Paramount Pictures Released 1970




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Movie Summary

Mike Nichols

Catch-22, the third film directed by Mike Nichols, is based on the famous satirical novel by Joseph Heller. Captain Yossarian, who is determined to "live forever or die in the attempt", is part of a U.S. Air Force squadron stationed on a Mediterranean island in World War II. This dark comedy depicts Yossarian's desperate attempts simply to stay alive, even though Colonel Cathcart keeps raising the number of missions that the group must complete before being discharged. As his friends begin to die around him, one by one, Yossarian finds his best efforts to survive thwarted by "Catch-22", the deadly military logic which seems to defy all sanity and humanity.

Alan Arkin

Alan Arkin

Capt. Yossarian

Anthony Perkins

Anthony Perkins

Chaplain Capt. R.S. Tappman

Orson Welles

Orson Welles

Brig. Gen. Dreedle

Jon Voight

Jon Voight

1st Lt. Milo Minderbinder

Martin Balsam

Martin Balsam

Col. Cathcart

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Orson Welles had hoped to direct and write a film version of Joseph Heller's novel - which he greatly admired - himself, but had t settle for playing General Dreedle in this Mike Nichols film. He praised Nichols as a director during filming, but was later very critical of the finished film.

    • The film was mostly made in Guaymas, Mexico, with a few days of location work in Rome and all studio work done in that city, too.

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (2)

    • Joseph Heller's novel was published in 1961, and at least two previous directors had failed to work out a way of translating its complex structure into a film before Mike Nichols took over the project after the huge success of The Graduate. The earlier directors who had worked on it were Richard Brooks and Richard Quine; the latter hired Joseph Heller as screenwriter of his 1964 comedy, Sex And The Single Girl.

    • The film proved extremely difficult to make and had to be shut down at one point. It ended up costing some $15,000,000, making it one of the most expensive films of 1970. It did not recover its cost at the box-office, making it the first major flop of Mike Nichols's directing career. The critic Pauline Kael cruelly remarked that "it was eagerly anticipated for many years and then immediately forgotten" - although it gradually built up a critical reputation via television showings.


More Info About This Movie


Comedy, Drama