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Robert Altman & Ring Lardner, Jr: M*A*S*H

"If anyone on the set [of M*A*S*H] came up with a joke that was in worse taste than the one we were going to use, we'd go for the worse one," director Robert Altman once recalled. "Why? Nothing could be in worse taste than kids coming home in body bags. We weren't just earning salaries and passing the time -- we really felt that we could try anything. When M*A*S*H opened in New York, [screenwriter] Ring Lardner, Jr said to me, 'You've ruined my film.' He didn't say anything when he won the Academy Award for best screenplay."

[Shots were fired only once during the filming of M*A*S*H -- by the timekeeper at a football game. Altman was offered the script in 1969 -- after more than fifteen other directors had turned it down. His son Mike wrote the theme song -- "Suicide is Painless" -- when he was 14 years old.]

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