Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’

(Above: George Clooney in ‘Catch-22’. Source: YouTube video)

George Clooney’s six-episode adaptation of Catch-22 drops on Hulu this Friday, May 17.

The series is based on Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel, a dazzling-loopy, M*A*S*H-like parody of wartime bureaucracy (although the Catch-22 novel predated the latter’s Robert Altman film and CBS series). Catch-22 itself was previously made into a 1970 feature film directed by Mike Nichols.

In the Hulu series, Christopher Abbott plays Yossarian, a World War II bombardier who finds that command keeps raising the number of missions he must fly to complete his service. He could try to avoid his assignments, but then there’s the military’s rule, “Catch-22.” Catch-22 specifies that pilots seeking to avoid duty because of combat dangers are clearly sane and therefore must continue flying; those who want to fly, on the other hand, are clearly crazy.

The cast also includes Kyle Chandler, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Giancarlo Giannini, Tessa Ferrer, Jay Paulson, and Daniel David Stewart.

Clooney, Grant Heslov and Ellen Kuras each directed two episodes.

For more, visit Hulu.

The 1970 version of Catch-22 featured an all-star cast: Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel, Jack Gilford, Buck Henry, Anthony Perkins, Paula Prentiss, Martin Sheen, Jon Voight and Orson Welles. You can stream it with an Amazon Prime subscription; or rent it starting at $2.99 from Google Play, YouTube and other providers.

The term Catch-22, which has long since entered American vernacular to describe an impossible situation, is best explained in the following trailer from the Nichols film:

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About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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