Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanks to all the readers who added their comments to my Dr. Strangelove post--including the one who scooped my second-favorite line


I don't know about you, but I've been having a grand time with the comments that have been added to my Dr. Strangelove post (wondering whether readers today would know who Gen. Jack D. Ripper is).

We've heard more about the "purity of essence" man himself, General Ripper, and about Sterling Hayden, who played him so eerily and hilariously--seen above with the haplessly captive Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake [definitely check out the glorious chunk of their dialogue quoted by Scott], another of Peter Sellers' great impersonations in the film. (Hmm, we've seen him now as Mandrake and as President Muffley, but not as the title character. That doesn't seem right.)

We've had fond recollection of the great Slim Pickens as Major T. J. "King" Kong (left), the pilot of one of the planes dispatched by the wacked-out General Ripper to bomb their designated targets inside the Soviet Union. And from reader randy g came the fascinating note that Peter Sellers was originally scheduled to play this role in addition to his three others. I never knew that!

And then we've had this really interesting post from the goob:

Both of my daughters (17 and 21) have seen this movie and loved it. In fact, one of them viewed it in a high school history class. Much hope for public education there.

Whether or not they'd recognize a reference to Jack D. Ripper right off I'm not sure, but if I reminded them of the character I'm sure they would.

Oh, and as long as we're reciting favorite lines? This movie has more of my favorites than any other, but I have to include "You'll have to answer to the Coca Cola company."

As it happens, goob, this is my second-favorite line from the movie. General Ripper's sealed Air Force base has been liberated by the U.S. Army, but the planes the general has sent off on their deadly bombing missions in the Soviet Union can't be recalled without the code known only to General Ripper, who alas is no more. Now only one man can possibly save the world.

Actually, Mandrake doesn't know he's trying to save the whole world, but we do, having seen the officials gathered in the War Room in Washington [also from randy g--President Muffley's "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room"] learn about the Russians' Doomsday Machine, which the demented scientific adviser Dr. Strangelove [left--there!] explained will be triggered by the American bombing.

Now Mandrake needs to get word to Washington. Unfortunately, he has no change for the pay phone. (This just goes to show how the world has changed. Back in 1964, it was the lack of a mere dime that thwarted his efforts to save the world.)

But wait, there in the hall is a Coke machine! Mandrake orders Col. "Bat" Guano (Keenan Wynn, right) to shoot it open. The colonel, who has already shown himself none too impressed by Mandrake's funny uniform and funnier accent [from knobboy--"Bat Guano (Colonel): 'I think you're some kind of deviated prevert. I think General Ripper found out about your preversion, and that you were organizing some kind of mutiny of preverts' "], is aghast at the mere suggestion. Compelled by the "prevert" to do this deed, Colonel "Bat" warns him . . . well, you know.


At 3:03 PM, Blogger Scott said...

The story his son, Christian, told me is that his dad gave him the script and asked him to read it because Stanley wanted him to play General Ripper in it (he hadn't done a movie in a few years) so Christian read it and told him he absolutely had to play the part.

The answer to Skaterina's question is yes, he did write a book about taking his kids on a very long sailing adventure. The book is called Wanderer.

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Randy G said...

At times like these I have a vague, but fond, memory of dressing up as Dr. Strangelove at a Halloween party in the early 1980's.... when I had enough hair to comb over. Picked up a black suit, a skinny black tie, a black glove at the Salvation Army. (Sans wheelchair, though: "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!")

Has there been a film in the last 10, 20, 30 years to compare with Dr. Strangelove?

A trivia question: What song is played (with much irony) over the opening credits? (Google it.)

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