No Fighting In the War Room

Posted in Phlogiston, Rock 'n' Roll at 5:04 pm by George Smith

The above is a snap from SAC Command Post, a short film made by the Air Force. One fashioned to apparently counter perceived bad publicity from the movie Dr. Strangelove.

It is here at the nuclear archive at George Washington Uni.

It’s a wonderful 18 minute snapshot from a time long gone. You could watch it back to back with Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom!

The end result is something Kubrick could have used as warm-up while the crowd seated itself prior to a showing of Strangelove. Rather than counter anything, it nicely seasons the premise of his movie which is, perhaps, why SAC Command Post never even remotely climbed into national consciousness like the former.

Full of old analog equipment and telephones, it harkens back to a time when the US actually was a world leader with a working government.

The movie opens portentously: The Strategic Air Command has the power to immediately strike back at any aggressor who would dare to start a general war.

The Soviet Union is neither mentioned nor pictured anywhere in the film.

A few teasers:

SAC, guarded by vigilant dogs so no one crazy can interfere!

A general reads his daily paper before being called to alert!

The SAC controller shows a bit of anxiousness under the cameras. Chosen for lantern jaw.

It’s only a test!

That ‘impact’ counter doesn’t go high enough.

Nothing can go worng wrong between the gold and the red telephone sets.

Again, SAC Command Post is here.

Yes, gentlemen, they are on their way in and no one can bring them back. For the sake of our country and our way of life I suggest you get the rest of SAC in after them, otherwise we will be totally destroyed by Red retaliation. So let’s get going, there’s no other choice. God willing, we shall prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. — General Jack Ripper, Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove is one of DD’s favorite movies. It and the mythos of the Strategic Air Command resulted in this song, “Strategic Air Command”, on the second Highway Kings album, Brutality.


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