Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Dan, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    This was on TCM tonight. Even though it was made in 1964, I thought it was funnier than most movies that are out today.

    It's basically a satire of the whole "Nuclear deterrent" attitude of this time. It brilliantly mixes very funny, occasionally lowbrow humor with very serious issues like war and nuclear holocaust.

    The story is rather simple: a very gung-ho and insane Air Force Captain orders a fleet of planes to fly to Russia and drop some nukes after he scares himself silly with a conspiracy theory on how the Commies are using flouridation to rob us of our "precious bodily fluids". It is soon revealed that the Russians have been keeping a Doomsday device hidden that automatically detonates as soon as it is presented with the threat of a nuclear attack. the device will eventually destroy all life on earth. The rest of the movie takes place between the Captain's office, the Pentagon War Room, and inside one of the B-52's headed for Russia.

    George C. Scott is hilarious in this as one of the president's advisors, whose job is basically to inform him of bad news and blame it all on the Russians. The rest of the performances are good, too, especially Slim Pickens as the uber-patriotic pilot of the B-52, who vows to drop his nukes no matter what.

    The movie still has a radical feel to it today, so I'm sure it was probably really edgy back when it was first released. But like I said, it's still funny, and it presents a lot of thought-provoking ideas on war that ring especially true in these days.

    The most memorable image of the film comes close to the end. The B-52 reaches its target, but the bay doors won't open. Slim Pickens heads down to manually open them and ends up sitting atop the hydrogen bomb. The sequence's final image is one that perfectly captures the mixture of humor and very real horror that this film presents: as the bomb heads toward the ground, setting in motion the ultimate destruction of the human race, Pickens rides it rodeo-style, waving his cowboy hat in the air, "yee-haw"ing loudly, overjoyed to have finally launched his bombs.

    I give this one four stars, it really is a classic.
     
  2. AmericanLiberal
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    AmericanLiberal Rookie

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    This is a must-see classic for movie buffs. Actually at first I didn't think it was too funny but after watching it a couple of times I realized it grows on you. Maybe I just have no sense of humor! :mad: Fortunately I'm the only one I know who reacted this way, so if you haven't seen it you'll probably find it funny.
     

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