Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)


An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop. (IMDb)
Devastatingly dark and scathingly satirical comedy (“10 to 20 million killed, tops”), brilliantly executed with biting irony (see the “Peace is Our Profession” sign amidst the gunfire; “You can’t fight here, this is the War Room!”), goofy juxtaposition of the mundane and the life-or-death (see Mandrake’s pay-phone call to the president), and visuals both horrifying and humorous (see Kong’s bomb-ride and the final Vera Lynn-backed explosion montage). Sellers is stellar in his three roles.
8/10 (Great)

North by Northwest (1959)


A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive. (IMDb)
An intriguing initial note of mystery doesn’t disappoint as it’s fleshed out in an exciting yet smart espionage plot full of daring escapes (see the train sequence), double-crossing damsels (Eve remains an enigma til the end), and dashes of danger (see the uniquely terrifying crop-duster scene). The climax loses some credibility thanks to a couple of cringe-worthy sets (see the fake forest and unspectacular Mt. Rushmore) but is redeemed slightly by a great foot-on-hand-on-cliff close-up shot.
7.5/10 (Really Good)