M*A*S*H | Chicago Reader


The movie that made Robert Altman famous (1970)—a somewhat adolescent if stylish antiauthoritarian romp about an irreverent U.S. medical unit during the Korean war (the TV sitcom it spawned practically reversed the spirit of the original). The film also helped launch the careers of Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland, Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall, and subsequent Altman regulars Rene Auberjonois and John Schuck, and won screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr. an Oscar. But the misogyny and cruelty behind many of the gags are as striking as the black comedy and the original use of overlapping dialogue. This is still watchable for the verve of the ensemble acting and dovetailing direction, but some of the crassness leaves a sour aftertaste. With Tom Skerritt, Fred Williamson, and Bud Cort.



  • Robert Altman


  • Donald Sutherland
  • Elliott Gould
  • Sally Kellerman
  • Tom Skerritt
  • Robert Duvall
  • Jo Ann Pflug
  • Rene Auberjonois
  • Roger Bowen
  • Gary Burghoff
  • Fred Williamson
  • John Schuck
  • Bud Cort


  • Otto Preminger
  • Leon Ericksen

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