Sunday, August 03, 2008

Dr. Strangelove



Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
USA, 1964, 93 minutes, b&w
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay by Terry Southern (from a novel by Peter George)
Cast: Peter Sellers (Group Captain Lionel Mandrake/President Merkin Muffley/Dr. Strangelove), George C. Scott (Gen. 'Buck' Turgidson), Sterling Hayden (Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper), Keenan Wynn (Col. 'Bat' Guano), Slim Pickens (Maj. T.J. 'King' Kong), Peter Bull (Russian Ambassador Alexi de Sadesky)

My girlfriend had never seen Dr. Strangelove, so we went to the Charles Theatre revival screening Saturday to correct that sin of omission. It's strange to think that almost 45 years after its release Kubrick's film is still amazingly relevant - and Terry Southern's cynical script about mad idealists in politics and the military not that far of a stretch from current events thanks to the Bush Adminstration. At one point in the film, Peter Sellers' American President character Merkin Muffley assures his Soviet Union counterpart, "Dimitri, you know the United States would never launch a pre-emptive attack!" The statement's unmistakable parallel with the 2003 invasion of Iraq caused the crowd to roar with cynical laughter. Kudos to George W. Bush for making an outlandish and fictitious black comedy a very unhumorous and stark reality.

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