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Plot: Paranoid Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper of Burpelson Air Force Base, he believing that fluoridation of the American water supply is a Soviet plot to poison the U.S. populace, is able to deploy through a back door mechanism a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union without the knowledge of his superiors, including the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Buck Turgidson, and President Merkin Muffley. Only Ripper knows the code to recall the B-52 bombers and he has shut down communication in and out of Burpelson as a measure to protect this attack. Ripper's executive officer, RAF Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (on exchange from Britain), who is being held at Burpelson by Ripper, believes he knows the recall codes if he can only get a message to the outside world. Meanwhile at the Pentagon War Room, key persons including Muffley, Turgidson and nuclear scientist and adviser, a former Nazi named Dr. Strangelove, are discussing measures to stop the attack or mitigate its blow-up into an all out nuclear war with the Soviets. Against Turgidson's wishes, Muffley brings Soviet Ambassador Alexi de Sadesky into the War Room, and get his boss, Soviet Premier Dimitri Kisov, on the hot line to inform him of what's going on. The Americans in the War Room are dismayed to learn that the Soviets have a yet as unannounced Doomsday Device to detonate if any of their key targets are hit. As Ripper, Mandrake and those in the War Room try and work the situation to their end goal, Major T.J. "King" Kong, one of the B-52 bomber pilots, is working on his own agenda of deploying his bomb where ever he can on enemy soil if he can't make it to his intended target. Runtime: 95 mins Release Date: 28 Jan 1964
What makes this film so powerful is the message that it made at the time of its release. This film came out at a height of paranoia of the nuclear age and the Cold War, right around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This film depicts a horrible, tragic incident in which a breach in the government and a few diplomatic mistakes result in nuclear holocaust. So, why didn't this film inspire panic? Because of the brilliant way in which Kubrick presents it... as a satire. The scariest thing about this film in retrospect is not how it depicts the impending doom of the Cold War, but how it <more>
makes you laugh at it. By presenting it with humor, it conveys just how much of a farce the nuclear arms race was in real life. And I don't think that any other film has captured the absurdity of war nearly as well as this one has. And I am not likely to believe that one ever will. In my opinion, Kubrick has never made a better film since. And kudos to George C. Scott for his astounding performance, as well as Peter Sellers for the most versatile acting I've seen from an actor in one film, and to Sterling Hayden, for performing the most serious, yet the most hilarious role in film with perfect accuracy. Beware of fluoridation!
This movie is possibly the best comedy ever made, only with one fact against it: it's not very "comical". Hilarious? Yes. Comical? Absolutely not. The horrors of the nuclear war caused by a simple mistake materialize before us, directed with skill by the late maestro, Kubrick.There are simply not enough words to describe Peter Sellers's BRILLIANT performance in three roles: A british officer, the U.S president and Dr. Strangelove. He is hilarious as the british officer, with his wonderful accent, gloomy and neurotic as the president and simply insane as Dr. Strangelove.Also <more>
note that this movie includes a performance by very young James Earl Jones, who we now all know as the voice behind Darth Vader.The ending scene is also a masterpiece.
Few films are able to take a deadly serious issue and place it within the context of a broad comedy successfully. Dr. Strangelove does exactly that. Kubrick's masterpiece illustrates in brilliant fashion the idiocy of nuclear war and the idiots who are orchestrating it. What strikes one most however in this cinematic gem are the individual characterisations of Sellers, Scott, Hayden and Pickens. To refer to them as memorable roles is a gross understatement. With names such as President Merkin Muffley, General "Buck" Turgidson, General Jack D. Ripper and Major T.J. <more>
"King" Kong, you know that these characters will not be soon forgotten. Other features of the film such as the remarkably designed "war room" set, the hand-held camera techniques employed by Kubrick and the black and white cinematography of Gilbert Taylor only add to the power and impact of "Strangelove." Quite simply, the greatest American film by the greatest American director.
" Mr. President , . . We Must Not Allow a Mine-Shaft Gap!!! " (by thinker1691)
In all the years of film making, Peter Sellers never disappointed an audience. No matter what the part, he always seem to find the perfect voice and therefore, his character. If you put him together with other equally great character actors like, George C. Scott who plays maniacal Gen. 'Buck' Turgidson and Sterling Hayden as the insane Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper Jack The Ripper? and the Slim Pickens as Maj. T.J. 'King' Kong, James Erle Jones as Lt. Lothar Zogg, the bombardier and Peter Bull as the Russian Ambassador Alexi de Sadesky, then you not only have an award winning <more>
film, but the secret formula for a Classic. The story is set in the sixties, during the Cold War and a lunatic Air Wing Commander intentionally gives the "Gold Code Signal for his wing to attack Russia. What follows is a dramatic minute ticking film, designed to illuminate the military's ignorance, stupidity and final acquiescence of the doomsday, 'Fail-Safe' device. The entire movie is a comedy of errors and one reflected of Standly Kubrick's genius. The one sequence where Major Kong rides a nuclear missal to its target is synonymous with the mentality of the pentagon. Through the passage of time, this superb movie has not only become a Dark Classic, but a possible statement of the future reality of the human race. ****
Maybe there is something wrong with me. I have watched this film twice and I still don't get what all the hoopla is about. I'm not saying that this isn't a dark comedic masterpiece with a first rate cast, director and writing but I don't think it is as funny or dark as it could be. It takes a lot to watch it without being distracted. George C. Scott is brilliant as is Peter Sellers CBE. Sterling Hayden, James Earl Jones ,and Keenan Wynn are also great in the cast. Kubrick was known for his perfectionism and I'm not surprised by this film. It's short and maybe too <more>
short. There is a lot going on in the film. There are funny lines like there is no fighting in the war room is classic but that it's about it. The film is too short, too clever for my taste.
Beginning with the most famous auto erotica shots in film history and ending with a nuclear Armageddon serenaded by Vera Lynn, Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb is a movie that hasn't aged a day. Even now, forty plus years after its debut, it retains a satirical bite that still horrifies and amuses in equal doses. As a parody of the arrogance and insanity at work during the arms race, it rewards repeat viewings and should rightly be considered as one of the director's masterworks. Whether it is better than the likes of Paths <more>
of Glory, 2001 or A Clockwork Orange is down to personal choice, but as far as I'm concerned, Strangelove is the moment where Kubrick proved his worth without question.What makes Dr. Strangelove so enjoyable is the combination of the horrific and the hilarious. Nuclear Armageddon was the most terrifying possibility of the Cold War and yet Dr. Strangelove is a comedy. Of course, the idea of all life on earth being blasted into atoms is so terrible it is painful to think about, but Kubrick's film doesn't tackle the subject with kid gloves. Rather, it shows of the folly of human nature that would lead to such a catastrophe which provides a lot of black comedy to the proceedings. Mercifully, rather than mugging the camera, the cast play it straight all the way through and to see the straight-laced Sterling Hayden declaring his resolve to prevent Communism sapping America's precious bodily fluids is just the tip of the iceberg.Everyone in a position of power is mercilessly ripped into. The President Peter Sellers is a fussy individual, almost completely unaware of what his own staff are up to and prone to chatting idly with the Russian Premiere as atomic weapons hurtle towards his country. The Generals in the shape of Buck Turgidson George C. Scott and Jack D. Ripper Sterling Hayden are paranoid, gung ho conspiracy nuts. The bomber pilot Captain Kong Slim Pickens is a decent enough good ole boy but so determined to follow orders that he will embrace genocide and the chief of defence, the titular Doctor Sellers again is a former Nazi who has changed his name but not his ideologies. All of them are foolish men, full of pride and ambition but whose shortcomings are all too apparent, an ensemble cast this strong has rarely been matched.Admittedly, Kubrick's anti US military bias is a little overbearing notice the only man in uniform with any sense is a British RAF Officer but it doesn't matter in the long run. One sided it may be, but Dr. Strangelove isn't a documentary by any means, it's a satire rooted in reality but sufficiently distanced from it enough to raise smirks when millions of people are consumed in a fiery inferno.If you take anything away from Dr. Strangelove, it's most likely going to be either Peter Sellers embracing three roles at once or a man riding a falling H-bomb to his doom, cheering all the way, but it's well worth watching multiple times as each viewing opens up new layers. The incredibly quotable script is one such joy "Gentlemen, you can't fight here, this is the war room!" as are such instances as machine gun battles in front of peace signs or the barely contained delight on the staff faces as the "ten females for every male" plan unfolds.In short then, a parable of fear that somehow became one of the most powerful comedies of all time. It taps into the political anxieties of the Cold War with aplomb and can teach even a casual viewer a thing or two about the period. Highly recommended and if you've already seen it, just watch it again.
Spoilers herein.Different things characterize a Kubrick film: cold style, a languorous deep camera, intellectual humor. But for me, all of these pale compared his primary concern: investigating who the narrator is.He hated `Sparticus' and struck out to do intelligent work. His collaboration with Brando failed, so he bought `Lolita,' the most adventurous narrative literary experiment til then. It featured a narrator who is obsessed, possibly mad and surely not to be trusted. Kubric rather radically translated that layered presentation into the POV of Quimby, who assumes multiple <more>
characters, either driving or populating Humbert's worlds.He would later hit paydirt in `2001' with the idea of three battling narrators human, machine, alien for control over what we see. And later with `Orange' about a film that indocrinates itself through film.Along the way, he tried this: four narratives all provided by Sellers. The idea was that each man imposed or reported his own reality and you really wouldn't know which to trust. Our man Peter broke his leg though and the whole thing shifted, but it was changing character throughout based on other accidents as well. Yes, I know there is a story, but it really doesn't matter. In fact it matters so little it changed every day, and so did the tone of the film.Scott turned out to be comically stronger than guessed. The president morphed into someone less fey, the pie scene which was to be a Marx Brothers tipoff failed. So I see this as minor Kubrick, a failure of what he intended. It is a great Sellers film for the Von Braun/Ed Teller bit, and for that it is appreciated. But if you want to see a master succeeding at something only he seems to be able to do, you'll need to look elsewhere.Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
A silly comedy about a very serious subject. (by cricketbat)
What can be said about this movie? It's a classic. One of the great films. A silly comedy about a very serious subject. If you haven't seen this one yet, it's about time you did.
Mass Destruction and "The Bomb" have its Perks. (by DaveDiggler)
Watching "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" was a refreshing comedy on mass destruction and the insane predicament during the Cold War and the Nuclear arms race. "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed, but I do say no more then ten to twenty million killed, tops. Depending on the breaks." is said by General Buck Turgidson George C. Scott . Turgidson says this to President Muffley Peter Sellers- in his first of three supporting roles in the "War Room" as Gen. Jack Ripper Sterling Hayden has <more>
gone "psychotic" and ordered 34 planes to Nuke Russia U.S.S.R because he thinks the commies are trying to spoil their "precious bodily fluids." He says the meaning is "water," but the low angle shots, almost as if the camera is in Hayden's lap, of Ripper sucking on a large cigar only scream of something more than just bodily water. I don't know what to make of that. As Turgidson debriefs the President, some of the best scenes of the film are shot in this one room- the War Room and let's be perfectly clear, there's no fighting in the war room. Turgidson informs the President that Gen. Jack Ripper has complete control and has shut off all communications to the base and the secret code, that only he knows, that can get in contact with the planes pilots have no contact with anyone. So, the President has no way of stopping the planes from dropping the bomb because Ripper has shut off all communications- sounds like some of the stories you hear from the 60s. This leads to a great, one-sided, phone call to the head of Soviet Premier, Dmitri, that might leave younger audiences thinking this is some kind of impersonation of President George Bush, but it's not. Peter Sellers best performance of the three roles comes as the President. The scenes between Scott and Sellers are both electric and very funny that hit on all six cylinders. President Muffley informs Dmitri that he's very sorry that 34 planes are on their way to drop a bomb that will ruin the entire civilization in the USSR, so he orders his own plans to be shot down and assists in the attack giving it the okay. Turgidson disagrees with the idea and would love to wipe out the entire Communist regime, but US policy is not to Nuke first. We Nuke second. It's only proper. "I'm sorry, too, Dmitri... I'm very sorry... *All right*, you're sorrier than I am, but I am as sorry as well... I am as sorry as you are, Dmitri! Don't say that you're more sorry than I am, because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are... So we're both sorry, all right?... All right." President Muffley sounds very sorry. Quite panicked as well Not really, which makes it all the more funnier .I thought Sellers gave the best performances as the incredibly off-the-wall, enthusiastic General with more plans on his mind than destroying millions of people- like getting back to Miss Scott, who's in his bedroom on a countdown. Sellers, as Dr. Strangelove is exactly how you think he would look and act. Is it over the top? Yeah, very much so, but his ridiculous quirks and possessed right arm that seems to have a mind of it's own is very funny, especially when you couple that with his survival plan for when the "Dooms Day Machine" goes off. That's the really big nuke that will kill everybody on the entire planet if the USA pilots reach their targets and in order to save the human race, Dr. Strangelove says all the top generals and leaders of the world will have to live in a coalmine for about 100 years with a 10:1 ratio of women to men. This perks up the attention of General Turgidson and puts a smile on the face of Dr. Strangelove, even though he has a permanent smile on his face. The best scene in the film may come when the pilot of one of the planes is riding the bomb on it's way down to earth as if he's at a rodeo just living it up. That wonderful bomb has so many great advantages when you really think about it: A lot of sex with a lot of different women, you can ride on them like a cowboy, you can eliminate millions of commies there's just much good that can come of a bomb such as this. The fact that this was made right in the middle of the whole fire storm makes this film even more appreciable, now, more than ever. There are some great performances, good laughs, and a very engrossing look on annihilation and mass destruction as numbers are thrown around like numbers instead of human casualties. Other than the look of the airplanes resembling more paper planes on strings than actual airplanes, there's really not much to dislike. Very rarely do you see a refreshing comedy that was made over 40 years ago, but I've seen just that as "Dr. Strangelove" has some serious staying power. It's a near-masterpiece. This should be Kubrick's best film, but I certainly see why "2001" may be regarded higher.