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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant black comedy
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...
Published on 22 July 2004 by L O'connor

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An important piece of film history, but - in my eyes - hasn't aged well.
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...
Published on 9 Aug 2010 by K. Gordon


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant black comedy, 22 July 2004
By 
L O'connor (richmond, surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: M*A*S*H [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
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
This review is from: M*A*S*H* [VHS] (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
3.0 out of 5 stars An important piece of film history, but - in my eyes - hasn't aged well., 9 Aug 2010
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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 (Tiptree, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: M*A*S*H [1970] [DVD] (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Biting balck comedy anti- war satire from Robert Altman., 9 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: M.A.S.H. [1969] [VHS] (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. It has a stab at almost everything a proud nation holds dear. But there is something about M.A.S.H. - a kind of twisted logic - that makes it all make sense. Perhaps the best illustration of this is that although this film is set during a war, you don't actually see any war. Just the effects of it. Which is enough.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MASH revisited, 23 July 2009
By 
Ellie Mac. (Liverpool, U.K.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: M*A*S*H [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
I really enjoy watching re-runs of MASH and have even got the final episode (featuring Alan Alda) stored on hard disk. As I had not seen the original 1970 film (unbelievably) I decided to order from Amazon. My package arrived speedily and I settled down to watch. What a difference to the TV series, although I enjoyed the film and realised the level of noise was meant to portray the chaos of war, but did detract from the enjoyment of the film somewhat and at times made it difficult to follow. The sexism, racism and OTT machismo in the film dated it somewhat, but hey, it was the 70's playing the 50's. All in all a good film, making a comedy in a hospital setting based in the middle of a war zone must have been a brave step, but as anti-Vietnam feeling was running high then perhaps it was the right time. I still prefer the film length version of the last TV episode
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Comdey, 4 Feb 2004
This review is from: M*A*S*H* [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Excellent feature length of MASH which preceded the long running TV series. Deals with the Korean War in a much more dark manner than could hae been done in a TV series but you still get into the characters and it makes a good grounding for the TV series which followed.
The cast includes Donald Sutherland and Robert Duval in the roles of Hawkeye and Frank Burns respectively and Gary Burghof as Radar (The only cast member carried over to the TV series). Sutherland plays Hawkeye as a very dry character which works well int eh film (Alan Alda's TV series interpretation has much more humour visible).
Good as a stand alone film but also sits well with the TV series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Purchased item, 28 Jun 2014
This review is from: M*A*S*H [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
It does exactly what I want it to do, with no fuss or bother. I love it. I love it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars M.A.S.H. Landmark Movie, 4 Jun 2014
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 the contrived T.V. series, they always seem to be looking for their next 'caper' and the canned laughter is so annoying. It was so much better when it was first shown on T.V. and the canned laughter was not present. The cast in the movie are excellent, the situations are both funny and sad, the humour is dark and the obvious anti-war message is clear to see. There is also time for a little bit of 'slapstick' (if that is the right word) with the Footbal match at the end. Fantastic film, with intentional, almost sloppy directing at times from Robert Altman (surgical scenes are as if cameras were just left running to capture the actors in realistic situations, talking to each other through surgical procedures, sometimes talking over each other with not much coherence). Always one of my favourites and is a movie I can watch over again and again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A classic film!, 31 May 2014
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A true classic, which was on our wish list for a long time.
Very good quality film transferred on DVD.
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Mash [DVD] [1973] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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