Originally Posted by tlogan6797
That one is underappreciated and often overlooked. I really like it, but it doesn't quite live up to the brilliance of the book.
It definitely has its moments (Bob Newhart as Major Major is side-splittingly funny in his few scenes, for instance), and Alan Arkin is magnificent in it (and Buck Henry, who wrote the script and plays a minor role -- two, actually -- is smart and funny as all get out, as usual). Jon Voight (as Lt. Milo Minderbinder), Martin Balsam (as Col. Cathcart), and Jack Gilford (as Dr. Daneeka, the psychiatrist who explains "Catch 22" to Arkin's Capt. John Yossarian) also give standout performances among a stellar cast (but Orson Wells as Gen. Dreedle, for instance, just isn't funny in this). I think it suffers from its bloated cast and overly ambitious breadth. Director Mike Nichols was at his creative peak and riding high from the mega-success of The Graduate, and he was given a lot of free rein to do stuff he probably couldn't get away with now (too expensive). Unlike Robert Altman's M.A.S.H., however, Nichols' ensemble cast and sprawling storylines just don't quite gel like one might have hoped.
It goes on some list, but in a list of just 10 top WWII films, I probably couldn't find room for it.