10 October 2006 | joshL1
Excellent Satire Of Washington Government, Written For The Stage, Made For TV, Apparently Not Available (As Of This Writing) on DVD or VHS
Oct. 10 2006
It has been many years since I saw this on TV, but I remember liking it, and wish to recommend it as best I can to my fellow IMDb.com readers.
This recommendation is compounded by the fact that it is not available anywhere, except I think sometimes it is performed as a play, which I think is its original form (I have not seen or read the play).
Writer Larry Gelbart's mastery of quick language humor is evident and recognizable from his role as a (writer/"creator"?) of the TV Show Mash (though he did not originate the book upon which the Movie Mash and the TV Show were based). Mastergate is a Stage Play where the author had a chance to sit down and pack it full of good writing, and so perhaps that is why it comes across that, in terms of the jokes and mood, it is sort of like watching a Mash episode where the writers had a chance to pack it full of more good quick language-joke ideas than usual. And perhaps when a writer finds particularly fertile territory, they get in a groove.
For me, when I saw it (on HBO or some such?) years ago, it wasn't so much a belly laugh as a very amusing and intelligent satire of the Iran-Contra hearings, and that type of Washington Boondogle. The acting includes good performances by James Coburn (as the Oliver North type character if I recall), Mash vet David Ogden Stiers, and Ed Begley, Jr.
I wish there were a place on the internet where we could communicate to executives in the Movie Business when we think there is a movie some of us would like to see and where we think they are missing out on sales. As yet, when we participate on websites that seem to take our wish-listing of a film, that does not seem to translate into the idea "registering" with film industry executives that they might be missing out on on sales. I would say that Mastergate is a Made-For-TV tape that I would pay a standard DVD price to see again, if there were a place to get it.