Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Running Time: 96 mins
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb is an American film about a US army officer who takes the Cold War situation into his own hands by ordering his men to attack Russian bases with nuclear weapons, causing an unexpected turn towards the apocalypse for the President.
This is an absolutely ingenious political satire. With great performances across the board, brilliant direction by the one and only Stanley Kubrick, and a screenplay that’s both hilarious and depressingly dark, this is a deserving classic and a great watch too.
Let’s start with the man at the centre of the film: Peter Sellers. Playing three different characters, Sellers is stunning to see, putting in not only a hilarious comedic performance, but one that holds up to the significance and drama of this story.
But it’s not just Sellers that has a good turn here. Supporting players including George C. Scott and Slim Pickens are brilliant, again showing fantastic comedic worth as well as enough depth to show the more intense parts of their characters to the full.
Kubrick’s direction also has a huge impact on how good this film is. Sticking with the black-and-white film to give a bleaker feel to the whole film, as well as directing the cameras in a slightly unorthodox way at times to make it a more surreal viewing experience, his mastery and genius is as evident here as ever.
With regards to the comedy, it’s not laugh-out-loud hilarious, but its subtle satirical genius is what makes it so entertaining to watch. With quotable lines every which way, melancholy war tunes and iconic and darkly comedic images that have a huge impact on the entire atmosphere of the film, the satire here is pin-point perfect, and makes for a brilliant watch.
Finally, one of the reasons that this is such a darkly fun watch is because it’s short and very snappy. The plot switches between three different locations throughout every few minutes, keeping the pace and intrigue alive throughout, and with its only 96 minute runtime, it’s pretty much impossible to ever be bored here, so that’s why this gets an 8.4 from me.