Dr. Strangelove invades ImaginOn

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Peter Bull as Russian Ambassador Alexi de Sadesky and Peter Sellers as US President Merkin Muffley
  • Peter Bull as Russian Ambassador Alexi de Sadesky and Peter Sellers as US President Merkin Muffley

By Matt Brunson

DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (1964)

DIRECTED BY Stanley Kubrick

STARS Peter Sellers, George C. Scott

From the culture of violence depicted in A Clockwork Orange to the sexual politics examined in Lolita and Eyes Wide Shut, it’s almost uncanny how topical many of Stanley Kubrick’s films have remained. The same applies to his brilliant black comedy Dr. Strangelove: Even the ending of the Cold War couldn't dilute this uncompromising satire’s immediacy, not so long as men continue to think with their missiles instead of their minds.

Peter Sellers delivers three great performances for the price of one, playing the harried US President who’s confronted by a nuclear holocaust, a British officer who almost always manages to keep that upper lip stiff, and the Nazi madman of the title. George C. Scott also scores as a military man whose idea of an acceptable civilian casualty rate is “no more than 10 or 20 million killed, tops … depending on the breaks.”

This earned four major Academy Award nominations — Best Picture, Director, Actor and Adapted Screenplay (Kubrick, Peter George and Terry Southern) — although I most fondly treasure it for containing perhaps my all-time favorite movie line: “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!”

(Dr. Strangelove will be screened at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 9, in the Wachovia Playhouse at ImaginOn. Admission is free.)

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