Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation | Release Date: January 25, 1970
7.3
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Generally favorable reviews based on 36 Ratings
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7
ryancarroll88Aug 27, 2010
As a movie with no running plot, the screenplay has to purely rely on the antics of all the characters interacting with each other to keep some sort of tether to the ground. Unfortunately, this tactic doesn't really start working until aboutAs a movie with no running plot, the screenplay has to purely rely on the antics of all the characters interacting with each other to keep some sort of tether to the ground. Unfortunately, this tactic doesn't really start working until about 30 minutes into the film, when the viewer can finally start understanding some of what the hell is going on between the surplus of characters. Overall, it's just not as cohesive and smooth as Altman's later work, but is still a great directorial debut. Also, to be fair, it does have more than its share of hilarious and memorable moments. Collapse
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6
txrangersfan72Mar 4, 2012
I come from the most peaceful time militarily in number of years. I've always known the stigma around Vietnam, and lord knows the concept of vulgar comedies has thrived in my lifetime. South Park, anyone? And though I know little of theI come from the most peaceful time militarily in number of years. I've always known the stigma around Vietnam, and lord knows the concept of vulgar comedies has thrived in my lifetime. South Park, anyone? And though I know little of the Korean War, I get that M*A*S*H was groundbreaking when Robert Altman unleashed the film version of the book in 1970 because it not only made light of war, which, when the book was released in 1968, was a hot topic, but also because of the unique pacing of the film and the astoundingly vulgar situations, by even today's standards. The film, I didn't know, was originally given an X rating. However, I always thought the TV series was painfully boring. I still think it is one of the most overrated shows ever. So the desire to see the original film was not in me. Yet, I did. My take is that there is vulgar and there is disturbing. If I took M*A*S*H contextually at its time in history, I get it's relevance. I realize there was nothing like this movie at the time, and has been little like it since. I praise it for being such a groundbreaking film, but to watch it for the first time in 2012 is a hard thing to do. Especially as a Gen-Exer, who can't appreciate why making fun of war so strongly is a humorous thing. Why being so insensitive to women, blacks and authority in general while at war makes absolutely no sense to me. I found the movie dull. I may have chuckled a couple of times, but maybe this movie's genius is that it is such a strong portrayal, albeit unrealistic, of what war does to its participants and the inhumane conditions it expects modern people to accept, so the way they cope is to cure the boredom and sadness with as much outlandishness as can entertain them. I understand that the book was meant to be a satirical and over-the-top comedy about war told from someone who was very much against war, but had to participate in war, but calling it a comedy is stretching things a bit far. At best, it's an inside joke. To me, it just wasn't funny. Expand
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9
HalfwelshmanJan 15, 2012
MASH delivers in the same ways all the truly great New Hollywood films do. It challenges both traditional Hollywood filmmaking (through unconventional titles and end credits, over-lapping dialogue and ad-libbing) and American governmentMASH delivers in the same ways all the truly great New Hollywood films do. It challenges both traditional Hollywood filmmaking (through unconventional titles and end credits, over-lapping dialogue and ad-libbing) and American government policy of the late 1960s (though the film is set in the Korean War, the subtext is clearly about the far more contemporary and relevant Vietnam conflict) Genre-smashing maverick Robert Altman directs, and he and writer Ring Lardner Jr put an interesting spin on the war film by including a liberal dose of black humour and satire. The MASH camp is presented like a highschool, with all the archetypal characters associated with that location - you've got the by-the book senior students (Robert Duvall's Major Frank Burns and Sally Kellerman's Major "Hot Lips" Houlihan), the jocks (Donald Sutherland's Captain "Hawkeye" Pierce, Elliott Gould's Captain "Trapper John" McIntyre and Tom Skerritt's Captain "Duke" Forrest), the nerds (Rene Auberjonois' Father "Dago Red" Mulcahy, John Schuck's dentist Captain "Painless" Waldowski, Gary Burghoff's Corporal "Radar" O'Reilly) and even an incompetent principal (Roger Bowen's Lt. Colonel Blake). The screenplay quite rightly won an Academy Award, and all the dialogue has a very naturalistic, believable feel. It's probably worth re-watching the film a few times to pick up on all the jokes - there are so many brilliant throw-away one-liners that are lost in amongst the overlapping dialogue. That's MASH's crowning achievement really - yes, it's intellectual, political and extremely well made and performed, but above all else it's side-splittingly funny. The film works on multiple levels, but works the best as an extremely black comedy that is as hard hitting now as it was in 1970. Expand
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7
SpangleJan 27, 2017
MASH is a hard film to really enjoy on a first watch or, really, any watch. I knew what to expect. It was a satirical war film from Robert Altman. It will be character driven with little-to-no plot and it was mock the perception held ofMASH is a hard film to really enjoy on a first watch or, really, any watch. I knew what to expect. It was a satirical war film from Robert Altman. It will be character driven with little-to-no plot and it was mock the perception held of soldiers, the medical teams, and a little bit of religion along the way. But, MASH is incredibly abrasive. Its characters are deeply unlikable with how juvenile and sexist they are. They mock the women mercilessly and expose their body just to see them naked and to determine their natural hair color. These are vicious, dangerous men and it is nearly impossible to wring enjoyment out of this dark black comedy film. But, fortunately, there is meat on this film's bones with some typical Altman trademarks to sink your teeth into. I can only imagine how much I would have hated this if this was my first Altman though.

Juxtaposing the brutality of war with the juvenile hijinx of the main cast, the film focuses on Hawkeye Piece (Donald Sutherland), Trapper McIntyre (Elliott Gould), and Duke Forrest (Tom Skerritt), three surgeons with the 4077th MASH in South Korea. Tremendous surgeons, they are also desperately horny and sexist throughout the film. But, the focus is the juxtaposition here. They are wise cracking idiots who perform brutal and bloody surgeries all day, but make jokes even during an operation. They travel to Japan to operate on a Congressman's son, make asses of themselves, complete the surgery with ease, operate on a baby, and then rush off to play golf. They are imbeciles and complete jerks, but they are brilliant men. Altman does a great job to portray this contrast, but it is truly a comment on war itself. No battle is shown here, but Altman expertly uses this pairing to show the brutality of war and the need to joke around to lose sight of the horror of the injuries they witness. They are able to make light of their situation to great effect and distract themselves completely throughout the film. The surgeons may have a horrible job, but these boys never let up and keep plugging along with crude jokes and horsing around the base. Staunchly anti-hero during this period of his filmography, MASH shows just how much contempt Altman has for people perceived as unquestionable heroes. Soldiers are just another one with frontiersmen and cowboys being his next targets in McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Buffalo Bill and the Indians. Here, he shows the surgeons in the army as being unrepenting jerks. While the banter between the trio is hilarious at times, they are sexist pigs who harass a nurse and reduce women to nothing but their looks and breasts. The men sit around all day and play pranks on others and finish the film by ripping off another MASH unit headed by a General. These guys are complete jerks, through and through. While they meet a better ending - getting to go home - than many other heroes in Altman films, the whole point is to show what asses they guys are. Thus, calling the film itself sexist is to miss the point of MASH. These men are sexist and likely racist, yes. But, Altman wishes to pull the covers back off of soldiers and make people realize that these guys are not all good. Some are great heroes, sure. These surgeons do great work and save many lives. But, men like Major Frank Burns (Robert Duvall) and the trio of protagonists are not deserving of praise beyond their work. They are asses to those they work with and treat nobody else with respect beyond themselves. Honestly, this is simply more of Altman's classic cynicism, but dressed in satire and a taken down of the cult of heroism surrounding soldiers.

As with McCabe & Mrs. Miller, the film also includes some religious critique. Though less overt than in that film, MASH features Walter Burns, a very religious man. While praying, he is mocked by Hawkeye and Duke. In no time at all, Walter shows himself to be a complete jerk by blaming a young boy for killing a patient when there was nothing to be done for the patient. He then follows this up by having sex with Margaret Houlihan (Sally Kellerman) with the duo justifying that it is "God's will" they meet, even if Walter is married. In many ways, this is very similar to McCabe & Mrs. Miller in that Altman highlights the hypocrisy of many Christians. Saying one thing and doing another is prevalent in society, but man deride it in religion since it usually comes with a pompous attitude. Walter Burns is no exception as he believes himself to be a great man, at least better than the non-religious surgeons. However, it becomes clear that he is just as bad as they are, but at least they care to admit it and embrace the fact that they are **** Instead, he hides behind the veil of religion and pretends to be a good man. By comparison, Altman treats the Chaplin with great respect. He is shown to be a trusted and kind man who helps to save a suicidal patient. By the end, we see him praying of Hawkeye's car with no snide remarks from Hawkeye.
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2
Patrick94Jul 20, 2015
If it weren't for the last half hour of the movie, I would have given this a ZERO out of ten. This is by far one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I enjoy a wide range of comedies, from all kinds of different film eras, but MASH isIf it weren't for the last half hour of the movie, I would have given this a ZERO out of ten. This is by far one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I enjoy a wide range of comedies, from all kinds of different film eras, but MASH is absolute garbage. About half way through the movie, I hadn't laughed once, not even a forced laugh. The last half an hour of the film is the only funny part, so I'd suggest just skipping the absolute mess that is the first hour or so and watching the end. I really don't understand why this is recommended by almost everyone that has watched it. It just isn't funny. Expand
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8
FranzHcriticJan 26, 2015
Bold, funny, and filled with talent, the movie 'MASH' profits from the improvisation of the cast and the skill of director Robert Altman. The antics of the surgeons seldom doesn't result in a laugh from me. I enjoyed this movie for its wit,Bold, funny, and filled with talent, the movie 'MASH' profits from the improvisation of the cast and the skill of director Robert Altman. The antics of the surgeons seldom doesn't result in a laugh from me. I enjoyed this movie for its wit, style, and cinematography. Expand
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9
marcmyworksJun 13, 2016
MASH is probably is one of my favourite movies of all time. It is a film that you can tell all the actors enjoyed making. It really speaks of the time and the era in which it is set.
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6
WalterLebowskiMay 19, 2014
Directed by famous Robert Altman, a guy who inspired his actors to improve, this movie is about surgeons who use to treat wounded U.S. soldiers fighting in Korean War. Though the premise sounds like it is a serious movie, it is actuallyDirected by famous Robert Altman, a guy who inspired his actors to improve, this movie is about surgeons who use to treat wounded U.S. soldiers fighting in Korean War. Though the premise sounds like it is a serious movie, it is actually satirical black comedy set in background of Army Hospital.
The movie follows three surgeons named Hawkeye, Trapper Joe and Duke, who spend their free time in womanizing and drinking. These three protagonists or "anti-hero" may be one of most unlikable characters to put on screen with not much of redeeming quality except the fact they are good surgeon who saves lives of soldiers. They like to break rules for their benefit and bully anyone they don't like or does not cooperate with them. Though the audience should be rooting for them as they are rebelling against authority which is strict, it is pretty difficult to root for them as the authority they are rebelling against is not so bad. I mean they get to play, womanize and drink in their free time. What makes rooting for them even harder is the fact that antagonists (Hot Lips and Colonel Blake) are actually likable character who are humiliated and bullied just for the sake of fun. The audience is supposed to laugh at these people but it is difficult to laugh when the pranks played to nice people are cruel and unnecessary. Here, not only lead characters are misogynist, but the whole movie's storyline in misogynist. Worst of all is the leading characters never feel ashamed for their cruel joke.
Though the movie is often referred to "anti war satire", the movie does not feel anti war at all, because the protagonist does not suffer from war much but instead they are having time of their life. There is no excuse or good reason for their bad behavior.

Saying all this, I am not saying movie is bad. The director was quite revolutionary for the technique used in movie, which sets the atmosphere of a dirty hospital and even brings to your world. If you want to see the movie for its direction, do watch this. But if you are expecting good humor, entertainment and a smile on your face, you will have hard time. You will enjoy this movie, only if you are ready to drop your moral and sanity.
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10
ThisIsSparta666Jan 15, 2017
We laugh, that we may not cry. But none of this philosophy comes close to the insane logic of "M*A*S*H," which is achieved through a peculiar marriage of cinematography, acting, directing, and writing.
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10
reaper66689May 26, 2017
really good movei shows alot about the life and death that happens at mash 4077th i enjoyed the tv show too they guy who wanted to die and the song sucide is panless was really sad moment
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