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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 314,837 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.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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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 15 wins & 4 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?


Peter Sellers was not keen on multiple takes, one of Stanley Kubrick's trademarks. Kubrick felt that Sellers's performance improved with each successive take, while Sellers couldn't understand why he was being asked to keep doing the same scene over and over. See more »


When General Turgidson asks about Strangelove's name he gets told that the Doctor Americanized his name from "Merkwuekdigliebe." This is a mispronunciation of "Merkwuerdigliebe", which in turn is a slight misspelling of the German term "Merkwuerdige Liebe", meaning "strange love". 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 »


When Johnny Comes Marching Home
(1863) (uncredited)
Music by the Union Army bandmaster, Louis Lambert
In the score often during the flight of Major 'King' Kong's aircraft
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Ultimate Black Comedy
16 February 2001 | by (Aberdeen, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Few films are able to take a deadly serious issue and place it within the context of a broad comedy successfully. Dr. Strangelove does exactly that. Kubrick's masterpiece illustrates in brilliant fashion the idiocy of nuclear war and the idiots who are orchestrating it. What strikes one most however in this cinematic gem are the individual characterisations of Sellers, Scott, Hayden and Pickens. To refer to them as memorable roles is a gross understatement. With names such as President Merkin Muffley, General "Buck" Turgidson, General Jack D. Ripper and Major T.J. "King" Kong, you know that these characters will not be soon forgotten. Other features of the film such as the remarkably designed "war room" set, the hand-held camera techniques employed by Kubrick and the black and white cinematography of Gilbert Taylor only add to the power and impact of "Strangelove." Quite simply, the greatest American film by the greatest American director.

210 of 298 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
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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