Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

4.8 27
Director: Stanley Kubrick, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden

Cast: Stanley Kubrick, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden

     
 

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In 1964, with the Cuban Missile Crisis fresh in viewers' minds, the Cold War at its frostiest, and the hydrogen bomb relatively new and frightening, Stanley Kubrick dared to make a film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button -- and played the situation for laughs. Dr. Strangelove's jet-black satire (from a script by director Stanley

Overview

In 1964, with the Cuban Missile Crisis fresh in viewers' minds, the Cold War at its frostiest, and the hydrogen bomb relatively new and frightening, Stanley Kubrick dared to make a film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button -- and played the situation for laughs. Dr. Strangelove's jet-black satire (from a script by director Stanley Kubrick, Peter George, and Terry Southern) and a host of superb comic performances (including three from Peter Sellers) have kept the film fresh and entertaining, even as its issues have become (slightly) less timely. Loaded with thermonuclear weapons, a U.S. bomber piloted by Maj. T.J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) is on a routine flight pattern near the Soviet Union when they receive orders to commence Wing Attack Plan R, best summarized by Maj. Kong as "Nuclear combat! Toe to toe with the Russkies!" On the ground at Burpleson Air Force Base, Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) notices nothing on the news about America being at war. Gen. Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) calmly informs him that he gave the command to attack the Soviet Union because it was high time someone did something about fluoridation, which is sapping Americans' bodily fluids (and apparently has something to do with Ripper's sexual dysfunction). Meanwhile, President Merkin Muffley (Sellers again) meets with his top Pentagon advisors, including super-hawk Gen. Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott), who sees this as an opportunity to do something about Communism in general and Russians in particular. However, the ante is upped considerably when Soviet ambassador de Sadesky (Peter Bull) informs Muffley and his staff of the latest innovation in Soviet weapons technology: a "Doomsday Machine" that will destroy the entire world if the Russians are attacked.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Monica McIntyre
Rarely does nihilistic humor bubble up so relentlessly as in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 masterpiece of political satire, Dr. Strangelove. The tale begins when Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), a United States general who is as obsessed with the spread of communism as he is with the dangers of fluoridation, dispatches a flock of B-52's into Russia, putting the world inexorably on a path toward self-annihilation. Kubrick's early training as a photographer is evident, especially in his bold sense of visual composition. The film's cartoonish characters grease the scathing commentary on cold war buffoonery. George C. Scott blows hard as a posturing hawk of the Pentagon. Peter Sellers plays three characters, among them the bizarre title character -- a former Nazi war criminal turned White House consultant. And of course, there's Slim Pickens's cowboy kamikaze, who rides a missile rodeo style, whooping and hollering into oblivion.
All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is widely regarded as the screen's greatest satire, a film that superbly encapsulates the fear and paranoia of the Cold War. There is not a sequence in the film in which the dialogue is not quotable -- indeed, there are so many well-remembered moments that viewers and critics will differ on the best, though surely the sight of Major Kong (Slim Pickens) waving his cowboy hat as he rides the bomb into oblivion is among the most enduring images of its era. As was consistently the case in his career, director Stanley Kubrick brilliantly matches actors with their roles, from Peter Sellers' three-character performance to the screen debut of James Earl Jones, whom Kubrick had spotted in a stage play. Similarly, George C. Scott, who plays the hawkish general Buck Turgidsdon, considered Strangelove among his greatest screen achievements. Every performance is top-notch, and many Kubrick trademarks can be found in the film, from the visual style to the shift to a hand-held camera when the Air Force base is attacked to the sparse and ironic use of music.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2016
UPC:
0715515179515
Original Release:
1964
Rating:
PG
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:35:00
Sales rank:
6,263

Special Features

Restored 4k digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack, in DTS-HD Master Audio; New Interviews with Stanley Kubrick scholars Mick Broderick and Rodney Hill; Archivist Richard Daniels; Cinematographer and Camera Innovator Joe Dunto; Camera Operator Kelvin Pike; and David George, son of Peter George, on whose novel Red Alert the film is based; Excerpts from a 1966 Audio Interview with Kubrick, Conducted by Physicist and Author Jeremy Bernstein; Four Short Documentaries, about the waking of the film, the sociopolitical climate of the period, the work of actor Peter Sellers, and the artistry of Kubrick; Interviews from 1963 with Sellers and actor George C. Scott; Excerpt from a 1980 Interview with Sellers from NBC's Today Show; Trailers; Plus: An essay by scholar David Bromwich and a 1994 article by Screenwriter Terry Southern on the making of the film

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Sellers Dr. Strangelove,Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake,President Merkin Muffley
George C. Scott Gen. Buck Turgidson
Sterling Hayden Gen. Jack D. Ripper
Keenan Wynn Col. Bat Guano
Slim Pickens Maj. T.J. "King" Kong
James Earl Jones Lt. Lothar Zogg
Peter Bull Ambassador de Sadesky
Tracy Reed Miss Scott
Jack Creley Mr. Staines
Frank Berry Lt. H.R. Dietrich, DSO
Glenn Beck Lt. W.D. Kivel
Shane Rimmer Capt. G.A. "Ace" Owens
Gordon Tanner Gen. Faceman
Robert O'Neil Adm. Randolph
Roy Stephens Frank
Laurence Herder Burpelson Defense Team Member
John McCarthy On Defense Team
Hal Galili Members of the Defense Team
Paul Tamarin Lt. B. Goldberg

Technical Credits
Stanley Kubrick Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Ken Adam Production Designer
Richard Bird Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Bird Sound/Sound Designer
Stuart Freeborn Makeup
Peter George Screenwriter
Anthony Harvey Editor
Laurie Johnson Score Composer
Victor Lyndon Associate Producer
Peter Murton Art Director
Kelvin Pike Camera Operator
Eric Rattray Asst. Director
Bridget Sellers Costumes/Costume Designer
Terry Southern Screenwriter
Gilbert Taylor Cinematographer
Wally Veevers Special Effects

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Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first saw Dr. Strangelove in the local movie theater when it was released in 1964. I was eight years old, and I thought I didn't understand what was going on, because I didn't think grownups made movies like this. Since then I've come to realize that Dr. Strangelove is the greatest black comedy of all time, lampooning the paranoid anti-Communism and the repressed sexuality of America of 1950s and early 1960s. But strangly enough, the film also pays admiring tribute to the SAC bombers and crewmen that it satirizes. It also has one of the great iconic moments in all of cinema history, when Slim Pickens rides down the H-bomb like a rodeo bull.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Stanley Kubrick's classic 1964 satire on militarism and the Cold War specifically. So close to the reality of the time that the humor of the movie lies more in how closely it reflects the political and military thinking of the Cold War: hence the satire. Sterling Hayden delivers an impeccable performance as General Jack D. Ripper, the psychotically paranoid Air Force general who orders a preemptive nuclear strike by a B-52 squadron on the U.S.S.R. Peter Sellers is brilliant in his triple role as the U.S. President, Dr. Strangelove, and Mandrake. George C. Scott also tops the cake in his over-the-top caricature of the Pattonesque General Buck Turgidson. It's hard to describe all of the nuances of this film on such a short review: you have to see it for yourself. Although the film will certainly have more of an impact on those who are old enough to remember the Cold War and all its tensions: there's a universal message in this satire that isn't bound to just that period of time. As a side note, this film isn't far from the truth as the Soviets had, by 1964, indeed developed a doomsday device. Under Stalin's rule, the USSR was planning to dock several grounded tanker ships filled to the decks with nuclear material. The ships would automatically detonate and consume the earth in radiation once they detected a level of radiation that could only be present as a result of nuclear war. Horrified by the possibility of accidents and human error, Nikita Kruskev ordered the project scrapped and it was never implemented.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mmmm... that's good satire. What can I say? This is the epitome of ironic commentary on just about everything wrong with militarism, government, power, and people.
Guest More than 1 year ago
DR. STRANGELOVE is one of the greatest satirical movies ever made on any subject. It raises some very frightening questions which are still pertinent. Is it possible for one mad general to trigger World War III and a nuclear holocaust? Are there any idiots in positions of power at the pentagon? At the time the film was released in 1964 the Cuban missile crisis was very much in the public consciousness and an affirmative answer to the above questions seemed possible. Hopefully there have been enough safeguards put in place to prevent any such catastrophes from ever taking place. In a movie filled with stellar performances Peter Sellers manages to stand out. He plays three very different roles as the former Nazi scientist Dr. Strangelove, a British officer and the American president. Pay attention because you may not recognize him as President Merkin Muffley. In the role of Captain Lionel Mandrake he serves as an aide to Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper. Sterling Hayden is brilliant and hilarious as the insane Ripper who launches his bombers for a nuclear strike against Russia. Slim Pickens is superb as the hawkish Kong who pilots the B-52 which manages to penetrate Russia's air defenses. The film received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Stanley Kubrick), Best Actor (Peter Sellers) and Best Adapted Screenplay. The competition for awards was intense in 1964 with MY FAIR LADY winning the Oscar for Best Picture.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I rented this film once, and I have to say it is one of my all time favorite classics. ITs one of Stanley Kubricks all time greatest films. The story was really good, and it was a great satire on the cold war. Peter Sellers does a fantastic job at acting in three roles. It has some of the greatest movie lines of all time. Well, thats all I have to say about this, so watch it as soon as possible.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is just one of several memorable quotes from this spectacular comedy! Where do I begin the writing, casting, direction, editing, and cinematography are all first rate. Peter Sellars should of won an academy award for playing 3 parts and George C. Scott is unbelievable for playing General Turgidson (even better than Patton). All the other supporting actors are also superb. Do not miss renting/owining this movie!!!
Dave-BN 5 months ago
Came within 2 days of placing the order online. The Criterion DVD came complete with a plethora of bonus features, a stylized booklet on the movie, and the marvelous film itself!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stanley Kubrick's best. Peter Sellers best too (along with the Pink Panther stuff).  George C Scoot is great also.  The movie and humor hold up today better than a lot of flicks this old.  Strangely relevant today, not so much from the earth annihilation thing but the ridiculous power spanking conflicts and fear that still exist between cultures.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The film Dr. Strangelove is about a nuclear war. The nuclear war took place during the Cold War period. This movie shows how the government of the United States and the Soviet Union are trying to create a war filled with hatred and pure destruction. The film also goes to show how the scientists and the generals are creating weapons that can be used in this war. The Soviets also created a specific weapon, which will destroy the world if they should be attacked. When my professor first put this film on and I saw how the film was completely in black and white, my first thoughts were “this movie is going to be so boring.” I honestly began to think that I was going to be falling asleep throughout the film, but I was wrong. The film kept me on my toes throughout the entire film and had my full attention during the entire movie. I did not think a movie about war could ever be portrayed in a comical way. It also seemed strange to me that a war film, which is so horrifying was turned into a good comical movie. Not a lot of movies are able to take such a deadly serious subject and position it with comedy. This movie turned war into a laughing matter, but it wasn’t in a bad way. As soon as the movie began, I could not stop laughing. I definitely think I could watch this movie on various occasions and honestly enjoy it each time without getting bored or tired of it. The movie is filled with so many funny parts that I can't even begin to mention them all. There were also many good parts in the movie and I don’t think I could pick out a favorite. From the scene in the “war room” and in the bomber plane there are many unforgettable scenes. The actors are also what made this movie fun and easy to watch. The characters were all great, everything was just excellent. I can honestly say I don’t have one bad comment about this movie. The humor was outstanding as well as the acting and I enjoyed it fully. I don’t think this movie will never feel outdated or too “old fashioned” to watch. Forty years from now, I think this movie will be hilarious and just as good as it is now. The movie gives an excellent insight about the absurdities of war and politics.
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