The top five Stanley Kubrick films
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July 26th will mark what would have been Stanley Kubrick’s 89th birthday. The veteran director was a massive influence on the film industry; from his short films in the early fifties, right up until his death in 1999, he left behind a legacy that has left many considering him one of the greatest filmmakers to have ever lived. Whilst Kubrick made many great films over his nearly fifty-year long career, here’s a look at the director's five best-known movies that proved to all be masterpieces in their own way. 1)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
There’s no better place to start than with Kubrick’s mid-sixties satire of the nuclear age, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The film is centred around the order of the rogue General Ripper (Sterling Hayden) to drop a nuclear bomb on the Soviet Union and how the President of the United States (Peter Sellers) attempts to end the crisis.
The film is a hilarious take on the Cold War and is filled with jokes pointing out the barbarity of political attitudes at the time. Peter Sellers, who has three roles altogether, is excellent in the movie and his scene as President Muffley on the phone to Russian Premier Dimitri Kissov goes down as one of most iconic comedic sketches in cinematic history.
Its humour and message have held up incredibly well and it remains one of Kubrick’s highest rated films today.
2) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Arguably Kubrick’s most influential film, in the long run, 2001: A Space Odyssey was jaw-dropping when first released as its visual effects were like nothing seen before.
It follows astronauts Dave (Keir Dullea) and Frank (Gary Lockwood) as they battle against their ship’s artificial intelligence, HAL (Douglas Rain) in the year 2001. The film is far deeper than its base story suggests though. Depicting the dawn of man and covering themes that criticise human’s arrogance and stagnation, the film proves to be far more rewarding on repeat viewings.
The movie beautifully blends soundtrack and visuals with Kubrick’s use of the classical piece Also Sprach Zarathustra in the opening titles, helping to create another iconic cinematic moment. It is a testament to Kubrick's filmmaking that 2001 holds up as well as it does with the impressive use of practical effects creating what is still a visual spectacle.
3) A Clockwork Orange (1971)
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