Choosing the best movie Stanley Kubrick ever made is a contentious task fit for the War Room, but deeming one the funniest is considerably easier: “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” elicits more laughter than “The Shining,” “2001” and “Eyes Wide Shut” combined. A making-of documentary available on YouTube goes behind the scenes of Kubrick’s political satire.
By the late 1950s, a narrator informs us in the opening minutes, Kubrick was deeply troubled by the prospect of nuclear war; James B. Harris, the filmmaker’s former production partner, says it was the only thing on his mind after finishing “Lolita.” This led him to read more than 50 books on the subject, one of which came recommended from a friend at the International Institute for Strategic Services: Peter George’s novel “Red Alert.” Kubrick paid $3,500 for the rights to the novel, eventually writing an adaptation called “The Edge of Doom.” The comic bent came later, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The 46-minute video is full of historical context and insight — perfect viewing for a lazy Sunday afternoon.