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.

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7.6/10
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  • Indus Arthur and Roger Bowen in MASH (1970)
  • Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould in MASH (1970)
  • Robert Altman in MASH (1970)
  • Elliott Gould and Jo Ann Pflug in MASH (1970)
  • Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould in MASH (1970)
  • Robert Altman in MASH (1970)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


8 August 2010 | runamokprods
7
| Clearly an important part of film history, but the years haven't been kind to it (in my eyes)
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first films to be released on VHS and Beta, along with The Sound of Music (1965) and Patton (1970).


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

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.


Crazy Credits

The shot of Hot Lips being revealed in the shower was replaced with her exiting the helicopter in network and basic cable showings when Sally Kellerman's name was announced.


Alternate Versions

Re-released on DVD and VHS unedited and with an MPAA rating of "R" in January 2002.


Soundtracks

When the Lights Go On Again (All Over the World)
(1942) (uncredited)
Written by
Eddie Seiler, Sol Marcus and Bennie Benjamin
Sung by the doctors and nurses when the lights go out in the operating tent

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Drama | War

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