dir.: Stanley Kubrick
Date Watched: 2/20/2016
The first time I watched Dr Strangelove I laughed uncontrollably, I was young. This time while watching I did laugh, but I realized that this movie is much more terrifying than other Kubrick films, notably The Shining and Clockwork Orange.
I would like to imagine that elected politicians would act a little less childish than those of the film but I see so much bickering that I don’t see this happening. I do however trust that our military have enough checks and balances in place to stop this sort of mentally flawed accident from happening, on their side.
But I don’t want this to become political. This is about movies, even if those movies are political. Dr. Strangelove takes place during the Cold War between the United States and the then-called Soviet Union. In the film a mentally unstable General believes that the government has been infiltrated by communists and decides to launch a nuclear attack.
The only actor in Dr. Strangelove who is irreplaceable is Peter Sellers which is not to say that George C. Scott and Slim Pickens did not perform admirably but I could easily see any other actors in any other roles. Sellers on the other hand performed three roles for the film; Group Captain Mandrake, a British exchange officer who fulfilled the original order to launch the attack and the subsequent order to recall the bombers, President Merkin Muffley the US president who acted more as a baffoonish PR nightmare than a commander in chief, and the eponymous Dr. Strangelove, a former Nazi scientist and expert on nuclear war. Playing these three distinct characters, each integral to the narrative, ties the entire film together and makes it unmissable.
I could watch his performance of the doctor whose mind is a radical idealist but his right arm is clearly still a Nazi, it is inspired.
Now, the question remains of how does Dr. Strangelove fit into the Movie Scientist Blogathon? I’ll tell you. I don’t know. Now hear me out. Yes, the film does have a good deal of science and it is a black parody of the US bringing Nazi scientists into the fold for the possible nuclear war with the Sovient Union which wags back and forth other the line of good and mad scientists. But, between the words Mad and Scientists it seems this movie fall clearly on the madness.
As I mentioned in the beginning that Dr. Strangelove is more disturbing and terrifying than A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. I say this because the crimes or malcontent in those other films are isolated to a family or a small number of peoples while nuclear war, especially when it is triggered by crazies trying to see who’s stones are bigger, would murder hundreds of millions of people.