60/60 Review #21: Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb.

There are only a few things I knew going into this movie. I knew it was Stanley Kubrick. I knew it was supposed to be a dark comedy. I knew it was one of those "love it or hate it" kind of films that a lot of people just don't seem to "get." And even going in with all of this knowledge, I don't think it changed anything about my reaction to the film.

The film is a dark satire about a crazy general, Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden), who orders an attack on Russia and stars a process that brings along a possible nuclear holocaust. So a bunch of politicians enter the War Room and try to stop it from happening. Other actors include Peter Sellers (as three different characters, including the titular one), George C. Scott, James Earl Jones, and more.

Despite knowing this was meant to be a dark comedy, I didn't find it all that humorous. There were some parts that did make me chuckle or that I could see as funny. These were most of the War Room sequences (maybe only 1 or 2 outside of those). My favorite bits were the phone calls with Dmitri.

Otherwise, the movie was just... dull. Strangely, I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it, either. To me, it just kind of... exists. The War Room stuff was a lot of fun, but that was probably only half the run-time. And it wasn't until the movie had been going for about 30-35 minutes when things even get entertaining.

The acting, writing, and directing is all relatively solid. There's no problem there. Actually, I'm not sure there's a problem with the movie in general. It just wasn't totally my bag--at least all of it. But I guess that's the issue most people have with the movie. It's very much an acquired taste, as they say, and I can tell why. I know this wasn't much of a review, but I don't have much to say about it. So I'll just stop now before I embarrass myself.

Stop Saying OK! OK.

(P.S. That closes us out for War! Month. This was a long one for me, folks. I thought Western Month was long, but this one felt never-ending. Perhaps it was the fact that the movies are mostly serious, dark, and dreary or perhaps that they're all insanely long--maybe both. It's quite possibly because I only really enjoyed 2 films this month. So, needless to say, I'm pretty happy to be moving on to what I've been assured will be a more uplifting month. Yes, that's right... Nazis.)


  1. This is probably one of my all time favourite comedies. All the stuff in the war room is brilliant, but are you saying that you didn’t enjoy the conversations between Mandrake and Ripper?! Comedy gold!

  2. I'm with you Nick, I didn't love it, I didn't hate it, but I had trouble figuring out its importance.

  3. I need to revisit this one, but my first reaction is the same as yours. I knew it was supposed to be a comedy, but I didn't find it funny.

    Still, I endlessly quote the War Room line whenever people get into a fight.

  4. Tom: The stuff between Mandrake and Ripper (like during the part where they're shooting up the room at them) is good. But yeah, didn't find the majority of the movie all that funny.

    Jess and James: Yup. And I'll be visiting another Kubrick soon... another that doesn't have the best of opinions on it.

  5. To me 'Strangelove' is like 'Airplane' in that the characters say funny things completely seriously. The difference is that the latter plays up the comedy more than the former. 'Strangelove' doesn't wear its comedy on its sleeve to the same degree that 'Airplane' does. Maybe that's why some people don't find it that funny, I dunno, but I've always found it hilarious.

  6. Now I don't feel so bad for not being able to sit through this film.

  7. I felt exactly the same as you did, Nick. Except for weirdos like Tom out there ;) (of which there are many), I'd say this is a "you had to be there" kind of movie. I get why it's vital and struck a chord upon its release, but the situation is ancient history by now. The setup itself is humorous, but that's about all I found humorous about it. I think when I wrote about it, I said (blasphemously, to be sure) that I'd rather watch the similarly-themed Spies Like Us any day of the week.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.