Monday, September 19, 2011

Movies You Might Have Missed Monday

Stanley Kubrick directed such cult classics as A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, and 2001:A Space Odyssey, none of which I have seen. I mean, when I was growing up, everybody knew that his movies were just freaky. I’d also always heard of today’s pick, but its notorious title and surreal clips shown on TV specials kept me at bay until I started working my way through the Academy Award Best Picture nomination list.

I’m talking about Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb from 1964.

This political satire filmed in black and white stars funny man Peter Sellers (in three roles), and the much funnier (in this case) George C. Scott. In fact, Mr. Scott is the main reason I watch this one over and over. His performance is off the charts.

But of course, there’s a story. Here’s what happens. A paranoid Brigadier General, played by talented Sterling Hayden, goes off the reservation, locking down the base he’s in charge of and issuing the irreversible code to the bombers over the Pacific to attack the Soviet Union. The defense department scrambles to undo this potential world-ending event.

Peter Sellers plays the president of the United States, a Captain at the locked down fort, and Dr. Strangelove, the sort of former Nazi who created the catastrophic weapon. He’s amusing and delivers many ironic lines that makes me laugh such as, “You can’t fight in here! This is the war room!”

But as I mentioned, George C. Scott, playing General Buck Turgidson, steals the show in my opinion. The whole movie is worth watching just to see his expressions, his comedic timing, his brilliant performance. From his character’s manic obsession with chewing gum to his arched eyebrow, the man who played Patton gives one of the funnies performances I’ve ever seen.

You don’t even have to get or agree with the politics being satirized here to enjoy the film. And from beginning to end, it absolutely can be considered ‘strange’ but that’s part of the point, right?

It’s smart, though, if you feel like thinking it through, and has some dialogue that might make you go “What?” but then the light bulb flickers on.

If you’re willing to step out of the box for the sake of a few, smart laughs, try Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Happy Movie Watching, Dry Ground friends!

(photo by