Year: 1970
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Robert Altman
Cast: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Hellerman, Robert Duvall, Rene Auberjonois
Stripes did it and made a teen sex comedy out of it. Gregor Jordan's Buffalo Soldiers tried it but had the bad luck of coming out literally within weeks of when the tide of world opinion turned after September 11.

And long before them all, Robert Altman bought us the pivotal picture of the men who populate the US military forces as drunks, reprobates, losers, womanisers and oafs. There's just two problems with the film - it's not the least bit funny, nor the least bit interesting.

Like all Altman films, it's a sort of day-in-the-life of as it follows the various personalities that flesh out what Altman sees as an institution much like a stately English home (Gosford Park) or a down-home live radio show in its death throes (A Prairie Home Companion).

But the story of Hawkeye, Major Burns, Trapper John and Hot Lips O'Houlihan is messy (albeit purposely, like all Altman's films) boring, all over the place, slightly nasty in places and has been done much better since.

That this film and the long-running and much loved TV series was about Korea was due to 20th Century Fox's insistence on identifying it as such, where Altman wanted audiences to assume he was talking about Vietnam.

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