Hilarious! Yet another reason why Alan Arkin deserves any and all awards that could be given to him. He's one of the most underrated actors of his generation.
The film itself is a knockout blend of extraordinary humor and tragedy. The tragic madness of war was never better portrayed.
A mess, too cutely clever in places (like the tasteless use of Strauss' Thus Spach Zarathustra), it never manages the immense power of Heller's novel. But there are a few precious moments of Marcel Dalio as an old man in a brothel when the film comes magically to life.
There are some good ideas (e.g. regarding the structure of the narration), but all in all I'm missing the satirical sharpness of Robert Altman's "M.A.S.H.". Nichols' film is far too harmless, and the gags sometimes are utterly clumsy, annoying and embarrassing.
The concept of the Catch-22 is an excellent extended metaphor for the impasses and conflicts of our flawed society. Nichols' adaptation is solid, but I would argue that beyond the ground-breaking premise, the book is a fairly rote anti-war satire which can't quite compete on a political level with 'The Thin Red Line', 'Apocalypse Now' and 'Dr Strangelove'.
If you had seen this only on a black and white television you would not know that it was visually perfect in panavision and that the perfect time to watch it was on remembrance day just after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America. And then it would all make perfect sense.
"What if everyone did that?' "Then I'd be crazy to do any different".
Social satire of the highest order, it's like Bunuel or something.
When you look at how Mike Nichols started out, performing comedy skits with Elaine May, so ahead of their time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKL1tNv__kU you can see where his witty films come from. Brilliant screenplay, photography and cast, especially Alan Arkin. Loved it.
Terribly underrated. It always ends up getting compared to MASH because they came out the same year but if you can avoid the comparison and can separate the film from the book, Catch-22 is a great film with a great cast. Jon Voight, Alan Arkin & Bob Balaban are particularly good.
Brilliant. A wonderful premise, sharp, funny, beautifully shot, fabulous cast, and still relevant. More than stands the test of time. Absurd and surreal, a chillingly prescient vision of the commercialisation of the military - in real life Milo Mindbender would have gone on to become an exec at Haliburton. A bitter satire on the absurdity of war and of the human condition. Much better than MASH.