Saturday, December 14, 2013

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

An Air Force general (Sterling Hayden) has just flown off the handle and issues an aerial attack order on Russia, one which will surely result in global annihilation. When he takes his own life as the only person with knowledge of the deactivation code, it is up to his upright British assistant (Peter Sellers) to hurriedly collaborate with the President (Sellers again) and his team of advisors headed by another manic general (George C. Scott), who place their final hopes on a shifty, spasmodic former Nazi scientist (Sellers once more). Stanley Kubrick's classic satire, which he scripted with Terry Southern and Peter George from the latter's book Red Alert, is farcical black comedy pitched at the highest level with frightening implications which are still relevant to this day. Sellers disappears into three disparate roles, generating laughs from all angles and receives uproarious support from Scott, Hayden, and Slim Pickens, who plays the commander of Hayden's bomber, all portraying incompetent zealots.