Flashback: Stanley Kubrick on the set of ‘Dr. Strangelove’

Oct. 29, 2008 | 1:30 a.m.



The late Stanley Kubrick would have celebrated his 80th birthday this year and this past April also marked the the 40th anniversary of "2001: A Space Odyssey." That almost mystical masterpiece holds a singular place in cinema history, but for me the most enjoyable of Kubrick’s many great films was his scathingly funny (and in many ways, culturally prescient) 1964 film "Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb," which was nominated best picture and should have taken home the Oscar (sorry all of you "My Fair Lady" fans).

I was digging through a folder of photos here in the stacks of the Los Angeles Times library and I came across this photograph that has no credit on it. I’m assuming it was sent out by Columbia Pictures’ publicity department but I can’t be sure. As far as I can tell, it never ran in the paper. Anyway, it shows the famously meticulous Kubrick on a ladder presiding over a shot of Tracy Reed (a member of a notable British family, which includes her late cousin, Oliver Reed) who happens to have been the only woman who appeared in the nuclear farce. She plays Miss Scott, the secretary for Gen. "Buck" Turgidson (George C. Scott) but she also pops up in the movie as the woman in the centerfold of the Playboy magazine being read by Maj. T.J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickens).

— Geoff Boucher


Nimoy_kelly_and_shatner_tape_star_tThe stars of "Star Trek" at work on the animated series in 1973

Bob_holiday_as_superman_on_broadwaySuperman on stage on Broadway in 1966

1968 star trek demonstration 2 Flashback: Stanley Kubrick on the set of Dr. Strangelove"Star Trek" fans protest NBC plans to cancel the show in 1968

Leonard_nimoy_1952 Leonard Nimoy at age 20 in 1952, ready to live long and prosper

  Carrie_fisher_alec_guinness_and_mar Alec Guinness with Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, 1987

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3 Responses to Flashback: Stanley Kubrick on the set of ‘Dr. Strangelove’

  1. Nathan says:

    Great photo. There are so few behind-the-scenes glimpses into Kubrick's work that each one is pretty special. "Dr. Strangelove" remains one of the funniest films I've ever seen and perhaps the greatest satire ever committed to celuloid.

  2. John says:

    That's a fantastic image! It's amazing how filmmaking techniques have changed and become easier — though when a set-up was THIS complex and difficult, perhaps it resulted in more thoughtful, careful filmmaking?

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