MASH

MASH

MASH

Altman's Oscar-winning black comedy set during the Korean War, with Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman and Robert Duvall. The movie sparked a television series that lasted longer than the war itself.

Personnel at the 4077 MASH unit are introduced to newly-arrived surgeons: Captains ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce (Sutherland), ‘Duke’ Forrest (Skerritt) and ‘Trapper’ John (Gould). Hawkeye and Trapper have met before, but Hawkeye cannot recall and Trapper won’t disclose it. The newbies’ unconventional behaviour is deemed ‘unmilitary’, but they’re willing to make their mark on the base through football bets, golfing skills and determining whether or not the head blonde is a natural blonde.

Fact time! Altman earned $US 75,000 for directing the movie. His son Mike, who wrote the lyrics to the theme song which played in the subsequent television series, made $US 2,000,000 from song royalties.

Best Adapted Screenplay, Academy Awards 1971
1970Rating: M116 minsUSA
ComedyDramaWarClassic
Director:
Robert Altman ('Nashville', 'The Player', 'The Long Goodbye')
Writer:
Ring Lardner Jr.
Cast:
Donald SutherlandElliott GouldTom SkerrittSally KellermanRobert Duval

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MASH / Reviews

Variety

Variety

An improbable setting for a comedy, even a stomach-churning, gory, often tasteless, but frequently funny black comedy.

Full review
Time Out

Time Out

It's the first real film of the 1970s.

Full review
The New York Times

The New York Times

Although it is impudent, bold, and often very funny, it lacks the sense of order (even in the midst of disorder) that seems the special province of successful comedy.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

One of the reasons M*A*S*H is so funny is that it's so desperate.

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BBC

BBC

Altman's black comedy perfectly expressed the anarchic, rebellious spirit of the 1970s with its blistering anti-war message and contempt for authority.

Full review