couldn't help the feeling that the cast did as much as the writers. As such the lead two of Sutherland and Gould stand out as great comedians with great witty touches, their characters are the largest and their lines are the funniest. Skerritt starts out as equal to them but quickly becomes a third wheel despite still giving a good performance. The support cast are all a good mix of characters whether they be played by actors such as Duvall and Kellerman or less well known faces such as Burghoff or Bowen.

Overall, I am still unable to see what those who call this a `brutal anti-war film' see but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it as a comedy. As such though, it is very episodic and really lacks a solid narrative flow meaning that any 10 minute period could be good or bad. Aside from this lack of substance it is a funny, enjoyable comedy but it doesn't deserve the classic reputation that it has obtained.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



More Like This

  • M*A*S*H

    M*A*S*H

  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller

    McCabe & Mrs. Miller

  • Nashville

    Nashville

  • The Player

    The Player

  • The Long Goodbye

    The Long Goodbye

  • Short Cuts

    Short Cuts

Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Skerritt recalled that the dialogue was about 80% improvised. In order to create a different kind of atmosphere, Robert Altman cast some of the parts from improvisational clubs who had no previous movie experience.


Quotes

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 ...


Goofs

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.


Crazy Credits

The announcer on the camp P.A. throughout the film several times announces the movie that will be shown in the mess tent that evening, with a description and list of stars in it. Near the end of the film, in the last scene, the P.A. announcer says "Attention. Tonight's movie has been MASH. Follow the zany antics of our combat surgeons as they cut and stitch their way along the front lines, operating as bombs and bullets burst around them, snatching laughs and love between amputations and penicillin. Follow Hawkeye, Trapper, Duke, Dago Red, Painless, Radar, Hot Lips, Dish, and staff sergeant Vollmer, as they put our boys back together again. Starring ..." and then lists the actors.


Alternate Versions

This movie was one of the first releases on early 80's RCA Selectavision CED discs system. The disc contains what is today considered to be the R rated version of the film even though the packaging shows a PG rating. Also, instead of letterboxing or squeezing (as was customary at the time)the title frame is simply shows cropped off at the sides so that the all you could see of the M*A*S*H title was "A*S*"


Soundtracks

The Japanese Farewell Song
(1955) (uncredited)
aka "Sayonara"
Written by
Hasegawa Yoshida
English lyrics by Freddy Morgan
Sung over the loudspeaker

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Drama | War

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to superheroes, horror movies, and more.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com