Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Movie Scientist Blogathon

Christina Wehner of her self-titled blog and Ruth of Silver Screenings have teamed up to discuss the scientists of the silver screen. My contribution for this one will be a bit shorter than the other ones I've done as of late. (Hopefully it'll still be good.) So my choice for this one?

The titular Dr. Strangelove (1964, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

As everyone and their mother knows by now, this was one of three roles Sellers did in the film. While Captain Mandrake and President Muffley fall firmly in the "only sane man" trope, Dr. Strangelove is clearly under the "mad scientist" trope. (The fact that Kubrick, a notorious perfectionist, allowed Sellers to ad-lib for all three roles, especially for Strangelove, says everything.)

Now while he's the title character, Strangelove isn't in the film that much. That said, however, he basically steals the whole show. (Then again, this is inevitable when Sellers is involved.) And all of this comes to a head in the final scene as he fights his own right hand. (Yeah, long story on that.)

Playing with the numerous sexual references through the film (to the point where you're amazed they got away with all of that back in 1964), pay attention to Strangelove at the end. He explains that in order for the human race to repopulate after the end of the world, it will require a ratio of ten women to every man. Apparently the prospect excites him so much, the wheelchair-bound scientist stands up. ("MEIN FÜHRER! I can WALK!") God bless innuendos in old movies.


  1. Short is sweet...and good! I am ashamed to admit that I did not know Peter Sellers played three roles (I obviously need to talk to more people's mothers), since I have not seen this one yet. I will definitely have to change this.

    I am extremely curious how he fights his own right hand, too! My exposure to Peter Sellers as mostly come through his Inspector Clouseau, which I really enjoy.

    Thanks so much for joining in!

  2. Dr Strangelove is a perfect choice for the blogathon! I didn't realize Stanley Kubrick let Peter Sellers ad lib all three of his roles. That is quite remarkable.

    Thanks for coming to the Movie Scientist party, and for bringing the mad Dr Strangelove with you. :)

    1. Yeah, Kubrick only allowed ad-libbing with one other actor for his films. (That was R. Lee Ermey for Full Metal Jacket.) And you're welcome. :)

  3. This is a great movie for the "Mad" scientist section of the blogathon. True, Sellers does pretty much run the movie when he's onscreen. But you gotta admit Slim Pickens did his damdest to try to upstage him. Good review.

    1. Well, Pickens did do a role that Sellers was originally going to do had it not been for a busted ankle. But yes, he does have his moments in the spotlight.


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