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Movie Review: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb film is political satire comedy that focused on satirizing the fears of the nuclear war, between the Soviet Union and the United States. The black comedy film was directed, written and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The movie stars George Scotts and Peter Sellers, and it features Hayden, Pickens and Wynn. The movie production took place in the United Kingdom. The movie is derived from Peter George’s novel titled Red Alert.

The movie perfectly satirizes the cold war attitudes. The missile gap concept satirizes mutual assured destruction (MAD). It is noted that each side of the divide needed to be deterred from participating in the making of the nuclear weapons or starting a nuclear war. As it was the case of military strategist Herman Khan in his 1960 work (thermonuclear war), the doomsday machine concept in the movie was an illustration of the limits present in mutual assured destruction. It is important to consider that the MAD was not supposed to be pushed to the extreme, in this case. However, the biggest worry is that military is capable of adopting doomsday machine ideas, and build one for the war. From Kahn point of view, he saw it appropriate for the Americans to plan for a limited nuclear war.

Later, Kahn became the architect of the doctrine, which closely resembled mutual assured destruction. In the film, consultations with Kubrick in the War Room are centered on the doomsday machine concept, especially after noting that USSR planned detonation of the bombs should their target get hit. It is noted that Kahn is cold but cautious on making calculated moves. For instance, he approximates the lives of the Americans that could be lost in the war, but he predicts that American could still rebuild and be economically prosperous after the war. Kahn sentiments are noted to be unfair, given that he was not advocating for an eruption of a nuclear war. Kahn sentiments could be related in the film from remarks made by Turgidson, concerning the outcome of the nuclear war. Of course, the nuclear war was all about sacrificing the lives of the Americans and the Soviet Union citizens. In a war setting, people are concerned on the survival techniques. In fact, it is appropriate to understand your enemy’s strategies, in a bid to formulate survival techniques.



 Mike, K. (2009). The American cinema of excess: extremes of the national mind on film. McFarland.

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