Blog Archive

Thursday, December 8, 2011

RIP Harry Morgan


Harry Bratsberg (Harry or Henry Morgan)  April 10, 1915 – December 7, 2011
A few years ago, I was flipping channels and came across a movie on AMC, it was called Happy Land, and it had Don Ameche in it.  I have always loved him, so I settled in for a watch.  It was a very well done movie about a couple who have an only child who has been killed in action during WW2.  Sad, but poignant.  The last ten minutes of the movie, Harry Morgan walks in as a best friend of the son's.  He shares stories and anecdotes with the family, and you get the feeling that they kind of adopt him.  He is only in about ten minutes of the movie.
I have always enjoyed Harry Morgan, he can be serious, but also very funny.

He will be most remembered for being Bill Gannon in Dragnet and of course for being Col Sherman T Potter on M*A*S*H.

I do not own all the M*A*S*H episodes or movies, but I do have a couple, I could watch these over and over again.  They are funny, irreverent, heartbreaking and good way to laugh at ourselves.  We all wanted to be uber cool like Hawkeye, steadfastly in love with our spouse like Hunnicut, we knew some blonde that the guys wanted to do, and we wanted to hurt, and then of course the token dunce, Burns (Ferret Face!).

Favorite episodes:
Even tho this is not an episode with HM in it, its what brought him to the show:
 "Abyssinia, Henry"
gs: Kimiko Hiroshige [ Korean Woman ], Virginia Lee [ Unknown ], Cherylene Lee [ Unknown ], Ray Poss [ Unknown ]
rc: Klinger, Mulcahy
One of the classic M*A*S*H episodes. Henry finally gets his discharge. While he is tying things up, Burns prepares for his new command. Henry bids a tearful adieu, but not before Klinger turns up in an outrageous tropical outfit, and gets Henry to zip him up, and he gets a kiss Margaret. He gives Radar a hug and his last order: "You better be good now or I'm gonna come back and kick your butt!" In the traumatic and shocking last scene, Radar announces that Henry has been killed when his plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan. Hawkeye: "Henry, you're fired. Go home to your wife and kids."
b: 18 Mar 75 pc: B324 w: Everett Greenbaum & Jim Fritzell d: Larry Gelbart NOTE: The writers and director kept the final scene from the cast, so that when they read the script, minutes before shooting the scene, they would show some real shock. It worked. From the following season on, Jamie Farr, as Klinger, was listed as a regular cast member, and so no longer appears as a recurring character. This was the last of his 30 appearances as a recurring character.

 "Welcome to Korea (1)"
gs: Reid Cruickshanks [ Staff Sergeant ], Tom Dever [ M.P. Lieutenant ], Nat Jones [ G.I. ], Robert A. Kames [ Colonel ], Ted Zeigler [ Sergeant Dale ], Arthur Song [ Unknown ], Shirlee Kong [ Unknown ]
rc: Mulcahy
Things have changed at the 4077th: Henry went, and was killed on the way home, and Trapper has also been posted back to the States. So, Frank's dream is realized - he's in charge. But Hawkeye is unchanged. He skips camp, runs a blockade to find Trapper, and welcomes a new surgeon, B.J. Hunnicutt.
b: 12 Sep 75 pc: G504 w: Everett Greenbaum, Jim Fritzell & Larry Gelbart d: Gene Reynolds NOTE: Harry Morgan does not appear in this episode. Originally broadcast as part of a 60-minute episode.
 "Welcome to Korea (2)"
gs: Reid Cruickshanks [ Staff Sergeant ], Tom Dever [ M.P. Lieutenant ], Nat Jones [ G.I. ], Robert A. Kames [ Colonel ], Ted Zeigler [ Sergeant Dale ], Arthur Song [ Unknown ], Shirlee Kong [ Unknown ]
rc: Mulcahy
Things have changed at the 4077th: Henry went, and was killed on the way home, and Trapper has also been posted back to the States. So, Frank's dream is realized - he's in charge. But Hawkeye is unchanged. He skips camp, runs a blockade to find Trapper, and welcomes a new surgeon, B.J. Hunnicutt.
b: 12 Sep 75 pc: G506 w: Everett Greenbaum, Jim Fritzell & Larry Gelbart d: Gene Reynolds NOTE: Harry Morgan does not appear in this episode. Originally broadcast as part of a 60-minute episode.
 "Dear Mildred"
gs: Richard Lee Sung [ Cho ], Patricia Stevens [ Nurse Able ], Buck Young [ Dan ], Barbara Christopher [ Nurse O'Connor ]
rc: Mulcahy
While Potter writes home, Frank and Hot Lips have a wood carving made for him, and Radar rescues a horse and makes him a present of it.
b: 24 Oct 75 pc: G505 w: Everett Greenbaum & Jim Fritzell d: Alan Alda NOTE: This is the last of three appearances by Buck Young, as three different characters. The first was episode 12.
 "Mail Call, Again"
gs: Gary Burghoff [ Mrs. O'Reilly ]
rc: Mulcahy
Mail brings a letter to Frank saying his wife is divorcing him, and one to Potter telling him he's going to be a grandfather.
b: 9 Dec 75 pc: G518 w: Jim Fritzell & Everett Greenbaum d: George Tyne NOTE: Gary Burghoff appears in this episode as both Radar and his mother.
 "The Interview"
gs: Clete Roberts [ Himself ]
rc: Mulcahy
A stateside television correspondent interviews the M*A*S*H personnel.
b: 24 Feb 76 pc: G525 w: Larry Gelbart d: Larry Gelbart NOTE: Margaret does not appear in this episode. This was the first of two appearances by Clete Roberts, as himself. The second was in episodes 151 & 152. This was Gelbart's last episode with the series. He had finally decided that there was little more he could add to the series.
 "Dear Sigmund"
gs: Charles Frank [ Captain Hathaway ], Bart Breverman [ Private Habib ], Sal Viscuso [ Patient John ], J. Andrew Kenny [ Patient ], Jennifer Davis [ Nurse ]
rc: Sidney
Sidney Freedman, feeling depressed, visits the 4077th to observe how they fare under the pressures of war. He begins a letter to Sigmund Freud as a form of self-therapy, and releases his tension in the form of a practical joke with B.J., aimed at Frank Burns. Freedman: "If there's a way to preserve your sanity in wartime, they've found it here. They slide their patched-up patients into the evac ambulance like loaves in a bread truck, and yet they never forget those packages are people."
b: 9 Nov 76 pc: U810 w: Alan Alda d: Alan Alda NOTE: This is the first of 8 appearances by Jennifer Davis, as various Nurses. She also appeared in non-speaking roles in other episodes. Her last appearance was in the final episode. Sal Viscuso who portrayed Patient John in this episode, actually appeared in this series quite a bit. He was the uncredited voice of the P.A. Announcer.
 "Movie Tonight"
gs: Judy Farrell [ Nurse Able ], Jeffrey Kramer [ I-Corps Driver ], Carmine Scelza [ Corpsman ]
rc: Kellye, Ginger, Bigelow
As a cure for the increased tension at the 4077th, Potter obtains a copy of his favorite film, "My Darling Clementine", and makes a social event out of it. As the film continues to break, tensions rise, until Mulcahy plays the piano, Radar does his impersonations, and everyone acts out scenes from the film.
 "Last Laugh"
gs: James Cromwell [ Leo Bardonaro ], Robert Kames [ General Fox ], John Ashton [ M.P. ]
Madness strikes as B.J. and his old friend Bardonaro play a series of practical jokes on each other, just as Bardonaro is about to leave Korea. Hawkeye gets the last laugh. He sends Bardonaro off without his traveling papers, and in a jeep with too little gas.
 "The Winchester Tapes"
gs: Thomas Carter [ Patient ], Kimiko Hiroshige [ Korean Woman ]
Hawkeye tries unsuccessfully to get to Seoul, to see Nurse Gilmore for the weekend. Meanwhile, Winchester has taped a letter home, asking for his influential parents to help get him back to the States. To get even, Hawkeye and B.J. switch Winchester's clothes, causing Winchester to alter his eating patterns.
 "The Light That Failed"
gs: Gary Erwin [ Corporal Dobson ], Philip Baker Hall [ Sergeant Hacker ]
rc: Bigelow
With supplies low, the 4077th gets a truckload of ice cream churns and salt tablets. B.J. receives a mystery novel that everyone in camp reads in turn. The last page is missing and the solution to the mystery is undiscovered until B.J. calls the author by long distance. Winchester: "I'll admit that what I did was inexcusable, maybe not totally. I've gone fourteen hours straight in the OR. And it was dark. But is that any excuse for misreading a label? Not really. If that man had died, his blood would have been on these hands. You could at least acknowledge, Pierce and Hunnicutt, that it takes a courageous man to admit when he's wrong."
 "The M*A*S*H Olympics"
gs: Mike Henry [ Lt. Colonel Donald Penobscott ], Michael McManus [ Sergeant Ames ]
Realizing how out of shape the 4077th is, Potter decides to hold a camp Olympic competition. The winning team gets a three-day pass, so everyone is excited. Donald Penobscot arrives to see Margaret, and is allowed to substitute for an ailing Klinger. Hawkeye's team wins when Donald runs into a tree, and B.J. must then chauffeur Hawkeye around in a wheelchair for a week.
 "Your Hit Parade"
gs: Ronny Graham [ Sergeant Gribble ], William Kux [ Patient ], Ken Michelman [ Harker ], Patricia Stevens [ Nurse Baker ]
rc: Zale
With the arrival of a shipment of records, Radar plays the part of a disc jockey and helps to get everyone through the incredibly long deluge of wounded. Col Potter loves one certain song (I believe its a Doris Day one) that he wants to be constantly played that drives everyone nuts, and this is where we learn that Col Potter  has always had a secret (including to DD) love affair with Doris Day.
 "Our Finest Hour (1) b&w"
gs: Clete Roberts [ Himself ]
Newscaster Clete Roberts, reprising an earlier interview appearance, returns to update Korean War conditions, when he conducts a series of television talks with the leading characters of the 4077th. Roberts: "Captain Pierce, when you leave here, what memories will you take with you." Pierce: "That's easy. The face of every kid who comes through here."
b: 9 Oct 78 pc: T408 w: Ken Levine, David Isaacs, Larry Balmagia & Ronny Graham d: Burt Metcalfe NOTE: This was the second appearance by Clete Roberts, as himself, interviewing the M*A*S*H personnel. The previous appearance was in episode 97.
 "None Like it Hot"
gs: Ted Gehring [ Sergeant Clifford Rhoden ], Mic Rodgers [ Private ]
rc: Zale, Igor, Kellye, Baker
The oppressive Korean heat gets to everyone, especially Klinger, who responds to the conditions with an ingenious scheme to affect a discharge. Meanwhile, Hawkeye and B.J. are secretly gloating over their newly arrived remedy for the weather, a collapsible bathtub, until they realize that if word gets out it could spoil their fun. Radar has his tonsils removed.
 "Letters"
gs: Richard Paul [ Captain Bill Bainbridge, Attorney ], Larry Cedar [ The Soldier ], Michael Currie [ Dr. Brewer ], Shari Saba [ Nurse ]
rc: Rosie
Members of the 4077th share their impressions of war in response to letters from fourth graders in Hawkeye's hometown. Margaret writes about how there are some patients she will never forget, whilst the Colonel tells of his days as 'Hoops' Potter. Hawkeye: "Dear Ronnie, it's a shame to let the love you have for your brother turn to hate for others. Hate makes war, and war is what killed Keith. I understand how you feel. Sometimes I hate myself for being here. But sometimes in the midst of all this insanity, the smallest thing can make my being here seems worthwhile. Maybe the best answer I have for you is that you look for good wherever you can find it."
 "'Twas the Day after Christmas"
gs: Michael Ensign [ Major Cass ], Leo Lewis [ Segeant Barnstable ], Val Bisoglio [ Sergeant Pernelli, the cook ], Bill Snider [ Enlisted Man ]
rc: Igor, Kellye, Goldman
To boost post-yuletide morale on Dec 26, Potter has the officers and enlisted men change places for the day.
 "Where There's a Will, There's a War"
gs: Ned Bellamy [ Driver ], Jim Borelli [ G.I. ], James Emery [ Corpsman ], Corkey Ford [ G.I. ], Dennis Howard [ Captain rackley ], Larry ward [ General Kratzer ], Brian Fuldy [ G.I. ], Dennis Flood [ G.I. ], Tom Valentino [ G.I. ]
rc: Igor, Kellye
Hawkeye goes to help at an aid station, and under heavy shelling he draws up a will, leaving various items to his friends at the 4077th. Hawkeye: "To Erin Hunnicutt. I leave a list of all the young men your daddy took care of while he was in Korea. Many of them have him to thank for being alive today. I want you to understand why he had to be away from you those first years of your life. I hope I have the chance to give you this list in person, but around here you never know."
 "The Joker is Wild"
gs: Clyde Kusatsu [ Captain Paul Yamato ], David Haid [ Pt. Leightman ], Jin-Taek Yi [ Korean Soldier ], Terry Moyer [ Nurse ]
rc: Igor
Hawkeye is on his guard when B.J. threatens to pull off the most elaborate practical joke in the compound's history. So when unusual events start to occur, he assumes they are for his benefit.
 "Settling Debts"
gs: Guy Boyd [ Sergeant Lally ], Jeff East [ Lt. Pavelich ], Michael Lamont [ Corporal ], Jack McCulloch [ Soldier ], Jennifer Davis [ Nurse ]
Hawkeye and the crew surprise Colonel Potter with a party to commemorate Mildred's final payment on the couple's mortgage.

I have other favorite episodes, but I only mentioned ones where either HM was in them, or it was after he joined the crew.

I was talking to my daughter a few minutes ago, mentioning this blog, and she asked if it was about John Lennon, comes to find out this is the 30 year anniversary of his death.
Yet another man that is sorely missed!








No comments:

Post a Comment