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>
The island of Pianosa actually exists 8 miles south of Elba in the Mediterranean Sea but is very small and could not possibly have supported the military installation depicted. This is pointed out by Joseph Heller as a foreword in the novel. See more »
When Major Major begins talking to Sgt Towser in his office about when others can see him, a portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt can be seen hanging on the wall behind his desk. Major Major then walks away from, then back to his desk twice more, and each time the portrait is seen, it has changed - from FDR to Winston Churchill to Joseph Stalin. This was an inside joke, done intentionally by the filmmakers to further emphasize the dream like state of the film. See more »
I recall hearing Catch 22 author Joseph Heller state that he started writing the book by writing the ending first and then working on the beginning and so on, back and forth. I'm not sure if he was telling the truth, but the book is certainly based on his own experiences as a bomber pilot in WWII and the book/movie's nonlinear, stream of consciousness structure is an obvious demonstration of the randomness and madness of war. An earlier post said that this movie reveals that at heart wars occur because people are selfish and stupid, and I think that is correct. Even though this movie is funny it reminds us of this unpleasant fact, so we avoid the movie altogether.
Made back in the early 70s during that brief period when Hollywood actually made intelligent and artistic first-run movies, the film is an excellent piece, from its all star ensemble cast to its writing and pacing. The movie is also a sad reminder of how shallow and simplistic and adolescent movies are today. Even fine films like Saving Private Ryan have much less complexity and trust their audience less to contemplate the possibility of an amoral and senseless universe. The mythic characters, comic book pacing, and sacred three act narrative structure and tight endings--even sad ones--that tie up all the loose ends and make us feel good about ourselves and our country are the order of the day. And with this new administration look for more movies that pat ourselves on the back rather than question. ..
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