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Catch - 22 [DVD]

Alan Arkin , Martin Balsam , Mike Nichols    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Price: 24.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UPNV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,643 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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,

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great film 25 Jun 2007
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars the greatest film of the sixties 23 Jan 2003
'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
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant taster 28 Jan 2011
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pre-9/11 paranoia 17 Dec 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Before there was the TV mini-series "Homeland," the world had a chance to read (or try to read) this great example of paranoia, "Catch 22." First of all, I never finished the was completely crazy....but when I saw Frank Tallman was involved in the aircraft scenes filmed in Mexico, I had to see the movie. Loved the B-25s, although the film was still crazy. Now, after all these years, seeing it again, this movie on DVD is a great buy. It is absurd, but so true ! And Buck Henry (who also acts in the film) did an excellent capturing the essence of what Joseph Heller was trying to get across. The flash backs avec Yossarian and his wounded crewman in a damaged B-25 are very moving........don't hesitate, buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than M*A*S*H*.... 20 May 2012
By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER
I could never really quite get into MASH and that baseball game is wasted on me. Mike Nicol's Catch 22, though, that's different. It's instant. Straight away it just clicks as being a film that is warped enough to be well outside anybody's box. I know that MASH is Vietnam and this an Italian airbase somewhere in the Med in WW2, but from here-on in, there are big similarities.

Alan Arkin has never been better and though I haven't read the book and probably never will, you can tell straight away that he was born for the role. His only other performance that comes near was his Oscar winning one as grumpy old uncle in Little Miss Sunshine. As the US airforce captain hell-bent on proving his insanity, Capt Yossarian has to try and convince everybody, especially himself.

The film is on so many delicious levels that it can be seen many times and a different stance or joke is revealed that you didn't see before. I'm on my third. Dreams, nightmares, psychosis, nudity, superb, adventurous cinematography AND Orson Welles, that's one helluva combination. The stunts are worthy of expensive 'proper' war films and it must have been a very brave film for Nicols to even contemplate making.

There's one hell of a cast too, aside of Arkin and Welles - Anthony Perkins, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel, Martin Balsam, Jon Voight and Martin Sheen - that's an invite list to the Oscars!

My policy with such off the wall movies is not to try and understand them, unless it comes to me. Logic and reasoning can be an awful barrier to enjoyment, sometimes! For this reason alone, I'm not even going to try to explain the plot here.

You'll want to watch Catch 22 for its WW2 satire, the imaginative direction, the well executed stunts and maybe above all these, the cast - and the humour that is so unreal, it's almost happening outside of one's mind and body.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Catch 22 DVD and Book
I know it is a bit old but still very apt to todays world. Whatever you do it will catch up with you and you may not like it but mostly unavoidably.
Published 18 days ago by quirinus rijke
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It's ok. this was a mould-breaking film. Maybe it has lost it's punch now.JJ.
Published 25 days ago by valuematters
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Wonderful film, very funny in a dark way. Tried reading the book several times but could never find the time, I feel the movie is a true representation of the book
Published 2 months ago by Suzanne
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
I went through the Catch 22 thing when I was a teenager, and didn't get it. Fourth years on .I see an the irony and black humor. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mark Le Sueur
5.0 out of 5 stars catch 22
this film is tote amazeballs very impressed absolute bargain and postage was very very asda price and Tesco is a super meerkat
Published 4 months ago by diversion
5.0 out of 5 stars Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear...?
A really good film version of the classic novel. I particularly enjoy Bob Newhart as Major Major and the magisterial Orson Welles lights up the screen...!
Published 5 months ago by Eryl Price-Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Catch 22 it's the best
It is often said which each have a book in us, and this is undoubtedly the one Heller had in him. The surreal humour and the cast of bizarre characters are perfect for sending up... Read more
Published 5 months ago by chris west
5.0 out of 5 stars A good film of a great book.
I've already rated this film - why does it pop up again in my "Review your purchases" list?
I've already rated this film - why does it pop up again in my "Review... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ross Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars everybody works for milo.
still vitally important.every page worth a has dropped out of the public consciousness,and you can see the results. Read more
Published 5 months ago by brianbotanic
5.0 out of 5 stars Institutional Violence
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. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles
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