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

 -  Comedy | War  -  29 January 1964 (USA)
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 265,403 users   Metascore: 96/100
Reviews: 784 user | 170 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

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

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) on IMDb 8.6/10

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Top 250 #42 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jack Creley ...
Frank Berry ...
Lt. Dietrich
Robert O'Neil ...
Adm. Randolph
Glenn Beck ...
Lt. Kivel (as Glen Beck)
Roy Stephens ...
...
Capt. 'Ace' Owens
Hal Galili ...
Burpelson AFB Defense Team Member
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Storyline

Paranoid Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper of Burpelson Air Force Base, he 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 ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

the hot-line suspense comedy

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:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 January 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Delicate Balance of Terror  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Maj. T.J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) was based on Alvin "Tex" Johnston. Johnston was the chief test pilot for Bell Aircraft and Boeing in the 1940s and 1950s. Like Kong, he regularly flew wearing cowboy boots and a Stetson. While working for Boeing, he piloted the first flight of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, the same plane his fictional counterpart piloted in "Doctor Strangelove." Johnston was perhaps best known for his demonstration flight of the Dash-80, prototype for the Boeing 707, over Lake Washington during the 1955 Gold Cup Hydroplane Races. He was scheduled to perform a simple flyover. Instead, he performed a double barrel roll, leading many in the crowd -- including Boeing president Bill Allen -- to believe the plane was out of control and about to crash. The same year "Doctor Strangelove" premiered, Johnston was promoted to manage the Boeing Atlantic Test Center. One of the projects he worked on there was the development of the Minute Man missile. See more »

Goofs

Several times during the film, when the B52 is shown in flight from the side, even though the camera angle "pans" with the aircraft when banking (turning), there is no change in the angle or geography of the scenery on the background plate footage - it still looks as if the plane were in straight level flight. 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 I Am Legend (2007) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Still laughing, long past the end credits...
22 December 2004 | by (Denmark) – 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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