Pilot Script: The Place

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Larry Gelbart’s script for “M*A*S*H — The Pilot” (titled simply “Pilot”) included the following brief description of the 4077th:


The river valley in which the 4077th MASH is situated is almost surrounded by mountains. The components of the post are spread out in a rough horseshoe with a large compound of level ground in the middle.

At the nearest end of the horseshoe is the main Hospital Building made of wood with a tin roof marked by a large Red cross; everything else is made of canvas.

To the left of the main building are strung out: the Admitting War, Laboratory, Dental Clinic, Mess Hall, PX, Shower Tent, Barber’s Tent and the Enlisted Men’s Tents. On the right side are the Post-Op Ward, Officers’ Tents, Nurses’ Tents, Korean Domestics’ Tents and, finally, the Officer’s Club.

There are two wooden, painted signs driven into the ground that we see from time to time. The first reads:


The second larger sign has multiple, hand-carved plaques that point in various directions and give the mileage to such diverse places as TOKYO, SEOUL, INDIANAPOLIS, SAN FRANCISCO, DEATH VALLEY, CONEY ISLAND, etc.

As far as I can recall, this first sign referencing the 38th Parallel is not seen in the pilot episode (or any episode, for that matter). Was it seen in MASH the film?


Gelbart, Larry. “Pilot.” Revised Final Draft. M*A*S*H. 8 Dec. 1971.

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