Dr. Strangelove

Note: I have something to attend to this morning, so what follows is a post from behind the green door that everyone hated. In this review of what many consider the greatest cinematic satire ever, I reveal that I have no sense of humor.


Human communication rests upon a vast set of shared assumptions about the world that are just assumed by speaker and receiver. When the speaker says, “I am low on gas”, the receiver responds with, “There is a gas station at the next exit” because he assumes that the driver mentioned the gas level because he will soon need to gas up the car, so he is asking for the location of the next gas station. In that simple exchange lies a lot of shared assumptions.

This is why comedy does not travel very well. In the old days, comics would do bits on how they travelled to other countries to do their act only to confuse the audience with jokes that made no sense to them. Bob Newhart did a bit on how Germans could not understand why a bald man was called “Curly” and a fat man was called Tiny”, which played on the idea of shared assumptions. The joke itself relied on the American audience’s shared concept of the German personality.

Today, jokes about the Germans being exacting fanatics would not make much sense to young people as Germany has no meaning to them. If they have ever met a German, it was online, and he spoke perfect internet gibberish. The shared assumptions about the cultural differences between Germans and Americans has been lost over time, so jokes based on those assumptions stop being funny for the same reason jokes about phonebooths make little sense to a Zoomer.

That came to mind while watching Dr. Strangelove, a film many critics claim is the greatest comedy in the history of film. It was released at the height of the Cold War and is a satire on the fears and assumptions about the Cold War. The Cuban Missile Crisis was still on the minds of people, so a satire on nuclear war would have relied upon the shared assumptions regarding the issue at the time. For someone not alive when this was made, those assumptions are a mystery.

I did not laugh a single time during the whole film. I was never hostile to it, but I could not get any of the jokes, no matter how hard I tried. I even stopped the film and read the wiki page hoping for some clues. I wound up reading a number of old reviews that did not provide much help. They just assume you get the jokes and never bother to explain any of them. The closest you get are mentions of Sellers making sport of Adlai Stevenson in his role as President.

For those who have not seen the film, it is about a rogue general in the 1960’s who launches a wave of B-52 bombers armed with nukes at the Soviets. He does it in such a way that no one can recall them without his code. The rest of the film is about the President and his advisers debating about how to stop Armageddon. Peter Sellers plays three roles in the film. He is the aide to the crazy general, the President and a weird Nazi scientist who is the President’s science advisor.

The central conflict in the film is how to stop the bombers. The plan is to tell the Soviets so they can shoot down the bombers, but we learn that the Soviets built a doomsday device that will go off if even one bomb lands. I would like to say at this point hijinks ensue, but there are no hijinks. The closest we get is when the crazy general tells his aide Mandrake (Sellers) that he believes the Soviets have been fluoridating American water supplies to pollute the “precious bodily fluids” of Americans.

Again, the film did not make me angry. It is just that the things being mocked are outside my frame of reference. Making sport of the nuclear protocols of the 1960’s may have been outlandishly funny in 1964, but not now. I am not even sure that was what was being mocked. I did pick up that they were mocking country people, as Slim Pickens plays the role of the main bomber pilot, and he plays it like he played the role of overseer in Blazing Saddles.

That brought to mind something else. Jewish comedy falls into two broad categories, mockery of majority social norms and self-defeat. The comedy here was of the first type, but those majority social norms were killed off a long time ago. That is why this film no longer works as a comedy, unless you were alive at this time. The one bit that you can still pickup is the mockery of normal white people like the character of Major Kong (Pickens) or General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott).

Otherwise, the jokes not only fail to land, but they fail to register as jokes. Even Peter Sellers comes off as if he is playing it straight, despite the fact he is best remembered for his over-the-top performances as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther films. I did sort of get that he was making fun of Nazis in the role of Dr. Strangelove, the crazy German scientist who is the President’s science advisor. As President and aide to the crazy general, he comes off perfectly normal.

In the end, it is a well-made film. This may be why it is ranked so high. Kubrick managed to get three great performances from Sellers, who was known for being a bit unstable and an alcoholic. He tricked George C. Scott into playing his role in a way that Scott never would have done otherwise. Reportedly, he did this by first having Scott ham it up as practice, then film it the way Scott wanted it done. Kubrick then used the film from the hammy practice sessions.

Interestingly, Sellers was slated to play four roles. The studio only agreed to back the film if Sellers was in all the major roles, which is crazy. Sellers got hurt so he could not get into the bomber to play Major T. J. “King” Kong. The role was initially offered to John Wayne who ignored the offer. Then Kubrick got Slim Pickens to do it, but without telling him the point of the film or giving him the script. He wanted Pickens to be Pickens from the many Westerns for which he was known best.

The film is made in black and white. Even though the satire does not work on me, I can see why they did not do it in color. It would have come off as farce rather than satire if it were in color. That may be why it does not hold up. The jokes were probably subtle for the time, so after sixty years they are impossible to spot, especially being shot in black and white, which has the effect on a modern audience of projecting seriousness, rather than lightheartedness or silliness.

In the end, I did not hate it. Frankly, I am not sure what to make of it. It is well put together and the acting is first rate. If there was a bit more character development, it would be a solid drama. It was intended to be satire, so the characters are intentionally two-dimensional, but they are well-written and performed by great actors. Otherwise, there is nothing here to love or hate. It is one of those films you probably love if you are a film historian, but as a regular viewer is nothing special.


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Bryan
Bryan
1 month ago

How can you NOT laugh at this movie? I’m in my 50’s so it was definitely “before my time” but the jokes just don’t stop and in my opinion they’re timeless. Gentleman, there will be no fighting in the war room! Sellers acting as Von Bruan trying to keep his arm from saluting. Bodily fluids is directly from the Bircher’s obsession over fluoride, but hey, guess what, thats made a big comeback again since the 2000’s. Timeless It’s obviously just a silly movie but shows the stereotypes in such clever ways as to mock modern societies. Great humor exposes serious… Read more »

Frito Bandito
Frito Bandito
1 month ago

“Our source was the New York Times” will never not be funny.

TempoNick
TempoNick
1 month ago

Re: Aliens

Koncrete interviews James Fox, producer of “Moment of Contact”, a documentary about the crash landing of aliens in Vargihna, Brazil.

This guy is not a fruitcake.

https://youtu.be/gXmLpLeR0hk?feature=shared

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

Wrong article, but I reposted in the right place.

KingKong
KingKong
1 month ago

Jesus was a carpenter who got nailed to wood.

Jewish self-defeat indeed!

KingKong
KingKong
1 month ago

Z, you basically described the entire plot of being a Jew: “Jewish comedy falls into two broad categories, mockery of majority social norms and self-defeat.” Right, Jews first mock majority social norms and then get hoisted by their own petard, as happens in The Jew of Malta or what’s happening now with the anti-Israel protests. The accusation of genocide was never supposed to be used against Jews themselves. Truly the most ironic people in the world. I am reading Isaacson’s biography of Einstein. It’s hilarious how often Isaacson explicitly states ironies in Einstein’s life. The lack of self-awarenss by Jews… Read more »

Anti-Gnostic
Anti-Gnostic
1 month ago

The lore around the movie is that Kubrick meant to play it straight, then Sidney Lumet beat him to the punch with Fail-Safe, so Kubrick went with satire. Kubrick was an auteur and 145 IQ, so his idea of comedy was not nearly as frenetic and much, much more subtle than what you get on The Simpsons or Family Guy. (His drama was awfully sedate as well, e.g. Barry Lyndon). This clip is hilarious to me: https://youtu.be/3h06B9OXmR4?si=_e1OQt3jl21-hS68 George C. Scott continuously reaching for chewing gum as he’s obviously quitting smoking and goddam does he ever want a cigarette. The hatchet-faced… Read more »

Anti-Gnostic
Anti-Gnostic
Reply to  Anti-Gnostic
1 month ago

Here’s another one. If I’d have been Sterling Hayden I’d have lost it with each sentence. No idea how he played it so straight.

https://youtu.be/maW0aC6AB1E?si=U0-h4XK9KbX0Z8oN

Paul Gottfried
Paul Gottfried
1 month ago

Movies, be it comedy or horror, cannot match real life these days.

For example, here a “Shocking Video Shows Man Chase Down Woman And Murder Her In Cold Blood In Broad Daylight In Baltimore”. In the past, only movies or war duty could capture these experiences.

https://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message5703939/pg1

Paul Gottfried
Paul Gottfried
Reply to  Paul Gottfried
1 month ago

As another example, “Weekend at Bernie’s” is now represents presidency. Who could have expected that in 1964, when Dr. Strangelove came out or even in 1989 when “Weekend at Bernie’s” got released?

The Wild Goose Howard
The Wild Goose Howard
Reply to  Paul Gottfried
1 month ago

The difference is that Weekend at Bernie’s has a few genuinely humorous moments.

The regime we are currently living under is a pure horror show.

Quentin Rakestraw
Member
1 month ago

When it comes to movies, it is always just a matter of taste. I saw Dr. Strangelove in 1964 at the State Theater in Logansport, Indiana. I was fourteen. I liked it so much I watched it twice. I can tell you that nobody in that small town was a Leftie in 1964. The song at the end, “We’ll Meet Again,” seemed anachronistic, but fitting for the movie.

mrhouston
1 month ago

Full Metal Jacket held up pretty well.

The “Born to Kill, Sir!” scene between Joker and the General culminating with the General’s assertion that “inside every gook, there’s an American waiting to get out” recalls the corporate universalist dogma of the US Empire.

As does the ending with the Marines singing “M-I-C…K-E-Y…M-O-U-S-E! Mickey Mouse! Mickey Mouse!” After all, rainbow NATO and Disney dot ABC dot ESPN dot GO are all fighting for the same thing, aren’t they.

Whiskey
1 month ago

Is the dismissal of one of Harvey Weinstein’s convictions signs that the Clintons are “back baby!” ??? Ole Harv was a major Clinton bundler. I’d love to see him back at award shows, like a walking STD and an advertisement of the wages of sin. Throw in the Cos, maybe Woody Allen, Hollywood will be back! Kubrick was over-rated anyway. I’d put the auteurs above him: Michael Bay, Uwe Boll, Zack Snyder, and of course, the immortal Tyler Perry. “The Rock,” or “Con Air” or “Rebel Moon” not to mention the masterpieces that were the first “Transformers” movie or “Madea’s… Read more »

KGB
KGB
Reply to  Whiskey
1 month ago

What, Roman Polanski is a bridge too far? You just know the Hollywood degenerates would weep with joy if he returned to their midst.

Hemid
Hemid
Reply to  Whiskey
1 month ago

You joke, but Weinstein’s getting cut loose (not really) over the kind of blatantly overturnable crap that judges *always* get away with, especially in New York. The location may be the message. It’s one of the same appeals courts that’s scheduled to rubberstamp a Trump show trial. Contrary to the mainstream view—and maybe this is the reason for the invention of the mainstream view—Trump has always been *as antagonistic as he’s free to be* regarding celebrity sex creeps. His personal perversions end at liking bimbos. (Trump gender gap explained, by the way: A man of wealth and power who doesn’t… Read more »

Wiffle
Wiffle
1 month ago

Maybe it just never was that funny to begin with. Hollywood has had pet art projects forever. They just tried to make money most of the time until the last decade or so.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus is much more about the “in joke” experience than the actual humor. A lot of humor from the era is simply over hyped, a bit like Laugh In.

Ploppy
Ploppy
Reply to  Wiffle
1 month ago

Python was experimental and most of the sketches weren’t especially funny (or just topical to 1970s British politicians and celebrities) and the cartoon transitions definitely weren’t funny, but the good ones are exemplary. Ministry of Silly Walks, The Argument Clinic, The Lumberjack Song, etc.

Hokkoda
Member
Reply to  Ploppy
1 month ago

Because of Monty Python in my teens (in syndication), I am to this day still able to identify a larch form a long ways away.

And the Holy Grail is still one of the funniest movies ever made.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Hokkoda
1 month ago

the first 20 minutes of it anyway, kind of dragged after that

Hokkoda
Member
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

How do you know so much about swallows?

Well, you have to know these things when you’re king.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

Some call me…Tim?

Bartleby the Scrivner
Bartleby the Scrivner
Reply to  Wiffle
1 month ago

I didn’t expect a Monty Python reference in this thread……

Vole
Vole
Reply to  Bartleby the Scrivner
1 month ago

No one expects a Monty Python reference!

Kuthern
Kuthern
Reply to  Wiffle
1 month ago

Life Of Brian is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.

The jokes had to be funny otherwise they wouldn’t be in-jokes.

Maybe you should stick to Family Guy.

plato spaghetti
plato spaghetti
1 month ago

I believe the movie is meant to mimic the style of “Fail Safe” (also in B&W), but lampooning the situation and characters in that movie. Both movies were made back when the Left loved Russia because it was communist, and both carried an underlying message that America and the ideas on which she was founded were the real problem in the world.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  plato spaghetti
1 month ago

I never got that impression about Fail-Safe at all and I’ve seen it probably 20 times. The critique was aimed at Mutual Assured Destruction and putting our fate in the hands of technology. The US and USSR were equally to blame.

Jim in Alaska
Member
1 month ago

Yep, you have no sense of humor. 😉

I saw it in NYC when it first came out. Departing after most shows, most comedies in NY, the audience leaves the theater crowed together,stepping on each other’s heels, loud, and boisterous, -or at least did back in the day.

Following Strangelove, folks left hanging close, real close to their friends but leaving a surprising, for New Yorkers, amount of space twix them and strangers. The trickles of laughter heard were close to hysterical.

Wiffle
Wiffle
Reply to  Jim in Alaska
1 month ago

Ah, it requires being a New Yorker from the 1960’s. That would make it local humor.

steve w
steve w
Reply to  Wiffle
1 month ago

My 36-year-old daughter’s favorite film is Dr Stangelove. So it must speak at some level beyond time and cohort. But then she also loves Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Big MAGA girl too. Admittedly an outlier.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  steve w
1 month ago

Did she major in Russian? The pairing of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in classes on Russian literature is common.

Wiffle
Wiffle
Reply to  steve w
1 month ago

Most native NYCers come from certain ethnic lines, of which your daughter would share. In the 1960’s, there would still be neighborhood theaters closely tied to then in decay ethnic neighborhoods. Yes, it’s local humor. There were also probably parts of the city it never showed in, because it would not be considered funny or even fill half the theater. It’s hardly surprising that your daughter enjoys it, if you did too. Meanwhile, certain ethnic lines are also into politics and high brow literature. Not mine, but they exist. I wouldn’t call her an outlier as much as I would… Read more »

Bourbon
Bourbon
Reply to  steve w
1 month ago

steve w: “My 36-year-old daughter blah blah blah…”

Is she single?

Is she v@xxinated?

Has she produced any White grandchildren for you?

SRSLY, bro.

Anna
Anna
1 month ago

Some jokes age well, you just need to change the names of participants. Here is a joke about Brezhnev who was the first of old and feeble Secretaries General:
“During Brezhnev’s visit to England Thatcher asked his opinion of Churchill.
-Who is Churchill? asked Brezhnev.
Back in the Embassy the Soviet envoy congratulates him for cutting Thatcher down to size.
– Who is Thatcher? asks Brezhnev

Wiffle
Wiffle
Reply to  Anna
1 month ago

We could put Biden’s name in there pretty easily.

Dan9fromouterspace
Dan9fromouterspace
1 month ago

Born in 60. Didn’t see Strangelove ‘til probably 72. On TV. Still got the humor but didn’t think it was all that sophisticated even then, just dark. Sure I loved the ironic closing music, but it still didn’t feel sophisticated. The most memorable humor is from the acting, I think. Keenan Wynn’s bored but shocked reaction to being told to shoot the soda machine for telephone change after surviving a horrific firefight, “that’s private property”, holds up well. What little I’ve read about Kubrick says he was utterly meticulous about realism, and the whole B52 set piece feels like we… Read more »

p
p
Reply to  Dan9fromouterspace
1 month ago

Killers Kiss was weird I agree, the fight in the mannequin warehouse-eeek. The NYC back street vibes are the same as the puppets in The Junkie’s Christmas, or JT and His Cat..

Guest
Guest
1 month ago

Another point about this movie is that in the modern era in which our Navy can’t sail, our Air Force can’t fly, and our Army can’t fight, Curtis LeMay should be universally admired for his military effectiveness. He was an exemplary combat leader in WWII who frequently flew lead position on combat missions. And in his role at Strategic Air Command he designed and built the US nuclear deterrence program from scratch. He demanded, and obtained, an unbelievable level of performance from the aviators in the Flying Fortress program. The US military has not had comparable leadership since his time.… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

The Left views LeMay with dismay…

Xman
Xman
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

I’m kind of ambivalent about him. Yes, he was on the winning side because he was a ruthless warfighter. But that meant being willing to bomb German children and grandmothers. He admitted that if we had lost the war he would have been charged with war crimes. It took me a while to realize that the entire Left-Right thing during the Cold War was a false choice. Naturally, I was pro-military because the commie-hippie-fags were anti-military. But after studying the Founders, Washington’s Farewell Address, and the Monroe Doctrine, I came to realize that the truly conservative position was to stay… Read more »

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

“Lack of diversity” as in DEI?
Or something else. Because if you’re talking “DEI” LeMay is an American hero.

Mencken Libertarian
Mencken Libertarian
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

Hmmm,

So, dropping gasoline bombs on women, children and the elderly in most of the cities of Japan is something to admire? I view Lemay and his partner in mass murder, the limey Bomber Harris with revulsion. Just for the record.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Mencken Libertarian
1 month ago

Human history is replete with atrocities and abominations. If you’re looking for a bedrock to human nature you could do worse than noting a callous disregard for human life. As such, I no longer get steamed up about who did what terrible thing in the past. Bloody hands are the exception rather than the rule.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Clean hands….

Templar
Templar
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

It’s the hypocrisy that’s the noteworthy part of the conversation; the idea that our war crimes are excusable but theirs weren’t.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Ostei: Well said.

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
Reply to  Mencken Libertarian
1 month ago

War is war get fucked!
I suppose the Japs and Germans were fighting by Marquis of Queensbury rules.

john brown
john brown
Reply to  Mencken Libertarian
1 month ago

But Doucheland was just peachy.

LeMay and Harris used German methods against the Germans:
“Oh,the humanity!”

steve w
steve w
1 month ago

From Dr Strangelove: General “Buck” Turgidson : General Ripper called Strategic Air Command headquarters shortly after he issued the go code. I have a portion of the transcript of that conversation if you’d like me to to read it. President Merkin Muffley : Read it! General “Buck” Turgidson : Ahem… The Duty Officer asked General Ripper to confirm the fact that he *had* issued the go code, and he said, uh, “Yes gentlemen, they are on their way in, and no one can bring them back. For the sake of our country, and our way of life, I suggest you… Read more »

cg2
cg2
Reply to  steve w
1 month ago

God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural… fluids.

Wait, that sounds a little like Bourbon

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  cg2
1 month ago

I think bourbon is his natural fluid.

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
1 month ago

I think the movie is a classic. I was born in ‘69 but remember enough of the political climate of the 70’s and history to “get it.” It’s not the three stooges, it’s not going to have you ROTFL but neither do the Pink Panther movies. The humor is more “amusing” than out right laugh track funny. The script does a good job encapsulating the Cold War politics of the time, and what your average Joe could picture going on behind the scenes. I’m a huge Sterling Haden fan, his mere presence adds gravitas to anything he’s in. Even though… Read more »

steve w
steve w
Reply to  Vinnyvette
1 month ago

I like Peter Sellers primarily because of ‘Dr Strangelove’. There was another flick in which he is a lawyer so bad that his client – played by Richard Attenborough – was acquitted out of sympathy. I don’t recall seeing him in anything else that made an impression on me.

Re: Sterling Hayden (and Kubrick). The early Kubrick film ‘The Killing’ is one of my favorite Hayden films (along with ‘The Asphalt Jungle’). I’m no big fan of Kubrick, but ‘The Killing’, ‘Dr Strangelove’ and ‘Barry Lyndon’ are all films in my top 100.

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
Reply to  steve w
1 month ago

Hell ya. Those films are some of the best film noir ever. Sellers also did some funny stuff with the Beatles, who were his “drinking buddies.”

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

What I hated about it was the subtext of smug, elitist snobbery. I think I probably would have liked it when I was a teenager, full of myself because I was the smartest kid in high school, but by the time I saw it in my 20s, I had come to despise all the faux-intellectual artsy types who hung out around the U of Minnesota campus, and would do that stupid fake laugh at “humor” like that. There was a lot of self-loathing about my reaction, as I recognized aspects of myself in those around me. Like someone said below,… Read more »

Wiffle
Wiffle
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

Good satire requires a solid moral compass. The Jewish worldview is relativistic. It’s not going produce great art.

Giovanni Dannato
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

There is a category of pretentious art house movies but this isn’t one of them. I first saw Strangelove as a teenager in the 90s and the humor didn’t seem especially difficult to grasp. I couldn’t help but chuckle every time they refer to the display in the war room as the “big board” and that was just a minor detail. One bit that’s a little more subtle is Ripper implying that he’s become impotent and on some level he’s taking down the whole world with him out of spite and a desperate final attempt to reclaim his virility. Once… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Giovanni Dannato
1 month ago

There is a category of pretentious art house movies but this isn’t one of them. I think it is, though. It’s been at least a decade since I watched it, but I’m pretty sure it’s told from a 3rd party POV exclusively. You are seeing things not from the perspective of the players, but of the morally superior third party. It’s his political viewpoints that select those particular vignettes. Granted, that’s true of a lot of movies which never explore the themes they are depicting, but are just preachy for the sake of being preachy, but that’s why there are… Read more »

3g4me
3g4me
1 month ago

I already commented when Zman posted this at subscribe star, so I’m going to leave an off-topic comment about something I found as I browse around the web. As I’ve claimed for years, a ‘conservative Californian” is an oxymoron. And yes I know older unmarried women are batshit, but here’s a self-proclaimed ‘conservative’ who complained there was nowhere to shop in Arizona, plus she’s a vegetarian, plus everyone in Arizona said “I hope you don’t bring your politics here” and hurt her feeewings. Entitled insane old twit.

https://www.businessinsider.com/california-move-arizona-conservative-3-months-politics-returned-2024-4

Steve
Steve
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

Homeland was pretty much a lost cause 25 years ago. As this lady said, it was commuting distance, so of course it got overrun. No idea what it’s like now, but used to be you had to get a ways south of Hemet to find anyone sane.

Vegetarian is a big red flag. Shopping at Whole Foods. Pony and cart??? Bet she had those healing crystal things, too.

It’s not impossible to be conservative in California, but the odds are good that those people are actually thinking relative to all the other moonbats there.

Hemid
Hemid
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

She’s an archetypal American conservative. When I was a kid the Republican Woman—a new phenomenon—was a Californian fitness and diet faddist whose life was about shopping. She’d just begun expanding her political reach from the homeowners’ association to the nation, so she could annoy as many people as possible. Before “Karen” meant white woman, it meant this woman. Vegetarianism was often her thing. It moralizes shopping, increases its cost, masks it as an obligatory chore you can complain (brag) about—and it’s a bitchy imposition on everyone you know. These ladies are a forgotten stereotype, but they’re still out there. They’re… Read more »

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

Sounds typical. Used to get really upset about it. I can still get going on the subject, but they’re dinosaurs. Not so upsetting anymore.

Whiskey
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

There are plenty of people who are conservative in California. We are just overwhelmed by the inrush of “immigrants.” Of all sorts. I am a native Californian, born and bred. Lived most (not all) of my life here. During its Golden Age: 1947-1984 or thereabouts, it was the best place in the history of Mankind for ordinary middle class White people to live. Weather great (not perfect), the most breath-taking scenery in the world (particularly Southern California’s coastal hills and beaches), and relatively uncrowded. It was also very, very conservative. The John Birch Society was strong here, and Reagan was… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Whiskey
1 month ago

There is nothing more achingly beautiful, btw, than looking out at Catalina Island from Crystal Cove State Park hills during the Spring.

My personal favorite was places like that valley on 33(?) north of Ojai. There were all kinds of backroads just over the coastal mountains that were stunning.

TempoNick
TempoNick
1 month ago

One big thing people miss about the “Golden Age” of movies and TV is that a lot of the best comedy (and TV) was created by people who came up through Vaudeville and through the “studio system.” Those Vaudeville entertainers really knew how to do comedy and how to make a show move. Then we have the demise of the studio system, which trained well-rounded entertainers. There is one clip on YouTube of Werner Klemperer and John Banner singing “Silent Night” on YouTube. Forget for a moment how amusing it is for two Jews to be singing Christmas carols and… Read more »

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

Barbara Eden didn’t hurt , she’s a timeless beauty.

steve w
steve w
Reply to  Vinnyvette
1 month ago

Barbara Eden was an epic hottie, as was Elizabeth Montgomery. Shirley Jones was no slouch either, though you need to see ‘Elmer Gantry’ to truly appreciate her… finer points.

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  steve w
1 month ago

Yeah, now we have multicultural POC’s to look at instead of the white beauties that used to be in the movies.

Snarky, but true.

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
Reply to  steve w
1 month ago

Agree. All of them beauties , feminine , sweet with an air of un snobbish class. Shirley Jones is the original MILF “partridge family.” That freakin rack! And a better actress than ppl give credit for. And she married that Jew troll Marty Feldman. What a waste!

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
Reply to  Vinnyvette
1 month ago

Shirley was Married to Marty Inglels.

Not Feldman. My bad

DaBears
DaBears
Reply to  steve w
1 month ago

My high school and undergrad gorgeous girlfriend, and truly beloved friend today in daily convo, is a dead ringer for early Elizabeth Montgomery. We had, and would, fuck like rabbits as was always easy for us. I try not to think like this but you invoked EM. Shame on you ;>)

Alzaebo
Alzaebo
Reply to  DaBears
1 month ago

That lit up my day like nothing else.
What a joy. What a blessing, to have such a constant companion, a pole star, a Sancho to your Quixote.

Barbara Eden. Liz Montgomery.
Ginger and Maryanne. We we lucky or what?

Alzaebo
Alzaebo
Reply to  DaBears
1 month ago

Ah jeez. Petticoat Junction. Emmy Lou. Spock’s wife and Star Trek ensign’s skirts.
Julie Newmar (Catwoman). Emma Peel!

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

“Everything now seems overthought, moves slow, boring.”

Random thought: The Last of the Mohicans would be one of the greatest movies ever made if it was 1/2 hour longer, to flesh out the characters and their relationships. Just a little too rushed.

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Paintersforms
1 month ago

Don’t forget about having to learn all about their personal angst.

Tom K
Tom K
1 month ago

Zman, you’re OK. You do have a sense of humor. It’s just that the Age of Irony in America is over. At one time it was “cool” to laugh at everything. It was cool to have this snarky, “hip” attitude about everything, to mock everything. Woody Allen’s comedies were funny for example. Those days, the days when the Jews controlled comedy, are over. The nuclear arms race was absurd, but it was not funny. At one time I used to think that Dr. Strangelove was extremely funny (I’ve seen it dozens of times) but I don’t anymore. It’s still worth… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Tom K
1 month ago

Sounds like your wife could be a candidate for the Progressive “turning into your parents” guy

Tom K
Tom K
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

Before she sends that towel, I’m going to have to tell her why I responded that way. I think she’ll understand.

Anson Rhodes
Anson Rhodes
1 month ago

This site should steer clear of film reviews. Most of you are embarrassing yourselves. Pretty much everything that Sellers does or says in Dr Strangelove – in any of his characters – is hilarious. It’s his genius ways of acting that makes the film great, but because it’s British humour most of you apparently can’t even see it.
“The string in my leg has gone.” “The what?”, pretty much sums that up.

Eloi
Eloi
Reply to  Anson Rhodes
1 month ago

Ahh… Prometheus brings his erudition to the mortals. Forgive the over-used quote, for I am a mere, lowly human:
De gustibus non est disputandum

Ploppy
Ploppy
1 month ago

I’m kind of surprised you didn’t like the move given that it mainly makes fun of the regime, portraying them as all evil and/or stupid. The degree of callous disregard for human life that the managerial elites in the war room demonstrate isn’t dated in the slightest: switch the conversation from nuclear war to slowly starving the population down to size with cockroach burgers and you’ve got the modern version.

Oswald Spengler
Oswald Spengler
Reply to  Ploppy
1 month ago

General “Buck” Turgidson : Mr. President, we are rapidly approaching a moment of truth both for ourselves as human beings and for the life of our nation. Now, truth is not always a pleasant thing. But it is necessary now to make a choice, to choose between two admittedly regrettable, but nevertheless *distinguishable* postwar environments: one where you got twenty million people killed, and the other where you got a hundred and fifty million people killed. President Merkin Muffley : You’re talking about mass murder, General, not war! General “Buck” Turgidson : Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get… Read more »

Gespenst
Gespenst
Reply to  Oswald Spengler
1 month ago

In these times, when the our oligarchs are building secure underground bunkers in New Zealand, small Hawaiian islands and other such places, the “mine shaft gap” joke stands up pretty well.

TempoNick
TempoNick
1 month ago

Rush Limbaugh used to talk about how when it came to music he didn’t care about lyrics so much. He was more into the music and how it was produced and how it sounded. I’m the same way and that’s the reason I always enjoyed this movie. I thought it was extremely well produced and it flowed very nicely. I especially liked the scene in the plane with the drum beat playing as they go through their checklists in a very businesslike manner. I liked this movie and the way it was produced, the actors they used and the way… Read more »

Intelligent Dasein
Intelligent Dasein
Member
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

I agree, it was well made. I tend to have similar approach as yourself to movies and music. I like many of the movies I enjoy not for the plot or for the characters, but simply for the “atmosphere” they display—nice architecture, good clothing, attractive landscaping, realistic props. One of the reasons I love Columbo so much is simply for its realism in little things. Every cigar is a cigar, every tumbler of booze is a tumbler of booze, every clink of the ice in glass sounds just like it is supposed to. It’s refreshing to see a fictional world… Read more »

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
1 month ago

I was watching the Godfather 3 re-edit last night. First time I’ve ever seen the movie, although I’ve watched the other two numerous times. (Mostly as background noise, I don’t actually sit and focus on TV.) In many parts of the movie that involved the Vatican, I was absolutely in awe with their ability to create that certain mood. I don’t know if it was the acting, the camera angles, post production or just my own imagination, but it was a masterful job even though Godfather 3 is the least liked of the trilogy.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
1 month ago

Another Kubrick move, Barry Lyndon, really did it for me in that department

Zaphod
Zaphod
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

I’ll second that!

Teaser:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V_TXNdn5ss

steve w
steve w
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
1 month ago

ID: To agree and amplify… In the case of a film like Dr Strangelove, the pacing, cinematography, and above all the screenplay, make it a classic *even if* one doesn’t find it funny. Take the scenes from Major Kong’s B-52. Except for some of Kong’s quips and his “giddyup” attitude toward engaging in “nuclear combat toe to toe with the Russkies”, it’s damned good film-making, respectful of the crew and their commitment to doing their job. A lesser director and screenwriter would have made Kong and his crew out to be a bunch of no-nothing hicks, or done his homework… Read more »

cg2
cg2
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
1 month ago

“I like many of the movies I enjoy not for the plot or for the characters, but simply for the “atmosphere” they display—nice architecture, good clothing, attractive landscaping, realistic props.”
Mad Men

Dan9fromouterspace
Dan9fromouterspace
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

Loved Limbaugh.
But he swooned over Mannheim Steamroller. So yeah, no.

SkepticMan
SkepticMan
1 month ago

It’s obvious why everyone hated your review the first time it came out. You clearly have no sense of humor, but at least your self-aware about it. Apparently, you need a scorecard to tell you where the jokes are. “At this time in history, society believed X, the character says Y. This is funny. Now laugh.” George C Scott was hilarious as Turgidson. When Sellers asks him if the bombers can get through, he can’t help himself. He actually wants them to get through. He’s so in love with his bombers that he spreads his arms like wings to fly… Read more »

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  SkepticMan
1 month ago

It wasn’t belly laugh funny, but it was amusing in spots.

steve w
steve w
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

Belly laugh funny – at 7 – is Curly and Larry pulling a huge fish through a hole in a frozen pond, only to discover it’s no fish – it’s Moe. Belly laugh funny – at 14 – is the opening of ‘Monty Python’s Search for The Holy Grail’ when out of the medieval mists prances King Arthur, with his servant pounding coconuts to mimic the sound of a horse’s hoofs. Belly laugh funny – at 21 – is Bluto bouncing a ladder across the wall of the sorority house to check out the nude girls, with disastrous results. Fast… Read more »

Drive-By Shooter
Drive-By Shooter
Reply to  SkepticMan
1 month ago

Yep, that mockery of military fools plays well a lifetime later. You must remember also the scene with Mandrake and the wet American robot at the vending machine. It’s another incisive moment. The robot was worried about a tiny little bit of “private property” when there is a gigantic danger to almost all property he holds sacred. It’s a dig at jurisprudes, which the USA has long produced in massive numbers, like the Coca-Cola company produces bottles of an unnecessary beverage. The slavish fool bemoans damaging something owned by a faction of American gangster capitalism, which is an important reason… Read more »

kerdasi amaq
kerdasi amaq
Reply to  Drive-By Shooter
1 month ago

That scene with the Coke machine is not something that would make the WWII personnel of the Pentagon laugh.

Notice the name; you know what “Guano” is?

Pozymandias
Reply to  SkepticMan
1 month ago

Turgidson’s B-52 impersonation is what I think is the closest thing to LOL funny in the movie. Oh, and since I haven’t seen anyone reference this yet – “Mein Führer, I can walk!”

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Speaking of a line, or bit that few will now understand, I give you the arguing of the idea of “Presidential immunity” going on right now at SCOTUS. I am listening to Dreeben argue the governments position to Justice Alito and if one listens to this reprobates voice, one cannot help but be reminded of the voice of the mad scientist who approaches Bugs Bunny and asks “Oh no, did you drink this?!?” One look at the reprobates face and one could understand why he would never be allowed within 100 feet of a grade school. Our country is gone… Read more »

Drive-By Shooter
Drive-By Shooter
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

Meh. The dispute in the SCOTUS is quibbling among zombies and pettifoggers about the contours of fake law.

The Union has been a great fraud all along, and its grasping, thirsty people ruined much of its territory, i.e. the country, for no good reason. Let’s not shed a tear for Columbia’s demise or for the destruction of people who want to perpetuate the Union.

Be happy. We have an open window of opportunity to bring about a new beginning—one cleansed of errors such as Abrahamism, egalitarianism, liberalism, fanatical capitalism, and democracy.

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
Reply to  Drive-By Shooter
1 month ago

And you intend to replace capitalism and “republicanism” we don’t live in a democracy with what exactly? Everyone hates what we’ve got, no one including Z ever says what they intend to replace it with. The founders set up the best system of government in the history of mankind. It was not designed or intended for the type of people we have running it now, or for the current body politic. No system of govt is perfect or near perfect. Because all human beings are imperfect. Monarchy was the norm Throughout history. The founders threw off the king. Because it… Read more »

Templar
Templar
Reply to  Vinnyvette
1 month ago

“The founders threw off the king. Because it sucked….”

…that he forbade them from buying up Quebec for pennies on the dollar.

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
1 month ago

“I did pick up that they were mocking country people, as Slim Pickens …” I think you’re misreading it. He’s not being mocked. He’s just an ordinary American following orders — “Ours not to reason why.” The film falls into the genre of black humor — you can’t laugh at it as it’s too close to the era of that time (and maybe of this era as well). For example when the president asks about possible US casualties and the general played by George C. Scott says (while chewing gum and grinning nonchalantly), “Fifteen, twenty million, tops.” These are lives… Read more »

rz
rz
Reply to  Arshad Ali
1 month ago

“I too did not laugh at the film — this is black humor, after all. It’s too close to the truth to even smile at.”

This is the reason I laughed at this movie.

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
1 month ago

I think it was meant as a commentary on the risk of nuclear war, much like The Day After twenty years later. Dr Strange love was made as a comedy and The Day After as a TV movie drama but the latter seems to have had a greater impact on policy. There is something absurd about building so many weapons that we can (probably, maybe??) wipe out vertebrate life on the northern hemisphere because we and the other side don’t like each other much. We’re very much back at that same place, Uncle Sam and Uncle Vlad ready to nuke… Read more »

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
1 month ago

I always question whether or not they exaggerate about this. I once heard a physicist on NPR muse about what would happen if you lined up a bunch of nuclear bombs in sequence along the Earth’s equator. He said you would just end up with a big radioactive trench and that’s all that would happen. I don’t think we’re nearly as powerful as we pretend to be. The earth and the universe are simply too vast. We’re like little ants working Gods ant farm.

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

Quite a few dissidents are skeptical about how bad nuclear weapons really are. I think they are basically “that bad” but whether there would be a nuclear winter to kill off the survivors and things like that I don’t know. Some year in the early 1800s was known as “the year without a summer”. Because a giant volcano in Indonesia erupted. I think that’s how they got the idea for the nuclear winter. I’m skeptical of the climate “emergency” and find the higher estimates of dangers from nuclear weapons credible. Others will think differently. But 50 million dead Americans, a… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
1 month ago

Krakatoa erupted in 1883.

MadMax1861
MadMax1861
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted in 1815. 1816 was the “Year Without a Summer.” It was also called “1800 and froze to death” and “The Poverty Year.”

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
1 month ago

On a scale from 1 (just a flesh wound) to 10 (the end of all life on earth), you gotta figure all out nuclear war would rate at least a 6

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

I’d say it’s probably in that ballpark yeah

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

That’s fair, though I’d go on the lower end of medium. Maybe a 4.

Templar
Templar
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
1 month ago

“..whether there would be a nuclear winter to kill off the survivors and things like that I don’t know.”

Defector Sergei Tretyakov has claimed that the concept of nuclear winter was invented by the KGB for propaganda purposes.

Gespenst
Gespenst
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

“He said you would just end up with a big radioactive trench and that’s all that would happen.”

Well, yes, if you lined the bombs up at the Equator and set them off, that would happen. Different things would happen if the bombs went off in population centers and key infrastructure nodes.

But that’s NPR.

Pozymandias
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

Given that it’s NPR I suppose they were hoping he would say something like “well, it could slice the planet in half at the equator!”. For all their pretensions of intellect and worldly knowledge Lefties are often operating at 3rd grade level when it comes to understanding the physical world. Another example would be that ridiculous person who claimed to have fired an AR-15 and how the recoil nearly killed him and the bullet went through 15 feet of concrete or some such garbage. Anyone who has actually fired one knows that the recoil is barely that of a .22… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Karl Horst (Germany)
1 month ago

I find the enjoyment of movies, music and entertainment in general are tied to my own personal experiences and sense of the world I grew up in. The problem with “getting” a joke is if you don’t understand the subtle nuances of the language or the culture, it makes no sense. I suspect most people can’t relate to movies made in their parents generation, any more than our kids can appreciate movies we grew up with from the 70’s and 80’s. I always liked the Conan the Barbarian movies, but my kids think they are embarrassing and silly. It just… Read more »

Intelligent Dasein
Intelligent Dasein
Member
Reply to  Karl Horst (Germany)
1 month ago

“Do you have a reum?”

Tom K
Tom K
Reply to  Karl Horst (Germany)
1 month ago

At first, I thought you were talking about Clare Quilty, but I see you’re talking about Inspector Clouseau. Lolita was what literary critics would call a tragi-comedy, I think. It’s about a sexual predator preying on a young girl. Fathers, give your daughters a strong male role model. The tragedy of Lolita is that Lolita didn’t have a father. In lieu of having a SMRM, Lolita chose the pimp Quilty. It may not be possible in this day and age to shield girls against all the harmful influences, but it is still possible to give them a SMRM if you… Read more »

Maxda
Maxda
Reply to  Karl Horst (Germany)
1 month ago

I showed my kids one of the original Pink Panther movies (either Return or Strikes Again). They just looked bored and confused and put off by the pace. It was disappointing.

KGB
KGB
Reply to  Maxda
1 month ago

Have you seen Sellers in The Party? Not much of a plot, but some fantastic broad humor. Future Evangelical Gavin MacLeod inverts the usual paradigm by portraying a Hollywood Jew.

Alzaebo
Alzaebo
Reply to  Karl Horst (Germany)
1 month ago

Tell you kids the truth about our distant future: Earth is a myth. Amongst the far stars, all memory of the original homeworld is lost. Many fierce disputes debate whether there ever was such a thing. Then, in a remote patch of space, an ancient relic is found. More raging disputes over its provenance. Some say this is evidence of Man’s earliest forays. In the forgotten craft, little can be salvaged. One small treasure is found. A record! Its primitive media, decoded! It is the only known history we have of the mythical Earth. Of Mankind’s prehistoric First Age, before… Read more »

Falcone
Falcone
1 month ago

Wondering if the whole conversation about “red pills” and “blue pills” etc etc will be lost on future generations as well.

I sure as shit hope so

Filthie
Filthie
Member
1 month ago

Yup, I had a similar and much more pronounced experience of the same thing. Years ago, fed up with shitlib social justice message fiction – I decided to start reading all the classics I missed as a kid in hopes of finding something to read rather than faggotry, feminism, multiculturalism, racism or socialism. I bought a copy of Don Quixote and man – what a bummer. I knew nothing about it and in no time I realized that I’d actually bought a history book. All the jokes had to be foot noted and explained. The characters had to be footnoted… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Filthie
1 month ago

To laugh at today’s “humor” is the only surefire way to know that, yes indeed, your sensayuma has died.

RasQball
RasQball
Reply to  Filthie
1 month ago

A Castilian is someone from the Spanish Heartland: a True Spaniard (in contrast (by comparison) to Valencians, Galicians, Basques, et.al. Per the humor in Cervantes, a Castilian would be the equivalent of a “REAL ‘Murican”. I guess that if you are not hip to the Reconquest and the Conversos/Moriscos, Cervantes’ use of the term “Old Christian” must have come across as No fault found, just AmazeBalled: The Edu-System in the USA leaves a great deal to be desired. (But… we know all about Frederick Douglas and Rosa Parks, of course…!) Q: The word “Dalmatian” can refer to A: a domestic… Read more »

Filthie
Filthie
Member
Reply to  RasQball
1 month ago

Hmpffffff. In the footnotes, a Castilian is the castles janitor. The gag was that Don Quixote, supposedly of the noble class, was treating the Castilian like a prince or royal blue blood…

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Filthie
1 month ago

I believe that’s a castellan.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
1 month ago

Coincidentally, Fail-Safe, which was released about a week after Dr. Strangelove, had an almost identical plot, but no humor whatsoever. It’s the most deadly serious film I’ve ever seen, and it also ranks among the top four films I’ve ever seen.

Semi-Hemi
Semi-Hemi
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

I never really liked Fail Safe very much. The bit with air force officers parents and the B-58 Missile launch film to mimic afterburners and lots of other ridiculousness made me kind of hate it.

Mikew
Mikew
1 month ago

Strangelove was, of course, overrated and not particularly funny. Full Metal Jacket was another overrated Kubrick movie. Aside from the boot camp sequence it might have been the worst Nam movie of all.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Mikew
1 month ago

The helicopter scene might have been the peak of black humor, but otherwise, as I said below, subtract R. Lee Ermey and it’s a bomb

Getreal
Getreal
Reply to  Mikew
1 month ago

“Aside from the boot camp sequence it might have been the worst Nam movie of all.”

Except for the boot camp sequence and the dumb lady sniper ending, it was the best Nam movie of all time.

Forever Templar
Forever Templar
Reply to  Mikew
1 month ago

Nah, you just don’t like Kubrick.

DaBears
DaBears
Reply to  Mikew
1 month ago

The worst ‘Nam movie was actually The Green Berets. And I was a John Wayne fan and patriot. But the film was a stinker.

Maxda
Maxda
Reply to  Mikew
1 month ago

The problem with Full Metal Jacket is that both halves of the movie ended with stupid unbelievable scenes.

The barracks murder / suicide took me out of the movie for a bunch of reasons (such as we turned on our rifles to the armory the week before graduation, and the simple fact that you leave the Island right after graduation).

The girl sniper scene was just stupid. In Hue City, they would have just knocked the building over with a tank or artillery.

Tom K
Tom K
Reply to  Maxda
1 month ago

It’s funny how when you see the logical hole you can’t unsee it. I love that movie Master and Commander, but the ending was dumb.

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
1 month ago

The same people and the same types of people who worried about nuclear war and held up “better red than dead” placards are now pushing for war with Russia. To make a modern remake more applicable to the times, we need a movie that combines the movies Idiocracy and Dr Strangelove.

Gespenst
Gespenst
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
1 month ago

I’d pay money to watch that movie.

Bilejones
Member
Reply to  Gespenst
1 month ago

Why watch it when you’re living it?

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
1 month ago

Didn’t we get a taste of it with that NATO Stars Wars/Ukraine tweet

Eloi
Eloi
1 month ago

Satire (nearly) always requires context, but, even provided the context, the ability to find something, not just satire, funny requires not just intellectual understanding but emotional proximity. Satire, however, is particularly difficult to find atemporal humor, as its focus is on the foibles of society, and society changes. I have never seen Dr. Strangelove, but I am passingly aware of it. For me, in my 30s, I am sure watching it would be like seeing a WWII propaganda poster: an intellectual curio that in no way elicits the patriotic fervor or xeno-induced fear that it would have in the 1940s… Read more »

Chazz
Chazz
Reply to  Eloi
1 month ago

Dr. Strangelove was, for me, at the time, then a military pilot, a good film, but it is easy to see why it wouldn’t work well today. I thought Sterling Hayden, Slim Pickens, and George C. Scott, were excellent in their roles but Peter Sellers, not so much. Satire requires both context and implicit humor but Peter played it mostly as comedy and that was wrong.

Wiffle
Wiffle
Reply to  Eloi
1 month ago

“Satire, however, is particularly difficult to find atemporal humor, as its focus is on the foibles of society, and society changes.” Satire done well will touch on universal human experiences through the particular. That’s why a Midsummer’s Night Dream is still funny. Most topical humor dates itself because quite often it’s not proper satire, but a joke at the “other guy’s” expense. Most 1960’s/70’s televised humor involves pretending to rebel “against the man/system”. It’s Mad Magazine, but in moving picture form. The irony of mass marketed “take down down the man” pulp is another essay. Anyway, it’s easy to make… Read more »

Eloi
Eloi
Reply to  Wiffle
1 month ago

I completely agree. That’s why I emphasize the political angle potentially harms the universal appeal – but point out that satire can be timeless when the key point is 1) understood and 2) relatable.

Eloi
Eloi
Reply to  Eloi
1 month ago

I do agree you make a nice distinction about satire versus jabs at the other guy; having only seen snippets and clips of Strangelove, I cannot argue if it does that.

kerdasi amaq
kerdasi amaq
Reply to  Wiffle
1 month ago

If you think satire is just about making people laugh; you reveal yourself to be a moron who is incapable of sentient thought.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  kerdasi amaq
1 month ago

Nazofast. Sure, it can be nothing more than social commentary (which this is not) or a critique of government or authority figures (mostly ditto) devoid of humor, but then it’s not very effective, and moves it into more of just irony or even nihilism, which this accomplishes in spades. Part of which is why I think the teenage me would have loved this — that’s where I was at that point in my life. A much better satire of the same subject, coincidentally starring Peter Sellers in multiple (also 3, IIRC) roles, was The Mouse that Roared. Even people with… Read more »

Mike Tre
Mike Tre
1 month ago

I saw it last maybe 25 years ago, because in our group we had that one guy who worshiped Kubrick and he was the greatest ever blah blah blah. The older I get the more it occurs to me that Kubrick’s movies weren’t all that great, and were just more subtlety structured versions of the anti-white messaging that Hollywood has been passing along for a century now. As Z noted: Dr. S reminds us that Nazi’s are bad and white southern hicks are the real warmongers. A Clockwork Orange was a ridiculous pieces of trash with more nazi nazi nazi!… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Mike Tre
1 month ago

If it hadn’t been for R. Lee Ermey usurping, reinventing, and ad libbing his own lines for that role, that movie would have been a total dud. But no doubt the Kubrick fans would have told us how great it was regardless.

Larval
Larval
Reply to  Mike Tre
1 month ago

“The older I get the more it occurs to me that Kubrick’s movies weren’t all that great…”

IMO the moon landing one was exceptional. Got a big audience.

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Larval
1 month ago

People like to joke about that, but NASA losing the videotape? Come on.

I read an explanation on the chans that actually made some sense. It said that we did go to the moon, but NASA didn’t want it on live TV. They were afraid some calamity might happen and it would be too traumatic for the American people and it would end the space program.

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Mike Tre
1 month ago

I saw Full Metal Jacket in the movie theater and thought it was great and I still do to this day. OTOH, I thought 2001 was terrible.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

Opponents of water fluoridation were thus marginalized for the next 60 years (and counting)

Per Wokapedia, “Fluoridation became an official policy of the U.S. Public Health Service by 1951, and by 1960 water fluoridation had become widely used in the U.S., reaching about 50 million people.” DS was released in 1964.

TomA
TomA
1 month ago

OK, I was 9 years old when Dr. Strangelove came out and I remember watching it first in a movie theater. And my most memorable reaction to that experience was in thinking “yes, our government really is that crazy.” And yes, it was funny; side-splitting funny. And it was also poignant and iconic and totally at odds with the “Leave It To Beaver” entertainment of that era. When I read the line “it would be a solid drama” above, I started laughing and could not stop for 5 minutes. That is the essence of the humor in the movie. It’s… Read more »

Delmar Jackson
1 month ago

This is a tough room. I never liked the 3 Stooges or Louis CK or Amy Schumer or anyone now on late-night TV or almost any current Hollywood comedy, but I have seen Dr Strangelove maybe 6 times. The funniest scene is the phone call to the Russian President. ” you know this is a friendly call, Dimitri, if it wasn’t I wouldn’t even be calling you.” I am a huge fan of Sterling Hayden after reading both of his books and his performance was my favorite. I know someone who makes YouTube videos who did flattering positive book reviews… Read more »

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  Delmar Jackson
1 month ago

Hayden’s book Wanderer was a excellent portrait of a man giving the finger to the system.

Cruciform
Cruciform
Reply to  Delmar Jackson
1 month ago

3 Stooges
Commonality?

Louis CK
In common with ‘stooges’?

Amy Schumer
In common with ‘stooges’?

This old Vaudeville schtick was invented by one group of degenerates, became ever more filthy, and was never funny IMO. No, the fat yenta Schumer, not funny. Hard on the eyes to boot. The rest, ugly, dysgenic.

RasQball
RasQball
1 month ago

Dr. Strangelove was a COMEDY???
😉
Anyway, you should al check out The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967): one of the great unheralded Horror Films of all time…

Gespenst
Gespenst
Reply to  RasQball
1 month ago

I agree with you about the Fearless Vampire Killers. Too bad about Sharon Tate, both for her movie character and herself.

RasQball
RasQball
Reply to  Gespenst
1 month ago

Ah, Sharon…not only beautiful, but “beautiful” – luminescent, enchanted.
Highly intelligent, funny; All Warmth.
(Also cool – super cool – in a way that is simply beyond our grasp, singly or collectively, here in the 21st century.)
Until three months ago, when The Internets informed that my father and Sharon share a birth date (01/24), I don’t think I had ever laid eyes on her. And now…I can’t get her off of my mind.
(Strange thing, falling in love with a ghost..!)

Gespenst
Gespenst
1 month ago

The movie’s satire made sense back then. We knew who Curtis LeMay was and what he thought about warfare, so we knew the military caricature that Jack. D. Ripper was making fun of. Anyone familiar with Herman Kahn’s “Thinking About the Unthinkable” would understand what Peter Sellers in the wheel chair was parodying. I myself had an Operation Paperclip guy for a professor when I first saw the movie in 1965. The Vietnam thing was blundering along then. Some people were whooping for war and some had the idea that military adventures might not work out as portrayed in older… Read more »

Intelligent Dasein
Intelligent Dasein
Member
1 month ago

I have to admit, I never saw the genius in Dr. Strangelove, either. I do “get the jokes,” as it were, I just didn’t think the jokes were very funny. Part of this is because the nuclear doctrines of the Cold War era—the readiness and response protocols and the fire control fail-safes—actually did work in real life. They were engineered by men who knew what they were doing. There was obviously a lot of thought that went into them, a lot of skill and expertise. They do not seem like applicable avenues for mockery to me. It would be like… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
1 month ago

Carlin was, at times, an incisive social commentator, but you’re right, he wasn’t really a comedian

Wiffle
Wiffle
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

Carlin commentary, like much of what passed for humor in the late 20th century was:
“Everything I don’t understand, seems wrong to 2nd grader, or inconveniences me is stupid.”

The Mad Magazine ethos simply was not all that funny to begin with, has very little of interest to say, and ages like an open cottage cheese container on the counter.

Giovanni Dannato
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
1 month ago

Part of the entire joke and charm of Strangelove is exactly the dire seriousness of the situation and how it has the boldness to make light of it. Humor is often how people deal with bad situations and this is one of my favorite applications

Guest
Guest
1 month ago

You did not laugh because the movie is not funny. Dr. Strangelove is bourgeoisie humor, which is funny only to the elitist State Department types who mock the military men they will come to rely upon to provide muscle for their global adventures. It ranks right up there with Rocky Horror Picture Show for how awful it is. It’s not a coincidence that both of these films are in in the genre of cult films for college students.

DaBears
DaBears
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

It’s Paths of Glory with Cold War humor. Not at all cult-like as with RHPS. I mock our military since a bunch of peasant rice farmers showed the world how to kick our ass, an expensive lesson that did not take. Today we can’t even defend our own borders and generals of which we have a surfeit order our nominal “men” to march in high heels. Kubrick would have a literal field day. I have no respect for serving US military, it’s the Rooskies who are the professionals now.

Curious Monkey
Curious Monkey
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

As a possessor of said bougie education I can confirm. I find the movie funny, but as you understand human psychology better you discover part of the fun of many jokes is that you get it. Part of enjoying some things is having the decoder ring to understand that the joke is on those dumb military men. “I am so smart that I understand the joke” is 90% of the thrill. I never got exposed to Rocky Horror and only heard about it from some college kids that “got it”, but as I was exposed to it way later in… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

It’s noteworthy that Rocky Horror absolutely bombed upon its initial release. Yet somehow, mysteriously, it was kept alive for those Friday night midnight screenings, until a whole generation was exposed to the cross dressing and degeneracy.

DaBears
DaBears
1 month ago

I thought the film was insightful and hilarious even as a Gen X kid. Watched it several times throughout life. Z and others are missing a funny bone. Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here it’s a war room. Shug, promise me you’ll say your prayers tonight. Sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids. The Russian snapping photos of the war room. Evaluating a survival kit, saying shoot, a fella could have a purty good time in Vegas with all this. I’ma gonna git them doors open if it harelips everybody in Bear Crik. Col. Bat-Guano. You’re going to… Read more »

Wiffle
Wiffle
Reply to  DaBears
1 month ago

It’s only funny to the extent that sincere investment into the best outcome can be mocked, prayer is a chump’s activity, hedonism is birth right, etc, etc. Jewish humor is so empty because the primary message is “Everything is stupid and meaningless, so laugh it at all and then go buy something.”

mmack
mmack
1 month ago

First off Z, thanks for being honest and willing to take the slings and arrows of going against the grain. Humor is subjective. Any guy who likes The Three Stooges finds out quickly women generally don’t. Topical humor doesn’t age well because as you point out, time moves on and things change in society. What seems fresh and new looks dated and trite ten, twenty, fifty years on. Views and orthodoxies change as well. Old cartoons, movies, and television shows could make fun of the follies and foibles of women. Goodness forbid you try that now YOU HATER! Girl bosses… Read more »

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  mmack
1 month ago

Shoehorning the Three Stooges stuff is what sent the Lethal Weapon series off the rails.

Teen sex comedies went full degenerate with 2002’s Not Another Teen Movie, starring a young, brunette Chris Evans who would later become Captain America.

Tom K
Tom K
Reply to  mmack
1 month ago

“Fish out of water (character in different time / different society)”

Idiocracy, Being There

Reziac
Reziac
1 month ago

You did better than me. I found the trailer. Bailed at 24 seconds. Hit my “boring AND stupid” trigger. Then looked up Kubrick’s filmography, which is not nearly as extensive as the fame implies, only 13 released films. Have seen 2001 (bored out of my mind), A Clockwork Orange (interesting moments, but overall either dull or horrifying), random bits of others which either failed to catch my interest or actively repelled me, and Spartacus (remember as a good period epic, but it’s been a lot of decades). That last was the only one Kubrick didn’t write. Conclusion: overrated due to… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Reziac
1 month ago

A Clockwork Orange is the most disturbing film I’ve ever seen. Saw it once, will never watch it again.

Tom K
Tom K
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

“Saw it once, will never watch it again.”

And you didn’t even watch it under the Ludovico Technique I assume.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Tom K
1 month ago

No. They didn’t give me a touch of the Ludwig van…

Actually
Actually
Reply to  Reziac
1 month ago

So, not a “artsy-fartsy” film geek by any stretch of the imagination. Am actually a STEM tech geek – how I have paid my bills all these many years. Hard core engineering problems put the kids through college… But any discussion of Kubrick films MUST include how revolutionary his cinematography was in the vast majority of his works. Any critic of Kubrick who has not seen Barry Lyndon AND read about how the candlelight scenes were filmed is simply uninformed. In 2024 we are used to seeing images on screens with the full impact of years of digital computing power.… Read more »

Zaphod
Zaphod
Reply to  Actually
1 month ago

Agreed. His unprecedented use of special f/0.7 Zeiss 50mm lenses to film (as OP says real film, no digital HDR) *by candle light* in Barry Lyndon is legendary. The level of technical skill *and* composition in getting scenes to work shot at that insanely wide aperture is incredible.

https://petapixel.com/2016/07/18/check-legendary-nasa-f0-7-lens-frakencamera-kubrick-used/

The use of colour and composition in that movie is a marvel: every scene looks like an animated still from a C18 painting.

Wiffle
Wiffle
Reply to  Zaphod
1 month ago

Really good movies are more than their cinematography.

Zaphod
Zaphod
Reply to  Wiffle
1 month ago

Have you watched it?

It is a really good movie.

Of course the cinematography is a necessary but not the only part of this. Imagine if you will the 2001 script as used but filmed by Ed Wood.

Wiffle
Wiffle
Reply to  Actually
1 month ago

“To slot Kubrick into the “just another white hating joo” category is intellectually lazy/dishonest. Kind of like saying Bobby Fischer was no good at chess because he had a jewish mother…” The issue with the JQ is in not being allowed to notice and having a coherent discussion about their impact as group. Of course there are genius Jews, as there in is any group. There’s nothing wrong with liking the work any individual, regardless of background. That said, I find that most Jewish work is overhyped in most areas. Bobby Fischer probably counts there too, although he was open… Read more »

Zaphod
Zaphod
Reply to  Wiffle
1 month ago

If you want to get into the overall societal success of the various schools of Gesamtkunstwerk (yep), arriving at the current year looks pretty much like results to date are: Joos: 10^6, Rest of us: ~0 — with honourable losers’ mentions for the late Ms Riefenstahl, Orson Welles, Walt Disney, Kurosawa, and a few others.

Seems that we’d better get our collective heads around sound, lighting, cinematography, composition, plot, etc., etc., in all fields of cultural endeavour and at the same time our collective asses out of the Copeium Den.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Zaphod
1 month ago

I’m not audiophile by any definition, but am a competent sound engineer. Preach it, @Zaphod. I am amazed at some of the audio effects that people accomplished in the days before DAWs. What passes for good mixing engineers now are hard pressed to even match what effects people then accomplished by varying the speed of the tape, or putting a transducer on a piece of sheet metal, or selecting mostly worn out vacuum tubes or simply strategic placement of microphones or selection of the sound “stage”.

Dan9fromouterspace
Dan9fromouterspace
Reply to  Reziac
1 month ago

Wow, 24 seconds of trailer-watching and 5 minutes of IMDB and a conclusion to boot. Why does Zman even bother with reviews when talent like this banging around the site.

Carl B.
Carl B.
1 month ago

Re “Strangelove” : “That’s so funny I forgot to laugh ” – Lisa Loopner

Agree with Z’s assessment.

JG
JG
1 month ago

Knowing the world we are about to be stuck with, I’m ambivalent about it. Best line of the movie “… you cant’ fight in here, it’s the war room!”

Bartleby the Scrivner
Bartleby the Scrivner
Reply to  JG
1 month ago

“Listen, Shug, don’t forget to say your prayers”.

Oswald Spengler
Oswald Spengler
Reply to  Bartleby the Scrivner
1 month ago

Then Buck Turgidson looks around the War Room nervously, like a kid who’s worried he got caught playing a prank.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
1 month ago

It’s one of my favorites because of Jack D. Ripper. I know I’m supposed to laugh at him, but I find myself nodding in agreement. Overall, I think it’s Idiocracy for peak Cold War. More pretentious because mocking pretense. Seems to be a Kubrick thing to me. Never saw the subtlety in Jewish humor (or art for that matter). I get a kick out if because of that. Blow off a little steam— but not too much lol.

pyrrhus
pyrrhus
Reply to  Paintersforms
1 month ago

Daniel Ellsberg, who at the time was deeply involved in the Pentagon’s nuclear planning, says in his book that when he and a friend went to see it, they thought it was a documentary…The US nuclear posture, a top secret, was exactly as Kubrick depicted it, and so was the B-52 cockpit, another secret…It was indeed a situation where one local commander could start WWIII…I thought Sellers was hysterical in his roles, and General Jack D. Ripper was great too….

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  Paintersforms
1 month ago

Sure.

Except General Ripper was spot on about communism and water fluorination.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
1 month ago

Yep. Same thing with Conan. “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, hear the lamentations of the women.” I’m watching that and thinking, Right on, bro!

Horace
Horace
Reply to  Paintersforms
1 month ago

… crush your enemies, drive them before you by using their biologically correct pronouns, and hear the lamentations of their gender-indeterminate xirl-creatures.