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What makes this film so powerful is the message that it made at the time of its release. This film came out at a height of paranoia of the nuclear age and the Cold War, right around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This film depicts a horrible, tragic incident in which a breach in the government and a few diplomatic mistakes result in nuclear holocaust. So, why didn't this film inspire panic? Because of the brilliant way in which Kubrick presents it... as a satire. The scariest thing about this film in retrospect is not how it depicts the impending doom of the Cold War, but how it makes you laugh at it. By presenting it with humor, it conveys just how much of a farce the nuclear arms race was in real life. And I don't think that any other film has captured the absurdity of war nearly as well as this one has. And I am not likely to believe that one ever will. In my opinion, Kubrick has never made a better film since. And kudos to George C. Scott for his astounding performance, as well as Peter Sellers for the most versatile acting I've seen from an actor in one film, and to Sterling Hayden, for performing the most serious, yet the most hilarious role in film with perfect accuracy. Beware of fluoridation!
This movie is possibly the best comedy ever made, only with one fact against
it: it's not very "comical". Hilarious? Yes. Comical? Absolutely not. The
horrors of the nuclear war caused by a simple mistake materialize before us,
directed with skill by the late maestro, Kubrick.
There are simply not enough words to describe Peter Sellers's BRILLIANT performance in three roles: A british officer, the U.S president and Dr. Strangelove. He is hilarious as the british officer, with his wonderful accent, gloomy and neurotic as the president and simply insane as Dr. Strangelove.
Also note that this movie includes a performance by very young James Earl Jones, who we now all know as the voice behind Darth Vader.
The ending scene is also a masterpiece.
Few films are able to take a deadly serious issue and place it within the context of a broad comedy successfully. Dr. Strangelove does exactly that. Kubrick's masterpiece illustrates in brilliant fashion the idiocy of nuclear war and the idiots who are orchestrating it. What strikes one most however in this cinematic gem are the individual characterisations of Sellers, Scott, Hayden and Pickens. To refer to them as memorable roles is a gross understatement. With names such as President Merkin Muffley, General "Buck" Turgidson, General Jack D. Ripper and Major T.J. "King" Kong, you know that these characters will not be soon forgotten. Other features of the film such as the remarkably designed "war room" set, the hand-held camera techniques employed by Kubrick and the black and white cinematography of Gilbert Taylor only add to the power and impact of "Strangelove." Quite simply, the greatest American film by the greatest American director.
Stanley Kubrick's first and only comedic masterpiece is still the finest
ever made. I love everything in the movie: the brilliant acting, sensational
script, flawless direction, and even those quirky visual effects. Not only
was this film hilarious, it was a breakthrough for the entire film industry
when first released. In addition to it's amazing satirical basis, the film
also played a major role in how films were advertised and marketed... as if
Peter Seller's performance wasn't enough! The sets were also very convincing
and just plain great! So realistic in fact, that the FBI almost investigated
how they got the B-52 Bomber replicated to near perfection!
In the end, 'Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb' is the best comedy. It's also another milestone in film making and another reason to be astonished when looking at the work of Stanley Kubrick.
An obvious perfect ***** / *****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is absolutely brilliant! It might not be THE best movie ever
made but it certainly is one of the most entertaining and fun movies
ever made. It isn't even Kubrick's best but it certainly is perhaps his
most accessible and entertaining movie.
The movie its story and humor are subtle and perfectly makes fun of the whole Cold War situation in the '60's. With some subtle dialog Kubrick perfectly makes fun of a very serious and relevant topic. I mean, the story of this movie isn't that unlikely and could had actually really happened. As a matter of fact, it could still happen today. It's frightening but thanks to Kubrick's directing the movie never really becomes serious and remains fun, hilarious and entertaining from beginning till end. It is the only movie that makes you laugh at the end of the world.
The actors are also what makes this movie fun to watch. Peter Sellers is nothing short of brilliant in the three different roles that he plays; Group Captain (G/C) Lionel Mandrake/President Merkin Muffley/Dr. Strangelove. But also George C. Scott is comically brilliant in this movie as Gen. 'Buck' Turgidson and he perhaps plays his very best role. Other actors that stood out were; Slim Pickens and Peter Bull. This movie also marks James Earl Jones his very first appearance in a movie.
This is perhaps the most subtle and 'darkest' comedies ever made. Everything about it is shear brilliance and even now 40 years later, it hasn't lost any of its power. The movie still looks like it could had been made a couple of months ago. A movie that will never feel outdated or too 'old fashioned' to watch. In 50 years from now, this movie will be just as good and hilarious, as it is now. Mark my words.
The movie is filled with some truly classic long sequences and has countless unforgettable moments and dialog in it. Especially the last sequence, involving Dr Strangelove, is absolutely priceless and unforgettable.
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
Who'd have thought that Kubrick had such a great sense of humor? I mean, in most of his films, there are snippets of humor, and Barry Lyndon has a definite irony, but I hadn't expected him to be able to direct such a hilarious and thoroughly entertaining comedy. I had known for a while that this was the highest rated Kubrick film here on IMDb, so naturally, I was excited to find out if it was really his best film. Even though I haven't seen Lolita, Spartacus, Eyes Wide Shut or his first few films(the shorts he made before his feature), and even though I thoroughly enjoyed his other films, this very well may be his best film. Made in a period of time where the thought of nuclear war was a terrifying idea, that was believed to be a reasonable fear, the film takes this idea and turns it around, makes us laugh at it. The film was made during the Cold War, which must have taken quite a lot of guts on Kubrick's side... then again, he did start out, intending to make a thriller/suspense film about the subject, but ultimately realized that a comedy with a lighthearted look on the situation would be a better idea. So, he turned the idea of impending doom from nuclear holocaust into a black comedy. Personally, I think he did a damn good job of it. I haven't laughed that hard and for so long at any one time for quite a while... in fact, I might never have. The comedy isn't overplayed, in fact most of it is presented in a dead-pan, matter-of-fact-like type of way... what's even more hilarious is that the better part of it is completely accurate. No dumb stereotypes, no old clichés... just logic and simple, good old-fashioned observation. The plot is excellent, and very well-paced. In my opinion, Kubrick's most well-paced film. The plot takes off almost immediately and moves at a great pace throughout the film. The acting is flawless. Absolutely flawless. Not something completely unusual for a Kubrick film, but still. George C. Scott and Peter Sellers are amazing. Normally, I'm not too fond of Sellers, but here he was brilliant. The characters are well-written, diverse and interesting. The cinematography is great. Just like Kubrick's other films, this one has some very memorable scenes, one of which(the bomb-riding sequence) has been referenced and spoofed a huge number of times... possibly more times than any other sequence in Kubrick's films, which is quite impressive. The dialog is well-written, well-delivered and memorable. Plenty of quotable lines. I can't really say much more about the movie without ruining one or more of the innumerable great jokes... so I'll just suggest you see it. Seriously, if you enjoy Kubrick's sense of humor as seen limited in his other movies, you're going to enjoy this film. Maybe not as much as I did, but you'll most likely laugh. A lot. I recommend this to any fan of Kubrick, black comedies, Peter Sellers or just comedies with a dark basic theme to watch this. I can't praise it enough. See it, unless you are offended by the themes the film presents. You won't regret it. I know I didn't. Not by a long shot. Hilarious film with a provocative plot and basic idea. 10/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When US General Jack D. Ripper orders wing attack plan R into operation he
sets his plane on an irrecoverable bombing run into Russia. Powerless to
stop them with the relevant three letter access code the President of
America and his advisors plan to warn Russia as best they can to prevent as
many of the planes reaching their targets as possible. However when the
Russian Ambassador warns of the doomsday machine a machine that will
destroy all life on earth in response to a nuclear attack things become
desperate. With one plane making a desperate run to it's target things look
Now well respected as a superb satire on the arms race this is one of my favourite Kubrick films. It is less cold than some of this later work and is genuinely funny without losing it's point. The story focuses on three main areas of the attack the military base where one crazed man launches the attack, the war room at the pentagon and the plane making the bombing run. All these have comedy inherent in them although thew war room is by far the best. The story is an satire on the futility and danger of the nuclear deterrent while also scattered with fantastic dialogue. It may not sound funny but trust me it is.
The characters are all great and well done by the cast. Peter Sellers excels in each of his roles and shows his quality. As Mandrake he is funny in a very British way, as The President he has great one sided conversations with his Russian counterpart as well as great dialogue including the legendary `Gentlemen you can't fight in here this is the war room'. However as Dr Strangelove he is hilarious the character himself is a swipe at those who change political sides but maybe still hold onto their old ideologies. Sterling Hayden is great as General Ripper he delivers his madness with a straight face throughout (or maybe no-one told him it was a comedy!). Slim Pickens is good and has the most famous scene from the film that has been copied in many things including Homer's fantasy in The Simpsons. However for me the standout is George C. Scott not exactly a comedy actor he is frantic and over the top with his communist paranoia.
Overall this is a classic and deserves to be. It is sharp today as it was then and even more relevant. The comedy is still fresh and the dialogue is great quite simply, when Scott implores the president to act quickly as `we must not have a mineshaft gap!' then you've arrived!
Stanley Kubrick always likes to try something new with each movie he does, and this proves it. This is truly one of the grittiest, and best dark comedies I've ever seen with some crude moments and some odd ones (who'd think to have Slim Pickens riding a bomb on it's way down). It turns into a flat out masterpiece though with the spectacular acting by Peter Sellers (in three separate roles), George C. Scott (his facial expressions are a crack up every time), and a supporting cast of crazies in a government of loons, the most impressive of these being the incomparable Sterling Hayden in his best dramatic/funny role. It contains a resonance as well that sticks till today, as corruption and pig-headedness rules in all sorts of governments, but most of all in those with the most power. It's almost worth it just for the opening credits and end sequence with "we'll meet again".
One of the best films ever made, this remains timeless despite changes in
technology, foreign policy and world politics; the military/political
madness remains the same. Gets better all the time, with successive
viewings and its luster has not dimmed since its first
With three show-stopping performances from Sellers (amongst his best work, if not THE BEST), and an unexpectedly hilarious turn by George C. Scott (if Sellers weren't SO dead on-target, Scott would easily steal the show), STRANGELOVE is filled with cartoonish, over-the-top characters that, despite the lunacy, still ring true. Special mention must be made for Sterling Heyden's controlled, brooding paranoia as General Jack D. Ripper. He's funny, he's scary.
All-in-all, a brilliant piece of work by all involved.
Who else than Stanley Kubrick could take a serious subject like the cold war and tell the story like a comedy ??? He proves his genius in this film more like in any other film of his. It's the story about one general ( with the very appropriate name Jack D. Ripper) gone mad and he launches an attack on Russia all by himself. He's mad, but still smart enough to prevent that anyone can stop him. He's got this strange ( but very funny ) theories about body-fluids, but his men respect him and do everything he says. So 34 fully-armed plains are sent to as many targets. Meanwhile his Colonel, Mandrake, tries to talk sense to him and the president and another General are trying to warn the Russian prime minister. You can have nothing but great respect for Peter Sellers. He plays three roles in this film and every single one of them is flawless. The doctor Strangelove character is hilarious and creepy at the same time. His appearances as the doctor are, along with the telephone conversations between the president and the Russian Prime minister the funniest moments in the film... Also the classic bomb-ride of Major Kong off course. George C. Scott is clearly having fun in his role and the debut of James Earl Jones is also definitely worth mentioning. Like I said already...a must see film if you're a film lover in general.
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