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Elspeth Wilson Politics Film Final Paper December 15 2000 Its the End of the Worldand I Feel Fine The role of intellectuals in the creation and justification of nuclear weapons In Fail Safe and Dr Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Sidney Lumet and Stanley Kubrick question the relationship between technology and humanity by emphasizing mankinds tendency to create machines that cannot be adequately controlled By blatantly revealing the absurdity of game theory Mutual Assured Destruction as a reasonable deterrence for nuclear war both directors call into question the dominant pro-Cold War American ideology One of the most quintessential aspects of this ideology includes the drive for constant technological advance and strategic superiority Without the brainpower of the scientists and intellectuals who dedicated their lives to the extension of technological power and the study of international conflict the Arms Race would certainly not have been possible These academics not only became the architects of atomic weapons but they were also faced with justifying the use of these nuclear bombs and creating a theoretical framework within which nuclear warfare might be appropriately and rationally conducted Within this context one noteworthy parallel between Fail Safe and Dr Strangelove is the existence in both films of a single intellectual genius that actively perpetuates the science of nuclear advancement and strategy Indeed through the characterizations of Professor Groeteschele and Dr Strangelove both Lumet and Kubrick examine the prominent role of intellectuals both scientists and theorists in the creation and justification of nuclear warfare Ultimately both Lumet and Kubrick reveal the problems with relying solely on science and mathematics to resolve international conflict thus suggesting that modern warfare requires a more humanistic ethical definition of right and wrong Both Fail Safe and Dr Strangelove serve as moralizing responses to the dominant American Cold War culture rhetoric and political policy In his article titled Dr Strangelove 1964 Nightmare Comedy and the ideology of Liberal
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