Magic and Imagery #10
Capt. Peterson [hostile tone of voice]
What are you two HOODLUMS doing in this hospital?
Ma’am, we are surgeons and we are here to operate. We just waiting for a starting time. That’s all.
You can’t even go near a patient until Col. Merrill says its ok and he’s still out to lunch.
Look, mother, I want to go to work in one hour. We are the Pros from Dover and we figure to crack this kid’s chest and get out to golf course before it gets dark. So you go find the gas-passer and you have him pre-medicate this patient. Then bring me the latest pictures on him. The ones we saw must be 48 hours old by now. Then call the kitchen and have them rustle us up some lunch.
[turns to Hakweye]
Ham and eggs will all right.
[turns back to Capt. Peterson]
Steak would be even better. And then give me at least ONE nurse who knows how to work in close without getting her tits in my way.
Looking back at yesteryear . . .
After over a decade of sitcom episodes on CBS starting in the early ’70s, it is hard, for some, to gauge the impact the original film had on popular culture. M*A*S*H, the show was anti-war. But the film was clearly anti-Vietnam War. Even though politics were evident, yet also downplayed, in the movie, the author of the original novel reportedly loved the movie and hated the show. It was close to what he wrote and experienced. The show, was a different animal altogether, and the characters, while still uncontrolled and crazy, were whitewashed versions of the originals.
The movie remains a rebellious example of ’70s filmmaking . . . and also a template for at least one groundbreaking comedy to come: Animal House. It’s a formative film, revelling in the spirit of life and irreverence.