Original Australian Daybill Poster MASH
MASH (stylized on-screen as M*A*S*H) is a 1970 American black comedy war film directed by Robert Altman and written by Ring Lardner Jr., based on Richard Hooker's novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. The picture is the only theatrically released feature film in the M*A*S*H franchise, and it became one of the biggest films of the early 1970s for 20th Century Fox.The film depicts a unit of medical personnel stationed at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) during the Korean War. It stars Donald Sutherland, Tom Skerritt, and Elliott Gould, with Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall, René Auberjonois, Gary Burghoff, Roger Bowen, Michael Murphy, and in his film debut, professional football player Fred Williamson. Although the Korean War is the film's storyline setting, the subtext is about the Vietnam War, that was taking place all throughout the film's production and release. M*A*S*H features the song "Suicide Is Painless", with music by Mandel and lyrics by Mike Altman, the director's then 14-year-old son. Altman has noted in interviews that his son made quite a bit more money off publishing royalties for the song than the $70,000 or so he was paid to direct the film. The film won Grand Prix du Festival International du Film, later named Palme d'Or, at 1970 Cannes Film Festival. The film went on to receive five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and won for Best Adapted Screenplay. MASH was a critical and box-office hit; it was the third highest-grossing film released in 1970 (behind Love Story and Airport).