A bombardier in World War II tries desperately to escape the insanity of the war. However, sometimes insanity is the only sane way to cope with a crazy situation. Catch-22 is a parody of a “military mentality” and of a bureaucratic society in general.
Direction Mike Nichols’ anti-war comedy, an adaptation of Joseph Heller’s anti-establishment 1961 first novel, was an autobiographical novel about a bomber squadron and its pilots in WW-II Italy on a Mediterranean island:
Captain Yossarian (Alan Arkin), one of the neurotic B-52 bomber pilots, trapped by ‘catch-22’ logic
(“Let me see if I’ve got this straight: in order to be grounded, I’ve got to be crazy and I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I’m not crazy any more and I have to keep flying”)
The film was daring in many aspects, none the least for its on-screen nudity (a major thing in the early 70s).
WAC Nurse Duckett (Paula Prentiss) was nude in a full-frontal dream sequence distantly seen on a dock; she opened up her full-length white robe, tossed it into the water, and waved at Yossarian (who was struggling to swim toward her)
Luciana (Olimpia Carlisi) reclined naked in bed after having sex with Yossarian; when he asked her: “Where do you work?”, she thought he was calling her a whore; when she told him that she worked for a “big American company,” he replied: “Me too,” and complimented her about being “perfect”