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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)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 315,143 users   Metascore: 96/100
Reviews: 819 user | 178 critic | 11 from

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)

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Top 250 Movies #49 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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


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


the hot-line suspense comedy


Comedy | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

29 January 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Delicate Balance of Terror  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


As research, Stanley Kubrick read nearly 50 books about nuclear war. See more »


Towards the end of the film, when Strangelove is fighting with his renegade right hand over control of his wheelchair and punches it several times out of frustration, the Russian Ambassador (Peter Bull) clearly corpses (laughs) at Peter Sellers' performance and then quickly regains his composure. See more »


[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.
See more »

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 »


Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »


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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A must see !!! ***** out of ****
5 June 2003 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Who else than Stanley Kubrick could take a serious subject like the cold war and tell the story like a comedy ??? He proves his genius in this film more like in any other film of his. It's the story about one general ( with the very appropriate name Jack D. Ripper) gone mad and he launches an attack on Russia all by himself. He's mad, but still smart enough to prevent that anyone can stop him. He's got this strange ( but very funny ) theories about body-fluids, but his men respect him and do everything he says. So 34 fully-armed plains are sent to as many targets. Meanwhile his Colonel, Mandrake, tries to talk sense to him and the president and another General are trying to warn the Russian prime minister. You can have nothing but great respect for Peter Sellers. He plays three roles in this film and every single one of them is flawless. The doctor Strangelove character is hilarious and creepy at the same time. His appearances as the doctor are, along with the telephone conversations between the president and the Russian Prime minister the funniest moments in the film... Also the classic bomb-ride of Major Kong off course. George C. Scott is clearly having fun in his role and the debut of James Earl Jones is also definitely worth mentioning. Like I said already...a must see film if you're a film lover in general.

108 of 172 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Great movie, but help me understand 2 or 3 things... giorgionov-1
Do you like this movie? and how old are you usama-fazal1
Do you have to be an American to enjoy this movie? mohammad-maseeha
What was Ripper's dysfunction? ebersole
The Dark Knight is a higher rating? Samme7
Ronald Reagan thought there was a real war room internetnicknamehere-178-30027

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