This film is exceptionally great at all length for a Cold War satire film.
It tickles many nonsensical and ridiculous aspects of life during the Cold War time. The world was weird, and all crazy, at the time, but it was all true.
The humor and the satire of the film land on its aphorism, and what true cold to bone’s black humor is that you see it as ridiculous, but it ain’t no jokes/it is real.
I’ve seen people made a chart comparison about the nuclear armament between the US and the USSR in Cold War. It is true that in the 70s and 80s, we were able to destroy/bomb all human living areas with nukes completely and at least twice over.
You see, what makes satire great is that it tries to make everyone laugh, meanwhile it is seriously telling you that everyone is mad. That’s the core of satire and the funny point about satire, it’s all real but it’s ridiculous in a common sense.
Nowadays we require people to have common sense, it’s important to equip common values and common sense in modern society. But it is also true to bone that we have other groups that don’t follow common sense. These other groups of people do exist in many ways in modern world. North Korea, is a great example of exemplifying the un-common sense. And the list can go on and on, China, African countries, Islamic countries etc.
While we are looking at ourselves today and think of what would become the human race’s better future, we somehow neglect that as a species, we have differences among our own. The common values prevails at the time doesn’t mean it would be eternal (hopefully it will), and we still have our differences when we compare to other nations, other cultures. This I would elaborate in another time.
The jokes in the film are all on point, they make a great fool of Soviet yet not all mad in the East. The US was also poisoned with ideology fools, ambitious politicians and aggressive military generals. These people made the Cold War era, which had run the ideologies battle to merely black and white rugby, a one on one deathmatch.
For example, in this sequence, the conversation between the POTUS and the Soviet ambassador.
-This is complete madness. Why should you build such a thing in the first place?
-Some of us fought against it. But we could not keep up with the expense involved in the arms race, the space race and the peace race.
At the same time, our people grumble… for more nylons and washing machines.
Our doomsday scheme cost us a small fraction of what we had been spending on defense in a single year.
The deciding factor was when we learned your country was working along similar lines. We were afraid of a doomsday gap.
-This is preposterous! I’ve never approved of anything like that.
-Our source was The New York Times.
- The whole Doomsday Machine, is an imaginary weapon that can exterminate all living lives on earth. Although it’s just an imaginary weapon, as I said before, it was possible to really destroy all human living areas with the nukes we possessed at the time. Thanks to the nuke depletion after the end of Cold War, we don’t need to be as intense as before.
- The ambassador talks about peace race. In reality, there were two races ongoing, the arms race and the space race. They were all true. Why peace race? Because the Russians can’t beat the States in the two and they figure it would be better if they destroy peace and bring victories over the two races. LOL.
- The people, grumble… for nylons and washing machines. This one is hilariously funny, on one hand, it suggests that at the time Soviet’s industrialization was heavily imbalanced–heavy industries dominance and light industries poor development, made it so huge a gap between the East and the West, and its people suffered from it. The other hand, it suggests a funny view of what was like back in the 60s in America–hundreds of laundromats across the streets everywhere. And nylons of course.
- This doomsday machine’s expense is only a fraction of national defense. The exaggeration suggests that the two races have milked the country dry and the expense rarely went to its people and society development.
- The New York Times.
This is 100% a recommendation of me if someone asks me to recommend him a Cold War film. It grasps so precisely about how the world went all mad and crazy, yet terrifyingly true so. And it’s a 1969 film, 1969.
I figure that feminists finish watching the film would get pretty pissed that the whole film only has one woman’s cameo and it’s very short. True. This film is filmed all over men, the serious one, the crazy one, the ambitious one the sly one and all the mad ones.
Women don’t occur in this film, woman does. Tracy Reed is the only female character, with cameo, in this film. The other possible one could be the operator, as we know that at that time operators were mostly female. And she is just a secretary of the ambitious and aggressive general Buck, and yeah you know what I am talking about here.
Certainly, on a feminist view, it is of absolute outrage to put the only female on such a pitiful and degraded role, objectifying women to a mere sense of sex and…
What I want to point out is, in this film, although mainly everyone is male. But, they are all mad, they are no better than females, which are depicting as sex desiring and home-caring wives. That secretary has two cameos, one is in the hotel room with the general, and desiring for him to come back to have sex. Two is at the war room, calling her general to come back and makes Buck to promise marrying her as her husband.
Yeah, a mere object of house and sex. But what’s so different with men?
In this film, look at the characters we got. We got a politician face, poker face president who emphasizes everything on diplomacy. We got a crazy mad fuck general who thinks every move from the Soviet is an enemy maneuver to fuck the whole country up. We got a Soviet ambassador who loves chicks and never forgets to spy for his home country. And of course we got a Nazi scientist turned citizen of the United States advises for president. And that crazy conspiracy SOB with a funny name Jack Ripper, who issues the initial order of attacking the Soviet.
We rarely have any sane men in this film, they are all mad.
Aside from this, I want to talk about what war, what modern war has made us to be.
This film on its satire level sense, I believe, is also being anti-war, pacifistic.
Modern war has made humans so vulnerable, so penetrable. Under the machine guns’ un-doting fire on the D-Day, just over the night, US marines were slaughtered in such a short time trying to push across the beach. At Verdun, French soldiers were like meat throwing into a mincing machine.
Modern warfare has made humans so vulnerable with our flesh and blood in front of things could kill. I know you might want to point out the bulletproof vests, and no they still can’t protect you from death, it only reduces the chance of you being shot dead.
And before nukes, we humans are nothing. Before bombs, we humans are nothing. No matter men and women, we are nothing before them. Just so fragile human beings.
Another one I want to talk about is this rather mental scientist Dr. Strangelove. He was probably a former Nazi scientist under Hitler’s control. And I am pretty sure here they want to refer him to Einstein. But it’s funny this character, image-wise it’s a refer to Einstein, but in the core, he is a mad Fuhrer follower who advocates everything from Hitler. The plans from him are so crazy yet cruel real for a fallout future. And his intensified urge to hail Hitler is freaking hilarious. At the end, he stands up and walks.
Cold War film 10/10. Would recommend to watch again.