Dr Strangelove: Or How I Stopped Worrying And Loved The Bomb Cover If impending doom was emerging from the horizon, what would you do about it? Panic? Make funny noises? Recite the lyrics to 'Hey-Ya' from OutKast? Or like me, sit down, relax, and then watch this 1964 classic Directed by Stanley Kubrick; and Starring: Peter Sellers, George C Scott, and Sterling Hayden. Doom will be upon us all in 94 minutes. BOOOM!

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb - Red Alert

Now out of the blue, you suddenly hear the dreadful news that the commander of Burpelson Air Force Base -- Colonel Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) -- has ordered a squadron of nuclear aircraft's -- namely, the B-52’s -- to attack the Soviet Union, because he's gone a bit bonkers.

OK. So what would you do about it? Huh? Would you be like...
  • The British Group Captain, Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers)? And try to stop Jack, even if he's holding a bloody gun to your head?
  • Or what about the General, Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott)? And explain to your president, how Ripper took advantage of ‘governmental protocol' to initiate this assault!
  • Better yet, why not be like the President himself, Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers again)? And comprehend that you're not in a position to override this command, due to closed-circuit communications between the base and the B-52’s, and then ask the Russian premier for some help.

A-huh! You know. Something like a two pronged attack for example. With the first one directed towards Jack. And the second one directed towards the weapons in question, the B-52’s.

Huh? What's that you say, dear reader? Why don't we ask Dr Strangelove (Peter yet again) his opinions about this dire situation? Yeah. That sounds like a plan. Hey! You! You wheelchair bound nazi-git? What should we do?

'Vel, if von of the B52’s manages to zomehow drop a zarhead within the Soviet Union and have a direct HIIIT!, zen the fabled ‘Doomzday’ protocol will be initiated, and blow the entire planet to azzzzunder'.

Oh sh*t!

Can the governmental troops manage to penetrate Jack's base in time? And even if they can, will Captain Mandrake be able to talk some sense into Jack to halt his scheme? Also, what about the B52's? Can all of these flying devils be shot down in time before one of them drops a bomb? Plus, what about that stray aircraft with the rootin-tootin pilot who knows no fear (Slim Pickens)?

Or alternatively, is the whole wide world well and truly f*cked?

Well, whatever the case may be, I suppose that is why what next transpires is as strange as Dr Strangelove himself. As planes fly - people die - a coke-machine spells doom - whilst the rest of us sit in front of the television set, waiting for everything to go...


Now before I lavish this film with all the praise I can muster, bestowing it with kisses, hugs, and all of that type of thing, I think it only right that I first tell you a bit about how 'Dr. Strangelove - Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb' came about.

General Buck Turgidson, George C. Scott
OK, so the writer / director of this film, Stanley Kubrick, started to devise this project as if it were a straightforward narrative. No jokes. No multi-layered storyline. Just a pretty simple adaptation from it's original source material, which was a novel called 'Red Alert' written by Peter Bryant.

However, due to the longevity of this adaptation, compiled with the nocturnal hours Stanley kept during this period, eventually, he came to the realization that the best way to explain this type of 'lofty material', was in a satire. And then, once that concept was finally set in stone, all Stanley needed next was someone to aide him capture this tone within this movie.

So who else could Stanley call on, folks, but an actor whom he worked with before on his film, 'Lolita'? Peter Sellers. Plus a writer Peter worked with on the 'The Magic Christian'? Terry Southern.

Peter Sellers in Dr Strangelove

Admittedly. This production did face a number of problems along the way. Like when Peter frained an accident for example; because he originally was going to play four parts -- not three -- yet decided to take a nose dive, paving the way for Slim Picken's to be cast into the role of the pilot instead of him. Also, there was that whole business with the ending being one big pie fight that didn't work in execution, plus how the release date inadvertently clashed with the assassination of the then president, John F. Kennedy.   

Slim Pickens in Dr StrangeloveStill, enough trivia for the moment. As I'm sure by now you'd like to know what I think about this film. Well, simply put, this movie is a piece of art, and should be framed and put on display someplace in a grand museum.

Fair enough. I'm also sure you're wondering why I have started my review with such a bold statement (or maybe if your washing machine has finished yet). And if you have, I presume that it is because you haven't seen this film before? Have you?

Tut-tut-tut! Personally speaking, this mid-sixties cold-war satire, perfectly explains the follies of a nuclear deterrent in it's own special way. It isn't preachy or long winded in the execution; elaborating in detail with how things work or what things do. Rather, it presents a possible scenario, and then leaves the rest up to your own imagination.

Captain Lionel Mandrake, Peter Sellers, and Jack D Ripper, Sterling Hayden

Listen, you have to realise that in relative terms, the nuclear deterrent (or the basic premise of this movie), is like a couple of school boys threatening each other with a couple of expensive rocks. But whilst the first boy’s rock will kill millions, the second boy’s rock will kill billions. Then, just to add to this dilemma with some more candor, one of the boys has a secret spatula, which acts automatically to repel any attack without human interference.

Peter Sellers Is Doctor Strangelove
Please note though, that in the case of 'Dr. Strangelove - or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Loved the Bomb', replace the rocks with nuclear bombs, and the secret spatula with a doomsday machine.

Got it? Now I hope you have, folks, because you have to take note that this threat is still very much alive in today’s computing age. We -- the humans race -- are allowing computers to judge for us our every waking need, without anything in place to deter overtly logical comprehension if ever the need arose. I'm sure you see it everyday in the shops, the social networks, the banks, and everything else connected to a bit of kit. The computer knows best. Yet we don't know the computer.

George C Scott in Dr Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb Art
But wait up! Before I waffle on too much about the pretext -- too late -- I best tell you about the acting, mustn't I? Peter Sellers. Peter Sellers. Peter Seller. He's just superb in this film. He doesn't ham it up that much, and competently plays three completely different characters in this film without seeming to break a sweat. Moreover, George C. Scott and Sterling Hayden back him up just perfectly as well. With George acting like a buffoon, and Sterling acting like a cold sterile madman ready for a ruckus.

Oh! And lets not forget about the music, the sets, and the director, either! Now what can I say? Marvelous. Simply marvelous. The music was bold, anthemic, and progressive for each individual character arch shown. The sets were so imaginative, that when Ronald Reagan first became the president of the united states, he thought that the 'War Room' actually existed. And as for Stanley Kubrick himself, well, he's a legends, isn't he? Nothing I say will be able to praise him as much as I want to. He's a star.

However, if I did have a slight niggle with this film, it would have to be the mildly crude special effect deployed on the flying sequences. Apart from that though -- nah -- Dr. Strangelove... HA! What a guy! What an amazing film! So amazing in fact, that even Elvis Presley thought it was the best film ever made (fact).

Nuff said.


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