“No, no, no, that one, the sultry bitch with the fire in her eyes! Take her clothes off and bring her to me!”

MASH, released in 1970, is a well-crafted, well-acted black comedy about a surgical unit at the front lines in the Korean War. It is also one of the most blatantly misogynistic film’s I have ever seen. The men in the film treat the nurses like objects for their own amusement and sexual gratification. The men constantly harass, demean, catcall, and proposition the women around them with zero respect for the nurses as human beings.

This film could be used as a visual textbook of sexual harassment and the devaluing of women. To illustrate my point I will give two egregious examples. The scene in which Maj. Margaret O’Houlihan is publicly humiliated by exposing her fully naked in the shower in front of the entire camp couldn’t be more demeaning. Regardless of how stuffy or hypocritical she may be, that is abuse and it is just plain wrong. Another example is when Lt. Maria ‘Dish’ Schneider is brought into to have sex with the army dentist who just tried to commit suicide because he thinks he’s gay. She is treated as a sexual object intended to solve this man’s “problem”.

The female characters in this film are one dimensional and portrayed as of less value than the men. They are essential props for the good old boy’s fun, shenanigans, laughter, and sexual desire. Depicting only the male gaze, MASH portrays most of the women, except perhaps Maj. Margaret O’Houlihan, as accepting the treatment without finding it strange or hurtful. I will not even touch on the homophobia in the film, which warrants a post of its own.

This utterly anti-woman film displays point by point why the #MeToo movement was necessary. While certainly this depiction does not speak for everyone’s experience in that era, older friends a coworkers of mine have related countless horror stories of workplace harassment, sexual coercion, and disrespect of the same type shown in this film. How could I possibly see that as funny? As a 30 year old woman, I am so grateful for the blood, sweat, and tears of our foremothers who fought bravely and tirelessly for both women’s rights and women’s safety. Now I join them!

MASH is an important cultural artifact for many reasons, including its depiction of the sexism and antiwar sentiment of the day. However, it is just that, an artifact, and an ugly one at that. It depicts normalized sexual harassment and for that reason I personally despise it.


*This originates from a forum post I recently wrote for a college class titled “Vietnam War and Film.”


6 Film Joys at TCM FEST 2017

The TCM Film Festival 2017 is a wrap.  By the end of the weekend after seeing 15 films I admit to being a bit blurry eyed.  But what delightful films they were!  The following are my six favorites (all first time watches).

6. Postcards from the Edge


Meryl is amazing.  So many touching lines.  So real.

5. David and Lisa


Intense, troubling, and hopeful.

4. Rafter Romance


Ginger is adorable as always and the script is clever and being pre-code, just a little naughty.

3. Bonnie and Clyde


A nearly perfect picture.

2. The China Syndrome


It’s a great film that can make you SO very angry as this one made me.

1. Harold and Maude


A delight.

Life is absurd.

Live with abandon.


TCM Film Festival 2017

TCM Film Festival 2017- My second go round.  Can it possibly be better than the first?  2016 will be tough to beat but I must say the film lineup this year is excellent even if no Doris Day or Barbara Streisand personal appearances.  Somehow I had blindly hoped… Sigh.


I’ll be starting off my Festival watching a special tribute to the one and only, irreplaceable Robert Osborne.  I had dreamed of someday getting a hug from this darling man but alas it is not to be.

How I remember him… a sweetheart of a man.


(A super hard pick here.  I really want to see Sidney Potier interviewed before In the Heat of the Night, an intense film I really like.  However, I’ve seen it several times and I’ve never seen Jezebel.  Also, going to Heat would rule out Harold and Maude afterwards.  Oh the agony!)


Harold and Maude

(Recommended as a must see by my girlfriend.  This should be a treat.)



Rafter Romance

(Ginger Rogers is my favorite female movie star and this is a film of hers I’ve never seen.  So so excited!!)


One Hour With You

(Can one ever go wrong with Ernst Lubitsch?)


The Princess Bride

(This is one of the two films I’ve picked that I’ve actually seen before… but its been years.  Should be a good light intro to the two super intense films to follow.)


Vigil in the Night

(Carole Lombard plays a dedicated nurse in a poor country hospital who blames herself for the fatal mistake of her sister who is also a nurse.  She falls in love with a handsome doctor and then an epidemic breaks out.  Gosh)


Cat People

(Hardest pick of the weekend by far!  I mean I have to choose between Laura, Those Redheads From Seattle in 3D, Twentieth Century, and Cat People.   I mean that’s not even fair.  I won’t bore you with all the back and forth behind this agonizing decision but as of today Cat People is the pick.  -Subject to change at any moment-)



The China Syndrome

(After reading up on this one I’m looking forward to starting off my morning with a heart pounding catastrophe.  Gulp.  And what an incredible cast!)


David and Lisa

(I had never heard of this film before last week.  May be a lovely discovery.)


Underworld Story

(Gotta get a least one good film noir in or I will be a disgrace.)


Theodora Goes Wild

(Irene Dunne is a gem.  One of my favorite comedians ever!)

Irene Dunne, I LOVE YOU!

Unfaithfully Yours

(Can I pass up a well thought of Preston Sturges that I’ve never seen before? hmmm…But Rex Harrison is not my fav.  Sorry.  Please don’t throw anything.  At this point I’m still resisting the call of Planet of the Apes but I am feeling some pull from Charlton.)



Bonnie and Clyde

(Cock of the Air and Lured are so tempting by I’m going with this all time great plus a chance to sleep in a bit.)

Bonnie & Clyde We Rob Banks

Postcards From the Edge


What’s Up Doc

(This should be really fun.  Looking forward to seeing all the crazy early 70s clothes.)

Barbara, I love you!

TBA option or Speedy

(Must see a Harold Lloyd someday in the not too distant future and this could be the one.  Truly, I’m woefully underexposed to silent film.)


16 Classic films- 14 new to me!!

I’m sure I’ll get some last minute inspirations and probably a nap demand from my body a time or two but this is where she stands.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear if you feel any of these picks are awesome or awful.


Click here to read a newbies great picks.

Click here to read the awesome picks post from Once Upon a Screen.

Last years pre-festival post.