MASH (1970)

A film by Robert Alman.
Cast: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt.
It is set in a surgical hospital just behind the front lines in Korea, and it is drenched in blood. The surgeons work rapidly and with a gory detachment, sawing off legs and tying up arteries, and making their work possible by pretending they don’t care. And when they are at last out of the operating tent, they devote their lives to remaining sane.
The way they do that, in “M*A*S*H,” is to be almost cruel. There is something about war that inspires practical jokes and the heroes (Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, and cronies) are inspired and utterly heartless. They sneak a microphone under the bed of Major “Hot Lips” Hoolihan, and broadcast her lovemaking to the entire camp. They drug a general and photograph him in a brothel. We laugh, not because “M*A*S*H” is Sgt. Bilko for adults, but because it is so true to the unadmitted sadist in all of us. The performances have a lot to do with the movie’s success. Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland are two genuinely funny actors. Hot Lips,” who is all Army professionalism and objectivity, is less human because the suffering doesn’t reach her. A terrific movie a must see do not miss this one.


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