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

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
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Re: 821 Dr. Strangelove

#101 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:44 pm

I never noticed this before, but when Dr. Strangelove does the bit where he needs to hit his uncontrollable arm, Peter Bull (the Soviet ambassador) can't help but smile, nearly laughing and ruining the take. Anyway, the supplements all suggest that Sellers had the cast and crew in hysterics with his improvisations, so I wonder how many takes had to be discarded for that reason alone.

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Big Ben
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Re: 821 Dr. Strangelove

#102 Post by Big Ben » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:56 pm

Yes! The ambassador cracks a momentary smile and Kubrick left it in! As I recall Kubrick actually had Sellers stop playing the President with a cold because it was too funny and people couldn't keep a straight face. Clogged nose, that sort of thing.

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djproject
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Re: 821 Dr. Strangelove

#103 Post by djproject » Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:55 am

I've noted a few other extras who had to clear a smile or hold back a laugh during that scene. Can you blame them? =]

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 821 Dr. Strangelove

#104 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:48 am

Everytime I watch I always look for actors that have to hold back laughs. It’s pretty obvious once you stop watching Sellers and look at everyone else in that scene. It is curious as to why the meticulous Kubrick let that stay. Although I can’t say it bothers me. Sellers is a sheer genius that his cast members had to have relished being in his creative presence.

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hearthesilence
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Re: 821 Dr. Strangelove

#105 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:18 pm

Big Ben wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:56 pm
As I recall Kubrick actually had Sellers stop playing the President with a cold because it was too funny and people couldn't keep a straight face. Clogged nose, that sort of thing.
An interview on the supplement actually talks about this. The laughing wasn't the problem. After letting Sellers rip for a number of takes (or scenes?), Kubrick stopped everything and said they were taking the wrong direction, that the President is the one "sane" authority in the room who understood the gravity of the situation and Sellers had to get that across by playing it straight.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: 821 Dr. Strangelove

#106 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:37 pm

I just caught up with this Boston Review feature from June on the cinema of nuclear holocaust; if anyone is similarly fascinated by one of the most morbid of sub-genres, this is very much worth a read.

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colinr0380
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Re: 821 Dr. Strangelove

#107 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:36 am

DarkImbecile wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:37 pm
I just caught up with this Boston Review feature from June on the cinema of nuclear holocaust; if anyone is similarly fascinated by one of the most morbid of sub-genres, this is very much worth a read.
That's a great article (and on a side note one of our members here, Grand Wazoo, was a producer on a short documentary film about that 2018 Hawaii scare mentioned in the piece), though in the list of films I would also throw in The War Game and Shohei Imamura's harrowing Black Rain. That's a film which, in Imamura's earthily human style, definitely does show the effect of a nuclear bomb on bodies rather than retreating to the 'empty city' approach to the aftermath.

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hearthesilence
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Re: 821 Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

#108 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:54 am

I'd also add When the Wind Blows, which I finally saw back in May.

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