By Eli Sanchez
Silver Screen Capture
Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, Dr. Strangelove (or how I stopped worrying and learned how to love the bomb) (A+) is an atomic era satire on Soviet paranoia and a cringe-worthy view on gung-ho patriotism buoyed by a heightened sense of paranoia. Peter Sellers appears in multiple roles including Group Captain Mandrake who works right alongside General “Jack D. Ripper” in a remote base housing go codes to trigger a nuclear airplane to drop nuclear devices on targets inside Russia. Ripper’s whole paranoia behind this revolves around Russians trying to control his bodily fluids. For the record, Ripper only drinks pure rain water and pure grain alcohol. Sellers also plays the President of the United States dealing with the crisis, and all of his featured sequences are in the “War Room” opposite George C. Scott’s General Turgedson. Most of the movie feels like a training film for people to know what to do in the event of a thermonuclear attack. Some of it is treated as an allegory on how easily somebody could just go crazy and create an all-out war. Sellers’ final character is the titular Dr. Strangelove himself, a wheelchair-bound ex-Nazi with a nervous twitch who spouts out Doomsday scenarios and occasionally has asides with his Fuhrer in the midst of discussing the philosophical implications of total destruction. The film was shot in black and white and mostly a sound stage production with intentionally claustrophobic camera work to create the ultimate panic attack.
Dr. Strangelove was recently released to Blu-ray as part of the Criterion Collection.