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Movie Night: War Satires

Memorial Day is not a time for cracking jokes, but wartime itself often requires humor as a matter of survival. So in honor of this weekend's holiday, I've put together a Movie Night featuring some thought-provoking but entertaining war satires. These three films utilize dark humor while also recognizing and respecting the horrors of war.

Dr. Strangelove

It's remarkable to think that Stanley Kubrick's classic satire of nuclear holocaust was made back in 1964, because not a year has passed since when Dr. Strangelove wasn't eerily relevant. To me, this is not only one of the greatest war satires of all time but also one of the most expertly crafted satirical films overall. That's because it manages to put forth a subtle yet clear critique of deadly serious issues while also delivering laugh-out loud laughs that make you just uncomfortable enough. George C. Scott and Peter Sellers handle their one-liners ("precious bodily fluids," anyone?) with the care one would afford a nuclear warhead, making them infinitely quotable even now.

For two more war satires,


Amid the martinis, intramural football games, and madcap practical jokes, it's sometimes easy to forget while watching Robert Altman's brilliant satire that the colorful characters are in the middle of a war. But when the horrors of combat surface, it's a sinister reminder that the dark comedy is merely a coping mechanism. The arrestingly odd pace of MASH only enhances the stellar performances by Donald Sutherland, Sally Kellerman, and the rest of the cast, who will make you think as much as they make you laugh.

Good Morning Vietnam
Based on a true story, Robin Williams plays Adrian Cronauer, an American radio deejay who takes to the air waves in Vietnam in 1965, entertaining the troops with his racy commentary. Recent Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker also stars. Williams is his usual clever, funny and raunchy self, breathing fresh air into a dismal situation. The movie highlights the human need for connection during times of difficulty and also asks the question: Is it better to be just entertained and in the dark, or to hear the truth?

Join The Conversation
tooq2love tooq2love 10 years
love Good Morning Vietnam, and MASH
woodycakes woodycakes 10 years
i love Good Morning Vietnam. that was beautiful
Daisy6264 Daisy6264 10 years
Yeah it is funny.
figurine figurine 10 years
Yeah, No Man's Land is good as well. Or great, actually, I love that movie. Peter Sellers is great in Dr. Strangelove, such a funny movie.
SFKitkat SFKitkat 10 years
When I saw the headline I immediately thought of Dr. Strangelove--still a classic!
KerryG KerryG 10 years
I love war satires, even though I'm not much for war movies in general. Another really fantastic one is the foreign language film No Man's Land: Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1993, at the time of the heaviest fighting between the two warring sides. Two soldiers from opposing sides in the conflict, Nino and Ciki, become trapped in no man's land, while a third soldier becomes a living booby trap. It's very funny and very sad at the same time.
Midnightkiss4u09 Midnightkiss4u09 10 years
It's ok.
Trixie6 Trixie6 10 years
I love MASH. Both the movie & the TV series.
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