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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 319,679 users   Metascore: 96/100
Reviews: 821 user | 173 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.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Top Rated 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
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Did You Know?


There is a great deal of editing and cutting away shots in the sequence where Dr. Strangelove gets carried away in the War Room when his out-of-control right hand makes Nazi salutes and tries to strangle him, mainly to cover up the cast around him cracking up with laughter. Despite this, Peter Bull, playing Soviet Ambassador de Sadesky, can be glimpsed trying to suppress his laughter. See more »


De Sadesky says that the fallout from the doomsday device has a half-life of 93 years, but then he also says that the fallout would circle Earth for 93 years. This is a contradiction: half-life is the time it takes for radiation to be halved, not completely dissipated. It is common however for people to confuse these concepts, and the dissipation time for the fallout from a nuclear weapon salted with cobalt is indeed about a century. 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 »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Creeping Terror (1994) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Outstanding, timeless classic!
19 January 1999 | by (Mpls., MN) – See all my reviews

One of the best films ever made, this remains timeless despite changes in technology, foreign policy and world politics; the military/political madness remains the same. Gets better all the time, with successive viewings and its luster has not dimmed since its first release.

With three show-stopping performances from Sellers (amongst his best work, if not THE BEST), and an unexpectedly hilarious turn by George C. Scott (if Sellers weren't SO dead on-target, Scott would easily steal the show), STRANGELOVE is filled with cartoonish, over-the-top characters that, despite the lunacy, still ring true. Special mention must be made for Sterling Heyden's controlled, brooding paranoia as General Jack D. Ripper. He's funny, he's scary.

All-in-all, a brilliant piece of work by all involved.

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Great movie, but help me understand 2 or 3 things... giorgionov-1
Do you have to be an American to enjoy this movie? mohammad-maseeha
Kubrick = Bad LSD Trip inoe-1
Do you like this movie? and how old are you usama-fazal1
What was Ripper's dysfunction? ebersole
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