Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. That's where two young surgeons, Duke and Hawkeye end up during the Korean War. There is no plot as such, but instead a series of episodes during which they put their stamp on the camp including a football game against a larger unit with thousands riding on it, a trip to Tokyo to operate on a congressman's son and play a little golf, and finding out if the head nurse is a natural blonde.
OSCAR winner for Best Adapted Screenplay
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Robert Altman is a true Hollywood rebel. Heís always stuck to his vision without compromise, never bowing down to studio demands. This maverick attitude and approach has resulted in some classic films including McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville, 3 Women, The Player and, of course, M*A*S*H. One would think that a maverick who has made such revolutionary films would be a rather colourful character and would posses an entertaining personality. With regards to Altman, thatís just not the case.
Aside from Robert Altmanís less than stellar commentary track, the two disc special edition of M*A*S*H has lots to offer. First is a newly restored version of the film that far surpasses the picture and sound quality of previous home video versions. The tale of a zany mobile medical unitís rebellious antics during the Korean war is as relevant today as it was when originally released in 1970. M*A*S*H is the quintessential anti-war/army satire, mercilessly skewering all that war and the military stand for with huge laughs along the way. While the hugely popular television spin-off (Altman absolutely despised it) retained the wit and satire, much of the edge and tastelessness were sanitized due to the rules of television censorship at the time.
The special features more than compensate for Altmanís drier than dry commentary track, and they include two behind the scenes documentaries, a documentary about real life MASH units during the Korean war, the 30th anniversary cast reunion, a picture gallery of the filmís production, a featurette on the restoration and the original theatrical trailer. Robert Altman is somewhat more upbeat in the behind the scenes documentaries and the cast reunion. Itís unfortunate that he couldnít have channeled that same energy into his commentary.