Watched: August 25 2019
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, Peter Bull, James Earl Jones, Tracy Reed
Runtime: 1h 35min
General Jack D. Ripper (Hayden) has gone cray-cray trying to protect his precious bodily fluid from the commies, and orders an attack on the USSR.
Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Sellers), on loan from the Royal Air Force, soon realises that the attack is Ripper’s doing and no orders have come from the President or Pentagon. He tries his best to stop the general before a full blown nuclear war breaks out, but this proves difficult as Ripper is the only one able to communicate with the attacking B-52 bombers.
Meanwhile at the Pentagon an emergency meeting is called, with President Muffley (Sellers) and General Buck Turgidson (Scott) in attendance. And also former nazi scientist Dr. Strangelove (Sellers). As if things aren’t complicated enough, the assembly learns that the Soviets have a “doomsday machine” which, if struck, will render the entire earth uninhabitable for close to 100 years.
This. This is the movie which sparked our love of classic movies back when we were young. It is just so damned entertaining, and strangely accessible, despite its serious subject matter (and black and white photography which will on occasion put people off).
From the opening, to Vera Lynn, you will be completely engaged. It is beautifully and interestingly shot and the characters are utterly amazing – not just the ones played by Peter Sellers. Also, there’s a cowboy riding a bomb.
Dr. Strangelove is frightening (the scenario was not entirely improbable and outlandish for a while), but also hilarious, sad and brilliant, and we love everything about it.
What we learned: Peace is our profession.
Next time: Goldfinger (1964)