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
Tracy Reed, the only woman seen in the film, plays Turgidson's secretary, Miss Scott, who was billed in some early advertisements as "Miss Foreign Affairs". This was due to her also appearing as that character in the centerfold of Playboy magazine (June 1962), which is read by Maj. Kong in the cockpit. The magazine covering her butt is "Foreign Affairs". See more »
The panel in the B-52 labeled "Auto Destruct" is in fact a flare launch control panel. Visible under the black paint are the instructions
1) PULL COVER DOWN
2) MOVE MASTER (CENTER) SWITCH DOWN
3) RELEASE A FLARE BY MOVING EITHER SIDE SWITCH" See more »
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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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 »
Three different screen aspect ratios have been used for video releases. The initial video releases up until the last VHS used a pan & scan transfer. Starting with the Criterion Collection laserdisc, as well as the later Columbia laserdisc, the film was presented "open matte" which meant that as much of the frame was captured as possible. Since many scenes were shot with mattes in-camera, the aspect ratio varied between 1.33:1 to roughly 1.66:1. This same version was used for the original and later Special Edition. In 2004, Columbia completed a new restoration of the film using an original fine-grain positive. This was utilized for a high definition transfer used for the 2-disc 40th Anniversary Edition DVD set. For the first time, this edition used 16x9 enhancement and presented the entire film at its theatrical exhibition aspect ratio of 1.66:1. While this obscures image previously seen on the variable ratio transfers, this preserves the intended "matted" wide-screen composition - very important for shots like Major Kong riding the bomb to the ground. In the variable ratio transfers, the rigging and projection screen edges are visible. See more »
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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