Dr Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a 1964 film by Stanley Kubrick loosely based on the novel Red Alert by Peter George. Peter Sellers (playing 3 different roles) is at his brilliant best in this black comedy cold war spoof.
The plot begins with an insane American general's order to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union and proceeds towards doomsday.
US Air Force General Jack D. Ripper plans to start a nuclear war with the Soviet Union to stop what he believes to be a fearful Communist conspiracy to put fluoride in the water supply, by his reasoning, thereby threatening the "precious bodily fluids" of the American people. He orders — without Presidential authorization — the planes under his command to attack the Soviet Union, under radio silence which cannot be broken save by a recall code that Ripper alone knows. He then seals himself inside his base and hopes that the President will order a full-scale attack to prevent an otherwise inevitable retaliation from the Soviet Union. Ripper is apparently psychotic; his conspiracy theory seems to result largely from an episode of impotence when attempting sexual intercourse after drinking fluoridated water.
From the script:
General Ripper is unaware that the Soviets have constructed a so-called "doomsday device" which automatically detects any nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, whereupon it destroys all life on Earth via massive nuclear fallout. Dr. Strangelove explains to the staff assembled in the American war room how the device is a natural extension to the Cold War strategem of mutually assured destruction as a deterrent to an actual nuclear exchange. Moreover, the machine cannot be turned off as this would mitigate its value as a deterrent.
As a result, the American government cooperates with the Soviets to shoot the General's planes down until they can be recalled, and Ripper's plan is ultimately foiled by British Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, an officer participating in an "exchange program" with the USAF, who deduces the recall code from Ripper's childish doodles.
Unfortunately, one B-52 ("The Leper Colony") was damaged, but not destroyed, by a Soviet anti-aircraft missile. With its radio disabled, it cannot be called back; and with a fuel leak, it also cannot reach its intended target, the Laputa Missile Complex, where the remaining Soviet defenses have been concentrated. So the plane continues its mission to drop its nuclear payload on a Soviet target (now selecting the Borsha ICBM complex, still within the plane's range), which will in turn set off the doomsday machine. The particular bomb is jammed in its bay, and in trying to release it, the pilot of the B-52, Major "King" Kong inadvertently ends up riding it down to global destruction — with Kong cheering all the way. Kong straddles the bomb, gripping it with one hand and waving his cowboy hat in the air with his other in a homage to rodeo bullriding technique.
The doomsday device is activated and in the last moments of civilisation, Dr. Strangelove recommends to President Muffley that a group of humans are placed deep in a mine shaft, where the nuclear fallout cannot reach, so the Earth can be repopulated. Turgidson rants that they will have to capitalize on mine shaft space over the Soviets and begins planning a war for when they emerge in a hundred years. Strangelove eventually gets out of his wheelchair shouting "Mein Führer, I can walk!" a mere second before the doomsday bombs begin exploding.
" Arguably the greatest black comedy ever made, Stanley Kubrick's cold-war classic is the ultimate satire of the nuclear age. Dr. Strangelove is a perfect spoof of political and military insanity, beginning when General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), a maniacal warrior obsessed with 'the purity of precious bodily fluids,' mounts his singular campaign against Communism by ordering a squadron of B-52 bombers to attack the Soviet Union. The Soviets counter the threat with a so- called 'Doomsday Device,' and the world hangs in the balance while the U.S. president (Peter Sellers) engages in hilarious hot-line negotiations with his Soviet counterpart. Sellers also plays a British military attaché and the mad bomb-maker Dr. Strangelove; George C. Scott is outrageously frantic as General Buck Turgidson, whose presidential advice consists mainly of panic and statistics about 'acceptable losses.' With dialogue ('You can't fight here! This is the war room!') and images (Slim Pickens's character riding the bomb to oblivion) that have become a part of our cultural vocabulary, Kubrick's film regularly appears on critics' lists of the all-time best. " --Jeff Shannon Amazon.com.
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