10 Great Movies - Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Gentlemen! You can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!
What a fantastic movie. If you want to laugh your ass off and not feel bad about it, watch this movie. It’s hilarious and smart, a combination rarely found in movies these days. It’s an unforgiving and expert satire of the Cold War, released when the Cuban Missile Crisis was still a recent event. It was directed by none other than Stanley Kubrick, who might be a pretty good director if you look at his track record. It stars Peter Sellers (the original Inspector Clouseau) as the title character, as well as two other characters. George C. Scott (who played Patton in, well, Patton) delivers an absolutely uproarious performance as Buck Turgidson, a patriotic-to-a-fault General. Scott does not play for laughs, playing Turgidson completely straight. Sterling Hayden plays a paranoid Brigadier General. Slim Pickens plays Major T.J. Kong, and is infamous for the scene in which he rides the nuclear bomb like a rodeo bull.
I hesitate to talk too much about the plot, because it is so great I do not want to ruin it for anyone. But if you analyze it, you realize that it is a perfect satire of the Cold War, and it reflects how absurd the Cold War had gotten by that point.
By far, the best thing about the movie is the performance(s) of Peter Sellers. Sellers plays three major characters convincingly and without any sense of overlap between them. In fact, it’s hard to tell the characters are even being played by the same actor.
If you want a really good laugh while not feeling like your intelligence is being compromised, give Dr. Strangelove a whirl. And if you’re looking to get into the movies of Stanley Kubrick, this one’s a really good starting point.