Script Spotlight 10: “No Sweat”

The heat here in the midwestern United States has been insane the last few weeks, but we know from M*A*S*H that it doesn’t compare to the heat experienced in Korea during the war. This week, let’s review a script from an episode where the M*A*S*H crew are doing all they can to keep busy during the heat since they cannot sleep: “No Sweat” (09×11). Before we get into the details of the episode, let’s take a look at this copy of the script!

The Script

This script belonged to Albert Frankel in wardrobe like a few others that I have reviewed in the past (“A War for all Season” and “Death Takes a Holiday“). His copies are some of the most complete in my collection as they have call sheets, shooting schedules, revised pages, and wardrobe pages. There were other production documents that some scripts have, but Albert kept everything, and I greatly appreciate that. This script has his name on the front cover, and the cover is my favorite color, bright orange, so I am naturally drawn to this script.

Looking back at my script posts, I realized that I have not shown what is on the back of each call sheet! The “Production Requirements” page includes what is needed on set (or location) for that day of filming. Nothing is left off. Major production requirements such as cameras and camera crew, props, makeup, wardrobe, security, electrical, lighting, transportation, music, and sound are all listed. But there are other unexpected items as well such as how many gallons of coffee, how many donuts, and how many lunches were needed. It is a checklist of everything you need to film for a day!

The rest of the script is like the others that belonged to Albert. We see the Call Sheets, the script pages, blue revised pages dated July 18, 1980, and the wardrobe pages. Strangely, the shooting schedule is missing from the script. I have about 20 scripts that belonged to Albert, and there aren’t many of them that are missing a key production document. So it unusual, but it is possible that it was revised, and he never put it back into the script. Other than that, is a great representation of the four days of filming this episode in 1980.

Albert’s scripts are some of my favorite in the collection. I really enjoy seeing the call sheets, revised pages, and the wardrobe sheets. These scripts also hold special meaning for me because they are part of a collection of scripts that began my M*A*S*H collection in 2007. I had all of the DVDs, but finding these scripts made me realize that I could preserve part of the production history of the show. That is why I continue to collect today!

The Final Episode

The 4077th is experiencing a scorching heatwave, and it is the dead of night. No one is able to sleep, so Col. Potter heads over to his office to get a sleeping pill. Meanwhile, Klinger is taking apart the PA system, BJ is worried about his wife cleaning out the gutters, Charles is working through his family’s financial records, Father Mulcahy is helping Charles by making lemonade, and Margaret is suffering from a case of prickly heat. The running joke in the episode is that everyone has to keep waking Col. Potter for something even though he is delirious from taking the sleeping pill!

This is a great episode from the later seasons. We see how the characters deal with various adverse conditions, and it is also has a great blend of humor. Rewatching this episode, I didn’t realize that it takes place entirely at night! It makes sense given that no one can sleep. As for the script, there were not many differences between it and the final episode other than the scene between Charles and Klinger when Charles asks for some carbon paper. In the script, the scene is longer, so it is possible that some lines were cut for time. Overall, this is a classic episode of M*A*S*H and a great script!

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