Friday 14 May 2010

Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [1964]

If there’s one movie that has come to define the madness of war, it would have to be Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War-era masterpiece Dr. Strangelove. A brilliant political satire and a bitingly funny black comedy, the movie remains a fascinating caricature of the then frosty US-Soviet, and perhaps the closest that cinema came to Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. The film chronicles a nuclear catastrophe brought upon by a crazy US General (Sterling Hayden), who, convinced that the Americans’ “precious bodily fluids” are being polluted, has authorized nuclear attack on the Soviets, sending the Pentagon into frenzy. The US President, while trying to placate his “Ruskie” counterpart, comes to know of a “doomsday device” built by them to automatically destroy the planet if they are attacked. The movie painted with hilarious effect the insanity and paranoia surrounding the era, and forms a nightmarish vision of what might happen if “the wrong man presses the wrong button”; yet, in an odd way, it was also a moving testament of human stupidity. Shot in glorious black-and-whites, it boasts of a slew of stellar performances – at foremost lies the astounding Peter Sellers in three distinct roles (an uptight British Captain, the effeminate US President and ex-Nazi scientist Dr. Strangelove); George C. Scott too was simply superb as a Commie-hating General, and so too was Slim Pickens who, as a Bomber pilot, got to be part of one of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Genre: Comedy/Black Comedy/Political Satire/War
Language: English
Country: US


ZC said...

I always love seeing five stars next to this movie's title. Thanks.

Shubhajit said...

Thanks ZC. Henceforth, me too :)

John said...

A brillant film and I like your comparison to Heller's novel Catch-22. Sellers, Scott and even Silm Pickens all are terrific. This film should me mandatory viewing in school rooms.

Shubhajit said...

LOL!!! Well said. I too feel that adults shouldn't be afraid of subversive and/or black humour. They can at times be more effective and to the point than melodramas. Thanks a lot for stopping by.