Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
1963 / UK / 95 mins / Dir: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Following the screening will be a Q&A with actor Shame Rimmer who appears in the film as “Ace” Owens, one of the bomber crew, alongside Paul Schulte, Senior Associate Nuclear Policy Programme, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Former Director of Proliferation and Arms Control in the British Defence Ministry.
In 1964, with the Cuban Missile Crisis fresh in viewers’ minds, the Cold War at its frostiest, and the hydrogen bomb relatively new and frightening, Stanley Kubrick dared to make a film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button – and played the situation for laughs.
U.S. Air Force General Jack Ripper goes completely and utterly mad, and sends his bomber wing to destroy the U.S.S.R. He suspects that the communists are conspiring to pollute the “precious bodily fluids” of the American people. The U.S. president meets with his advisors, where the Soviet ambassador tells him that if the U.S.S.R. is hit by nuclear weapons, it will trigger a “Doomsday Machine” which will destroy all plant and animal life on Earth. Peter Sellers portrays the three men who might avert this tragedy: British Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, the only person with access to the demented Gen. Ripper; U.S. President Merkin Muffley, whose best attempts to divert disaster depend on placating a drunken Soviet Premier and the former Nazi genius Dr. Strangelove, who concludes that “such a device would not be a practical deterrent for reasons which at this moment must be all too obvious”.
Nominations: Academy Award for Best Actor, Best Director, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: BAFTAS for Best Film, Best Art Direction and Best British Film
‘Brilliant… it lampoons a crazed warmongering machismo that never goes out of style.’