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