Catch 22 TV Series

#1
Oh dear God. I am in utter despair. Catch 22 is a book that I have read at least once a year since I was 14. Number 2 daughter uses it to teach her 6th form students because I gave it to her to read when she was that age. It is one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. The 1970 film by Mike Nichols was not liked by the critics at the time, but to me was an absolutely brilliant evocation of the book.

I have just watched the first episode of the series. I want to weep, and for all the wrong reasons. Awful. Just awful.

Thoughts?
 
#3
I'd been looking forward to it, I forgot it. The book was always going to be a hard act to follow.

Did you know that flies in the eyes is a real medical condition? Muscae volitantes (Latin: "flying flies").
I always wondered whether Heller had meant that Orr was an opthalmic genius or a gibbering lunatic.
 
#4
I'd read the book at school decades ago, but never seen the original film so hard to compare
 
#6
Lost interest within 10 minutes
Likewise. It is a long time since I read the book so watching this should have been easy. I thought the sound quality was poor in places too.

It may be time to get a copy of the book again.
 
#8
Started reading the book first time early 60's flying back to Germany, nearly pissed mesen, half the plane was looking at me. Saw the tele programme coming up, thought , OK, read it again, kindle jobbie. It's still good. I stopped watching it this evening, didn't work for me.
 
#9
I believe each piece, the book, the film, and the present series have to be taken on their individual merits.

The film and series are separate and different interpretations on Joseph Heller’s take on the war as he saw it.

Each has its merits and, I think should be read/watched as stand alone’s. I have found all three interesting and gripping in their own way. Each to me bringing something to me of what possibly some of my father’s war may have been like. His entrance to the war in 1939 as a 17 year old Pilot straight out of flight school to his first Fighter Bomber Squadron. 30 Squadron based in Alexandria equipped with Bristol Blenheims operating first against the Italians then into Greece and then facing the German airborne invasion, and after the route back to Alexandria and then changing to Hurricanes.

Occasionally a book is so graphic and accurately written that a film maker can portray it very accurately down to fine detail. One such book/film being Empire of the Sun. As I watched the film I was constantly amazed that the film followed so closely how I had seen things in my minds eye as I had read the book.
 
#10
Probably about time for another go at Spike Milligans memoirs next, don't think that's been made for TV yet????
 
#11
Script/dialogue aside, the sets/scenery, cinamephotography(?), all seemed so "stylised", clean-cut, "new".

Hard to believe it was meant to be war time, nevermind the front line!

I'd just watched some home improvement programme ("Old House New Home" with George somebody?). He'd been firing new ceramic tiles, and painting a house, in very similar colours (and just as new/clean!), as the corridor/ward with its line of beds, at the very beginning. Surreal !!
 
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#12
I liked the book and liked the movie. I reckon the movie missed out filling out a few things (Why Doc became so distant, who actually stabbed Yossarian) but added clarification on a couple of things and added a few brilliant things (The ending with Yossarian running away, stealing the raft and paddling away from all the madness with the band playing).

Thanks for the heads up on the TV series, I was contemplating on getting Stan just to watch it. Looks like I won't bother now.
 
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#15
They made a movie of Adolf Hitler: My part in his Downfall.
In a word: DON'T.
Can't help but agree.

Came out in 1973 and was pretty rubbish. Probably because it had Jim Dale "starring" in it, which was normally the kiss of death. It did have a reasonable cast otherwise.

Here is a review from IMDB.

Overall Spike fans will feel a little let down by the losses made in transition from page to screen. The comedy aspires to be Milliganesque but only occasionally does his hand shine through. The end result is still entertaining but never as funny as it should be. I suggest you all read the book rather than watching this. RIP Spike happily your legacy is with us everyday and not just in this film.​
You can tell just how pained the reviewer was when he wrote that. Much as he wanted to he couldn't bring himself to praise it.
 
#16
Script/dialogue aside, the sets/scenery, cinamephotography(?), all seemed so "stylised", clean-cut, "new".

Hard to believe it was meant to be war time, nevermind the front line!
That's an intriguing comment.

Surely everything would have been brand spanking new at the time. Aircraft, buildings, uniforms, vehicles and all the materiel needed to fight a war were probably not much older than about six months, if that.

Plus they were Septics.

Len Deighton had a quote somewhere to the effect that "what chance did the poor, scruffy squaddies have with the women when the American privates were better paid and dressed than our generals".
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
Likewise. It is a long time since I read the book so watching this should have been easy. I thought the sound quality was poor in places too.

It may be time to get a copy of the book again.
Interested to find the above thread, saved me the bother of watching, will stick to the book. :thumright:
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
That's an intriguing comment.

Surely everything would have been brand spanking new at the time. Aircraft, buildings, uniforms, vehicles and all the materiel needed to fight a war were probably not much older than about six months, if that.

Plus they were Septics.

Len Deighton had a quote somewhere to the effect that "what chance did the poor, scruffy squaddies have with the women when the American privates were better paid and dressed than our generals".

Good point - a pet peeve of my dad's with any historical film or TV was "why does it all look shabby? It was new at the time"
 

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