Chris Willman
November 19, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Dr. Strangelove: 40th Anniversary Special Edition

Current Status
In Season

We gave it an A

Let’s face it: We will never, ever get to see the legendary war-room pie fight that was filmed as Dr. Strangelove‘s original climax before cooler heads and scissors prevailed. Lack of deleted scenes aside, this is the most bonus-packed edition yet of a Stanley Kubrick film, his estate clearly not as hyperprotective as the notoriously private director was during his lifetime. And even without a custard climax (okay, especially without the custard), Kubrick’s grimly riotous Cold War satire remains the greatest single recorded instance of gallows humor since Shakespeare’s kookier tragedies.

EXTRAS Robert McNamara and Spike Lee together again! An excellent 45-minute production documentary, reprised from a previous DVD, appears here with a new half-hour doc featuring journalists and cineasts pondering nuclear deterrence in the early ’60s; McNamara’s unexpurgated Q&A is also included, for anyone jonesing for a Fog of War double feature. Lee and Bob Woodward disagree over whether Kubrick’s cabinet resembles Dubya’s (should the guy who made She Hate Me really be accusing Condi Rice of being intellectually deficient for her job?). But a contemporary viewing guarantees you’ll never again imagine an Iraq strategy session without Donald Rumsfeld intoning, à la Gen. Buck Turgidson: ”Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed.”

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