M*A*S*H script
M*A*S*H  Episode #Final Draft (1972)
Synopsis: Members of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital care for the injured during the Korean War and use humor to escape from the horror and depression of the situation. Among the 4077's people are Capts. Benjamin "Hawkeye" Pierce and "Trapper John" McIntire, Majs. Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan and Frank Burns, and Cpl. Walter "Radar" O'Reilly.

FADE IN:

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

it says:
"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.

HENRY:

(loudly)

O'Reilly!

RADAR:

(at his side)

Yes, sir?

HENRY:

Dammit, Radar, wait till I call you!

Tell Major Burns...

RADAR:

One of the surgeons from the day

shift will have to stay on duty

tonight?

HENRY:

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

mountainous ridges.

HENRY:

O'Reilly, what is it?

(appalled at the

thought)

There aren't more choppers coming?

RADAR:

I'm afraid so, Colonel.

HENRY:

We've got too many wounded for us to

handle now! Get on the phone right

away and...

RADAR:

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?

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Ring Lardner Jr.

Ringgold Wilmer "Ring" Lardner Jr. (August 19, 1915 – October 31, 2000) was an American journalist and screenwriter blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios during the Red Scare of the late 1940s and 1950s. more…

All Ring Lardner Jr. scripts | Ring Lardner Jr. Books

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