ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Catch-22: The Funniest War Movie You've Never Seen

Updated on June 23, 2018

Can a war movie be funny?

417 Bomb Group B-25
417 Bomb Group B-25 | Source

"Catch-22" is the best war movie you've never heard of. Directed by Mike Nichols and released in 1970, it is based on the novel of the same name by Joseph Heller.

One Saturday night during my sophomore year of college, I had a few minutes to spare while waiting for my date to pick me up. She was running late and I was getting bored so I turned on the TV to distract myself. "Catch-22" just started on PBS of all channels.

"Catch-22"... I heard that before somewhere. I knew a "Catch-22" was something that contradicted itself. I also knew it was a novel. I was interested so I sat down and watched. Two hours later, I realized that I was stood up. That didn't matter, "Catch-22" was the funniest war movie I had ever seen.

Like the novel "Catch-22," the film takes place on an airbase in the Mediterranean Sea during World War II. The airmen fly bombing missions in B-25's. However, it doesn't focus on their missions. It's about the military bureaucracy that keeps the men from going home and the hilarious things they do in the meantime.

Catch-22 (1970)
Catch-22 (1970)
When most people think of a funny war movie, they probably think of another awesome movie: "Good Morning Vietnam" by Barry Levinson. How does "Catch-22" compare?

Why you'll love it

One of the things that surprised me the most was the all-star cast. This includes, among many others, Alan Arkin as the main character Captain Yossarian, Art Garfunkel, Buck Henry, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, Martin Sheen, Jon Voight, Charles Grodin and Orson Welles. That's a lot of talent.

Great actors, great director, great screenplay. So why haven't you heard of it? There are several reasons. In 1970 "MASH," directed by Robert Altman, was released and overshadowed it as the military comedy. While "MASH" takes place during the Korean War, "Catch-22" takes place during World War II.

It's likely that World War II is sacred on screen and audiences were not in the mood to take it lightly. Even today, World War II won't get much attention unless there's lots of blood and suffering.

While this is certainly understandable, an exception is highly recommended in this case. As soon as I saw "Catch-22," I had to get it. I couldn't find it back then (it was the 90's) so I got the novel.

Why won't Yossarian wear his uniform? Why doesn't General Dreedle care? Why does Orr keep crashing his plane into the sea? Why does Yossarian regret flying with him by the end of the movie? Why does his squadron bomb its own base? What does this have to do with the price of cotton? There's only one way to find out!

Below is a video that summarizes the meaning of Catch-22. Enjoy!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)