Saturday, May 30, 2009

Movie #11: Dr. Strangelove

Oh, the timeliness of this film (still). It actually makes me rather sad. Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was made in 1964, during the height of the Cold War. Concerns about nuclear war were commonplace. Things have somewhat defused since then...but there is still cause for concern. More and more volatile countries are pursuing atomic weaponry, and perhaps even more worrying, there is a distinct chance that nonstate actors like terrorist organizations are able to pull nuclear technology from "leaking" facilities in the former Soviet Union. All this to say-- the nuclear age is not over. Nuclear worries are not gone. We must continue to monitor these situations and pursue alternative solutions with all our efforts.

All that said-- Dr. Strangelove was a really good movie. Stanley Kubrick, I must say, has a really weird mind to be making this film, but despite the heavy subject matter it was thoroughly entertaining. Peter Sellers plays three different roles-- Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, a British R.A.F. officer stationed at the pivotal Air Force base in the film; President Merkin Muffley, the concerned leader of the United States; and Dr. Strangelove, the weird German-American former Nazi scientist who now heads US weapons development. Sellers plays all three roles to near-perfection. His phone conversations in the role of the president with the Soviet Premier are an absolute riot...and Dr. Strangelove...well, you'll have to watch the movie. He speaks for himself. The rest of the cast is excellent also, including George C. Scott as a go-get-'em Air Force general who's openly suspicious of the "Commies," especially the Russian Ambassador (Peter Bull), a very young James Earl Jones as an Air Force bombadier, and Slim Pickens as Air Force Major Kong, a go-get-'em Stetson-wearing B-52 pilot. A roundly entertaining movie, but one with a message of profound historical import to convey, Dr. Strangelove is a must-see movie for anyone with an interest in the insanity of nuclear warfare.

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