One of the greatest black comedies ever made, Stanley Kubrick’s outrageous swipe at political and military insanity is the ultimate doomsday satire of the nuclear age.
“This landmark movie’s madcap humor and terrifying suspense remain undiminished by time.” – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribute
Released in 1964, when the Cold War was at its frostiest, Kubrick (working from a script co-written with Peter George and Terry Southern) dared to make a film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button – and more importantly, he actually played the situation for laughs. The apocalyptic fun begins when the paranoid General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) initiates a pre-emptive nuclear strike, promoted by General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott), against the Soviet Union because he suspects the communists are poisoning America’s water supply, “to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.” Masterfully balancing wild comedy with a truly nightmarish scenario, Kurbrick also had the brilliant notion to unleash Peter Sellers on three distinct roles – the US president, a British military man and the quite obviously insane Dr. Strangelove, the former Nazi genius recruited to work on weapons designs for the Americans. A true masterpiece that is equally hilarious and horrifying, Dr. Strangelove is a film which remains startlingly relevant decades after its original release. We can only hope that the real end of the world will be this entertaining. (Dir. by Stanley Kubrick, 1964, USA, 96 mins., Rated PG)