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>
Director Mike Nichols wanted thirty-six B-25s to create the big U.S. Army Air Forces base, but the budget couldn't stretch to more than seventeen flyable Mitchells. An additional non-flyable hulk was acquired in Mexico, made barely ferry-able and flown with landing gear down to location, only to be burned and destroyed in the landing crash scene. The wreck was then buried in the ground next to the runway, where it remains to this day. See more »
In the long-shot plane crash sequence as Milo and Cathcart walk along the runway the smoke trail from the plane that flew by extends far beyond the "crashed" plane. 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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