Only a director as gifted as Stanley Kubrick was could make audiences roll with laughter as the world ended. His 1964 classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bombremains funny because it explores the real dangers of nuclear war in a way that dramas can’t. In fact, when Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg first saw the film, he found the research behind it so thorough that he felt it should have been classified as a documentary instead of a comedy.

Thankfully, screenwriter Terry Southern came armed with enough wisecracks to neutralize such a scary subject (“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!”), and Peter Sellers earned an Oscar nomination for playing three very different characters in the same movie.

Dr. Strangelove is such a unique and head twisting experience that it must be seen with a crowd and on the big screen at the Pharaoh Cinema 4 in Independence at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 24. It might be rational to be afraid of what fluoridation might do to your precious bodily fluids, but you needn’t worry about the ticket price. Admission is free. Tickets at this link.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and The Pitch film critic Dan Lybarger will answer questions about the movie after the screening in a Q&A at 8:00 p.m.

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum and the Truman Library Institute and are presenting the film with CinemaKC as part of their Presidents on Film Series. Special thanks to Visit KC and KC Film.


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Dan Lybarger is a freelance film critic and writer whose work has appeared in The Kansas City Star, The Pitch, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Cineaste and other publications.