Mad Science Is The Best Science: Our 14 Favorite Crackpot Geniuses
Dr. Strangelove (Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)
What do many mad scientists do? Try to take over or destroy the world, that’s what. And who would create a doomsday device designed to ensure the destruction of the entire planet? Only the titular Dr. Strangelove (Peter Sellers) from Stanley Kubrick’s blackly comic, and horrifyingly prophetic, 1964 Cold War classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
It doesn’t hurt that Strangelove is also a former Nazi scientist, and that one of his hands apparently has a mind of its own, even to the point of punching himself in the groin. That’s a lunatic there for you. Watching him wrestle with his renegade appendage is pure comic delight. In one character he encapsulates what is both so funny, and at the same time so terrifying, about this movie. We laugh all the way as Slim Pickens rides that nuclear bomb to our own destruction.
Maybe the best part of Sellers’ Strangelove is how manic and crazy he is compared to the other two roles he plays, the straight-laced British RAF Captain Lionel Mandrake, and the Milquetoast President of the United States, Merkin Muffley. The three performances couldn’t have been more different, or any better.