It would be hard to overstate the excellence of DOCTOR STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB. Stanley Kubrick’s masterful dark comedy took the grimmest of concepts — the world on the brink of the apocalypse as a rogue American general (Sterling Hayden) orders a nuclear strike on Russia — and played it for laughs without managing to dilute any of the horror of the situation. With Peter Sellers serving triple-duty in three incredible performances as the noble Captain Mandrake, ineffectual American president Merkin Muffley, and the sinister ex-Nazi science adviser Dr. Strangelove — given considerable support by George C. Scott as the gung-ho General “Buck” Turgidson and Slim Pickens as the too-committed B52 pilot T.J. “King” Kong — DR. STRANGELOVE comes about as close to cinematic perfection as the field will ever see, and remains a potent cautionary tale fifty years on.
In celebrating the golden anniversary of STRANGELOVE’s release, the Cinefantastique Online team of Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons dig deep into Kubrick’s exquisite balance of humor and horror, discuss the process that led to the film’s hilarious yet credible performances, and explore the evolution of the script from its start as a straight-on thriller to its comedic final form. Click on the player to hear the show.