The 1970 film adaptation of the novel of the same name, directed by Mike Nichols and featuring an All-Star Cast headed by Alan Arkin as Yossarian, was a commercial and critical flop when it was released, but has since come to garner a cult following.
This film provides examples of:
- Catch-22 Dilemma: This story is the Trope Namer. The soldiers of Pianosa are caught in various illogical binds, mostly from military law.
- The Film of the Book
- Funny Background Event:
- Early in the film Colonel Cathcart and Milo are having a conversation near the airfield while a B-25 crash-lands behind them, then explodes into flame. Neither character notices.
- When Major Major is talking to Sgt. Towser in his office, he paces back and forth, and a picture on the office wall pops in and out of frame. As it does so, it changes from a portrait of Roosevelt to Churchill and finally Stalin.
- Ironic Echo Cut: A scene features Colonel Cathcart and Colonel Korn, having had enough of Yossarian's troublemaking, ending a meeting with a vow to (metaphorically) "kick him in the balls!" Cut to Yossarian getting literally kneed in the groin by a nurse he'd gotten a little too overly friendly with.
- Ms. Fanservice: General Dreedle's secretary/girlfriend. Heavily lampshaded in the movie because her mere presence distracts the entire squadron from paying attention to the mission briefing.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Many of the characters and incidents from the novel are left out of the film.