cult movies I have loved: Dr. Strangelove
OK… OK… Maybe this movie is enough of a mainstream classic that it is something of a stretch calling it a “cult” movie, but a few weeks ago when I found it on DVD at the grocery store and bought it for $10 the zit-faced, saggy pants-wearing, emo-haired, generation-Y-next-zero-whatever-they-are-called cashier goon looked at the movie blankly and asked “Dr. What?”…
He had never heard of it. Which is simply a crime. Unacceptable. I told him at length that it is an all-time classic and he just stared off into space, probably day-dreaming about the next video game soon to be adapted to film. Kids today.
Peter Sellers famously portrays the President of the United States, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, and Dr. Stangelove. George C. Scott is amazing as General “Buck” Turgidson. Sterling Hayden came out of retirement to portray the iconic Brig. General Jack D. Ripper. Slim Pickens is the pilot of the bomber that loses communication and therefore never knows the attack has been called off. This movie is amazing from start to finish.
There is no excuse for not having seen this film.
This movie has so many great scenes and so much great dialog that you can watch it over and over again.
Here I should add a few words about DVD extras. There is an excellent documentary about the making of Dr. Strangelove on the disc that is chock full of great information and interesting trivia about the movie. For example, Peter Sellers was originally supposed to play the part that was eventually played by Slim Pickens, but Sellers fell out of the set piece of the bomber and broke his leg. That accident combined with his being overwhelmed with the responsibility of playing four different roles led them to re-cast the part with Slim Pickens. When Slim showed up on the set they thought he was “in costume” because he was dressed like he always dressed in Texas and he looked like a cowboy. The famous line where Pickens says a fellow could have a hell of a time in “Vegas” was changed from “Dallas” to “Vegas” because as the movie hit theaters President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
Highly iconic and influential, this movie is one of the greatest around. Hang around the internet long enough and you will hear paranoid conspiracy theorists echo Jack D. Ripper’s idea’s about the fluoridation plot. There are even those out there who will tell you that the entire movie is Predictive Programming for the New World Order.
Predictive programming or not, it is damned funny and a great film.