I finished the book last night, then popped some corn and watched the movie. The movie was good, but not as good as the book. I hate that the moviemakers left out the "Washington Irving" nonsense. That was one of my favorite recurring themes of the novel. I realize, though, that to condense a 500+ page novel into a two-hour movie requires a good deal of editing. Still, it seemed as though the moviemakers took out mainly the humor and satire, which was my favorite aspect of the book.
I love this: three actors who would later join the cast of "The Bob Newhart Show" are in Catch-22. Newhart himself plays Major Major, Peter Bonerz (Dr. Jerry Robinson on BN Show) plays McWatt, and Jack Riley (Mr. Elliot Carlin on BN Show) plays a surgeon. Other funny stuff: Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates on Psycho) plays, of all parts, the Chaplain, Martin Sheen plays Dobbs, Jon Voight plays Milo Minderbinder, Orson Welles plays General Dreedle, and, to my utter shock, Art Garfunkel (yes, of Simon and Garfunkel) does an excellent job of portraying Nately. I was impressed.
Thought Yossarian was a little over the top, even for Yossarian in the movie. There's a lot of line-screaming in this film. I think the movie would have been far move effective had the actors not been quite so dramatic. While reading the book, I pictured the characters speaking loudly and with excitement, but not with that much excitement.
Several of the characters looked as I pictured them. Yossarian fit perfectly, in my estimation. Major Major was a great role for Newhart, also. Once again, Art Garfunkle fits Nately's persona well. All in all, it was an effective and humorous film, but nothing compared to the angry hilarity to be found in the novel by Joseph Heller.
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