“Dr. StrangeLove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” was directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1964. Irreverence and satire are used many times in this film. Serious events are often portrayed lightly or made humorous. An example of this is the scene where Mandrake finds the codes to recall the planes, but doesn’t have the right amount of change make the call on the payphone. The whole world depends on whether or not he makes the call, but all the audience does is shake their heads and smile. This is an example of irreverence because the situation is dire, yet the people don’t seem worried or willing to help.
Black humor was used in the schene in the plane where Major Kong stops to put on his cowboy hat. I thought this was an example of black humor as well because instead of doing something else more productive, he decides to go put on his cowboy hat. Another instance of black humor is when they find lipstick and chewing gum in the military survival kit. The use of black humor causes the tone of this film to be funny with a grim, serious undertone. Many parts are funny, but then you remember this is based on real events and things people were actually scared of happening once.
An example of irony in Dr. StrangeLove is when there is a dogfight between two American troops, and a sign that says “Peace is our Profession” is shown. Then the General tells his troops to “shoot first and ask questions later”. This is clear example of irony because the sign says peace, but there is fighting. Another example of irony is when the General was very casual about putting the base on lockdown. There could be a nuclear war breaking out, but he doesn’t seem to be worried at all. The use of irony makes the tone of this film have a mocking tone.
My favorite scene in the film was when General Ripper is talking to Mandrake about water. He tells Mandrake “on no account will a commie ever drink water”, that they only drink vodka. I like it because I find the generalizations the General makes funny, and how he keeps going on and on about water without really having a point. I think Kubrik’s purpose in writing this film was to illustrate the idea of mutual destruction. The film achieved this, and also let people laugh about a very real and scary situation.