Writes Pat Mason:
Lew, remember how hard we laughed at this scene? The comedic and warped portrayal by George C. Scott of the warmongering, maniacal ‘General Turgidson’ and his unhinged plan to launch a massive, preemptive strike on Russia was SO over the top that you couldn’t help but laugh at just how crazy a plan it was. Peter Sellers was attempting to show how relations between the US and Russia would be hilarious in many ways had they not been so deadly serious. Even the names given to the characters were humorous (‘Turgidson’ from the word ‘Turgid’ meaning overstuffed, bloated. General ‘Ripper,’ et al).
And this film was made during the height of the Cold War when tensions were stretched uncomfortably tight.
However, is there any doubt today this scene – unfortunately – is more of an accurate depiction of what is going on in Washington and its military circles, and that our own ‘General Turgidsons’ are making similarly unhinged, murderous conclusions and presenting them to Trump as being sound, legitimate thinking?