The Making of Dr. Strangelove (2013) [video]

68 points3
sidcool6 hours ago

My all time favorite movie. First time I watched it i was floored. And the technical aspects are also cool. I read somewhere that the details were so spot on that military had investigated Kubrick if stealing defence secrets

Synaesthesia5 hours ago

Might just be the greatest movie of all time, certainly my favourite too. I read recently that it was kind of the "Big Lebowski" of it's generation, with tons of quotable quotes, eg "You're gonna have to answer to the coco-cola company"

sidcool2 hours ago

TBH I find Big Lebowski bit overrated compared to the other greats. It's a nice movie, no doubt, but not in the same league as Strangelove or Goodfellas or Godfather.

mads4 hours ago

You are right. I personally enjoyed the quote "No fighting in the war room".

dvh38 minutes ago

Nothing beats "Mein fuhrer, I can walk!"

WalterBright4 hours ago

Major Bat Guano

preisschild2 hours ago

I believe it was due to the interior of the B-52. Very similar to the real thing if you look at photos now.

gandalfgreybeer5 hours ago

The military secrets thing is at 10:46 of the video in case you’re interested. Not much details but I still found it interesting.

xamuel8 hours ago

Kubrick films often have "once-you-see-it-you-can't-unsee-it" easter eggs. In Strangelove there's an amazing one: the big circular table in the war room (with the circular lights above it) looks like a mushroom cloud if you squint at it right.

Bonus "can't-unsee-it" in the title itself: Strangelove = Strangle + Glove

bmitc4 hours ago

This is probably in the posted video at some point, but George C. Scott was a serious actor who Kubrick talked into starting a scene with a few silly and ridiculous takes to warm up and that the real takes would be the later ones. In typical Kubrick fashion, he used the silly takes in the final edit.

Kubrick is one of the most manipulative directors I have ever read about. He's a genius for sure, but I can't imagine he was much fun to work for as an actor.

denton-scratch43 minutes ago

> He's a genius for sure, but I can't imagine he was much fun to work for as an actor.

Malcolm McDowell would comfirm that working with Kubrick was punishing. My fave Kubrick movie is 2001; happily for the cast, there's not very much acting in that movie.

Someone3 hours ago

From that WSJ article:

“Stanley was unfailingly polite and even-tempered on the set. After every take that didn't work, even the 100th, he would say nothing more than "Let's try that again."

Of course, it was also true that Stanley was a control freak of the highest order and ran his set more like a dictator than a director. He treated actors as if they were technical elements in his design, not as creative professionals like himself.”

Another glimpse of how working with Kubrick was: (“If you did a film with Stanley, you were married to him. There was nothing else in your life.”)

I don’t think anybody could direct a movie the way Kubrick did today. They would be canceled before the shoot (which would be long. That reference to the 100th take above may not have been an exaggeration. Kubrick is in the Guinness book of world records for doing 148 takes of a scene in “the Shining”. See was over.

On the other hand, Elon Musk seems to get away with being very manipulative and demanding of his personnel.

watwut1 hour ago

I dont know about directors being cancelled for taking too many takes. The cancellation issues tend to center around sexual abuse and it took many accusers over years for anything to happen. And they typically bounced back quickly anyway.

scaredginger3 hours ago

Yeah, I feel really bad for what Shelley Duvall went through, Kubrick was a maniac by the sounds of it. The Shining is a masterpiece all the same though

js26 hours ago

Fun fact: Fail Safe was released the same year as Dr. Strangelove by the same studio. Directed by Sidney Lumet, it’s also about nuclear war. It’s a fine movie in its own right. From the Wikipedia:

> Fail Safe so closely resembled Peter George's novel Red Alert, on which Dr. Strangelove was based, that Dr. Strangelove screenwriter/director Stanley Kubrick and George filed a copyright infringement lawsuit. The case was settled out of court. The result of the settlement was that Columbia Pictures, which had financed and was distributing Dr. Strangelove, also bought Fail Safe, which had been an independently financed production. Kubrick insisted that the studio release his movie first.

Synaesthesia5 hours ago

Funny how movie studios seem to make similar movies at the same time. Remember when a few different movies about Mars came out at the same time?

Stratoscope4 hours ago

Or Armageddon and Deep Impact:

> Deep Impact was released in the same summer as a similarly themed film, Armageddon, which fared better at the box office, while astronomers described Deep Impact as being more scientifically accurate.

ggambetta3 hours ago

Or The Matrix and The 13th Floor!

oblib5 hours ago

I think I saw that the first time when I was about 11 years old, so around 1970. Before that I grew up watching the TV show "Combat" and show like that were all I really knew about our Military.

I was stunned at how they portrayed the insanity and ineptitude of our Military Officers and politicians. They made it look so crazy and believable at the same time. But what was really stunning was someone had the balls to make it.

In that same sort of genre Kelsey Grammer in "The Pentagon Wars" (1998) is pretty good too. I haven't watched either of those for a long time but think about it now and then.

BirAdam10 hours ago

Dr Strangelove is my favorite film. Absolutely hilarious, and also a good satire on the actual views of some at the time.

nmg9 hours ago

Same. I was lucky to see it on film once, and the theater projected it without masking, so you could see one of its most brilliant touches, that it has two aspect ratios (1.66:1 and 1.33:1) [0] depending on the scene, which enhances the "rewsreel" effect, as if unrelated stock footage were spliced together. i believe the only home video version that faithfully reproduces this is the criterion dvd, done so at kubrick's explicit demand.

The cinematography overall is brilliant, which is a hallmark of his movies of course, the most famous examples maybe being 2001, and Barry Lyndon, in which he used astrophotographical lenses to capture scenes lit only by candlelight.

Gil Taylor, Strangelove's DP, was a wartime aerial photographer for the RAF, and went on to shoot Star Wars. [1] Just so many fascinating levels of unique brilliance went into the creation of that film.



bmitc4 hours ago

Oh, interesting! I never knew about the aspect ratio changes. I'm going to have to track a digital version down.

pdpi6 hours ago

It's a testament to Peter Sellers's skills that you can genuinely fail to notice that he plays three major characters.

denton-scratch38 minutes ago

That is indeed remarkable. You have to pay attention to notice.

The guy was a comic; you'd think his performances would be all pratfalls and punchlines. But he was a good actor.

danielodievich7 hours ago

"You can't fight in here, gentlemen, this is the War Room!"

candiddevmike6 hours ago

General Ripper would fit right in today if you replaced Russia with the "Deep State".

thakoppno6 hours ago

Sterling Hayden, who plays General Ripper, kind of steals the show for me in Dr. Strangelove.

There are other top notch performances but I’ve always loved his scenes with Sellers as the RAF officer trying to reason with his madness.

The film is my favorite and George C. Scott deserves a ton of credit too. Slim Pickens is incredible as well. If there’s one character that is a bit over-the-top for me it’s Dr. Strangelove himself. It’s a close call but I wonder if the film could still work without some of the mein furher, involuntarily nazi salute stuff.

pdonis5 hours ago

> I wonder if the film could still work without some of the mein furher, involuntarily nazi salute stuff.

That part is funnier if you recognize that the main real life person that Dr Strangelove was a spoof of was Wernher von Braun. (For more insight into the joke, listen to Tom Lehrer's song about Wernher von Braun.)

pdpi5 hours ago

Lehrer's song about von Braun:

Also topical, his song about nuclear apocalypse:

Waterluvian10 hours ago

I think that’s what impresses me most about the film: when it was produced.

bmitc4 hours ago

Kubrick was really insane and decades ahead of his time. Nearly every film he made was the genesis of some genre in the modern era.

denton-scratch28 minutes ago


Spartacus: Swords and sandals.

Paths of Glory: WW1 anti-war.

Strangelove: I don't know what genre that was.

2001: Space opera.

A Clockwork Orange: Dystopian sci-fi.

Barry Lyndon: Picaresque costume drama.

I haven't checked, but I think the gaps between his movie releases roughly doubled with each release.

There are some scenes in these movies that scream "Kubrick". There always seems to be a perspective shot in which the camera is pointing down the centre of some tunnel or corridor. In Paths of Glory it's a trench; in 2001, it's the aisle of the shuttle. It's usually some grand corridor.

oriettaxx5 hours ago

was he Henry Kissinger?


but he really looks like :)