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M*A*S*H

By , Littleton, CO
“M*A*S*H”, the 1970 film directed by Robert Altman, is a comedy about Army Surgeons that perform on wounded soldiers. “MASH” is an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. This movie takes place during the Korean War.
The movie did not focus on the war, but on the comedy that takes place during the war, out of the surgical quarters or in them, there is always a joke to be told. The whole film is set around the inside of the camp. The opening scene starts with Captain “Hawkeye” Pierce and Captain “Duke” Forrest who arrives in a jeep they stole from the main base. Later arrives Captain John “Trapper” McIntyre. They were replacements for the 4077th MASH. These two find ways to make jokes about everything they do. When they arrive at the 4077th MASH, they go to the mess hall and spot a woman that they immediately flirt with. This is where the humor of the movie begins.

The movie is a comedy, but it shows the audience that when there is death and pain during a war, they cope with the sadness by humor and love on some occasion. This shows that even though they are in the middle of a war, you can’t only focus on the bad, but instead try to find the good and humor during all these bad things happening around you. One soldier, Walt Waldowski the unit’s dentist, consults the group about committing suicide. He asks them about their prefered “methods” and which ones work the best and are the fastest. Hawkeye, Trapper, and Duke suggest the “black capsule method”. This black capsule is told to be a fast-acting poison.

The group constructs a farewell banquet for Waldowski. He believes that this will really be his final few minutes of life. When the banquet ends, Waldowski laws down in his coffin and takes the pill. He believes that the black capsule is a poison that will kill him within seconds, while everyone else in the group knows that it is just a sleeping pill. Through this, the humor is that they make him believe that he will actually commit suicide scaring him at the last second to reconsider suicide. He wakes up the next day thanking Hawkeye that they did this as he really did not want to commit suicide.

I found “M*A*S*H” as an entertaining comedy that has me asking what funny thing will happen next. It combines the pain of war that these soldiers have to go through and the humor and comedy that they use to cope with the pain that they see everyday. I would recommend this movie if you enjoy comedy. It is one of my favorite comedies even though it may not be completely appropriate.




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