Stanley Kubrick's sinister satire from the Cold War Strange or: How I learned to love the bomb (19459004) belongs to a class and a genre of its own. Here you will find everything you need to know about the revolutionary film celebrating its 55th anniversary.
. 1 The movie was supposed to be a drama.
The international climate of the early 1960s sparked Stanley Kubrick's interest in writing and ruling an atomic war thriller. Kubrick began consuming literary stacks on the subject until he became aware of the former Red Air of 1945 of the Royal Air Force Peter George . Columbia Pictures chose the book as an option, and Kubrick began translating most of the novel into a script.
During the writing, however, the director sought to escape a persistent comedic overtone, as he described the vast majority of political catastrophes described in history as being inherently funny. Finally, Kubrick abandoned the idea of fighting the dark humor of adaptation and accepted it with all his heart.
. 2 Strangelove does not exist in the original book.
Sound aside, the conspiracy of Strangelove is remarkably similar to Georges Roman. There is one notable exception. Strangelove does not appear in the novel ̵
3. The studio required Peter Sellers to play several roles.
Columbia Pictures struck Kubrick with some conditions at the beginning of Strange Love Production. The main requirement of the studio was that Peter Sellers, with whom Kubrick Lolita had worked together and with whom the director had once again planned to play several roles in the new film. (Sellers played a character with a disguise for disguises in Lolita of Columbia guessed she was fueling the movie's success.)
4. Sellers should play Major Kong.
Originally Sellers was sold in . Strangelove : Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and the titled Crazy Scientist (all he played in the movie) as well as Major Kong. After Sellers injured his leg and had problems with the Texas accent, Kubrick brought Slim Pickens to Kong.
. 5 Two other famous cowboys were approached to play Kong.
Prior to landing on Pickens, the production team was looking for western mainstays, John Wayne and Bonanza star Dan Blocker for Major Kong. Wayne never responded to Kubrick's messages, and Blocker's agent forwarded the project. Co-Writer Southern later recalled that the agent had sent a telegram saying, "Thank you, but the material is too pink for Dan. Or someone else we know for this matter. "
. 6 Nobody has told Slim Pickens that they are making a satire.
Before being cast as Dr. Stranglove gung-ho bomber pilot major. T. J. Kong, actor Slim Pickens, had played almost exclusively in Western, and his name did not include comedy (let alone a political satire). However, this did not pose a major problem, as Kubrick considered the actor's natural cadence and decor to be perfect for the cowboy soldier.
Kubrick suggested to Pickens that the film should be a serious war drama and urged him to wear himself, as he might do in his Western imagery. According to James Earl Jones (who made his film debut in Dr. Strangelove ) and Kubrick, the biographer John Baxter, Pickens behaved as well and dressed identically on-screen and outside … not because he remained "in character "But because he seems to have always acted that way.
. 7 Kubrick lied to George C. Scott for funny shots.
Unlike Pickens, George C. Scott – who is the bombastic General Buck Turgidson – knew that Strangelove was a comedy, but did not hesitate to play his character too big. Kubrick got Scott to perform wide animated performances as Buck and promised him that they were just an exercise and would not be used for the final cut. Of course, the recordings that went to print were among the craziest of the actor. Scott felt terribly cheated and vowed never to work with Kubrick again. Although Strangelove remained their only collaboration, Scott finally appreciated the film and its performance.
. 8 Kubrick got away with Scott by beating him at chess.
When Kubrick did not convince Scott to act against his instincts, the two sat on the exit of chess games. Both the director and his star were seasoned chess players and argued about creative differences in competitions on the set. (Kubrick won often.)
9. President Merkin Muffley originally had a cold.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, some performances were somewhat inglorious for Kubrick's tastes . In developing his role as US President Merkin Muffley, a wimpy and diplomatic foil to Buck Turgidson's daring "man," Sellers and Southern experimented with a nasty cold. Sellers' imitation of comic tormenting cold symptoms racked up the rest of the cast and was too distracted by the film's forward motion.
10th Kubrick was surprised that only a few people recorded the sexual allusions of the film.
Only two months after the publication of Strangelove that Kubrick heard someone mention the film's wide range of visual and verbal sexual euphemisms. The first person to contact him about the in-film prevalence of double-duckers was LeGrace G. Benson, Professor of Art History at Cornell University. Kubrick responded with a thank-you letter two weeks later.
. 11 Strangelove was based on four (not five) famous German scientists and political figures.
The wheelchair-bound namesake of the film, an ingenious but crazy former Nazi scientist, came from a collection of real influences. The figure was mainly modeled after rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun, with traces of RAND Corporation military strategist Herman Kahn, Manhattan project king John von Neumann, and hydrogen bomb designer Edward Teller. Some critics claimed that Henry Kissinger also helped to inspire the character. Sellers, however, always denied this speculation, and as Slate notes, Kissinger was still a rather obscure Harvard professor in 1964.
12th General Ripper's conspiracy theory of fluoridation came from a real group of radical groups.
The conspiracy theory of General Jack Ripper on water fluoridation, which forces him to launch a global warfare, was not Kubrick's creation. The John Birch Society was founded in 1958 and advocated an anti-fluoridation agenda across America. In some areas of the country, the fluoridation of water was banned, and advocates threatened arrest and detention.
. 13 A conversation line was changed due to the assassination of JFK.
Strangelove held his first test demonstration on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas. Recognizing that the tone of dark, politically charged satire may seem too aggressive for the American public in the face of the tragedy, Columbia Pictures delayed the film's release from December 1963 to January 1964.
In addition, Strangelove focused on sensitivity by tinkering with a line spoken by Major Kong at the beginning of the film. While searching through a pack of military supplies such as gum, lipstick, nylonstocking, and prophylactics, Kong (originally) noted, "A guy could have a decent weekend in Dallas with all this stuff." the word "Dallas" with "Vegas" so as not to appeal to the location of Kennedy's murder.
fourteenth Kubrick opened a lawsuit against a rival movie during production.
Four years after Peter George Red Alert Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler published a similarly themed, but commercially successful novel Fail Safe . Shortly after the release of the second novel, the film was selected for adaptation. Interestingly enough, the studio in question was Columbia Pictures, the company that just produced . Strange, at that time .
While George was involved in a lawsuit with authors Burdick and Wheeler over allegedly plagiarizing his 1958 story, Kubrick threatened a similar lawsuit with Sidney Lumet's Fail Safe accommodation. In truth, Kubrick wanted to push back the release of the rival to the point that the performance of his own image would not be affected. Fail Safe was finally published in October 1964, nine months after Weirdness .
15th The movie should end with a pie fight.
Perhaps the most legendary deleted scene in the history of cinema, The original ending of Strangelove involved the entire staff of the war room in a crazy pie fight. The segment in question begins with Soviet ambassador Alexi de Sadesky, angered by General Turgidson's abuses, throwing a pudding cake at the American officer, but missing him and meeting President Muffley instead.
What's next is a buck from Buck ("Gentlemen, our beloved President was secretly crushed by a cake in the prime of his life, let's say, massive retribution!"), Followed by fast-motion warfare who ended up by screaming an angry Dr. Strangelove is stopped. Conflicting rumors lead to the scrapping of the scene on the assassination of Kennedy (where Turgidson's line "our beloved president" seems inappropriate in the context of JFK's death) and Kubrick's sense that the scene was simply not creative. The idea was dropped after the test screening on November 22 and was shown only once in public: at a screening of the film at the London National Film Theater in 1999, immediately after Kubrick's death.
sixteenth Sellers & # 39; comedy partner allegedly proposed the bleak end.
Prior to his work on Lolita or Strangelove Sellers was best known as one-third of a British radio comedy that led The Goon Show . Rumor has it that Sellers Goon, Spike Milligan, made a spontaneous visit to the Strangelove which was scheduled on one day during production to spend time with his friend. While Milligan's pop-in, Kubrick apparently suggested the idea of connecting images of nuclear explosions with the bittersweet melodies of Vera Lynn's "We're Learning Again" (19659002) 17. Strangelove inspired real changes in international politics.
While some critics, politicians and members of the military were dismissed alike Strangelove As a farce and misunderstanding, the frightening plausibility of the events seen in the film puzzled government officials in Washington DC, including the Pentagon's Scientific Advisory Committee on Ballistic Missiles, which examined the film, and Red Alert by Peter George ] as a means to qualify the probability and prevent a Strangelove -like scenario in the real world. As early as the mid-1960s, the process was postponed to the extent that no single member of the government had access to the complete code needed to unlock a nuclear weapon.
In the 1970s, the Luftwaffe used coded counters that prohibit unauthorized incitement to nuclear weapons, as portrayed by General Ripper in the film.