First time viewer..I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I thought this was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. For the life of me I can’t figure out why this has a 99% rotten tomatoes rating.
Not Kubrick's best
Although this does tell a good story and delivers a powerful message, it still doesn't compare to his masterpieces. A comedic, yet tragic story blended together in a entertaining way. This film explores the horrors of nuclear power and the outcomes of it. This film delves deep into trust and fear that these men have. If I would tell you which Kubrick films you should see, this would be number 5 for me. Behind: Shining, A space odyssey, a clockwork orange, and Spartacus.
My favorite film ever.
Although the film starts with a serious tone and is actually quite tense, it turns quickly into a satirical look at war and human nature. If you like dark comedy (or intellectual comedy) youll love this. If you like tense thrillers youll like it. If you like film them youll love it. Its a great GREAT film.
I know how some people say this movie isn't for this new generation. I think it is wrong, some Cold War geeks (Like me), from this new generation will absolutely love this movie. Just saying... I'm 14 and this ranks #1 for me. Thank you Kubrick, you are one good director.
Everything funny in this film was written by TERRY SOUTHERN
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"Ice cream, Mandrake?…"
"…Children's ice cream?" This is Kubrick's other film on the required viewing list.
One of the Greatest Movies Ever
This movie is one of my all time favorites. Peter Sellers is wonderful in three roles, George C Scott makes a great General and Slim Pickens is clearly a scene stealer as a bomber pilot. Sterling Hayden is just plain creepy but makes a great villain. He encapsulates all of the Cold War paranoia of the time. Clearly a movie of its time (height of the Cold War) but still should appeal to today’s audiences. One of the surprises in casting is the navigator for the B-52 piloted by Pickens…a very recognizable voice. ;-)
Witty and Insightful!!!
Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 black and white film was comical, witty, creating an insightful satire addressing the Cold War at the time. The movie was based on the book, “Red Alert” by Peter George. The plot really begins when General Ripper, the Air Force base commander orders his B-52 bombers, who are on routine airborne alert, to use nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union. It’s also important to keep in mind that General Ripper was extremely paranoid of communism, and so it is not a surprise to find that this was not allowed. The President of the US gathers his members to try and discuss the problem. While on one hand General Turgidson sees this as an opportunity, the President wants to remain peaceful and tries to warn the Russian Premiere of the attack. When the Russian Premiere picks up drunk, he leaks information that they have a so-called “doomsday device” that could virtually destroy the entire world if activated, with no way to turn it off. Throughout the rest of the movie it involves trying to get the recall code to contact Major Kong, the captain of the last plane remaining, from General Ripper before the target is hit and could possible destroy all plant and animal life on earth.
The style of the film was very enjoyable. If you’ve ever studyied the Cold War, you can really have an understanding of what’s going on in the film. Even someone who didn’t know much on the subject could still find humor in the pilots reading porn magazines and the drunk Russian Premiere. You can make dramatized connections to the Cold War and the characters and objects of the film. General Ripper, who had an obsessive fear of communists and was always talking about “bodily fluids”, could be representative of people who also shared the same fear. The doomsday device is also exaggerated, as being said to destroy the entire world, but it really gets the message across at the dangers of the war. Even today we still have enough nuclear bombs that you could say we have a doomsday device.
Another director’s choice that was interesting is how the viewer could never hear the other side of the conversation. So when they were relaying messages back and forth you only got one side of the story. This makes it hard for the viewer to ever know what exactly the information is, and what’s true and what’s not, which is probably something people within the Pentagon had to deal with at the time.
The film wasn’t intended to be historically accurate, but it strangely had quite direct connections to real life events. The movie is centered on these nuclear weapons, which is one of the “races” the USSR and USA competed in. It especially highlighted the fear that came with that race. It really showed how fear prevented war. Ironically if the doomsday machine had been announced publically earlier, it would have ensued fear, and no attack would have taken place. This is clear when Dr. Strangelove says, “…but the whole point of the doomsday machine is lost if you keep it a secret.” It also showed the almost self-destructive nature that war can cause. By the height of the movie there was fighting going on within the Pentagon, there was a suicide, and Americans fighting Americans.
Overall the movie although fictional, was a surprisingly insightful, producing a satirical film that even Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon papers, said, “That was a documentary!”
Terry Southern's Script
There is no doubt that the late great Terry Southern created this out of whole cloth. Sellers is Magnificent along with George C. Scott. Kubrick put the jigsaw puzzle together to make it the greatest satire ever made about war.
By Person of Few Words
There is little doubt that Kubrick is a true genius. Peter Sellers as well makes a performance that is one for the ages.