Ranking as filmcritic.com's #1 movie of all time in our recent Top 100 Films of the Millennium feature, I suppose we have some explaining to do as to why we picked it. Not only is the movie wickedly funny, it's a subversive anti-war film that shows just how easily a conflict could erupt and the end of the world be brought about. The cast is top notch, and Sellers would have stolen the show if George C. Scott, Pickens, and Sterling Hayden didn't keep taking it back. Never for five seconds is this film less than perfect -- from its devilish gags (courtesy of co-writer Terry Southern) to its hilarious improvisations (courtesy, of course, of Sellers) to its simply unpredictable plot. I've seen this movie two dozen times and each with each viewing not only do I get something more from it, but I keep thinking the ending is going to change.
And of course, it doesn't. And still I wake up at night in fear that the world will truly end like this.
Kubrick's most bizarre film stands out from the rest of his work (basically since it's his only comedy). It's a technical, dramatic, and comedic masterpiece which is also accessible to the Kubrick newcomer or the simple cinema fan. Film just doesn't get any better than this.
The brand new Special Edition DVD supplements a crisp transfer with a couple of documentaries and a number of extras that true fans won't want to miss. It's a perfect disc to go along with a perfect movie -- highly recommended. Or you can check out the 40th Anniversary DVD, which adds two more documentaries to the mix plus remastered sound and a cardboard case -- even more highly recommended.
The war room: No fighting in here.
Run time: 95 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 29th January 1964
Box Office Worldwide: $9.2M
Distributed by: Sony Pictures
Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Hawk Films
Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
IMDB: 8.5 / 10
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Producer: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Peter Sellers as Captain Mandrake/Präsident Muffley/Doktor Seltsam, George C. Scott as General "Buck" Turgidson, Sterling Hayden as Brigade General Jack D. Ripper, Keenan Wynn as Colonel Bat Guano, Slim Pickens as Major "King" Kong, Peter Bull as Botschafter De Sadesky, James Earl Jones as Lt. Lothar Zogg, Tracy Reed as Miss Scott, Jack Creley as Mr. Staines, Frank Berry as Lt. Dietrich, Robert O'Neill as Adm. Randolph, Glenn Beck as Lt. Kivel, Roy Stephens as Frank, Shane Rimmer as Capt. 'Ace' Owens, Hal Galili as Burpelson AFB Defense Team Member, Paul Tamarin as Lt. Goldberg, Laurence Herder as Burpelson AFB Defense Team Member, Gordon Tanner as Gen. Faceman, Burnell Tucker as Mandrake' aide (uncredited)
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