Friday, February 21, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) ****

PG, 95 min.
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, Peter George (also novel “Red Alert”)
Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Slim Pickens, Peter Bull, Keenan Wynn, James Earl Jones, Tracy Reed

“Dr. Strangelove” is part of my Sochi Olympics inspired series of films because of it’s Cold War origins, but this is one of those films where nothing I say about it can really add to anything that hasn’t already been said about it. I could never properly express how great this film is in my heart, so what I’d like to do I just quote some of the film’s incredible lines, with their deliciously subversive satire. Also note the wonderful character names.

“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.”
                                                                                    —President Merkin Muffley

“Sir, you can't let him in here. He'll see everything. He'll see the big board!”
                                                                                    —General “Buck” Turgidson

“Mr. President, we must not allow a mineshaft gap!”
                                                                                    —General “Buck” Turgidson

“Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war? … He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”
                                                                                    —General Jack D. Ripper

“Oh-ho, that's much better... yeah... huh... yes... Fine, I can hear you now, Dmitri... Clear and plain and coming through fine... I'm coming through fine, too, eh?... Good, then... well, then, as you say, we're both coming through fine... Good... Well, it's good that you're fine and... and I'm fine... I agree with you, it's great to be fine... a-ha-ha-ha-ha...”
                                                                                    —President Merkin Muffley

“Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.”
                                                                                    —General “Buck” Turgidson

“Well, boys, we got three engines out, we got more holes in us than a horse trader's mule, the radio is gone and we're leaking fuel and if we was flying any lower why we'd need sleigh bells on this thing... but we got one little budge on them Rooskies. At this height why they might harpoon us but they dang sure ain't gonna spot us on no radar screen!”
                                                                                    —Major T.J. “King” Kong

“Now look, Colonel ‘Bat’ Guano—if that really is your name…”
                                                                                    —Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake

“Okay. I'm gonna get your money for ya. But if you don't get the President of the United States on that phone, you know what's gonna happen to you? … You're gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola company.”
                                                                                    —Colonel “Bat” Guano

“Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face.”
                                                                                    —General Jack D. Ripper

“That's right, sir, you are the only person authorized to do so. And although I, uh, hate to judge before all the facts are in, it's beginning to look like, uh, General Ripper exceeded his authority.”
                                                                                    —General “Buck” Turgidson

“If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!”
                                                                                    —General “Buck” Turgidson

Presented below is the entirety of the President's phone conversation with the Russian Premier, performed with amazing banality by Peter Sellers. 

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