In 1964, with the Cuban Missile Crisis fresh in viewers' minds, the Cold War at its frostiest, and the hydrogen bomb relatively new and frightening, Stanley Kubrick dared to make a film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button -- and played the situation for laughs. Dr. Strangelove's jet-black satire (from a script by director Stanley Kubrick, Peter George, and Terry Southern) and a host of superb comic performances (including three from Peter Sellers) have kept the film fresh and entertaining, ...
In 1964, with the Cuban Missile Crisis fresh in viewers' minds, the Cold War at its frostiest, and the hydrogen bomb relatively new and frightening, Stanley Kubrick dared to make a film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button -- and played the situation for laughs. Dr. Strangelove's jet-black satire (from a script by director Stanley Kubrick, Peter George, and Terry Southern) and a host of superb comic performances (including three from Peter Sellers) have kept the film fresh and entertaining, even as its issues have become (slightly) less timely. Loaded with thermonuclear weapons, a U.S. bomber piloted by Maj. T.J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) is on a routine flight pattern near the Soviet Union when they receive orders to commence Wing Attack Plan R, best summarized by Maj. Kong as "Nuclear combat! Toe to toe with the Russkies!" On the ground at Burpleson Air Force Base, Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) notices nothing on the news about America being at war. Gen. Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) calmly informs him that he gave the command to attack the Soviet Union because it was high time someone did something about fluoridation, which is sapping Americans' bodily fluids (and apparently has something to do with Ripper's sexual dysfunction). Meanwhile, President Merkin Muffley (Sellers again) meets with his top Pentagon advisors, including super-hawk Gen. Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott), who sees this as an opportunity to do something about Communism in general and Russians in particular. However, the ante is upped considerably when Soviet ambassador de Sadesky (Peter Bull) informs Muffley and his staff of the latest innovation in Soviet weapons technology: a "Doomsday Machine" that will destroy the entire world if the Russians are attacked. Mark Deming, Rovi
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Columbia Pictures / Fathom Events, TCM, Sony Pictures
TITLE: Dr Strangelove; Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb
GENRE: Comedy, political satire
CAST: Peter Sellers, George C Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, James Earl Jones Peter Bull and Tracy Reed
PLOT: In every military situation there is a contingency plan for when all goes wrong. In the case of nuclear weapons use, provisions are made to allow the execution of nuclear attack by lower echelon commanders should the leadership be wiped out. A lone Commander takes advantage of that clause in his orders and launches. Cuts to how the president deals with it and how one of the bombing crews handle it.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 9 of 10; Have you ever been faced with overwhelming danger so much so that your legs get all rubbery? Many in that situation begin to giggle. It is on that giggling that Stanley Kubrick, the director and writer, bases this analysis of mutually assurred destruction. One can only laugh in the face of death and who better to deliver the punch line that begins the giggles than Sellers? With 5 mins left for destruction, Sellers as Strangelove the scientific advisor, comes up with the plan to dig a deep cave and hide there until the fallout settles in a hundred years!
DVD BONUS: A mini biography and critique of the art of Kubrick: A making of... documentary; Advertising gallery; Split screen interviews for promotion with Sellers and Scott; A theatrical trailer.
ADDED NOTES: This movie should be made mandatory viewing for all children around the world to assure they know the insanity of possessing or even contemplating the use of nuclear weapons.