DR. STRANGELOVE, OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (1964)
Article #180 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-12-2001
Posting date: 1-26-2002
An Air Force general uses an emergency plan to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.
The only reason I don’t wholeheartedly pick 2001 as my faovrite Kubrick movie is because he also made this one, which I like equally well. Based on a novel called “Red Alert”, it was changed from a serious drama to a comedy, and this was a wise move; the story relies on an enormous amount of coincidence that would have made it more difficult to accept as a drama. That General Ripper would launch his attack during the short period of time after which the Russians had activated the Doomsday Device but before they announced it to the world is just one example; others would require giving away the whole movie, which I don’t wish to do. As a kid, I remember catching the movie, but only laughing when Keenan Wynn was squirted in the face; as an adult, I laughed throughout. Great performances abound, especially from Peter Sellers in three roles, George C. Scott, Slim Pickens, Sterling Hayden and Keenan Wynn as Colonel “Bat” Guano (if that really is his name). My favorite moment; the president’s telephone conversation to the drunk Russian premier Dimitri. Then there’s a whole slew of great comic lines, with such favorites as “You can’t fight here; this is the War Room!” and “All right, I’ll get your money for you, but if you don’t get through, you’ll have to answer to the Coca-Cola company!”