Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MASH (1970)

TOP 100 FILMS: #76

Talented doctors Hawkeye (Donald Sutherland), Trapper John (Elliot Gould), and Duke (Tom Skerritt) wreak havoc on the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean war.

If I were to name my top 10 most re-watchable films of all time, I'd be hard pressed not to throw MASH right up there at #1. Having watched every single episode of the TV show, I was more than delighted to watch this dark war comedy from 1970. With great characters, fun situations, absurd moments, and the coming out film of Robert Altman MASH is a staple in cinema history, way too overlooked in terms of impact.

While not as anti-war as some would claim, and the TV show was, MASH as a movie is pro characters. Showing a unique side to the common soldier opposing the genre cliches, and showing a lighter side to the characters, while maintaining the dark struggles of war. Instead we are given a fun, off the wall, two hour long comedy of grand proportions. You'll fall in love with the hijinks of Hawkeye and Trapper John, you'll laugh at the super religious Major Burns (Robert Duvall), and the military strict Major O'Houlihan (Sally Kellerman).

Launching a million careers, Altman's knack for characters brings to life some of the most memorable in film history. Add to that Altmans love for real conversations, making every scene fun as each actor tries to steal the scene from one another. Lardner's screenplay brings to life the novel by Richard Hooker, adding in Vietnam allegories, and creative use of dark issues. Put all of these together, and you get one of my all time favorite films, one that deserves to be watched several times over.

An all around fun dark comedy on the troubles, and characters, involved in War.

1 better thoughts:

The Mad Hatter said...

One of my favorite lines in film history comes from this movie:

"Colenol? Fair's fair: If I nail Hot Lips and hit Hawkeye, can I go home too?"

Great choice of movie to write about!

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