DR STRANGELOVE (Or How I Stopped Worrying and Love the Bomb)


STARRING: Peter Sellers, George C Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, James Earl Jones

1964, 102 Minutes, Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Description: A spoof of political and military insanity, beginning when General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), a maniacal warrior obsessed with "the purity of precious bodily fluids," mounts his singular campaign against Communism by ordering a squadron of B-52 bombers to attack the Soviet Union. The Soviets counter the threat with a so- called "Doomsday Device," and the world hangs in the balance while the U.S. president (Peter Sellers) engages in hilarious hot-line negotiations with his Soviet counterpart.

Director Stanley (Clockwork Orange, 2001) Kubrick began Dr. Strangelove as a serious movie about the End of the World As We Know It (as in a nuclear war). Halfway, he realised the absurdity behind MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) and the entire Cold War scenario, and decided to make a black comedy instead. The end result is what is often regarded as a minor masterpiece of black comedy by many critics.

Kubrick, however, doesn't pull the whole thing off as well as he could have. Some of the characters and scenes are too over the top and unfunny to have any real impact. One keeps getting the nagging suspicion that he could have done more with the material at hand.

Classic characters and scenes however abound: Dr Strangelove, the German scientist imported from Nazi Germany to support the American nuclear effort getting up from his wheelchair uttering "Mein Führer, I can walk!"; the mad American general who is convinced that the Russians are poisoning his vital bodily fluids; the American bombardier straddling the nuclear warhead that causes World War III like a bronco at a rodeo (very phallic that one, by the way).

Perhaps not as relevant as during the Cold War anymore, but still worth seeing even if just for the closing shot of Vera Lynn intoning We'll Meet Again while nuclear mushrooms pop up across the planet. A moment of pure dark cynicism unequalled in the history of cinema.


# 35
of the
Top 100 Sci-Fi Movies
of all time



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