133 user 52 critic

Catch-22 (1970)

R | | Comedy, Drama, War | 24 June 1970 (USA)
A man is trying desperately to be certified insane during World War II, so he can stop flying missions.


Mike Nichols


Joseph Heller (novel), Buck Henry (screenplay)
310 ( 887)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Arkin ... Capt. John Yossarian
Martin Balsam ... Col. Cathcart
Richard Benjamin ... Maj. Danby
Art Garfunkel ... Capt. Nately (as Arthur Garfunkel)
Jack Gilford ... Dr. 'Doc' Daneeka
Buck Henry ... Lt. Col. Korn
Bob Newhart ... Maj. Major Major
Anthony Perkins ... Chaplain Capt. A.T. Tappman
Paula Prentiss ... Nurse Duckett
Martin Sheen ... 1st Lt. Dobbs
Jon Voight ... 1st Lt. Milo Minderbinder
Orson Welles ... Brig. Gen. Dreedle
Bob Balaban ... Capt. Orr
Susanne Benton ... Dreedle's WAC
Norman Fell ... First Sgt. Towser


A bombardier in World War II tries desperately to escape the insanity of the war. However, sometimes insanity is the only sane way to 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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The anti-war satire of epic proportions.


Comedy | Drama | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Italian

Release Date:

24 June 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Catch-22 See more »

Filming Locations:

Empalme, Sonora, Mexico See more »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is the first American film to show an actor on the toilet, Martin Balsam, playing opposite Anthony Perkins. The first American film to show a toilet was Psycho (1960), also starring Martin Balsam and Anthony Perkins. See more »


Pianosa and Ferrara are depicted with inaccurate geography (see trivia). See more »


[first lines]
Lt. Col. Korn, XO: [speaking to Yossarian] All you have to do is be our pal.
Colonel Cathcart: Say nice things about us.
Lt. Col. Korn, XO: Tell the folks at home what a good job we're doing. Take our offer Yossarian.
Colonel Cathcart: Either that or a court-martial for desertion.
See more »


Referenced in Rizzoli & Isles: Phoenix Rising (2014) See more »


The Stars and Stripes Forever
Written by John Philip Sousa
(played by military band in the final scene)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Extremely Underrated Adapation
21 February 2002 | by VerbalK001See all my reviews

This film suffers from the fact that so many have already read the book and look to pick apart every scene that doesn't synch up. I read the book and I think it helps to watch the movie if you are at least familiar with the themes of the book, but I still think the film stands alone in its genre, somewhere behind Stranglelove, MASH and Full Metal Jacket (all movies influenced by the book). A lot of the acting comes out cartoonish, but I think they were cartoons in the book as well. That was a theme of the book and the film; the artificiality of people playing roles in war. I thought Voight was excellent as Milo and Perkins played a perfectly reserved Chaplin. This was Arkin's film, and I though he carried it off. I also found the Snowden flash backs as an interesting choice for the movies pivot.

I've seen the film with people who did not read the book, and some unaware of the book, and I think most had very positive impressions of it. Yes the book is a more fulfilling experience, but that is almost always the case. I understand that the film disappointed when it opened and all the stars ended up despising each other. I think that reaction tainted the film for several years. I think that the film has appreciated with age and really stands today as a great underrated piece of work. I think at some point if will be rediscovered and be placed among the best black comedy/farce/war movies of its time.

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