Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Saturday, April 2
Film is $5.00
Box Office opens 30 minutes prior to screening
the hot-line suspense comedy
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) is a black comedy film which satirized the nuclear scare. It was directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick. Dr. Strangelove’s jet-black satire and a host of superb comic performances (including three from Peter Sellers) have kept this film fresh and entertaining, even as its issues have become (slightly) less timely. Loaded with thermonuclear weapons, a U.S. bomber piloted by Maj. T.J. “King” Kong (Slim Pickens) is on a routine flight pattern near the Soviet Union when they receive orders to commence Wing Attack Plan R, best summarized by Maj. Kong as “Nuclear combat! Toe to toe with the Russkies!” On the ground at Burpleson Air Force Base, Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) notices nothing on the news about America being at war. Gen. Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) calmly informs him that he gave the command to attack the Soviet Union because it was high time someone did something about fluoridation, which is sapping Americans’ bodily fluids (and apparently has something to do with Ripper’s sexual dysfunction). Meanwhile, President Merkin Muffley (Sellers again) meets with his top Pentagon advisors, including super-hawk Gen. Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott), who sees this as an opportunity to do something about Communism in general and Russians in particular. However, the ante is upped considerably when Soviet ambassador de Sadesky (Peter Bull) informs Muffley and his staff of the latest innovation in Soviet weapons technology: a “Doomsday Machine” that will destroy the entire world if the Russians are attacked.
The film was nominated for four Academy Awards and also seven BAFTA Awards, of which it won four; Best Actor in a Leading Role: Peter Sellers, Best Adapted Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick, Peter George, Terry Southern, Best Director: Stanley Kubrick and Best Picture. In addition, the film won the best written American comedy award from the Writers Guild of America and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. Kubrick himself won two awards for best director, from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, and was nominated for one by the Directors Guild of America. In 1989, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. It was listed as number three on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Laughs.