M*A*S*H (MASH)-Season 4 (1974)

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Released 7-Sep-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1974
Running Time 609:59
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Gene Reynolds
Alan Alda
William Jurgensen
Larry Gelbart
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Alan Alda
Loretta Swit
Larry Linville
Larry Burghoff
Jamie Farr
Mike Farrell
Harry Morgan
William Christopher
Case ?
RPI $44.95 Music Johnny Mandel


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Alternate Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
French
French Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    M*A*S*H is one of those classic era-defining shows that has been immortalised through repeats across the years. It endures where so many other shows fall by the wayside.

    For anybody who is unfamiliar with the series, it follows the adventures of the members of the 4077th M*A*S*H unit stationed in Korea during the Korean War. Amongst the regular cast there is the slightly crazed Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce (Alan Alda), newcomer Captain “B.J.” Hunnicutt (Mike Farrell), new C/O Colonel Sherman T. Potter (Harry Morgan), the most hated man in camp Major Frank Burns (Larry Linville), head nurse Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit), Colonel Potter’s aide Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff), and the man who wears ladies fashion to get out of the war on an insanity discharge, Corporal Klinger (Jamie Farr).

    Season 4 of M*A*S*H picks up soon after the third season was brought to a tragic conclusion...

Disc 1

1. Welcome to Korea: Part I & II (48:25)

    When Hawkeye returns from R’n’R in Tokyo, he finds Major Burns running the outfit like a Nazi and his best friend Trapper given the order to return Stateside. After defying orders, he steals Radar and a jeep to see if he can catch up with Trapper before he makes his plane. However, getting back to the 4077 with a new officer in a stolen jeep proves harder than it seemed from the outset.

2. Change of Command (24:30)

    The new C/O shows up, Colonel Sherman T. Potter. And while he keeps a tight ship, Hawkeye and B.J. soon take a liking to him.

3. It Happened One Night (24:29)

    It’s the middle of winter, and with a patient going south, Frank Burns is more preoccupied with searching Houlihan’s tent for letters evidencing their affair.

4. The Late Captain Pierce (24:30)

    Hawkeye discovers that he has been declared dead by the Army. What seems at first to be a big joke soon turns out to have many nasty consequences as Pierce tries to get himself declared ‘undead’.

5. Hey, Doc (24:29)

    With a sniper terrorizing the 4077, the doctors trade off-the-books medical treatment for some favours.

6. The Bus (24:29)

    Driving back from a medical conference, the officers are stranded when their bus breaks down in no-man’s land.

7. Dear Mildred (24:30)

    With his birthday coming up, Potter writes a letter to his wife back home describing the 4077 and its people.

8. The Kids (24:23)

    An orphanage on the front line gets bombed and the kids take refuge at the 4077.

Disc 2

9. Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler (24:29)

    When a wounded pilot claims to be Jesus Christ, intelligence officer Colonel Flagg and psychiatrist Sidney Friedman come to a battle of wits over whether to keep him in the army.

10. Dear Peggy (24:29)

    B.J. writes home to his wife describing the 4077 as he sees it and how hard it is to be away from her.

11. Of Moose and Men (24:29)

    Hawkeye is threatened by a superior officer who doesn’t like his non-military attitude, despite the fact that Hawkeye saved his life.

12. Soldier of the Month (24:29)

    The army runs a competition searching for soldier of the month, and the winner gets a weekend pass to Tokyo.

13. The Gun (24:31)

    A prize weapon is locked into storage and Frank takes it, looking to show it off to Major Houlihan. In order to get it back, Hawkeye and B.J. put the hard word on Frank.

14. Mail Call, Again (24:31)

    The mail rolls in, creating turmoil for Frank and informing Potter that he is going to be a grandfather.

15. The Price of Tomato Juice (24:29)

    After discovering that Colonel Potter likes tomato juice, Radar goes to great lengths in trade to get a steady supply to the 4077.

16. Dear Ma (24:31)

    Radar writes a letter home to his mother discussing recent antics at the 4077 – Hawkeye’s foot inspections, and Potter’s shrapnel in the butt.

Disc 3

17. Der Tag (24:02)

    Potter orders Hawkeye and B.J. to be nicer to Frank so that he will fit in, but all are unprepared for the results.

18. Hawkeye (24:30)

    After a jeep accident far from camp, Hawkeye talks to himself in the home of a Korean family to stop himself slipping into a coma.

19. Some 38th Parallels (24:01)

    Frank decides to sell the camp garbage, but Hawkeye has other ideas for it.

20. The Novocaine Mutiny (24:30)

    Hawkeye is committed for Courts Martial after Frank accuses him of usurping his command.

21. Smilin’ Jack (24:29)

    The 4077’s favourite chopper pilot needs to be grounded but refuses to quit before he breaks the record for successful saves.

22. The More I See You (24:05)

    Hawkeye’s first love appears out of the blue as a new nurse in the camp – the only problem is, she is married.

23. Deluge (24:04)

    Fighting intensifies before the peace talks and the 4077 is flooded with wounded. Running low on supplies, a fire and a rain storm make matters even worse.

24. The Interview (24:35)

    A war documentary crew arrive and interview the unit about their thoughts on the war.

    Season 4 is a worthy addition to the 11 seasons of this series, and one that sticks in my mind having watched it already several times on TV. There are many stand-out episodes here, notably Deluge, and The Interview which was a very strong way to close the season.

    Sure, this season has its faults. There are too many “dear so-and-so” type episodes for the one season, and it runs a little flat in the middle with a few too many of the same ideas cropping up from episode to episode. However, it definitely picks up, and along the way we get very accustomed to good old Sherms who stays with the series until the end.

    While some fans will insist that the first three seasons were still the cream of the crop, this reviewer must disagree, and looks forward to the arrival of the pompous Major Charles Emerson Winchester III (David Ogden Stiers) who added a whole new dimension to the series.

    If you don’t know much about the show, I suggest starting up earlier in the series. If you’re a fan, though, this is a must have.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in its original broadcast ratio of 1.33:1, Full Frame, this transfer is not bad considering its age. My only quip comes as a result of having reviewed the original series of Star Trek which predates this series and yet looks better on DVD after some very impressive remastering. No such work was done for this series, which is surprising.

    The image itself is a little grainy, but mostly sharp. Shadow detail is okay, but has a tendency to drop into a bit of a bluish tinge. The colour is a little washed out, but generally well balanced.

    There is some dot-crawl in the credits and the background, a little bit of cross colouration that is likely a result of the NTSC to PAL conversion, and some background aliasing. None of these were excessive or overly distracting, and this looks better than it does on TV, that’s for sure.

    There are quite a lot of film artefacts, and it would be pointless pointing them all out. However, the worst of these were:

    Subtitles are available in English and French. They appear as white with a grey border, are easy to read, and generally follow the dialogue.

    The dual-layer pause is between the episodes, with four episodes per layer, although on the first disc there are effectively five episodes on the first layer given that Welcome to Korea is a double episode.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Audio is available in English 2.0 Dolby Mono with the laugh track on, and English 2.0 Mono with the laugh track off. I listened to both, but have a preference for the laugh track off mode. You will note that this is not available for every episode in the language selection, but if you have turned it off in the first episode, this carries through for the rest of the disc.

    The dialogue is well reproduced and clear, although not always clean. There were a few audio sync issues that were related to the source material, but nothing horrendous.

    The score sounds a bit ‘tinny’ and monaural at times, but considering the limitations of the source this is hardly surprising.

    There is no surround information or subwoofer use.

    Audio is also available in French 2.0 Dolby Mono. This audio track is even thinner than the English Mono tracks due to the dubbing process.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, and are silent.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 and R4 sets are identical except for the NTSC colour format and region-coding, and the Spanish 2.0 Dolby Mono track that is available in R1. Vote with your wallet.

Summary

    M*A*S*H – Season 4 is classic TV - that’s why it has been re-run almost endlessly since its original run from 1972 to 1983. Well worth viewing.

    Video is acceptable, and definitely better than TV. But having seen how good a remaster can look when real work goes into it, I was a little disappointed.

    The audio track is also good and clear, but a remix would have been nice.

    Sadly, no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Friday, October 15, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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