- MASH, a classic American war comedy set in South Korea, captivates audiences with its blend of humor and serious topics like homosexuality and PTSD.
- The iconic exterior scenes of MASH were actually filmed in Southern California, specifically in Malibu Creek State Park and the Santa Monica Mountains.
- Despite being filmed in California, MASH effectively transports viewers to Uijeongbu, South Korea, creating a sense of immersion in the war-torn setting.
With the stories taking place in Uijeongbu, South Korea, it is interesting to know what locations the classic American war comedy, MASH, was actually filmed at. The show was adapted from the film MASH and the book MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors and follows a group of medical professionals tasked with taking care of those injured during the Korean War. Winning multiple Emmy Awards and running for 256 episodes, MASH is known for utilizing humor and a fast pace to juxtapose the horrors of the situations the doctors and their patients are facing.
MASH has the most-watched TV episode of all time, a clear indicator of the show’s massive success. Generations of audiences have been drawn to the show, captivated by its transition from a more lighthearted comedy to a dramedy that addresses serious topics such as homosexuality and PTSD. The war-torn backdrop of South Korea captivates viewers, as it highlights a reality that, for many, is so different from their own. Given the significant nature of the setting, many would be surprised to know where the show was actually filmed.
MASH’s Exterior Scenes Were Filmed In California
The exterior scenes of both the MASH TV show and movie, which showed South Korea during the Korean War, were actually filmed in the mountainous regions of Southern California. Specifically, the scenes that showcased the exterior tents were filmed in the mountains of Malibu, now known as Malibu Creek State Park, and the Korean camp scenes were filmed in the Santa Monica Mountains. Unfortunately, as the show was wrapping up production in 1982, there was a tragic brush fire in Malibu that burned down the set. This fire was written into MASH‘s series finale, as the doctors had to evacuate because of a forest fire caused by bombs. The fire has not deterred passionate viewers from visiting the location of MASH‘S exterior scenes. Many embark on a 5-mile hike in Southern California to see the iconic setting for themselves.
The interior scenes of the beloved show and movie were also filmed in California. They took place on a sound stage at Fox Studios in Century City. Unfortunately, the Fox Studios lot is private and not open to the public, leaving viewers only able to scout out the location of the external shots.
Where In Korea MASH Is Supposed To Take Place
Although MASH was filmed in Southern California, audiences are meant to be transported to Uijeongbu, South Korea when watching. This is where the doctors of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital are set and working. Uijeongbu has stunning mountains on both sides of the city, hence the need to film in a mountainous region in California.
MASH remains a record-breaking sensation that boasts an impressive legacy. While the show may have been filmed in the home of many other beloved pieces of entertainment, Southern California, MASH does a great job of setting itself apart. It accomplishes making viewers truly feel as though they have ventured off into South Korea and are right there with the gang of doctors trying to remain sane in the face of tragedy.