Arguably the greatest black comedy ever made, Stanley Kubrick's cold war classic is the ultimate satire of the nuclear age. Dr. Strangelove is a perfect spoof of political and military insanity, beginning when General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), a maniacal warrior obsessed with "the purity of precious bodily fluids," mounts his singular campaign against Communism by ordering a squadron of B-52 bombers to attack the Soviet Union. The Soviets counter the threat with a so-called "Doomsday Device," and the world hangs in the balance while the U.S. president (Peter Sellers) engages in hilarious hot-line negotiations with his Soviet counterpart. Sellers also plays a British military attachï¿½ and the mad bomb-maker Dr. Strangelove; George C. Scott is outrageously frantic as General Buck Turgidson, whose presidential advice consists mainly of panic and statistics about "acceptable losses." With dialogue ("You can't fight here! This is the war room!") and images (Slim Pickens's character riding the bomb to oblivion) that have become a part of our cultural vocabulary, Kubrick's film regularly appears on critics' lists of the all-time best. --Jeff Shannon
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: Great Gift Comment: Although I don't particularly like this movie, my husband loves it and falls asleep to it on a regular basis. It made a great gift and I'm glad he's happy with it. Perfect condition and has brought many, many, many hours of joy to my hubby. Customer Rating: Summary: Dr. Strangelove is a superb movie---and not an indulgence in self-hating Americanism Comment: I am a staunch Republican conservative who thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Strangelove. It is not an indulgence in self-hating Americanism. Sadly, we cannot ignore the outside possibility that a political or military leader might go crazy and murder millions of people. This movie reminds us of the serious responsibility of safeguarding our weapons of mass destruction systems. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that whatsoever! A sharp distinction must be made between naively advocating unilateral disarmament---and prudently taking steps to limit the odds against human error or malevolence.
Please watch Dr. Stangelove and judge it only by what is actually on the screen. The fact that it was created by left-wingers is not relevant. They did not cross the line and ridicule our country in this particular instance. I am sure that you will find Dr, Strangelove highly entertaining and thought provoking. It is truly one of the great movies of all time. Customer Rating: Summary: A classic for all times. Comment: This is a film that every generation should see. My 11-year-old had not seen it and we made sure he watched with us. We had to explain some references, of course (like the "flouride" debate) but that was part of the experience. Unfortunately, the film is all too much like "the real world." Customer Rating: Summary: Aspect-Ratio Madness! Comment: Regarding the review cited as the "most helpful critical review," in which the main criticism is that the aspect-ratio of this DVD is 1.66 throughout instead of "variable" (some shots 1.33, some 1.66), I'd like to put to rest the unfortunate idea that Kubrick ever intended this film to be seen with a "variable aspect ratio."
Yes, the film was photographed that way; but no, it was not meant to be seen that way. Let me explain:
"Variable aspect-ratio" seems to be a term invented to market an early DVD release of "Dr. Strangelove." The term has no meaning in the film industry because no film has ever been released that way (except for that misguided "Strangelove" DVD -- a mistake which has now been corrected).
Much of "Dr. Stangelove" was photographed with no matte in the camera, thus exposing the entire 1.33 film frame. Many shots, however, were filmed with a 1.66 matte in the camera, reflecting Kubrick's intention to release the film to theaters in 1.66. Therefore, if you transfer this movie to tape using an unmatted film element, and you take the whole 1.33 frame for every shot, the aspect ratio will vary from 1.33 (shots filmed with no matte in the camera) to 1.66 (shots filmed with a 1.66 matte). But this is obviously not the way any movie was ever intended to be seen, with the shape of the frame randomly bouncing around from shot to shot for no reason.
So why shoot it that way? Because Kubrick (and his cameraman) knew that the theatrical printing negative, and therefore every release print sent to theaters, would have the 1.66 matte printed-in from start to finish, making the entire film 1.66 for theatrical presentation.
Is it possible Kubrick shot it "variable" so that the eventual 1.33 DVD release could have a meandering frame-line? I know Kubrick was smart, but it's unlikely he was thinking of the DVD release in 1964.
In those days, movies were made for theaters; televised movies were mainly 16mm prints, edited for time and sold in syndication. The TV market as it existed in 1964 did not influence any film director's compositions. The theatrical release was all that mattered; and the theatrical release of "Dr. Strangelove" was 1.66. All of it.
Therefore, if one wants to see this film the way Kubrick meant it to be seen (and a new, matted 35mm print is not available), the film-to-tape transfer must recreate the matted 1.66 theatrical aspect-ratio throughout -- which is what this DVD does (thank you, Sony Home Video).
I oversaw film restorations for a major Hollywood film studio for more than a decade, so I know the subject of aspect ratios pretty well. Hope this info is helpful. Customer Rating: Summary: Still As Effective Comment: Dr. Strangelove, originally released in 1964, is an American classic. Stanley Kubrick's wonderful direction, and the main player's incredible action really make this a must see. This is considered a black comedy but I know a lot of people won't be in stitches. It's not the type of laugh out loud comedy that's come accustomed. It's the absurdity of the situation that'll have you chuckling.
It's a true end of the world nightmare that wasn't quite out of left field in the 60's and isn't there even today.
This 40th Anniversary releases features a stunning transfer in its original aspect ration (a few and only a few scenes are shot in 1.33), and plenty of featurettes on the second disc. One of my favorites is the split screen interview.