Half a century after Stanley Kubrick unleashed his most perverse provocation (about a bombing run no one can stop), it’s amazing that we’re even here to see it. The fears of Dr. Strangelove are real and remain so: Nuclear annihilation, not as a result of official policy—though that’s been sometimes considered—but via the convictions of a well-positioned madman (Sterling Hayden’s immortal cigar-chomping lunatic, Jack D. Ripper), is hardly an antiquated notion.
So go down to Film Forum and party like it’s 1964; it might as well be. By a whopping margin, this is Kubrick’s most radical film and greatest dramatic gamble. It was the director’s idea, after steeping himself in game theory and end-of-the-world scenarios, to go for vicious comedy. Onboard came novelist Terry Southern and the mighty Peter Sellers, doing triple duty as President, simpering aide and German nut.
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