EXT. LANDING AREA OUTSIDE 4077TH MASH – DAY
Our attention is concentrated on a sign reading: "THIS IS
WHERE IT IS – PARALLEL 38." Below these words, arrows point
to "NORTH KOREA" in one direction, "SOUTH KOREA" in opposite
one. Two Air Rescue helicopters are coming in low from the
north, descending to a point just outside the entrance to
the hospital Admitting Ward.
Transferring our attention to the helicopters, our gaze goes
from the first sign to a second one, on which all we can
read at first are the very large letters: "M-A-S-H." Moving
closer to the helicopters as they hit the ground, we can
make out the rest of the sign. Above the four large letters
"4077TH," and then we see there is the remainder of
a word following each of the large letters, but in much
smaller print, so that "M-A-S-H" becomes "Mobile Army Surgical
Hospital." The helicopters land and enlisted men of the U.S.
Army Medical Corps Carry two wounded soldiers from each into
the Admitting Ward.
LIEUTENANT COLONEL HENRY BLAKE, a permanent member of the
Medical Corps and Commanding Officer of the 4077th, watches
grimly as the wounded are borne from the helicopters into
his hospital. CORPORAL "RADAR" O'REILLY, with a long thin
neck, large ears and a knack for anticipating his Colonel's
wishes, moves up close behind him.
(at his side)
Dammit, Radar, wait till I call you!
Tell Major Burns...
One of the surgeons from the day
shift will have to stay on duty
Yes, dammit, and...
He interrupts himself, frightened by the intense expression
on Radar's face. The Corporal's head is turning back and
forth like an actual radar receiver, monitoring the northern
horizon where the valley of a river meanders between
O'Reilly, what is it?
(appalled at the
There aren't more choppers coming?
I'm afraid so, Colonel.
We've got too many wounded for us to
handle now! Get on the phone right
Yes, sir, I'll see if I can reach
General Hammond in Seoul for you.
You think he'll finally break down
and give us two more surgeons?