It's hard to overstate the impact of this pioneering, still-hilarious war satire. Set during the Korean War (but clearly about Vietnam), the film made merciless sport of such all-American touchstones as militarism, religion, chastity, and football. Not only did it inspire the beloved, much-tamer TV series (Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland, and Sally Kellerman, pictured left to right, originated the roles played on TV by Wayne Rogers, Alan Alda, and Loretta Swit), but it also launched Robert Altman as an A-list director. After more than a decade of toiling in TV and low-budget movies, the 45-year-old filmmaker burst forth and began the most creative period of his career.
Image Credit: MASH: Photofest
Honoring Robert Altman: From the wartime cut-ups of ''M*A*S*H'' to the crying country crooners of ''Nashville'' and ''A Prairie Home Companion,'' we trace the highlights of the renegade director's career