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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 wild hot-line suspense comedy. 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
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Peter Sellers improvised most of his lines. See more »

Goofs

The Coca-Cola machine squirts drink into the face of Colonel Guano after he shoots holes in it. However, there would be no reason for the bottles or cans in the machine to be under pressure, as the shooting wouldn't have shaken them up. Also, the bottles wouldn't be stored to the side of the vending door (where the bullet holes are), but above it. The style of machine shown mixes tap water from a water line attached to the building's plumbing with carbon dioxide and drink syrup stored in tanks inside the machine under pressure and dispenses it into a paper cup that drops into a chamber in the door which is plainly visible in the shot. Therefore, it is quite plausible that water would squirt from the machine under pressure if the tanks or water lines were pierced by gunfire. This style of machine used to be quite common when this film was made in the 1960's, but are now fairly rare, as the machines had to be restocked with raw drink syrup (a different tank of syrup for each drink flavor) and recharged with carbon dioxide. Otherwise, if the syrup, carbon dioxide, or both ran out, you often received either a cup of plain soda water, a "flat" soda with no bubbles, or worst of all, a cup of plain water if both the syrup and carbon dioxide tanks were empty. 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 The Unknown Peter Sellers (2000) 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

 
Subtle and Symbolic
11 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

Entertainment Weekly called this one of the funniest 100 movies ever made. It also happens to be one of the most disturbing movies made. The humor is right there in your face, however, there is always an underlining political critique under every character, every line, and every government representation. Slim Pickins is the never quit Airman. He is a representative of our entire military system of the time. The president, played beautifully by Peter Sellers, is a demure, calm presence trying to deal with the Russian premiere. His perfect counterpart is a war hungry General, ready to accuse the Russians of any small infraction. This leads to one of the funniest lines in the whole movie. Sellers also plays a British airman who has to deal with the crazed general in the usual polite British manner. Seller's third role is that of the title character, Dr. Strangelove, a former nazi and weapons designer for the Americans. He represents the scientific community of that time period; those who worked tirelessly to build a better bomb. These characters, all of them strongly parodying a cross section of society make for an odd story. The final scene, while played for laughs, is actually a frightening image of a communist future. The final moments are frightening in their truth leading one to put themselves in a position of the characters. Dr. Strangelove is the funniest disturbing film I've ever seen.


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