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>
Stacy Keach was originally cast as Col. Cathcart when shooting started, but things did not work out, and Charles Grodin (who had already been cast as Capt. Aarfy Aardvark) was asked to take over. As the part was written for an older man, old-age make-up was experimented with for a few days, until it was decided to cast Martin Balsam instead, and Grodin returned to his original part. See more »
The Baby Ruth bar rises up inside Danby's pocket as the planes take off. See more »
An all-star cast is showcased in this WWII farce centered around a B25 bomber squadron in the Mediterranean.
Alan Arkin shines as Yossarian, a bombadier who realizes the hopelessness of ever completing the number of missions required to be rotated out of harm's way; his commanding officers (Balsam and Henry) are constantly upping the number once anyone gets close. Yossarian decides his best bet is to try for a medical disqualification for flight under the grounds that it's insane to fly these missions, and since he's flying them, he must be insane. But the flight surgeon (Jack Gilford) declares anyone who realizes the insanity of the situation must, by definition, be sane, and therefore must continue to fly.
Lots of interesting side plots, such as War Capitalist Milo Minderbinder's (Jon Voight) excursion into, among other ventures, Egyptian cotton and Natley's (Art Garfunkel) discussions of lasting societies with an old Italian.
Austin Pendleton is perfectly cast as the son-in-law of General Dreedle (Orson Welles), a hulking figure of a man whose personal B25 is equipped with whitewall tires. When the General orders a moaning (after glimpsing the thigh of the General's female assistant) Richard Benjamin to be "taken out and shot", Pendleton's character admonishes him, "Dad! I don't think you can do that!" then whispers why into 'Dad's' ear.
A thoroughly enjoyable movie that may take more than one viewing before all the subtle humor begins to sink in.
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