Saturday, 6 September 2014

Classical Film Review: Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Considering the resurfacing tensions between United States and Russia and the completion of 50 years of its release, this is a good time to talk about Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).

This film is loosely based on Peter George's Cold War thriller novel Red Alert. Very few satires have reached the kind of historic popularity that this film has achieved. Interestingly, it was not originally meant to be one.

Directed by master filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, it showcases the astonishing talent of Peter Sellers probably more than any other produced work that he featured in.

In this film, Peter Sellers was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar category while playing three parts at a time. As President Merklin Muffley, as Group Captain Lionel Mandrake and as Dr. Strangelove, a psychopathic Nazi scientist building a doomsday device and a plan for fallout survival shelters.

Other than Sellers, the film features Oscar winner George C. Scott as General "Buck" Turgidson, Sterling Hayden as the paranoid anti-communist Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper, and Slim Pickens as the wild Maj. "King" Kong. All these performances have made it one of the most memorable films of all time.

During the height of tensions of the Cold War, right after the Bay of Pigs incident and the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the film was released in a sensitive time. Its dark humor looked particularly darker due to this factor.

The film hints to the crisis and tells the story of a time when the United States and Soviet Union go on the brink of nuclear war over a miscalculation of threat.

The film is a brutally hilarious look at the anti-communist hysteria of the Cold War years in America and on the ever-looming risk of nuclear warfare and annihilation of civilization. In such difficult times, this classical satire came as the perfect comic relief.

And it sure ends in a grand manner.

Here is a glimpse into what the film is like. And you must not miss it the next time you get a chance to watch it.

Dr Strangelove - trailer by gazobu

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