The Movie: Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
What Is It?: The idea that a nation would annihilate another, guaranteeing itself annihilation, is so monumentally moronic that it is hard to believe anyone would conceive of such a thing in the first place. The total absurdity of all this hit Stanley Kubrick with a massive wallop while he was trying to decide how to adapt Peter George’s novel Red Alert for the screen. Not only did Kubrick decide to adapt it as a comedy, but he decided to make it one as over-the-top as a Three Stooges short. However, the themes and agenda are so immensely dark (and the finale so exhilaratingly nihilistic) that Dr. Strangelove is almost as much of a horror movie as it is a comedy.
Why Today?: On this day in 1945, the first atomic bomb test takes place.