[Last Film I Saw] Dr. Strangelove (1964)


Title: Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Year: 1964
Country: USA, UK
Language: English, Russian
Genre: Comedy, War
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Terry Southern
Peter George
Music: Laurie Johnson
Cinematography: Gilbert Taylor
Peter Sellers
George C. Scott
Sterling Hayden
Slim Pickens
Keenan Wynn
James Earl Jones
Peter Bull
Tracy Reed
Jack Creley
Rating: 8.4/10

According to Morrissey’s recent manifestation “more gay people, more peaceful the world”, war is the malicious ramification of heterosexual men’s urge to kill their peers (I’m paraphrasing here), which tallies germanely with this Kubrick’s black war satire. Under the cold war backdrop, a rogue nuclear attack to Soviet Union commenced by a fervid anti-communist USA general, which would (irrevocably) launch a doomsday machine (a Soviet Union’s ultimate self-destructive nuclear contraption), and would annihilate all the human beings on the earth. It may sounds ridiculous and far-fetched by the mass, Kubrick’s masterful endeavor has overcome the detached accessibility of the warfare lingoes and the exclusivity of the decision-makers’ political impasse to implement a stranger-than-fiction satire which grants a considerable closeness to its audience with ease.

Running within 100 minutes, the film slickly unreels its storyline with great force of dark humor which imbues parodic and even cartoonish idiosyncrasies to the permeating machismo in the air. Peter Sellers’ three-faceted versatility, George C. Scott’s Communism-slamming extravaganza and Sterling Hayden’s trigger-happy paranoia plus Slim Pickens’ cowboy hat, the ensemble cast owns their respective frantic glory within a compacted steak of time, umpteen gags and mockeries can be savored ad infinitum, Sellers’British accent (as Group Captain) when confronting Sterling’s General Rippers is unimpeachably spontaneous, Keenan Wynn’s coca-cola joke is pertinently deadpan serious and Sterling’s conspiracy theory about water fluoridation and the fearful deprivation of life essence during a sexual intercourse (the man just cannot face his natural aging mechanism of the body) are plainly golden ideas, outlandish but vividly rib-tickling, and astringently self-reflective.

Kubrick’s trademark set design which would prevail in his later color features has not fully exploited this black-and-white war farce, and the (not-too-obvious) misogyny and chauvinism overtone does impede the sensitive nerves a bit, nevertheless, it is not my favorite Kubrick’s film, but it is an outstanding comedy which I presume can stay untainted by numerous re-watches, for me the first round is more than gratifying and since my generally inert resistance towards war-related films, a second round may take some time despite of its overall peerlessness.

Dr. Strangelove



One thought on “[Last Film I Saw] Dr. Strangelove (1964)

  1. Pingback: [Last Film I Saw] Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) [6/10] | Bone Picker

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