Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb (1964) - political satire on Cold War from director Stanley Kubrick
Runtime: 91 min
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057012/
Peter Sellers ... Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake/President Merkin Muffley/Dr. Strangelove
George C. Scott ... Gen. 'Buck' Turgidson
Sterling Hayden ... Brig. Gen. Jack Ripper
Keenan Wynn ... Col. 'Bat' Guano
Slim Pickens ... Maj. 'King' Kong
Peter Bull ... Russian Ambassador Alexi de Sadesky
James Earl Jones ... Lt. Lothar Zogg
Description: 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". Will the bombers be stopped in time, or will General Jack Ripper succeed in destroying the world ?
Also included a very nice set of various extras, with English subtitles (except "Making of"):
* "Inside the Making of Dr. Strangelove - 46'04" - Hardcore Kubrick fan and filmmaker David Naylor was selected to produce this item, which is a genuine "documentary" rather than another typical "making-of" marketing puff-piece. It takes us into the complete life cycle of Dr. Strangelove's production, from script development, casting, design, promotion, and the enormous difficulties as well as the serendipitous discoveries that ultimately came together into the finished production. Though the film has outlived most of its creators, Naylor found several people who worked on it, including cinematographer Gil Taylor and production set designer Ken Adams (of the James Bond series). One of the integral elements of the story deals with a B-52 bomber and it's interior. Given the sensitive nature of the bomber, the Air Force refused to assist Adams and his crew of designers in their assessment of the planes' interior. However where there's a will there's a way. In doing his research, Adams came upon a novel that described in perfect detail the interior of the bomber. So complete was the description that the FBI became involved in an attempt to determine the source of material for Adams' set design! Lucky for him, it was all above board! Additionally, the story is conveyed about Peter Sellers playing four roles in the film as opposed to the three that currently exist. The piece is jazzily written and produced, sporting a respectful scholarly demeanor. It shows us stills from the never-seen Great Pie Fight climax and explains why the scene was replaced with the radically different (and superior) existing finale
* "No Fighting in the War Room Or: Dr. Strangelove and the Nuclear Threat - 30'02" - this insightful documentary contextualizes Dr. Strangelove within the Cold War that gave it a reason to be. On hand are Roger Ebert, Washington Post assistant managing editor Bob Woodward, directors Joe McGrath and Spike Lee, editor Anthony Harvey, James Earl Jones, Sellers/Kubrick biographer Alexander Walker, and — for the authentic insider perspective — former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (The Fog of War). Together they connect the big red dots between the film and the Cold War's real-life dynamics of Mutually Assured Destruction. (And, for extra relevance, between wartime groupthink and today's more reality-based geopolitical heat sources.) Dr. Strangelove is revealed to be not only a cinema masterpiece or a product of archeo-history that predates the births of many of this documentary viewers but also sees it as a purposeful reflection of political-military thinking that is anything except obsolete.
* "Best Sellers Or: Peter Sellers and Dr. Strangelove - 18'26" - Sellers' "breathtaking versatility" is appropriately lauded by Michael Palin, Roger Ebert, Shirley MacLaine, Richard Lester, David Frost, Bob Woodward, Spike Lee and others. Sketching out his life from his boyhood to his early success on BBC Radio's pathbreaking The Goon Show, then to the international stardom that crystallized in Dr. Strangelove and Being There, this biography/eulogy underlines not only Sellers' talent, but also the "enigma" of the man who seemed to possess no singular identity except when playing a character.
* "The Art of Stanley Kubrick: From Short Films to Strangelove - 13'47" - A brief, well-made biographical introduction for viewers new to the director's early life and work.
* An Interview with Robert McNamara - 24'25" - This interview is exactly that: a simple one-camera sit-down with McNamara that isn't gummed up with production lacquer. It's unedited — they left in someone bumping the camera, and near the end the former Secretary of Defense lets the director know who's boss by telling him no, he has this much time left — so it's a refreshing raw discussion. McNamara dishes the goods on what went on behind the scenes during the Kennedy and Johnson years, when the so-called Cold War was hotter than the rest of us knew. He is passionate and well-spoken on the long-lasting impact of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the inherent irrationality, depicted in Dr. Strangelove, of a deterrence-based defense philosophy that ignores the X factors of human fallibility. "We've got to get rid of nuclear weapons," he says, and he should know. Parallels between the film and global tensions c. 2004 are not ignored.
* Split Screen Interviews with Peter Sellers and George C. Scott - 7'14" - For this promotional curio, Sellers and Scott were filmed individually answering scripted questions over telephones. Their footage was placed into the right-hand half of the film, the left half remaining black. TV news organizations could then film their reporters on telephones asking the questions, place their footage alongside Sellers' and Scott's pre-filmed responses, and create the illusion that a one-on-one interview was occurring. Both bifurcated interviews are gems. A highlight of the Sellers piece is his giving us a vocal dialect map of England, sliding effortlessly from London Cockney to Yorkshire brogue and elsewhere.
Video and audio information:
Video : 1.24 GB, 1963 Kbps, 25 fps, 688*528 (4:3), XviD 1.1.0 Beta2 (UTC 2005-04-04)
Audio : 124 MB, 192 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = AC3, CBR
Subtitles (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Polish), posters, trailer, sample and screenshots included