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Thursday, June 30, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesDR. STRANGELOVE IS 'CINEMA SUNDAYS' SHOW

DR. STRANGELOVE IS 'CINEMA SUNDAYS' SHOW

This weekend's "Cinema Sundays" offering at the Reichhold Center for the Arts is a surreal blast from the past — Stanley Kubrick's 1964 satirical and oh, so politically incorrect Dr. Strangelove — Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
At the time of its release, liberals found the fantasy/farce about nuclear destruction, Cold War politics, and a military run amok brilliantly satirical. Conservatives, of course, were appalled.
The cast alone — most of whom are long gone — makes it a film classic: George C. Scott as the military madman Gen. Buck Turgidson; Sterling Hayden as the paranoid, cigar-chomping Strategic Air Command general Jack D. Ripper; Slim Pickens as Maj. "King" Kong, a good ol' boy in command of a B-52 bomber carrying a hydrogen bomb; and the irrepressible Peter Sellars in a tour de farce as three characters — the stiff-upper-lipped British Group Capt. Mandrake, the inept U.S. President Merkin Muffley, and the title character, an unstable (in more ways than one), wheelchair-bound German scientist with a gloved, robotic right hand.
Everything is irony, satire and double entendre in Dr. Strangelove, which went up for four Academy Awards (best picture, Sellars for best actor, Kubrick for best director and Kubrick and Terry Southern for best screenplay) but came away with none. The British film was released the year after John F. Kennedy's assassination, not that long after America's grandstanding against ungodly Communism in the Western Hemisphere — the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs invasion. Cold War hysteria was waning but was by no means over, and meantime Washington and Moscow were about to fan Viet Nam into flame.
Kubrick chose to film the picture in black and white — although he would later opt for color in A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The movie is almost like a stage drama in that it take place largely on three sets — the locked office of a psychotic Air Force bomb group commander in a military base sealed off from outside communication, the flight deck of the B-52 bomber dispatched to destroy the Soviet "Rooskies," and the underground Pentagon War Room where the addled president has convened his advisors and communicate with his Soviet counterpart to deal with the crisis.
If you can still remember that you loved Dr. Strangelove 35 years ago, treat yourself to a reprise Sunday night. If it was before your time, but you have some historical understanding of the '60s, go see it just for laughs. The politics are obsolete.
The movie starts at 7:30 p.m. Gates open half an hour earlier at the Reichhold. Tickets are $5 general admission, $2.50 for children. Popcorn, candy and soft drinks are availble.
Not to be seen
Originally, the Reichhold series was going to feature another Kubric film on this night, the 1971 cult classic A Clockwork Orange. In some internal confusion, the plans came undone, and as far as audience appeal, it may have been for the better. These days, chances are film buffs in search of retro entertainment will find a 1960s black comedy about inadvertent nuclear war with the Commies a lot more appealing than a futuristic nightmare of a society in which the official solution to rampant, sadistic, drug-abetted random violence is brutal aversion therapy.
Kubrick, who died just last year, withdrew A Clockwork Orange from distribution in Britain in 1973 after media accounts blamed the film for inspiring a teenager to beat a tramp to death. As it turned out, the kid hadn't seen the movie but had read the book on which it was based (imagine that happening today). "Nonetheless," the Associated Press reported last month, "Kubrick received death threats, and he decided to withdraw the film."
In March, the film was reintroduced in British theaters for the first time in more than a quarter-century. Reviewing it from a 2000 perspective, The [London] Daily Telegraph's Andrew O'Hagan found it a visionary morality tale depicting "the stylization of violence in our time, a stylization that society now takes entirely for gtanted." Another writer for the same paper, Peregrine Worsthorne, outraged by the picture the first time around, now found it to be "largely cliche-ridden twaddle."
The orange-haired Malcolm McDowell who played Alex, the protagonist leader of a gang of teen-age punks, is white-haired today, entirely of natural causes.

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This weekend's "Cinema Sundays" offering at the Reichhold Center for the Arts is a surreal blast from the past -- Stanley Kubrick's 1964 satirical and oh, so politically incorrect Dr. Strangelove -- Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
At the time of its release, liberals found the fantasy/farce about nuclear destruction, Cold War politics, and a military run amok brilliantly satirical. Conservatives, of course, were appalled.
The cast alone -- most of whom are long gone -- makes it a film classic: George C. Scott as the military madman Gen. Buck Turgidson; Sterling Hayden as the paranoid, cigar-chomping Strategic Air Command general Jack D. Ripper; Slim Pickens as Maj. "King" Kong, a good ol' boy in command of a B-52 bomber carrying a hydrogen bomb; and the irrepressible Peter Sellars in a tour de farce as three characters -- the stiff-upper-lipped British Group Capt. Mandrake, the inept U.S. President Merkin Muffley, and the title character, an unstable (in more ways than one), wheelchair-bound German scientist with a gloved, robotic right hand.
Everything is irony, satire and double entendre in Dr. Strangelove, which went up for four Academy Awards (best picture, Sellars for best actor, Kubrick for best director and Kubrick and Terry Southern for best screenplay) but came away with none. The British film was released the year after John F. Kennedy's assassination, not that long after America's grandstanding against ungodly Communism in the Western Hemisphere -- the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs invasion. Cold War hysteria was waning but was by no means over, and meantime Washington and Moscow were about to fan Viet Nam into flame.
Kubrick chose to film the picture in black and white -- although he would later opt for color in A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The movie is almost like a stage drama in that it take place largely on three sets -- the locked office of a psychotic Air Force bomb group commander in a military base sealed off from outside communication, the flight deck of the B-52 bomber dispatched to destroy the Soviet "Rooskies," and the underground Pentagon War Room where the addled president has convened his advisors and communicate with his Soviet counterpart to deal with the crisis.
If you can still remember that you loved Dr. Strangelove 35 years ago, treat yourself to a reprise Sunday night. If it was before your time, but you have some historical understanding of the '60s, go see it just for laughs. The politics are obsolete.
The movie starts at 7:30 p.m. Gates open half an hour earlier at the Reichhold. Tickets are $5 general admission, $2.50 for children. Popcorn, candy and soft drinks are availble.
Not to be seen
Originally, the Reichhold series was going to feature another Kubric film on this night, the 1971 cult classic A Clockwork Orange. In some internal confusion, the plans came undone, and as far as audience appeal, it may have been for the better. These days, chances are film buffs in search of retro entertainment will find a 1960s black comedy about inadvertent nuclear war with the Commies a lot more appealing than a futuristic nightmare of a society in which the official solution to rampant, sadistic, drug-abetted random violence is brutal aversion therapy.
Kubrick, who died just last year, withdrew A Clockwork Orange from distribution in Britain in 1973 after media accounts blamed the film for inspiring a teenager to beat a tramp to death. As it turned out, the kid hadn't seen the movie but had read the book on which it was based (imagine that happening today). "Nonetheless," the Associated Press reported last month, "Kubrick received death threats, and he decided to withdraw the film."
In March, the film was reintroduced in British theaters for the first time in more than a quarter-century. Reviewing it from a 2000 perspective, The [London] Daily Telegraph's Andrew O'Hagan found it a visionary morality tale depicting "the stylization of violence in our time, a stylization that society now takes entirely for gtanted." Another writer for the same paper, Peregrine Worsthorne, outraged by the picture the first time around, now found it to be "largely cliche-ridden twaddle."
The orange-haired Malcolm McDowell who played Alex, the protagonist leader of a gang of teen-age punks, is white-haired today, entirely of natural causes.