(out of 5)

For war movies, we have comedies, horrific dramas, science-fiction and Apocalypse Now, which pretty much defies all the above interpretations.  What else can be made to exemplify the ridiculous nature of national combat except an absurdist comedy? And who better to make a genre-inverting, multi-layered film with a totally outrageous tone of humour than Robert Altman? This fantastic film, laced with acerbic commentary about the American military, claims to take place in Korea but obviously means to be a comment on the war in Vietnam (that or none of the actors thought to cut their hair). ,  and  are all brilliant as military doctors who run the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital and spend more of their time clowning around, drinking martinis and trying to bag beautiful babes than actually trying to aid the war effort.    enters the scene as a stern, involuntary participant to the boys’ hijinks, though even she eventually learns their rhythms (and also gives the performance of her career). The last third, where the soldiers engage in a huge, professional football game, is when you know you’ve gone right through the looking glass into surreal movie territory. It’s wonderful, and still so damn funny after all these years. Two popular television shows followed.

, ,

USA, 1970

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by , ,

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  Cannes 1970

Cast Tags:  , ,, , ,, , , ,, ,, , , , , , , , ,, , ,

Academy Award
Best Writing (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) (Ring Lardner Jr.)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Sally Kellerman as “Major Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan”)
Best Directing (Robert Altman)
Best Film Editing (Danford B. Greene)
Best Picture (Ingo Preminger, producer)

Golden Globe Award
Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical

Best Director (Robert Altman)
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Elliott Gould)
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Donald Sutherland)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Sally Kellerman)
Best Screenplay (Ring Lardner Jr.)

New York Film Critics Award Nominations
Best Film
Best Director (Robert Altman)

National Society of Film Critics Award
Best Film

Best Supporting Actress (Sally Kellerman)
Best Director (Robert Altman)

Cannes Film Festival Award
Palme D’Or

Writers Guild Award
Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium

Directors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Robert Altman)

British Academy Award
UN Award

Best Film
Best Direction (Robert Altman)
Best Sound Track
Best Film Editing



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s