Ed Driscoll

Gentlemen, You Can't Play Poker Here, this is the War Room!

As it must eventually to all satire, reality finally catches up to at least one detail in Dr. Strangelove. From Vincent LoBrutto’s 1997 book Stanley Kubrick: A Biography, on Kubrick and Ken Adam, his production designer, planning the key War Room set in 1963 for Dr. Strangelove:


The two men created a unique collaboration. Adam was an instinctual and imaginative designer with strong architectural training and a penchant for heightened reality. Kubrick was a director who questioned everything and demanded a rationale for every detail in his movie. Adam intuitively felt that the table that the President and his men sat around should be large and round. When Kubrick saw the design for the table he asked Adam if it could be covered with green baize even through the film was being shot in stark black and white. “Sure,” Adam said and Kubrick replied, “It should be like a poker table — the President, the Russian Ambassador, and the generals playing a game of poker for the fate of the world.”

Flash-forward 50 years: “McCain Plays Poker During War Hearing,” Matt Drudge writes in a huge headline atop the Drudge Report, linking to this Washington Post blog post, with a close-up of McCain’s iPhone, and a confirming tweet from McCain himself.

No word yet if it will be Kerry or Obama shouting “Yolo!!!!” as they ride the cruise missile down to the ground, however.

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