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

PG | | Comedy | 29 January 1964 (USA)
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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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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #57 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake / President Merkin Muffley / Dr. Strangelove
... Gen. 'Buck' Turgidson
... Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper
... Col. 'Bat' Guano
... Maj. 'King' Kong
... Russian Ambassador Alexi de Sadesky
... Lt. Lothar Zogg
... Miss Scott
... Mr. Staines
Frank Berry ... Lt. Dietrich
... Adm. Randolph
... Lt. Kivel (as Glen Beck)
Roy Stephens ... Frank
... Capt. 'Ace' Owens
... 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

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:

|

Language:

|

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

Stanley Kubrick chose Ken Adam as production designer after having been impressed with his work on Dr. No (1962). 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 Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Try a Little Tenderness
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Harry M. Woods, Reginald Connelly, and Jimmy Campbell
Arranged by Laurie Johnson
Performed by Studio Orchestra during the opening credits
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Still laughing, long past the end credits...
22 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Who'd have thought that Kubrick had such a great sense of humor? I mean, in most of his films, there are snippets of humor, and Barry Lyndon has a definite irony, but I hadn't expected him to be able to direct such a hilarious and thoroughly entertaining comedy. I had known for a while that this was the highest rated Kubrick film here on IMDb, so naturally, I was excited to find out if it was really his best film. Even though I haven't seen Lolita, Spartacus, Eyes Wide Shut or his first few films(the shorts he made before his feature), and even though I thoroughly enjoyed his other films, this very well may be his best film. Made in a period of time where the thought of nuclear war was a terrifying idea, that was believed to be a reasonable fear, the film takes this idea and turns it around, makes us laugh at it. The film was made during the Cold War, which must have taken quite a lot of guts on Kubrick's side... then again, he did start out, intending to make a thriller/suspense film about the subject, but ultimately realized that a comedy with a lighthearted look on the situation would be a better idea. So, he turned the idea of impending doom from nuclear holocaust into a black comedy. Personally, I think he did a damn good job of it. I haven't laughed that hard and for so long at any one time for quite a while... in fact, I might never have. The comedy isn't overplayed, in fact most of it is presented in a dead-pan, matter-of-fact-like type of way... what's even more hilarious is that the better part of it is completely accurate. No dumb stereotypes, no old clichés... just logic and simple, good old-fashioned observation. The plot is excellent, and very well-paced. In my opinion, Kubrick's most well-paced film. The plot takes off almost immediately and moves at a great pace throughout the film. The acting is flawless. Absolutely flawless. Not something completely unusual for a Kubrick film, but still. George C. Scott and Peter Sellers are amazing. Normally, I'm not too fond of Sellers, but here he was brilliant. The characters are well-written, diverse and interesting. The cinematography is great. Just like Kubrick's other films, this one has some very memorable scenes, one of which(the bomb-riding sequence) has been referenced and spoofed a huge number of times... possibly more times than any other sequence in Kubrick's films, which is quite impressive. The dialog is well-written, well-delivered and memorable. Plenty of quotable lines. I can't really say much more about the movie without ruining one or more of the innumerable great jokes... so I'll just suggest you see it. Seriously, if you enjoy Kubrick's sense of humor as seen limited in his other movies, you're going to enjoy this film. Maybe not as much as I did, but you'll most likely laugh. A lot. I recommend this to any fan of Kubrick, black comedies, Peter Sellers or just comedies with a dark basic theme to watch this. I can't praise it enough. See it, unless you are offended by the themes the film presents. You won't regret it. I know I didn't. Not by a long shot. Hilarious film with a provocative plot and basic idea. 10/10


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