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Catch-22 (1970)

455 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Catch-22 (DVD)


Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Arkin, Bob Newhart, Art Garfunkel, Richard Benjamin
  • Directors: Mike Nichols
  • Writers: Buck Henry
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Mono), French (Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount Catalog
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2013
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (455 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,199 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

149 of 160 people found the following review helpful By Solo Goodspeed on June 23, 2001
Format: DVD
Finally ...... one of those DVD re-releases I've been practically holding my breath for, and was not disappointed. This criminally overlooked gem was trashed by critics upon its release in 1970, and never enjoyed a video transfer worthy of the filmmaker's effort, not even on laserdisc! And as you can see from the varying reviews, the controversy rages on. Which just proves how alive and well and timely a film Catch-22 truly is.
Mike Nichols captures the essence of Joseph Heller's defining anti-war classic quite admirably, with a faithful adaptation by Buck Henry (who can be seen along with a veritable Who's Who period ensemble cast), with an eye as removed and objective as Kubrick, yet at times very visually subjective ..... an approach used to great advantage in his previous hit film The Graduate. All the verbal and ethical contradictions of the book bring its dark humor to demented life, through a kaleidoscopic cavalcade of archtypical characters who make up the living nightmare of one Captain Yossarian, who has decided he can no longer bear to fly the combat missions his superiors have made it impossible to get out of. To get out of flying, he has to be officially diagnosed as "crazy", and must request to be grounded ..... but if he requests to be grounded, then he's not really crazy, and is therefore eligible to keep flying missions. That's some catch, that Catch-22.
This film, like the book on which it's based, is not so much an indictment of the insanity of war as it is a look at how the corporate mentality can find its way into the noblest of causes, and how beurocratic manipulations devaluate basic human principles, which take a back seat to merely "looking good". A timeless theme indeed.
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Travis A. Holland on June 5, 2006
Format: DVD
This is a film about military absurdity and entrepreneurial creativity. If you have no military experience, watch it as a documentary. I received my indoctrination in the 1950's when I arrived in Korea as a Private. Upon arrival, we were sent to the Supply Room and given a long list of equipment and supplies which we were required to have immediately. We were also informed that there was a small problem. These items, normally furnished by the Supply Room, were currently out-of-stock and expected to remain so. Fortunately, an old woman just outside the fence had all the items in quanity, but if we purchased anything from her, we would be buying from the Black Market, which was illegal. The old woman liked a certain brand of soap, however, and would trade each item for an established number of bars of the soap. Fortunately, we could legally purchase unlimited bars of this soap (3 at a time) at the Post Exchange at a very reasonable price. For a few bars extra, she would arrange for all our new patches to be sewn onto our uniforms. All we needed to do was sign a receipt for advance pay which the Army would give to help us feel welcome and get settled in. We could use the money to purchase things like soap, for example. Did we all understand our duty? Yeah, Sarge. We got it!
We had a 24 hr Mess Hall, but the food consisted of large vats of things like powdered eggs, powdered milk, powdered potatoes, oatmeal, etc, which appeared to have been chewed, partially digested, then regurgitated before being served. Choice UDSA steaks, eggs, fresh vegetables, etc, were available in the local village to be traded for cigarettes and alcohol, which we could purchase in unlimited quantities at the Post Exchange at a very reasonable price.
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60 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Catch-22 is probably my all-time favorite novel and favorite movie. I constantly read reviews of the film version claiming that it doesn't quite reach the level of insanity the novel elevates to and that it is clouded and too literal. I know, there are a lot of things that one just cannot believe are not in the movie, like General Peckem or ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen or Hungry Joe screaming in his sleep whenever he is off combat duty again or Chief White Halfoat waiting to die of pnuemonia and threatening to slit Flume's throat ear ot ear or the chaplain's morbid, introverted struggles or Yossarian censoring letters as Washington Irving. But you can't put EVERYTHING in a movie. I love this movie a lot. I think it sort of becomes its own thing, apart from the novel. Plus, it does bring across the main points and feelings of the novel. In fact, I'm surprised how understandingly Mike Nichols directs and the actors act and the dialogue is executed. Just watch the scene near the beginning where Yossarian is arguing with Dobbs, Orr, McWatt, Milo, Aarfy, and Nately about his persecution complex. It comes off like a ballet of words. I don't think this movie is too heavy, as Leonard Maltin reviews in his book, because the novel is heavy. The novel is not JUST a cute farce (which is what makes it so great). I think the movie has the right tone. I also think the actors are brilliant. Alan Arkin, to me, is the only man who could ever play Yossarian. He is Yossarian. The moment of his performance that stands out for me is right at the start when he's stabbed in the side. He gasps, almost comically, in a disbelief, in such a pure shock that he has just, to his knowledge, been killed (and that's the last thing he wants to happen to him ever, literally).Read more ›
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