Introduction to Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Above is the trailer for Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [6]

Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is an influential film because nuclear war is still relevant today.[1] Although Stanley Kubrick made this film in 1963, we are still concerned with issues involving nuclear arms today with the war in Iraq and the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction. In 1963 there were 34,000 nuclear weapons on Earth and today there are 31,500; which begs the question of what happened to the other 2,500 weapons? Ronald Briley inquires, “How can we convey to our students the fears, insecurities, heroic actions, political opportunism, excitement, despair, and hope of this crucial era?”[2] He explains that the answer can be found in film. Briley says that because modern students are accustomed to learning visually, a movie is the perfect opportunity to teach a crucial era of American History.[3] Film critic Nora Satyre says that since the Cold War era was “a time when fictions and delusions were accepted as facts, some of the movies may be almost as informative as the FBI’s files–and probably more accurate about the mentalities of many Americans who were amused or repelled or touched or unnerved by what they saw on the screen.”[4] Dr. Strangelove explores an extremely important point in history that sadly is fading from modern memory.[5]


[1] Lindley, Dan. “What I Learned since I Stopped Worrying and Studied the Movie: A Teaching Guide to Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Dr. Strangelove.”’ PS: Political Science and Politics 34, No. 3 (Sep., 2001), http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.umw.edu:2048/stable/1353558
[2] Briley, Ronald. “Reel History and the Cold War.” Organization of American Historians. http://www.oah.org/pubs/magazine/coldwar/briley1.html (accessed 2 November 2008)

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5]Ibid

[6] YouTube, “Dr. Strangelove trailer,”YouTube Website, Embedded Media File,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gXY3kuDvSU, (accessed 9 November 2008).



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