“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the war room!” Fearing for the sanctity of his “personal essence,” General Jack D. Ripper uses a loophole in military policy to launch a nuclear strike on Russia, which the President and Joint Chiefs of Staff rush to prevent. What follows is a top-notch satire about the absurdity of war and the conflict between politics and the military.
After Kubrick and Sellers worked together on Lolita, Columbia demanded more roles for Sellers, believing his talent underused. Thank goodness they were right (Eddie Murphy, take note). He’s pitch-perfect as the flustered President and milquetoast Mandrake, but his turn as the bizarre, wheelchair-bound ex-Nazi Dr. Strangelove steals the show. George C. Scott, Slim Pickens and a very young James Earl Jones round out a very talented cast. The writing is first-rate and the satire sharp, especially in the tussles between Scott’s General Turgidson and the Russian Ambassador. The Blu-ray transfer affords us a very clean picture and sound, and you can tell the menu designer had some fun. Seeing the oft-copied war room (twice this year alone, in Watchmen and Monsters vs. Aliens) in such resolution is indeed a treat. Extras include a picture-in-picture trivia track, several documentaries and featurettes and a nicely illustrated booklet. Skipping this movie would be patently un-American.