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Old October 25 2012, 10:14 AM   #25
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Re: Stanley Kubrick marathon

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
Evil Headhunter wrote: View Post
What really drives this film other than Kubrick's great directing is the amazing performances by Peter Sellers as Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and the eponymous Dr. Strangelove. Sellers was also set to perform Maj. Kong despite his own hesitations to properly deliver a Southern accent, but ultimately dropped the performance when he sprained his ankle and couldn't get in the cockpit. Nonetheless, Sellers masterfully performs each of these characters to give each of them distinctive personalities. Each of these characters define and carry the film from beginning to end (in fact, if Sellers had performed Kong, he would have been in nearly every scene of the film).
It would have been fun to see Sellers doing another character, but I suspect the movie was better with Pickens. He was kind of over the top, but that was really part of his personality that came out in a lot of his roles. Sellers wouldn't have had his authenticity, I don't think.
I agree that the movie is better with Pickens as Kong because of the authentic accent and because Pickens was probably better suited for the role. I simply found myself wondering what an incredible achievement it would be if Sellers had played the role, too.

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
As fun as Sellers and Scott are to watch, my favorite performance is still Sterling Hayden. The straighter-than-straight way he delivers some of his bizarre lines and his intense sincerity in his strange heart-to-heart with Mandrake still crack me up.
I admit I didn't give Hayden enough praise for his performance. It's always good to have a straight man in a crowd of jokers and Hayden delivered in spades, especially with his ridiculous lines about fluoridation and bodily fluids.

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
Evil Headhunter wrote: View Post
An interesting aspect in this film that I don't think is completely explored is the trust to follow orders without question, not just to the total destruction, but also firing upon fellow Americans out of fear and/or misdirection of the enemy. The President sends in troops to storm Gen. Ripper's base in order to get to Gen. Ripper by any means. Ripper's men have standing orders to fire on anyone who comes within a certain distance of the base and barely question who is attacking them, simply assuming it's a big Communist ruse because of the communication blackout.
And how do you question orders when communicating doesn't work? The movie is one communication breakdown after another: the base blackout, the CRM-114, the Soviet premier unavailable and then drunk, the long-distance operator and Col. Guano.
That's precisely my point. The lack of communication makes it very difficult, but we do see Ripper's men commenting on the incredibly similarity in vehicles', weapons', and personnel appearances, and I find it interesting that they don't go beyond "Huh, that's weird" and immediately fire upon fellow Americans without realizing it.
J.T.B. wrote: View Post
Evil Headhunter wrote: View Post
Lastly, I'm amused that Kubrick skillfully uses a shaky camera during the combat scenes on the airbase, decades before the effect became common practice, much to many's dismay.
And a couple of years before The Battle of Algiers, which got so much notice for using the newsreel/documentary look in a fictional movie. The air base combat scenes are very reminiscent of parts of Full Metal Jacket later on.
I've been meaning to watch The Battle of Algiers for some time now and this is another reason for me to check it out. I hadn't thought about the similarity with Full Metal Jacket but I certainly see it now.

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
Kubrick really got all his strengths together in a full package for Dr Strangelove. Brilliant.
And it wouldn't be the last time either. That's what makes Kubrick so amazing.

Harvey wrote: View Post
Ferro also designed the classic trailer to the film, which Kubrick allegedly said was "better than the movie." It's on all of the DVD releases of the film, but for some reason they left it out of the Blu-Ray.
I love that trailer. Watching it again reminds me of the The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo trailer from last year. Possibly a homage to Kubrick?
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