Capsule Review: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
“Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.” One of my very favorite films, and one that never ceases to both entertain and terrify me in equal measure, Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy masterpiece has lost little of its ability to provoke strong feelings since the end of the Cold War. The story is that Kubrick was working on adapting the novel “Red Alert” by Peter George, but he constantly found the concepts within to be darkly humourous, and he brought in Terry Southern to help bring out this comedic undercurrent. His second stroke of genius was in casting Peter Sellers in three key roles – the American President, the astonishingly British Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, and the eponymous Dr. Strangelove – as well as filling the rest of the cast masterfully. Sterling Hayden is all overpowering grimace as General Jack Ripper, and (perhaps best of all) George C. Scott plays the war loving General 'Buck' Turgidson to the absolute manic maximum. Combine this with Ken Adam’s amazing Production Design and scenes of ridiculous improvisation and you have one of the great films of all time.