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Catch - 22 [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Anthony Perkins, Martin Sheen
  • Directors: Mike Nichols
  • Producers: John Calley, Martin Ransohoff
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Oct. 2002
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UPNV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,631 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Surreal anti-war black comedy explores a group of flyers stationed in the Mediterranean during World War II, focusing on one who tri es to have himself declared mad so he can stop flying missions. Based on the novel by Joseph Heller.

From Amazon.co.uk

Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 was one of the seminal literary events of the 1960s, but Mike Nichols' film adaptation ultimately proved too literal in its attempt to bring Heller's fragmented fiction to the screen. Still, Nichols, who made this on the heels of The Graduate, seemed the ideal candidate to tackle this Buck Henry adaptation. The story deals with bomber pilot Yossarian (Alan Arkin), who has flown enough missions to get out of World War II but can't because the number of missions needed for discharge keeps getting raised. The satire and absurdity of Heller's book get lost in Nichols' effort to give screen time to the members of his all-star cast, which includes Orson Welles, Jon Voight, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, Richard Benjamin and Martin Sheen. --Marshall Fine, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By N. Harris on 25 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
I think that if someone had written this as a screenplay, and the book had never have existed it would have received far more acclaim than it has, and wouldn't have half as many negative reviews as it does (on this site at least, generally amongst critics the film has become universally acclaimed, though all admit it is flawed, which is to be expected when it had to follow up to Heller's book). It would take a 5 hour film to do the book justice and to expect a visual duplicate of the book i think would be madness.

Mike Nichols created a film as good as i ever could have expected. The scenes in the book which I found to be either the most funny, or most moving, were in my mind portrayed perfectly by Mike Nichols (just as Yossarian was portrayed perfectly by Alan Arkin) and i strongly urge any fan of the book to watch the film.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Pete VINE VOICE on 4 Sept. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I suspect that anyone who hasn't read the book may struggle to follow the plot in this. For those who have, some of the scenes are brilliantly transposed to film, and Yossarian himself is perfect, as are some of the others. Ultimately though, all it really did is make me desperately want to read the book again.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Charalampos Lamprou on 23 Jan. 2003
Format: DVD
'Help him , help him ! Help the bombardier!'. These recurring lines from the film where it's logo for a long time after its first release. This is a story about a US Air force bombing squadron in WWII unlike no other.Captain Yossarian , played by Alan Arkin in the best performance of his career , faces the biggest puzzle of his life: if you go on flying more missions you're mad ,but if you don't want to fly any more missions you're not mad! The absurdity of military rationale in all its greatness.
Set in a barren , haunting coast somewhere in Mediterreanean , you get the sense from the first minutes of the film that this is not a usual war film. At a time when the Vietnam war controversy was raging in the US , Mike Nichols puts in screen the novel by Joseph Heller , a grotesquely hillarious description of the military.
This is the best film of Mike Nichols. Filmed at a time when visual effects was a word from the future , only the genious of a true cinematographer could produce such powerful and tricky scenes ( The take-off scene is just magnificent).
The great thing about this film is that while the story is absurd and hilarious , the realism of the photography and of the characters is so intense that you never get to doubt about it at all.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Clarke on 28 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD
Yes, well, the book HAS to be read as it is indeed a crazy, wonderful, hilarious modern classic.

And for the film Mike Nichols does a wonderful job - using fabulous photographic techniques (long lenses, long takes, and stunning compositions).

And Alan Arkin is so Yossarian, it's not true. I now cannot imagine anyone else.

And there are some superbly handled scenes: the man-in-white in the ward, the bombing runs with pipe-smoking Arfy - wonderful... and the superb scenes with Orson Welles as Dreedle ("Take him out and shoot him!") - not to mention Anthony Perkins as the padre, John Voight as Milo, and many, many more star cameos. Great stuff.

So, at the end of the day, it's a terrific film, and worth seeing for that. On the other hand it's not quite the whole book. How could it be? So see the film for all its pleasures. And return to the book for what spawned it.

But don't spurn it. It's great film-making, and Alan Arkin IS Yossarian....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A film which builds on many of the themes detailed by Jonathon Shay in "Achilles in Vietnam" and a sisterwork to Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse 5."

The film begins with Yossarian being stabbed and the world fragmenting into broken pieces of recollected memory. All of them are traumatic in one shape or another, even the hilarious ones where they are asked to provide a chair for the lady. So Yossarian is stuck on the treadmill and we see him surrounded by his comrades who over the duration surface within his fragments. And in these brief moments we see the bonds and how they fracture and form under the pressures of war.

There are some extremely deft moments in the film, bombing their own base, the attempt to make money from speculation, Cathcart's complete disassociation from his troops, the use of medals as a form of hallucinatory compensation for doing absolutely nothing, the desire for sex workers, the loss of innocence and then the more traumatic events. Each is combined with a sense of trauma echoing throughout, but the film operates from comedy to tragedy constantly.

For the men trapped on the bombing missions they were forever being asked to do yet more, the one person who found a way out was to keep crash landing in the hope he would be able to get it right in the end and sail away from the war. The penny finally drops for Yossarian right at the end, that fighting the system only feeds it. Other strategies are needed to circumvent its force.

Within the film structure we get the stories within a story, similar to the Saragossa Manuscripts and each fragment is deftly weaved as a collection of memories as Yossarian fights for his life. A very well constructed film with real emotional depth, but to comprehend what it is saying you have to put down the war comics and pick up a psychology book, preferable Jonathon Shay's book on Vietnam.
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