Now I know what your thinking: how is this a “weird war” genera movie? Well in Catch 22 the war was never weirder. 22 tells the story of Captain Yossarian a bombardier in an US Army bomber wing stationed in North Africa. But this is not a unit like any other, and without giving too much away here are a few examples.
(Caution Catch 22 is not for children it contains: nudity, sex, rape, and violence.)
Through out the movie and the novel on which it’s based (written by Joseph Heller) it can be hard to separate Yossarian’s reality from what may be delusion: and by the end of the story your left asking did all that just happen? At the beginning of the film he is stabbed, and then the movie goes into a series of flashbacks; or are they delusions, or both? Either way we get brief glimpses of the present where Yossarian is fighting for his life on an operating table, and short sequences where a member of his flight crew dies in his arms. The over all feel and tone of the film gives the viewer a look inside not only the insanity of war but also what it must be like to be driven insane by what we would call today Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
While I won’t go more into Yossarian’s main plot line to give you an idea of how the film goes from normal to madness, here is 1st Lt. Milo Mindbender’s subplot. Milo begins the film as the squadron supply chief and is in charge of gathering supplies. Early in the story he convinces the Colonel to allow him to set up a “syndicate” to begin profiting from exchanging good with other unit and the locals on Sicily. By the middle of the film he is no longer preforming any of his duties, and is working solely on cornering every market in what has to be the greatest war profiteering scheme ever. Suffice it to say by the end of the film not only does Milo run Sicily but he also has half the military units in the area under his command, wearing his logo, and acting as his private army. So you can see in a place like this how Captain Yossarian may begin to feel he’s gone insane.
Over all it is a very good move the with an excellent cast Yossarian is played briantly by Alan Arkin and the supporting cast includes Bob Newheart, Jon Voight, Martin Sheen, and Orsen Wells to name a few. It’s directed by awesome director Mike Nichols, who also directed Biloxi Blues, The Graduate, and Charlie Wilson’s War, and many more great films. While this movie is not really for all World War movie fans, or all Tannhauser fans, it is a great classic picture in the same vein as One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and defiantly worth watching.