“Dimitri, we have a little problem.” That’s the President of the United States talking to the Soviet Premiere.
“He went and did a funny thing, Dimitri.” That’s the President explaining to the Premiere that General Jack D. Ripper has launched a nuclear strike because he’s convinced that the Commies are poisoning “the purity and essence of our natural fluids” by adding fluoride to the water supply.
“I think I’d like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in… I don’t think it’s quite fair to condemn the whole program because of a single slip up, sir.” That’s General Buck Turgidson, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, urging the President not to condemn the nuclear defense system simply because they had not foreseen the possibility of Gen’l Ripper unilaterally initiating Armageddon.
Dr. Stranglove is Stanley Kubrick’s breakthrough comedy about the plausible absurdity of nuclear deterrence, a Cold War satire showing machines at the mercy of lunatic generals. The influence and role of technology is a theme to which Kubrick returns in his other masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Dr. Strangelove is consistently heralded as one of the great films of the 20th century. It features brilliant performances by Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Peter Sellers, Slim Pickens, Peter Sellers, and the debut film role of James Earl Jones. (Did I mention PeterSellers? Sellers plays three roles.)
As we face a culture even more densely saturated by technology, Dr. Strangelove remains “remarkably fresh and undated – a clear-eyed, irreverent and dangerous satire” (so says Roger Ebert). Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.