Dr Strangelove

  1. What do the signs say around the airbase?

The signs say ‘Peace is our Profession’ this was the actual slogan for the Strategic Air Command during the Cold War. It is ironic as the sign is seen repeatedly during the airbase shootout and it is the fault of a SAC General that Nuclear War breaks out.

2. What is the effect of Peter Sellers playing multiple roles in the film?

It gives off the idea that these are all different opinions that are held by the same person, so it creates an effect of Cognitive Dissonance.

3. What does Kubrick seem to be saying about the original motivations for war?

That part of it is due to the wish to deter the enemy from attacking. The bombers circling the USSR that are sent in to attack the nation by General Ripper  were originally there as a deterrent to prevent the USSR from attacking America,  while the Doomsday device was also a deterrent to prevent America from attacking the USSR.

4. What is the effect created by the music and speech given by the B-52 pilot?

It’s a somber mood as the nature of their orders becomes clear and they get prepared to doom humanity, but at the same time it’s kept light hearted by the speech that the pilot gives to his men and the somewhat cheery music, which interestingly enough was originally an Irish anti-war song.

5. Would the film have a different impact on the audience if it were in colour?

I don’t think the impact would have been as strong, the black and white helps emphasize the dark nature of the film and also helps to cover up some issues which may be more apparent if it was in colour.

6. How does Kubrick manage to make Strangelove a comedy and a thriller at the               same time?

He inserts a lot of slapstick into otherwise serious scenes, for example when they meet in the War Room to discuss the situation and the General gets into a fight with the Russian Ambassador. He also includes a lot of dark humour. The whole situation is like the nervous chuckle someone emits in a dangerous situation.

7. There’s a 1 minute 24 second long shot, can you find it?

It’s the scene where the General is with his Secretary.

8. What does the movie tell us about the time it was created?

It was a very tense time, a lot of people were unsure if the next day would be their last. There was a lot of propaganda from both sides that coloured peoples ideas of what the opposition was like, this can be seen in Strangelove by the General’s distrust of the Russian Ambassador.

9. How can we relate Dr Strangelove to the global conflicts of today?

We can relate Dr Strangelove to things like the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rise of Isis, which captured media attention during the periods that they were relevant, though they weren’t nearly as drawn out as the Cold War.

10. How symmetry has been used to enhance the visual experience?

The One Point Perspective shots of the Bomber help to create a claustrophobic feeling, which can be seen as ironic considering the fate of the world is in their hands.

11: Take 1 screenshot and analyse it


This screenshot shows how Kubrick used the Rule of Thirds, One Point Perspective and a little of symmetry. It shows a somewhat sinister side to Doctor Strangelove, as him in his wheelchair, sitting in front of the world map with a small smile on his face while shrouded in shadow makes him seem like a villain you’d see in a bond film.

12: Take 1 screenshot and discuss what aspects you find interesting:


Based on the context of this image, I find it interesting how Strangelove is seen looking rather suspicious in the shadows, he looks a little unhappy. However in the film this scene is just after the scene in which we learn that the bombers have successfully been recalled, so it should be a joyous occasion.

13: What’s your personal response to the film? (Positive or Negative)

My personal response to the film is positive, I enjoyed watching it, and while many of the issues of that era no longer effect us I still think the film provides a strong anti war message

Dr Strangelove

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