"I can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids."
- General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) to Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers)
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room!"
- President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) to General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) and Ambassador de Sadesky (Peter Bull)
"This is preposterous. I've never approved of anything like that."--President Muffley "Our source was the New York Times."
- Ambassador de Sadesky
"You're gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola Company."
- Colonel Bat Guano (Keenan Wynn) to Mandrake
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"
New York Times - 11/04/1994
"...A supremely scary classic....If DR. STRANGELOVE is the most warmly remembered of cold war artifacts, thank its pitch-black humor..." -- Critic's Choice
Chicago Sun-Times - 07/16/1999
"...DR. STRANGELOVE is filled with great comic performances....Arguably the best political satire of the century..."
USA Today - 06/19/1992
"...The film, of course, hasn't lost a thing, starting with three exceptional performances by Peter Sellers and another by underrated Sterling Hayden..."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/11/2002
"...A movie that shocked the world into a new death-rattle irony..."
Rolling Stone - 11/11/2004
"The blackest satire on the madness of war has grown more apt over time."
Uncut - 04/01/2005
"Kubrick's atomic-powered black comedy, scripted to perfection by Terry Southern."
Empire - 12/01/2008
"Despite the despairing theme, it's still among the funniest films ever made -- and, in his three roles, Peter Sellers delivers several classic speeches that will live forever..."
Wall Street Journal - 07/23/2010
"Stanley Kubrick's quintessential Cold War Comedy is also one of the savvier movies, period, about politics in the postnuclear era."
DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB is Stanley Kubrick's Cold War masterpiece. Based on the novel RED ALERT by Peter George, the film is set at the height of the tensions between Russia and the United States, when all it would take to destroy the world was one push of a button. And General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) is just the man to do it.
Convinced that the Russians have infiltrated America's "vital essence," the crazed Ripper gives the go code to the 843rd bomb wing to attack Russia, setting in motion a series of darkly hilarious vignettes involving gung-ho soldiers, wacky generals, spying Russians, drunken premiers, battles with soda machines, fights in the War Room, and the Russians' top-secret Doomsday Machine. Shot in black and white, the film has three main centers of action: one of the B-52 bombers, on which a group of loyal men know they are about to start World War III; Burpelson Air Force Base, where Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) is trying to convince everyone that Ripper has gone mad and the bombing must be stopped; and the War Room, where President Merkin Muffley (Sellers again) is trying to make peace with the Russians. The finale featuring Sellers as Dr. Strangelove is a comic gem. Hayden, George C. Scott, Slim Pickens, Keenan Wynn, and Sellers (in three roles) are especially terrific in what may be the funniest, most poignant black comedy ever made, a vicious satire on the farcical aspects of the military and the cold war.
Black Comedy |
Cold War |
Cult Film |
Essential Cinema |
Mad Doctor |
Nuclear Destruction |
Theatrical Release |
Theatrical release: January 30, 1964.
Filmed at Shepperton Studios, England.
DR. STRANGELOVE was an original selection of the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1989.
DR. STRANGELOVE is number 3 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Funniest Movies and number 26 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies.
The film begins with the following disclaimer: "It is the stated position of the U.S. Air Force that their safeguards would prevent the occurrence of such events as are depicted in this film. Furthermore, it should be noted that none of the characters portrayed in this film are meant to represent any real persons living or dead."
James Earl Jones makes his feature-film debut in DR. STRANGELOVE.
The part of Major King Kong, played by Slim Pickens, was originally written for John Wayne, who turned the role down. Peter Sellers was then set to play the role, but due to an accident was unable to do so. Kubrick eventually chose Pickens because the two had worked together briefly on ONE EYED JACKS.
The ending scene was originally going to contain a pie fight, but was considered too over the top by director Stanley Kubrick.