653 Throughout Dr. Strangelove, there are examples of a variety of leaders and leadership styles or lack thereof. A majority of the characters in this movie obviously have a difficult time being effective leaders. It is apparent from the beginning of the movie, particularly the scene where Mandrake enters Rippers office. There are obvious issues with his Rippers mental capabilities. Ripper, because of his position, at some point must have been an excellent leader, appears to have lost his sense of reality and become paranoid.
This became clear when he convinced himself that the Russians had infiltrated the water system, which are the causing him ill effects. Because of his delusions and paranoia, Ripper put his country at risk of a disaster confirming that he is incapable of still leading. On the other hand, Mandrake appears to be a sufficient leader and makes every attempt to reassure Ripper and try to obtain the code to stop an unnecessary attack on the Soviet Union. Throughout the movie, Mandrake appears to be the most competent leader and in the end confirms this by deciphering a code that prevented all but one of the bombings.
Buck Turgidson sees himself throughout Dr. Strangelove as a superior officer and leader. Proven repeatedly through the movie Turgidson exhibits an enormous ego and has a questionable sense of leadership. He seems more occupied with his personal life and his paranoid beliefs of the Soviet Union than leading his saving his own country. The president in this film, Merkin Muffley, is an interesting portrayal of a United States President. Muffley shows no exceptional leadership skills but does seem to have the ability to make his own decisions. However, there are points while in the war room that make his leadership skills questionable.
The conversations between the president and Dmitri Kissof, for instance, definitely show a submissive side of Muffley. However, he does seem to redeem himself in several scenes when making appropriate decisions in effort to halt the bombings. Col. ‘Bat’ Guano appears to be a strong leader and commander. During the scene of Mandrakes capture the colonel is forceful however shows the skill to accommodate Mandrake. This is apparent when the Colonel fires upon the soda machine to assist Mandrake in acquiring enough change to contact the president.
A leader like this is an asset in any situation, especially this one. Soviet premier Dmitri Kissof is a humorous portrayal of any type of leader. Kissof, portrayed to be a drunken leader, is more interested in his personal amusement rather than leading his country. During the scene where the president is speaking to Kissof, it becomes apparent that instead of ruling his country, he is enjoying a party and listening to loud music. While pilot Maj. T. J. Kong is not one of the main leaders in Dr. Strangelove however, he is an imperative leader.
His leadership skills are far superior compared to a greater part of other leaders in this movie. Examples of his superior skills, exhibited in the last few scenes, Major Kong risks his life to repair the bomb doors in his plane, resulting in his riding the bomb to the ground for detonation. Finally, Dr. Strange-love is not particularly a leader but more of an information source. Although it is apparent through the few scenes he appears, that at one time, he was an important asset to the Nazi’s and some sort of scientist but now was an important source of information regarding the doomsday device.
In the end, the few good quality leaders were essential in the successful return of all but one bomber. Unfortunately, this last bomber also had a great leader who was determined to complete his mission, and succeeded in his bomb detonating. Dr. Strangelove certainly reveals different leaders and the detrimental effects poor leadership can result in. Works Cited Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. 1963. Columbia Pictures, 2004. DVD