A bombardier in World War II tries desperately to escape the insanity of the war. However, sometimes insanity is the only sane way cope with a crazy situation. Catch-22 is a parody of a "military mentality" and of a bureaucratic society in general. Written by
Jeffrey Struyk <Catch22@ix.netcom.com>
This film features three actors that would go on to become regulars on The Bob Newhart Show: Newhart himself, Peter Bonerz and Jack Riley. See more »
The lovely version of "September Song" Yossarian and Luciana dance to wasn't recorded (by Django Reinhardt, Hubert Rostaing and the Quintette of Le Hot Club de France) until 1947, after the war. See more »
This is great film-making. I have never experienced greater skill with sound editing. The acting is terrific, the writing crisp and intelligent. The conception deeply nested. Why has the viewing public discarded this film? Interesting question.
Usually the answer is that the film is a poor evocation of the book. It is, of course; films are fundamentally different beasts than books, so the closest one comes is to have congruence of story. But the story is the least important element of either fine books or movies. No intelligent viewer looks for sameness in an adaptation.
I think the reason is simple. We are happy to accept war as heroic. Deep down, that's what we believe; whether as an inescapable fact of evolution or of chauvanistic indoctrination. Against this backdrop, we apply the stuff of our apparent convictions: that war is funny (MASH, the escape movies) or grossly brutal and confusing (Platoon, the first part of Pvt Ryan-- which then reverts to the noble). We just cannot accept the view that war comes from stupidity and selfishness, because it convinces that we, all of us every one is at root stupid and selfish.
This movie is so good, it convinces of that fact, and that's why no one wants to watch it. So no one is convinced. That's the catch.
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