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M*A*S*H: Complete Season One

M*A*S*H: Complete Season One


Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - R.J. Wafer
M*A*S*H, spun from Robert Altman's Academy Award-winning film, proved a rare, record-breaking exception to the rule that television series based on hit films are doomed to failure. Even without Altman or the original film's cast (with one exception), it became one of the longest running and most beloved programs in TV history. Picking up on the film's mix of contempt for militarism and compassion for the military, it continues the misadventures of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in the Korean War. Writer Larry Gelbart, who developed the series for TV and wrote several episodes, already had such classics as Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour on his résumé. In the beginning, the characters remain somewhat familiar: Portraying the ringleaders of the Swamp are Alan Alda in Donald Sutherland's role as Hawkeye Pierce and Wayne Rogers assuming Elliott Gould's position as Trapper John. The ensemble includes Loretta Swits' "Hot Lips" Houlihan and Larry Linville as Major Frank Burns (Hawkeye and Trapper's reliable foils), William Christopher's earnest Father Mulcahy, McLean Stevenson's leisure-loving Lt. Col. Henry Blake, and Gary Burghoff (the lone holdover from the film) as Corporal Radar O'Reilly. In one of the more curious departures in prime-time history, Timothy Brown's "Spearchucker" Jones character disappears after the fifth episode. Meanwhile, Jamie Farr's clownish Corporal Klinger, who shows up in the fourth episode, proved popular enough to endure through the show's entire run. Klinger also became one of the show's more controversial characters, both for his Catch-22-like attempts to be declared insane and for his egregious taste in women's clothing. A sampling of the highlights from the rookie year include "Yankee Doodle Doctor," which features Alda smiting military protocol in Groucho Marx drag; "To Market, to Market," guest-starring Jack Soo as a Korean black marketer; and "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet," in which a soldier's death spurs Hawkeye to send an underage recruit (Ron Howard) home. Gelbart wrote several bang-up episodes along with Laurence Marks (Hogan's Heroes), walking the thin line between spirited irreverence and genuine disrespect and crossing it occasionally when the opportunity arose for a really big laugh. As the war in Vietnam came to a close, M*A*S*H's success only escalated, with unending Emmy recognition beginning in 1974 and the introduction of the memorable characters Captain B. J. Hunnicut (Mike Farrell) and Colonel Potter (Harry Morgan) in 1975.

Product Details

Release Date:
20th Century Fox

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alan Alda Actor,Hawkeye
Loretta Swit Actor,Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan
Wayne Rogers Trapper John
Jamie Farr Actor
McLean Stevenson Lt. Col. Henry Blake,Actor
Gary Burghoff Radar O'Reilly
Larry Linville Maj. Frank Burns
Tim Jones Spearchucker

Technical Credits
Bruce Bilson Director
Don Weis Director
E.W. Swackhamer Director
Earl Bellamy Director
Gene Reynolds Director
Hy Averback Director
John Cooper Director
James Sheldon Director
Larry Gelbart Director
Lee Philips Director
Michael O'Herlihy Director
Terry Becker Director
William Wiard Director

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