"It remains as outrageously prankish, juvenile, and derisive as ever," writes David Denby in the New Yorker magazine's blog. He's referring to a true monument of 1960s nuclear-paranoid culture,
Denby is a bit late with his 50-year anniversary reappraisal -- the film's premiere took place in January 1964 -- but his peg is the current screening of a freshly cleaned-up 35-mm print at
The old corrosive Kubrick wit resurfaced in the first half of
Fans who saw "Strangelove" upon its original release may still remember the shock of witnessing the deadly lethalities of nuclear war policy undone by sheer ridicule. It really was the only way to get the point across. Much later, the sinister nonchalance of nuclear policymakers was reported by my former colleague Bob Scheer, in his astonishing 1983 book "With Enough Shovels." Scheer quoted a
Schlosser points out that, despite the demurrers of Pentagon officials at the time, "Dr. Strangelove's" basic scenario, a series of mishaps that sends a U.S. bomber on an unauthorized nuclear attack on Russia, was theoretically possible. "In retrospect," he writes, "Kubrick’s black comedy provided a far more accurate description of the dangers inherent in nuclear command-and-control systems than the ones that the American people got from the White House, the Pentagon, and the mainstream media."