Catch-22

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Paramount Pictures Released 1970

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Movie Summary

Director:
Mike Nichols
Released:
1970
Rating:
R

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.

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    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

    Richard Benjamin

    Richard Benjamin

    Maj. Danby

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (1)

      • 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 (1)

    • 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.

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    Comedy