Season 3 Episode 1

The General Flipped at Dawn

Aired Unknown Sep 10, 1974 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • In the first scene with General Steele, Steele yells at Radar for responding to his question. This scene took seventeen takes to shoot, because Burgoff and Stevenson kept laughing at Morgan's performance. They later admitted that they did not expect such a serious character actor to be so funny!

    • Harry Morgan guest stars as Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele. A year later he becomes a regular on the show as Col. Sherman T. Potter. It was actually Harry Morgan's Emmy-nominated performance in this episode that got him the part as Col. Sherman Potter later in the series.

  • Quotes

    • Baker: Hawkeye? Tell me the truth. Do you respect me?
      Hawkeye: Do I respect the flag? Apple pie? Hamburgers? The loyalty of a fine dog?

    • Henry: I can't disobey an order. I mean, unless someone gives me an order to do it.

    • Trapper (About General Steele): He's a fruitcake. He's got raisins for eyes.

    • (About General Steele)
      Trapper: Henry, you're not really gonna let this guy move us?
      Hawkeye: He'll get us killed!
      Henry: Well, what am I supposed to do? He's a two star general.
      Hawkeye: But he's a three star loony!
      Henry: He is nuts, isn't he?
      Trapper: Is Bismarck a herring?

    • Trapper: Hey, word's out that General's a little bit el wacko.
      Radar: He made me polish the bottom of his boots and put starch in his socks!

    • (Klinger appears before Gen. Steele in a yellow dress and flower hat.)
      Gen. Steele: (harsh whisper to Klinger) Not now, Marjorie! I'm inspecting the troops!

    • Gen. Steele: I predict an early end to the war, if it doesn't rain and we get all wet.

    • Hawkeye: I take it we don't have to leave.
      Henry: Only the general does.
      Hawkeye: In a rubber truck.

    • Gen. Steele (to Radar in formation): Non-coms--the backbone of the service. Where are you from, son?
      Radar: Iowa, sir.
      Gen. Steele: No talking in ranks!

    • Gen. Steele: Now feel at ease. Just tell in your own words the incident at the helicopter pad, yesterday at 0900 hours...But first...a number.

    • Gen. Steele: MASH means Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, and mobile you shall be!

    • Gen. Steele: You're insubordinate!
      Hawkeye: Right!
      Gen. Steele: You're insolent!
      Hawkeye: Right! And you're nuts!!

    • Hawkeye: That general is nuts! I've seen that look in every Hitchcock movie.

  • Notes

    • This episode received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Film Editing and Harry Morgan received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Single Performance in a Comedy or Drama.

    • MASH would bug out twice more: once during Frank Burns' asinine command of the unit while Potter was away (to the other side of the road!), and during the final episode "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" to escape a massive forest fire. Unlike the previous two times, the last bug out was permanent, though the 4077th was dismantled not long after. In episode "Hey, Look Me Over", the MASH nearly bugged out.

    • The tag sequence for "The General Flipped at Dawn" was edited for syndication; it was resurrected for The M*A*S*H Season 3 DVD Set.

    • Though they're spared from it here, the 4077th MASH would wait 2 more seasons to actually bug out; they finally did in the 60-minute Season 5 opener, Episode #U801, "Bug-Out" (Sept. 21, 1976).

    • This is the first of 24 episodes written by the late Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum, the last being episode 143.

    • Show shifts to Tuesday nights @ 8:30.

  • Allusions

    • Hawkeye (to Radar): Got the car ready, Kato?

      Hawkeye is referring to the houseboy/chauffeur/sidekick to Brit Reid, AKA "The Green Hornet", star of the radio show of the same name. The show began in 1938 and ran until 1953. In 1966, it ran a single season as a television show.

    • Pierce says it's a holiday because it's Aaron Burr's birthday. Aaron Burr was a U.S. Vice-president. He was accused of several crimes, including murder.

    • Gen. Steele: Wastefulness cost Hannibal the battle of Zama.
      Hannibal Barca was a Carthaginian general who fought Rome in the Second Punic War. He defeated every Roman army he faced until the battle of Zama, where he was decisively defeated.

    • The "musical number" Steele asks the chopper pilot to sing is the old Southern plantation number, "Mississippi Mud."

    • Title: The General Flipped at Dawn
      The title "The General Flipped at Dawn" is in reference to a 1936 movie The General Died at Dawn starring Gary Cooper.

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