Some experts believe that the world is entering a new Cold War. On one side is NATO. On the other, depending on the issue, is either China or Russia. Certainly, U.S. relationships with both are at their worst level in decades. The invasion of Ukraine drives the collapse of ties with Russia. The rise of China’s military is the primary trigger.
The last Cold War was a series of standoffs between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and lasted from 1947 until the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1990. (If you’re nostalgic for that period, these are nuclear silos, bunkers, and other Cold War sites to visit in the U.S.)
Periods of friction between countries, particularly those that endangered each other and the world with nuclear weapons, have been fertile ground for films. Of the many produced during the Cold War, the best is Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 classic “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”
This black comedy about nuclear armageddon featured Peter Sellers playing multiple roles, including a German-accented adviser (rumored to lampoon Henry Kissinger) to the president – also played by Sellers. Sellers was considered one of the great comic actors of the mid 20th century, with films like “Casino Royale” (1967), “The Party” (1968), “Being There” (1979), and six films in the Pink Panther franchise (the last of which, “Trail of the Pink Panther,” was made after Sellers’ death and incorporated footage of him from previous films).
Director Kubrick was nearly as big a star as Sellers. Among his celebrated films up to that point were “Paths of Glory” (1957), “Spartacus” (1960), and “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968).
“Dr. Strangelove” was nominated for four Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay – but didn’t take home any Oscars.
Here’s a list of all the best movies set during the Cold War
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