Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
This is the first installment in a new short series called He Made Me Watch It. "He" refers to my beau Carlos who is coercing... errr I mean, encouraging me to watch some of his favorite films. Most notably, these are films that I have had no interest in prior to Carlos' recommendation. You may recall a couple months ago I wrote about The Hustler (1961). This is one of Carlos' all-time favorite movies and I was so impressed with the film that I was resolved to be open-minded and watch more films that Carlos recommended to me, regardless of any hesitance I had previously to said films. And because I have such a soft spot for the man, I'm even allowing him to take me to see It's a Wonderful Life (1946) - a film I've been avoiding like the plague - on the big screen around Christmas. So stay tuned for a post on that.
My viewing of Dr. Strangelove (1964) came at the perfect moment. I had just seen Seven Days in May (1964) (read my post about it here) and had been thinking a lot about the Cold War and how it has been represented on film. I've also been watching the 3rd season of Mad Men and had been particularly interested in 1960s America especially the political and social changes that our country faced during that time. And here enters this Kubrick classic.
Now everyone and their mother has seen this film. So I won't pretend to be an expert or to give you any new insight. I just want to say that I enjoyed how this film manages to blend farce and suspence into this witty film. George C. Scott is a hoot as General Buck Turgidson, a man so on edge and so sensient that he is just bursting at the seams. His facial expressions and mannerisms are hilarious!
My favorite line of his is quite a naughty one. He says the following to his bikini-wearing secretary: "You just start off your countdown and ole' Bucky will be back here before you can say 'Blast Off'". Oh my!
I also have a soft spot for Sterling Hayden (The Most Beautiful Man in Movies) who plays General Jack D. Ripper - great names huh? - a deranged General who has just ordered several B-52 to drop atomic bombs on Russian soil. Eek!
When I hear people talk about this movie, they usually talk about Peter Sellers who plays three roles: The President, Dr. Strangelove and Captain Mandrake. I can't say I was all that impressed with Sellers (I'm waiting for someone to throw tomatoes at me). He's okay. I think Hayden and Scott were much more interesting actors to watch on screen.
I think for me to truly appreciate this film I need to learn more about it. I want to spend sometime reading a few articles about it and watching the extras on the Special Edition DVD. If you have written a post about it on your blog or know of an interesting post or article online, please send me a link! I'd also really love to hear your thoughts on this film and if you have any tidbits of information to share or interesting observations, please please please leave me a comment. Speak!