Screen Rants: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Director Stanley Kubrick, in my opinion, is one of the best directors who has ever lived. Most of his movies have received cult followings, and for good reason. Decades later, his movies continue to stand the test of time and still seem oddly relevant.

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I digress. This is about Dr. Strangelove. I should also point out that this came out in 1964, so around 10 – 20 years after the height of the “red scare” in the United States. I honestly put off watching this movie for so long solely because of the fact that it’s in black and white. What a coward I was.

Within the first 10 minutes of the film you are presented with a situation where a U.S. military base launches a full on nuclear attack on Russia after receiving orders to do so based on the premise that the U.S. has been attacked. Following procedure, they shut off all communication with the outside world and are instructed to kill anything that approaches the base. The planes carrying the nuclear cargo also shut off communications in case Russians attempted to mislead them. You then find out that the U.S. has actually not been attacked, and you now have a large number of planes in route to bomb Russia who can not be told to stop unless instructed to stop by one person on this impenetrable base.

What do you do?

Do you tell the Russians you are attacking or do you send even more planes in order to wipe them out completely before they start to defend themselves? How do you communicate with a military base instructed to shoot everything on sight and to destroy all forms of communication?

The entire movie you are trying to figure out what has happened and how do you stop a bunch of planes who have shut off their communications from starting a nuclear war. All under an hour because that’s when the planes are reaching their target.

This movie is suspense. The entire time you scramble trying to figure out what will happen. The best part of all of this is that this movie is a satire! So you end up spending the movie laughing, while also not wanting to blink to slow and miss something. This was incredibly well written and the dialogue is beyond quotable.

I’ll leave you with a quote.

“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.”


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