Kehr Capsule of the Week: Catch-22 (1970)

Mike Nichols‘s 1970 film might have been the original “deal” movie: it’s got all the right elements—a hot director, a cult novel, an impeccably hip cast—yet nothing comes together. Nichols’s direction is closer to Duck Soup than the resigned despair of Joseph Heller‘s novel; its relentless, cartoonish bustle obscures most of the content, but still finds room for classy hommages to Fellini and Kubrick. With Alan Arkin and (in alphabetical order) Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel, Jack Gilford, Buck Henry, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, Paula Prentiss, Jon Voight, and Orson Welles.


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