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

Director Terry Gilliam introduced Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb:

To the London audience’s delight, he was joined by the film’s legendary production designer, Ken Adam.

Terry Gilliam: [Dr. Strangelove] is about certainty and about madness... it's always been the benchmark of comedy for me because this is a comedy about something serious. They say black comedy, nobody even talks about white comedy or green comedy or yellow comedy, but they talk about black comedy and its almost like this is dangerous and that’s what it is – it is dangerous, it’s about a time when we all thought the world was going crazy... We had so many bombs, so many weapons, so many missiles that you would be a madman to attack the other side, and what’s funny about this film is that the system didn't account for a mad man. In many ways I think its a very American film. It’s about how the individual can beat the system...

We have tonight someone really extraordinary, one of the key people in the making of this film: Mr. Ken Adams, who designed it.

Ken Adams: ...I've seen it several times and every time I see it, I still am excited by it, and it was such a special event we had so much fun making it because it was, as Terry said, a very serious situation that was called the Cuban Missile Crisis... it was very much a collective effort and of course with Peter Sellers... the big problem was for the other actors to keep straight faces while Peter was improvising and he did so in most of the parts... And he started playing the president of the United States and he couldn't play it straight...

Terry Gilliam: ...Ronald Reagan was made President of the United States and he went to the Pentagon, is this story true?

Ken Adams: Yes that’s a true story - he asked his Chief of Staff to look at the war room and he said, what war room? And he said, the one from Dr. Strangelove...

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

Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) is Stanley Kubrick’s satirical masterpiece on Cold War politics. Based on Peter George's novel Red Alert, Kubrick co-wrote the screenplay with Terry Southern. Initially intended to be a serious film on the possibility of accidental war, Kubrick soon began to see how absurd the whole situation was and shifted the tone; thus one of cinema's greatest black comedies was born.

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