Film
DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB
, Dir.
DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB

The performances, the iconic characters of Dr. Strangelove firmly cement it as one of the greatest comedies of all time in my book, despite its lack of traditional punchlines.  Consider Brigadier General Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden) who is hell-bent on launching the US into nuclear armaggeddon to thwart the “international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids;” Major Kong (Slim Pickens), a Texas cowboy who maintains his simple southern charm down to the last second before total global annihilation; Peter Sellers in his triple threat roles as Dr. Strangelove, Captain Lionel Mandrake and US President Merkin Muffley (“Gentlemen you can’t fight in here, this is the war room!); and of course the incomparable George C. Scott as General Buck Turgidson delivering a tour de force turn that is at once over-the-top absurd and gut-wrenchingly believable. Kubrick boldly plopped down STRANGELOVE in January 1964 at the height of Cold War tensions, just 2 years after the Cuban Missile Crisis and a mere 2 months after Kennedy was assassinated.  The war in Vietnam was escalating and our relationship with Russia was unhealthy to say the least.  We are 50 years beyond the release of Doctor Strangelove and even today the hopeless inertia of the big government war machine seems every bit as worthy of parody as it did back then. (Tim League)

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