Catch 22 1970 ****

Joseph Heller’s classic anti-war novel has a wealth of incident that makes it hard to imagine as a film, but The Graduate’s team of Mike Nichols and Buck Henry capture much of the anarchic flavor of the book. Set in a US base in the Mediterranean durung WWI, Catch 22 stars Alan Arkin as Yossarian, a bombardier who dares to question the war effort, and the top brass features a wealth of talent, including Orson Welles, Anthony Perkins, plus Jon Voight as Milo Minderbinder. Nichols handles the comedy well, mixing farces with some shocking violence, including a graphic slicing in two by plane; if the final effect is overwhelming, that’s not a million miles from Heller’s original intent.


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