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M*A*S*H [Single Disc Edition] [1969] [DVD]

Donald Sutherland , Elliott Gould , Robert Altman    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
Price: 5.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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M*A*S*H [Single Disc Edition] [1969] [DVD] + M*A*S*H - The Martinis & Medicine Collection [DVD] [1972]
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Product details

  • Actors: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall
  • Directors: Robert Altman
  • Writers: Richard Hooker, Ring Lardner Jr.
  • Producers: Ingo Preminger, Leon Ericksen
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Japanese, Korean
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Oct 2003
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DK4RQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,549 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

MASH--a 1970 comedy-drama set among surgeons drafted into the Korean war--was a breakthrough not just for director Robert Altman but for movie-making in general. Although set in the 50s, there are few who did not realise that the film's anti-war messages were directed at the US involvement in Vietnam. Indeed, the Pentagon banned US servicemen from seeing the film.

Starring Donald Sutherland as Hawkeye Pierce and Elliot Gould as Trapper John McIntyre, two hip young surgeons drafted against their will. Their general attitude--while never corroding either their humanity or their professionalism as surgeons--is one of insolence towards military authority and the arbitrary structures and regulations continually droning from the tannoy system. The film, too, thrives on a lack of attention to conventional order, with its cross-dialogue and random, episodic style reflecting the vivacious and unbuttoned feel of the content.

However, MASH has dated and much of what seemed like "liberating" high jinks, today smacks of sexist, frathouse boorishness and harassment, especially at the expense of Major "Hotlips" Hoolihan (Sally Kellerman), while the episode in which "Painless" plans a suicide out of a fear of being gay reflects the persistence of homophobia even in 60s counterculture. Despite this MASH feels ahead of its time and certainly sharper and blacker than the too-cute sitcom it spawned.

On the DVD: this is an excellent restoration, overseen by Altman himself, in which any obfuscation from the original have been cleaned up, especially the sound quality. As well as a commentary from Altman, there are three separate documentaries, featuring interviews with Altman, the cast and screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr, who had been blacklisted during the anti-Communist witch-hunt which swept through Hollywood in the 1950s. We learn he was initially appalled at how little of his script Altman actually used but was mollified by the Academy Award he received. Altman is candid about the making of the movie ("It wasn't released by Fox, it escaped from Fox"). There's an abundance of similarly rich, anecdotal material here. --David Stubbs

Product Description

This celebrated satire depicts the crazy antics and the sexual adventures of Hawkeye Pierce (Donald Sutherland), Trapper John McIntyre (Elliott Gould) and Duke Forrest (Tom Skerritt), all surgeons working in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. The black humour of the medical team is contrasted with the terrible waste of life that they are exposed to. This was director Robert Altman's first major hit, and bears his characteristic stamp of documentary-like camerawork, loose narrative and quick-fire, realistically delivered dialogue. A long-running, popular television series followed, although the only cast member to make the transition was Gary Burghoff (Radar O'Reilly).


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant black comedy 22 July 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you are only familiar with the TV version of M.A.S.H., you will find the film very different but very funny. Donald Sutherland (Hawkeye) and Elliott Gould (Trapper)are both brilliant as the crazy surgeons trying to keep sane amidst the chaos of war. The humour of the film is much blacker than the Tv series, of the movie cast only Gary Burghoff (Radar O'Reilly) went on to star in the TV version. These days I find I prefer Donald Sutherland's Hawkeye, Alan Alda's relentless niceness gets on my nerves a bit. In the movie (as in the original novel) there are two other surgeons joining in Hawkeye and Trapper's antics, Duke Forrest and Spearchucker Jones (you may recall there was a halfhearted attempt to include Spearchucker in the first TV series, but he soon faded from view). I love the bit where Duke, a Southerner, is told he's going to be sharing accomodation with a black surgeon, and says plaintively "Oh no, it's bad enough having to share with you two Yankees!" Uptight army nurse Margaret Houlihan is subjected to rougher treatment than in the TV series, as for instance when her all is exposed when the doctors make the shower collapse while she's using it in order to settle a bet over whether she's a natural blonde or not. Then there's the climatic football match where some very dirty tactics are brought into play to make sure the M.A.S.H. team win. The movie is darker, dirtier, and in some ways funnier than the TV version.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The early morning fog I see" 15 April 2002
Format:VHS Tape
There is a general law that says books are normally better than the films, though there are some exceptions. That is why i had my doubts before i saw this film, boy was i wrong. Though the book by Richard Hooker is brilliant i think the film is better! Robert Altman did a great job and Sutherlands and Gualds performances are sheer class.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War - what is it good for? 19 Mar 2004
By Andy Millward VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
I usually confine my comments to the standard of the film, but in this case the quality of restoration deserves a mention, as do the extras provided on the DVD. Unusually, these are well worth having and add to the enjoyment of the main feature.
M.A.S.H. is probably best known nowadays for having spawned the classic TV sitcom starring Alan Alda but more an ensemble creation of well-loved characters. A number of these appear in the original film, though it was originally intended as a star vehicle for Messrs. Sutherland and Gould. Where the TV series took much longer to explore the nuances of relationship and unpeel the subtle layers of about war, the film uses the limitations of a 2-hour format to create a dark satire with the essential underpinning of serious compassion and empathy, gloss over some aspects of characterisation and stays lightweight to retain its audience. That said, there is more gore and therefore sense of realism about the big screen version, even if it wimps out of a more direct condemnation of war.
Robert Altman's evolving neo-fly-on-the-wall style will be familiar to anyone watching his later films such as the Player and Nashville. And it works - the comic results are a joy to behold, and stand the test of time remarkably well through the endless topicality of war - consider what the Trapper and Hawkeye of today would feel about the Iraq war from their mobile army surgical hospital in Basra!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
M.A.S.H is one of those films that rewards multiple viewings. Firstly, because of the overlapping, quickfire dialogue. It is almost impossible to get every joke the first time round. Secondly, there are the performances : Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould are superb as the two hell-raising surgeons. It is as if the roles of Hawkeye and Trapper John were created especially for them - they are totally convincing in every respect, whether it's in the operating room stitching up wounded soldiers, or plotting how to rig the final football game. Thirdly, there is the rest of the ensemble, who all give magnificent performances. Particularly memorable are Sally Kellerman as Major 'Hot-Lips' Houlihan, and John Schuck as the suicidal dentist Painless Pole. Much of the dialogue was improvised during filming under Robert Altman's direction. As a result, the characters of the 4077 are brought unforgettably to life. This improvisation gives the film its gritty, realistic edge, which makes it all the more believable. The scenes in the OR - bloody, gruesome, painfully realistic - contrast brilliantly with the anarchy of the surgeons' zany antics when they're off duty. These antics primarily involves the ridicule of anyone who has any respect for the Army authority (oh, and trying to score with the nurses!). Vindictive though this behaviour is, you understand it because you see the job that these people do, since you are there with them in the operating room. M.A.S.H. is a study of people trying to stay sane under insane circumstances. The solution ? The people go a little crazy. Unlike the TV series, the film is not a laugh-a-second affair. The humour is dark to the point of not being funny. It attacks everything. It satirises everything. This film bites. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Bought as a present for someone who likes this film
Published 1 day ago by MRS S LOCK
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
excellent
Published 1 day ago by a f stott
5.0 out of 5 stars Purchased item
It does exactly what I want it to do, with no fuss or bother. I love it. I love it!
Published 1 month ago by 2uba man
5.0 out of 5 stars M.A.S.H. Landmark Movie
The M.A.S.H. movie is so far ahead of the nice, comfortable T.V. series. The chaM.racters are trying to make the best of a bad situation and just get through each day, whereas in... Read more
Published 1 month ago by ponno
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic film!
A true classic, which was on our wish list for a long time.
Very good quality film transferred on DVD.
Published 2 months ago by Ed W.
2.0 out of 5 stars Good actors, disappointing dve
My Husband and I are enjoying the tv series of MASH so were looking forward to this especially as there as such good Actors in it and I particularly like Donald Sutherland. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs S Faulkner
5.0 out of 5 stars still holding up
Robert Altman's 1969 anarchic comedy still holds up very well. Set during the Korean War and made during the Vietnam War, it's main comic focus is on the irrelevance of authority... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Stanley Crowe
5.0 out of 5 stars M.A.S.H
Great movie with great actors. Extra items were good too!
I had forgotten how great the song was as well.
Published 5 months ago by Mr AGP Pounder
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the TV series - but still great to watch.
Miss Alan Alda as the leading man, but Donald Sutherland makes the part his own as Hawkeye Pearce. I also loved the music, but am not allowed to play it on the Radio Station I work... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bhillstead
1.0 out of 5 stars Prejudiced and extremely dark reproduction.
Having brought this for my husband, who absolutely adores the film version of Mash, until we received this copy and he will probably never watch it again. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lin trenery
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