101 Funniest Screenplays

No other anti-war film – much-less anti-war comedy – surpasses Stanley Kubrick’s film in the canon of contemporary cinema. George Plimpton recalled in Harper’s magazine that Peter Sellers had read Terry Southern’s comic novel The Magic Christian and gave a copy to Kubrick. “The [Dr. Strangelove] script at that point was closely based on Peter George's novel Red Alert, a melodrama about the destruction of the world when a crazed commander dispatches a flight of nuclear bombers to obliterate the Soviet Union,” Plimpton wrote. “According to Terry, Kubrick woke up one morning and realized that the destruction of the world could not be treated ‘in any conventionally dramatic fashion,’ and could only see it as a hideous joke.” As Kubrick himself once said: “The things you laugh at were really the heart of the paradoxical practices that make a nuclear war possible.”