The U.S President calls the Soviet Premier from 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, commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 black comedy film which satirizes the nuclear scare.
It is perhaps Kubrick’s greatest film. It is also deeply flawed. The movie overflows with moments of comic genius, all motivated by Kubrick’s devastating critiques of war and warmongers. Peter Sellers does a brilliant job in his three roles (Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Mirkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove himself). And the fourth role intended for Sellers (Major “King” Kong) is filled admirably by Slim Pickens after Sellers broke his leg late in filming. The script is a showpiece of sight gags, caricatures, and dialogue. Especially notable are the monologues by the President while talking to a drunk Soviet Premier on the phone (we can’t hear the answers). “He went and did a silly thing.” Or: “I’m just as capable of being sorry as you are.” Quoted out of context like this, they seem innocuous, almost boring. But Sellers has impeccable comic timing, and the whole speech has a cumulative effect. We feel like we’re not supposed to be laughing at imminent nuclear war, but we can’t help it.
Highly recommended viewing.