November 16: Global Classroom

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



Screening Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.
Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave.

RSVP for this screening via the online form at the bottom of this page.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick
United States, 1964, 95 mins., in English

Themes & Subjects: US History, The Cold War, Ethics, Media Literacy, Satire

Dr. Strangelove explores the absurdity of the use of nuclear weapons and satirizes the strategy of “Mutual Assured Destruction,” an outrageous and risky policy which, nonetheless, kept the U.S. and the Soviet Union from blowing each other up during the Cold War. The film is thought provoking and its humor can easily lead students to understand the use of absurdity as a tool for the communication of important ideas.

A nuclear-age parable of unmatched film-historical importance and generalized hilarity, Kubrick’s vision of the day before doomsday remains frightening—and side-splitting—over fifty years after its original release. When über-patriotic General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) decides, of his own accord, to launch a nuclear attack against the Soviet Union without a war order, jittery British Colonel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) must try to stop him; simultaneously, Major “King” Kong (Slim Pickens) commands the aircraft with the warhead as the plane hurtles toward its destination; finally, in the “war room,” president Merkin Muffley (Sellers again) presides over the negotiations with the Soviets, fending off the xenophobic strategies of General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) and the very troubling theories of his “scientific” advisor Dr. Strangelove (Sellers #3). Perhaps Kubrick’s greatest and most lasting creation, Dr. Strangelove is at base a film about the dangers of unchecked machismo in the war room and on the battlefield, where there is no room for error. “Half a century after Stanley Kubrick unleashed his most perverse provocation (about a bombing run no one can stop), it’s amazing that we’re even here to see it. By a whopping margin, this is Kubrick’s most radical film and greatest dramatic gamble.”—Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York.

Resources for teachers:

Teach with Movies guide to Dr. Strangelove and supplemental materials.

Teaching guide by Dan Lindley, assistant professor in international relations and security studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Organization of American Historians Magazine Lesson Plan for teaching Dr. Strangelove in the classroom.

RSVP for this screening:

Global Classroom screenings are free of charge. Reservations are required. A reservation request can be made via the form below. Reservations are first-come first-serve. Making the request does not guarantee your class a spot. Northwest Film Center Education Staff will contact you via email within a week of submitting your reservation to confirm space availability. To update or cancel your reservation, please email Mia Ferm, Education Programs Manager at