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
Peter Sellers said the Dr. Strangelove character wasn't based on Henry Kissinger, "that's a misconception - it's von Braun," referring to the rocket scientist sucked into the Nazi rocket program and, after the war, brought over to the U.S. and seen publicizing the rocket-building efforts with such personages as Walt Disney in ads and promotional appearances. When Stanley Kubrick later on called up some NASA scientists to help with the verisimilitude of "2001," some of them, of course, had worked with, under, and around von Braun, and the Jewish Kubrick was able to play off the previous film's rendering with wit and aplomb - winning them over, as accounts from *that* film's set can attest, to the point of giving him respect bordering on awe. See more »
In the cockpit scenes, when the aircraft banks during evasive maneuvers, no change appears in the instruments: they continue indicating straight and level flight (notably the attitude indicator). 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 »
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.
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