• 15
  • Robert Altman (1969)
  • US
  • 111 min
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Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

The quality of this acerbic study of life in a Korean War field hospital has been too often overlooked because of the popularity of the TV series it spawned. It takes a while to get used to Donald Sutherland in the role of Hawkeye that Alan Alda later made his own; similarly, you keep expecting Loretta Swit and not Sally Kellerman to appear whenever "Hot Lips" is mentioned. But the glorious wit of Ring Lardner Jr's Oscar-winning script soon has you under its spell. Director Robert Altman and Kellerman were both rewarded with Oscar nominations, only to lose out to Franklin J Schaffner and Helen Hayes, while the film lost in the best picture category to Second World War biopic Patton.

Plot Summary

Black comedy directed by Robert Altman, starring Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould and Tom Skerritt. Three young surgeons are posted to the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Korea at the height of the conflict, where practical jokes help relieve the tension as medical staff await the arrival of front-line casualties.

Cast and crew


Hawkeye Pierce
Donald Sutherland
Trapper John McIntyre
Elliott Gould
Duke Forrest
Tom Skerritt
Major "Hot Lips" Houlihan
Sally Kellerman
Major Frank Burns
Robert Duvall
Lieutenant Dish
Jo Ann Pflug
Dago Red
René Auberjonois
Colonel Henry Blake
Roger Bowen
Radar O'Reilly
Gary Burghoff
Sergeant Major Vollmer
David Arkin
Fred Williamson
Me Lay
Michael Murphy (1)
Kim Atwood
Corporal Judson
Timothy Brown
Lieutenant Leslie
Indus Arthur
Painless Pole
John Schuck
Pfc Seidman
Ken Prymus
Captain Scorch
Dawne Damon
Ugly John
Carl Gottlieb
Captain Knocko
Tamara Horrocks
General Hammond
G Wood
Sergeant Gorman
Bobby Troup
Private Boone
Bud Cort


Robert Altman

Other Information

Swearing, drug abuse and brief nudity.
Available on video and DVD
Certificate 15