Set in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War, Altman’s antiwar dispatch creates a carefully constructed sense of comedic chaos, chronicling the romantic escapades, after-hours tricks, and behind-the-battle lines sports adventures of three hedonistic surgeons.
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A crucial film in Robert Altman’s filmography, if not necessarily one of the best… The movie marks Altman’s first experiment with overlapping dialogue: some scenes have as many as four conversations going on at once. As in subsequent Altman features, the organized cacophony was achieved through an atmosphere of much improvisation. By some accounts, less than one-quarter of the dialogue that made it into the final cut had been scripted.