elliott-gould-e-donald-sutherland-in-una-foto-promozionale-per-mash-23920 mash-1970 And then came Korea.... Possibly the greatest and most subversive commentary of the Korean conflict came in the form of Robert Altman's movie M*A*S*H. Rather than a straight war flick, Altman alongside a cast including Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould and Robert Duvall created a statement that analysed and deconstructed the madness of war through the eyes of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital doctors and nurses. Between exceptionally gory hospital shifts and countless rounds of Martinis, wisecracking surgeons Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John McIntyre make it their business to undercut the smug, moralistic pretensions of Bible-thumper Maj. Frank Burns and regular Army true-believer Maj. "Hot Lips" Houlihan. Abetted by such other hedonists as Duke Forrest and Painless Pole, as well as (relative) innocent Radar O'Reilly, Hawkeye and Trapper John drive Burns and Houlihan crazy with ongoing practical jokes while engaging in such additional blasphemies as taking a medical trip to Japan to play golf, staging a mock Last Supper to cure Painless's momentary erectile dysfunction, and using any means necessary to win an inter-M*A*S*H football game. The movie creates a casual, chaotic but ultimately realistic atmosphere emphasising the constant noise and activity of a surgical unit near battle lines. Although the on-screen war was not Vietnam, M*A*S*H's satiric target was obvious in 1970, and Vietnam War-weary and counter-culturally hip audiences responded to Altman's nose-thumbing attitude towards all kinds of authority and embraced the film's tasteless yet evocative humour and its anti-war, anti-Establishment, anti-religion stance. mash3