In honor of the late, great George C. Scott, I've decided to review a film
which is, quite frankly, one of the funniest ever made. The cliched old phrase
`They don't make um like they used to' has never been more appropriate than it
President Muffley has a problem. One of his generals, Jack D. Ripper, has gone
insane and ordered bombers to nuke the Soviet Union. The biggest problem with
this, is that the Soviets have constructed a weapon which shall destroy the
world if they should be attacked. So, the president and his military staff sit
in the war
room and try to think of a way to alert the bombers to cease their attack.
Meanwhile, General Ripper defends his base from U.S. troops while explaining
his actions to his second in command, Captain Mandrake. Problems continue to
escalate and finally the fate of the world is in the hands of Major Kong, one
of the bomber captains.
Kubrick may have been a rather erratic director, creating a string of hits
(2001: A Space Odyssey), and misses (Lolita) seemingly at random. However, he
was right on the mark with this creation,which is such a magnificent blend of
slapstick comedy, witty dialogue, and an amazingly humour look at paranoia.
Peter Sellers is brilliant, as always, playing three very different characters.
President Muffley look constantly hassled by the problems and people he has to
face (his phone conversation with the Soviet premier is one of the funniest
moments in movie history). Captain Mandrake is perhaps the only truly normal
character in the entire film, but this simply makes him that much funnier. Dr.
Strangelove, the crippled genius, is an absolute riot as he seems unable to
control his movements at times.
George C. Scott plays General Turgidson in a way similar to his later portrayal
of General Patton, but in a much more maniacal way. The scenes with him are
always hilarious due to his overzealous behavior and strangely psychotic facial
expressions (such as the scene where he's explaining why the Russian ambassador
shouldn't be alowed in the war room).
The biggest problem I think this movie has nowadays is that the humor seems to
be over the heads of a lot of people (not hard to believe considering how much
today's audiences loved the ghastly Austin Powers). In fact, the only flaw I
can think of is that the film does end quite suddenly (though in a very funny
though I suppose one simply doesn't want it to end at all. I give Dr.
Strangelove a full four stars and recommend everyone go see it right now.
Copyright © 1996 John Beachem