1970s M*A*S*H (1970)

Published on March 9th, 2007 | by Chris

1

M*A*S*H (1970)

Review of: M*A*S*H (1970)
Movie by:
Robert Altman

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On March 9, 2007
Last modified:October 16, 2012

Summary:

So is M*A*S*H a "war movie" or an "anti-war movie?" It's been called both, and I think they're right on both counts. Robert Altman's 1970 masterpiece which spawned the spinoff TV series comes at you from both directions, dead serious and dead funny. All at the same time.


M*A*S*H (1970)So is M*A*S*H a "war movie" or an "anti-war movie?"  It's been called both, and I think they're right on both counts.  Robert Altman's 1970 masterpiece which spawned the spinoff TV series comes at you from both directions, dead serious and dead funny. All at the same time.

It follows the doctors of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH!) in Korea during the war.  Some of which were drafted and wind up there by fate, others are "regular army clowns" who seem to live for this stuff.

Now, if you've never seen the movie, but only seen the TV series, you need to take everything you think you know, and just throw it out the window.  About the only common traits the two have is the name, the location, and the characters' names.  And Radar.  He'd be the only actor that stuck around for the series.

There are lots of things which make MASH an incredible movie.  Not the least of which are the performances from a stellar ensemble cast.  Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Robert Duvall, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, and yes even the infamous Gary Burghoff.

MASH jumps between hilarious episodes, filmed with brilliant vision by Altman (my favorite is the "Last Supper" table) and the dead seriousness of their situation.

While watching this, you also realize how much of this you probably couldn't get away with in a movie today without having the riot act read to you. It's damn funny, but given the climate of today you don't really want to laugh in case someone sees you.

One of the problems though, is a lot of the humor is so subtle and "dry" that its lost on a lot of folks.  There's a lot of things that if you're not paying close attention, you'll miss the point.  The style is a bit disjointed and irregular, and could also put a few people off.  Once you get used to the strange cuts and angles, and realize what's going on, you'll get the hang of it.

It's been called an "anti-war" movie, and I suspect that's for a few reasons, probably more to do with the period it was made (at the height of Vietnam) and the way it belittles Army life as a series of mishaps connected by madness.

Of course, in a way, all good war movies *are* "anti-war" to some degree.

That is all.

M*A*S*H (Widescreen Edition) M*A*S*H (Widescreen Edition)
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Description

Sutherland's Hawkeye, Gould's Trapper and Kellerman's Hotlips push the boundaries of irreverence in this bawdy, black comedy about the members of a mobile medical unit during the Korean War.

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand: TCFHE
Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Donald Sutherland
  • Elliott Gould
  • Tom Skerritt
  • Sally Kellerman
  • Robert Duvall

Features

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Reviews

Customer reviews
Average Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Well I like the movie, September 2, 2017
By 
S. Brown (Napoleon, MI) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mash (Amazon Video)
Well I like the movie, seen it many times. Seems chaotic at points but so does the book.
I bought this video to add to my own library of movies that I have stored on my computer to watch when I don't have internet access but apparently I can no longer do this with Amazon. Disappointed, good thing I only dropped 7 bucks.
looks like I'll have to get the DVD if I want to be able to watch anytime.
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5.0 out of 5 stars is excellent. This copy is very good - the film ..., July 21, 2017
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: M*A*S*H [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The movie, of course, is excellent. This copy is very good - the film and audio were reproduced very well. I received the Blu-ray quickly and in perfect condition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best!! A must buy., December 27, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I sneaked in the theater when this came out, and watched it then, and have been hooked ever since. You can read the history and details on the other reviews, but this is just a fun movie to watch. The best thing, it has many, totally separate plots throughout the movie. From getting rid of Frank, the Dentist "fairy' tale, Hot Lips shower exposure, and the football game of course. I watch it very often. I got this one due to the 2 disc package. I have another dvd, and vhs as well.
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M*A*S*H (1970) Chris

Summary: So is M*A*S*H a "war movie" or an "anti-war movie?" It's been called both, and I think they're right on both counts. Robert Altman's 1970 masterpiece which spawned the spinoff TV series comes at you from both directions, dead serious and dead funny. All at the same time.

4.1


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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



One Response to M*A*S*H (1970)

  1. As is usually the case for a Memorial Day Weekend, several cable/satellite networks will be chock full of classic war movies this coming weekend. Namely Turner Classic Movies, Fox Movie Channel, and AMC. I’m sure there are many more but these are “The B

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