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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

PG | | Comedy, War | 29 January 1964 (USA)
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

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Top Rated Movies #56 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Frank Berry ...
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Lt. Kivel (as Glen Beck)
Roy Stephens ...
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Burpelson AFB Defense Team Member
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Storyline

Paranoid Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper of Burpelson Air Force Base, believing that fluoridation of the American water supply is a Soviet plot to poison the U.S. populace, is able to deploy through a back door mechanism a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union without the knowledge of his superiors, including the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Buck Turgidson, and President Merkin Muffley. Only Ripper knows the code to recall the B-52 bombers and he has shut down communication in and out of Burpelson as a measure to protect this attack. Ripper's executive officer, RAF Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (on exchange from Britain), who is being held at Burpelson by Ripper, believes he knows the recall codes if he can only get a message to the outside world. Meanwhile at the Pentagon War Room, key persons including Muffley, Turgidson and nuclear scientist and adviser, a former Nazi named Dr. Strangelove, are discussing measures to stop the attack or mitigate its blow-up into an all ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Red-Hot suspense story that's rocking and shocking the world! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some violent content, sexual humor and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

29 January 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Delicate Balance of Terror  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,751, 17 July 1994, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,440,272, 31 December 1994
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the early 1960s the B-52 was cutting-edge technology. Access to it was a matter of national security. The Pentagon refused to lend any support to the film after they read the script. Set designers reconstructed the B-52 bomber's cockpit from a single photograph that appeared in a British flying magazine. When some American Air Force personnel were invited to view the movie's B-52 cockpit, they said it was a perfect copy. Stanley Kubrick feared that Ken Adam's production design team had used illegal methods and could be investigated by the FBI. See more »

Goofs

General Turgidson tries to dismiss de Sadesky's claim of the doomsday device by saying radiation from a nuclear fallout is "down to a safe level after two weeks". But the idea of creating so called "salted" nuclear weapons by using cobalt in them was put forth by Leó Szilárd - the "father of the atomic bomb" - already in February 1950, and it is this concept that doomsday device in the movie is built on. The general would be well aware of salted bombs and their capabilities in 1963 when the movie takes place. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: For more than a year, ominous rumors had been privately circulating among high-level Western leaders that the Soviet Union had been at work on what was darkly hinted to be the ultimate weapon: a doomsday device. Intelligence sources traced the site of the top secret Russian project to the perpetually fog-shrouded wasteland below the Arctic peaks of the Zhokhov Islands. What they were building or why it should be located in such a remote and desolate place no one could say.
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Crazy Credits

The screenplay title is incorrectly spelled. It reads: 'Base' on the book "Red Alert" by Peter George. This is pointed out on the DVD supplement about the making of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Good Eats: Dr. Strangeloaf (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

We'll Meet Again
(1939) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Ross Parker and Hugh Charles
Performed by Vera Lynn and chorus at the end
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Laughing at Fear
14 August 1998 | by See all my reviews

What makes this film so powerful is the message that it made at the time of its release. This film came out at a height of paranoia of the nuclear age and the Cold War, right around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This film depicts a horrible, tragic incident in which a breach in the government and a few diplomatic mistakes result in nuclear holocaust. So, why didn't this film inspire panic? Because of the brilliant way in which Kubrick presents it... as a satire. The scariest thing about this film in retrospect is not how it depicts the impending doom of the Cold War, but how it makes you laugh at it. By presenting it with humor, it conveys just how much of a farce the nuclear arms race was in real life. And I don't think that any other film has captured the absurdity of war nearly as well as this one has. And I am not likely to believe that one ever will. In my opinion, Kubrick has never made a better film since. And kudos to George C. Scott for his astounding performance, as well as Peter Sellers for the most versatile acting I've seen from an actor in one film, and to Sterling Hayden, for performing the most serious, yet the most hilarious role in film with perfect accuracy. Beware of fluoridation!


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