Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Many references, mostly euphemistic, beginning with a suggestive opening shot of one plane refueling another. The imagery (and to a lesser extent, the dialogue) create a link between men's sexual impulse and their interest in war. Buck and his secreta
Alcohol/Drugs:Soviet leader reported to be drunk
Violence/Scariness:: It is a comedy about nuclear war -- in addition to the mushroom clouds and reports of planes being shot down, there is an off-camera suicide
Diversity Issues:All the people in power are white males; women are sex objects (part of the satire)
Movie Release Date:1964
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Profanity: None
Nudity/Sex: Many references, mostly euphemistic, beginning with a suggestive opening shot of one plane refueling another. The imagery (and to a lesser extent, the dialogue) create a link between men's sexual impulse and their interest in war. Buck and his secreta
Alcohol/Drugs: Soviet leader reported to be drunk
Violence/Scariness: : It is a comedy about nuclear war -- in addition to the mushroom clouds and reports of planes being shot down, there is an off-camera suicide
Diversity Issues: All the people in power are white males; women are sex objects (part of the satire)
Movie Release Date: 1964

Plot: In this blackest of black comedies, a “Duck Soup” for the Cold War era, a rogue American general named Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) goes mad and sends planes to drop nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union. He cuts off all communication to the base, and only he knows the three-letter code to cancel the attack.

The mild-mannered President of the United States (Peter Sellers) and Captain Mandrake, a highly civilized British officer (Sellers again) are no match for the bloodthirsty General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) and the demented Dr. Strangelove (Sellers again!), a former Nazi expert on nuclear weapons whose arm gets out of control, giving a “Heil, Hitler” salute and even trying to choke him. Turgidson’s view is that America should take advantage of the accidental initiation of war to fight to the finish and establish American supremacy. Mandrake is unable to trick Ripper into revealing the code, but, after Ripper commits suicide, following his explanation that flouridation is a communist plot, Mandrake figures it out. He is almost prevented from revealing it, however, when the suspicious Col. “Bat” Guano (Keenan Wynn) arrives in search of Ripper, and then when it turns out that no one has change for the pay phone. At the last minute, the correct code is sent, but an enterprising American pilot insists on carrying out the mission. The Americans spend their last moments designing a post-nuclear world, where the few remaining people live in mine-shafts, with ten women (selected for their fertility and appeal) for every man. The Soviet ambassador thinks this is an outstanding idea, but Turgidson still worries that the Soviets might have more mine shafts than the Americans.

Discussion: Teens who view this movie may need some background to understand the sense of helpless peril of the Cold War years. More important, they may need some preparation to understand the nature of black comedy, and some may find it very disturbing, particularly the unconventional ending, in which the world is annihilated. This can be a good way to initiate discussions about the nature of war and peace (begin with Ripper’s quote from Clemeanceu about war’s being too important to be left to the generals), and about the best ways of ensuring an enduring peace.

Questions for Kids:

· What do you think of making fun of issues like madness and nuclear desctruction? Does it make you feel more or less comfortable about the possibility of nuclear war?

· If the movie were to be made today, what details would be changed? Who would the nuclear threat come from?

· Who should decide when to initiate nuclear warfare?

Connections: The same issues are addressed in a serious dramatic context in “Failsafe,” released the same year. Some of the same issues of control of the war machinery are raised by “Wargames” and even by “Independence Day” (which has an explicit reference to this movie in Randy Quaid’s attack on the alien spaceship).

Activities: Teens should see if they can find out what the current state of nuclear disarmamant is and what the current issues are.

Previous Posts

Big Change at This Year's Oscars: Thanked Names on Screen
Jezebel reports a long-overdue innovation in this year's Oscar ceremony: nominees will have the opportunity to submit their list of people to thank before the show, so that they can run across the bottom of the screen. This will give the ...

posted 8:40:28am Feb. 10, 2016 | read full post »

Deadpool
Frankly, exuberantly nasty -- in the nicest possible way, Deadpool is not your father's superhero. That is, unless your father is more like ...

posted 3:58:24pm Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

Interview: Marilyn Meberg from "Women of Faith"
Marilyn Meberg knows how to make everyone feel like an old friend. Counselor, author, and part of the Women of Faith tour of inspirational ...

posted 3:55:38pm Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

Beliefnet's Movie Love Quotes Quiz
Check out this great quiz about great movie love quotes! If you beat my score (18), let me know! ...

posted 8:00:59am Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: Screenagers, a Documentary About 21st Century Kids and Their Devices
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQx2X0BXgZg[/youtube] Every parent should see "Screenagers," which explores the unprecedented challenges families face over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Insights from ...

posted 8:00:20am Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.