MASH, The 100 best movies on Netflix
Photo: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Time Out says

Altman's idiosyncratic career received a dramatic boost when he took

Ring Lardner Jr

's script (already turned down by a dozen directors) and turned it into a box-office smash. Dealing with the crazily humorous activities of a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital's staff amid the carnage of the Korean (read Vietnam) war, it shows Altman's stylistic signature in embryonic form: a large number of fast-talking eccentric characters, a series of revealing vignettes rather than a structured plot, comparisons of real life with media versions purveyed by the camp's radio, and semi-audible, overlapping dialogue. It's frantic, clever fun, but in comparison with later works such as Thieves Like Us and The Long Goodbye, its cynical stance often rings hollow; its targets - military decorum, religious platitudes and sexual hypocrisy - are too easy, and there's little of the director's muted, unsentimental humanism in evidence.

By: GA


Release details

112 mins

Cast and crew

Robert Altman
Ring Lardner Jr
Donald Sutherland
Elliott Gould
Tom Skerritt
Sally Kellerman
Robert Duvall
Jo Ann Pflug
Rene Auberjonois
Gary Burghoff
Fred Williamson
John Schuck
Bud Cort
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