AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Director: Stanley Kubrick (Dir)
Release Date:   Jan 1964
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 30 Jan 1964
Production Date:   ended Jun 1963 at Shepperton Studios, London
Duration (in mins):   93 or 102
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Cast:   Peter Sellers (Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake/President Muffley/Dr. Strangelove)  
    George C. Scott (Gen. "Buck" Turgidson)  
    Sterling Hayden (Gen. Jack D. Ripper)  
    Keenan Wynn (Col. "Bat" Guano)  
    Slim Pickens (Maj. T. J. "King" Kong)  
    Peter Bull (Ambassador de Sadesky)  
    Tracy Reed (Miss Scott)  
    James Earl Jones (Lt. Lothar Zogg)  
    Jack Creley (Mr. Staines)  
    Frank Berry (Lt. H. R. Dietrich)  
    Glen Beck (Lt. W. D. Kivel)  
    Shane Rimmer (Capt. G. A. "Ace" Owens)  
    Paul Tamarin (Lt. B. Goldberg)  
    Gordon Tanner (Gen. Faceman)  
    Robert O'Neil (Adm. Randolph)  
    Roy Stephens (Frank)  
    Hal Galili (Burpelson defense team member)  
    Laurence Herder (Burpelson defense team member)  
    John McCarthy (Burpelson defense team member)  

Summary: Crazed by the belief that the Communists are planning to conquer the free world by poisoning the water supply with fluoride, Gen. Jack D. Ripper, commanding officer of the U. S. Air Force base at Burpelson, unleashes a B-52 atomic bomb attack on Russia. Ripper prevents the countermanding of his orders through a secret code and makes himself inaccessible by sealing off the base. When President Muffley learns of the unauthorized mission, he summons his council to the War Room in the Pentagon and invites Russian Ambassador de Sadesky. Despite the hysterical advice of Gen. "Buck" Turgidson, who advocates limited nuclear war, the President orders U. S. land forces, under the command of Army Col. "Bat" Guano, to attack Burpelson. Ripper kills himself rather than face capture, but his R.A.F. aide, Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake, who has been locked in Ripper's office, works out the secret code that is instrumental in recalling the bombers. All appears safe until it is discovered that a plane commanded by a boisterous Texan, Maj. T. J. "King" Kong, did not receive the recall message. At this point, President Muffley learns from de Sadesky that the Russians have developed a "Doomsday Device" which will set off worldwide nuclear explosions if an atomic bomb is dropped anywhere over Russia. Desperate, the President turns to his physicist adviser, the paraplegic ex-Nazi, Dr. Strangelove, who calculates that humanity can survive if a selected few take to underground shelters and remain there for about 100 years. All efforts to halt the lone plane fail, and Kong wildly straddles the bomb as it plummets toward the earth. Consequently, the Doomsday Device is triggered, and atomic explosions are set off all over the world. 

Production Company: Hawk Films, Ltd  
Production Text: A Stanley Kubrick Production
Distribution Company: Columbia Pictures Corp.  
Director: Stanley Kubrick (Dir)
  Eric Rattray (Asst dir)
Producer: Stanley Kubrick (Prod)
  Victor Lyndon (Assoc prod)
Writer: Stanley Kubrick (Scr)
  Terry Southern (Scr)
  Peter George (Scr)
Photography: Gilbert Taylor (Dir of photog)
  Kelvin Pike (Cam op)
  Bernard Ford (Cam asst)
Art Direction: Ken Adam (Prod des)
  Peter Murton (Art dir)
Film Editor: Anthony Harvey (Film ed)
  Ray Lovejoy (Asst ed)
  Geoffrey Fry (Assembly ed)
Costumes: Bridget Sellers (Ward)
Music: Laurie Johnson (Mus)
Sound: John Cox (Sd supv)
  Richard Bird (Recordist)
  John Aldred (Dubbing mixer)
  Leslie Hodgson (Sd ed)
Special Effects: Wally Veevers (Spec eff)
  Vic Margutti (Travelling matte)
  Pablo Ferro Ferro, Mohammed & Schwartz (Main titles)
Make Up: Stewart Freeborn (Makeup)
  Barbara Ritchie (Hairdresser)
Production Misc: Clifton Brandon (Prod mgr)
  Pamela Carlton (Cont)
  Capt. John Crewdson (Aviation adv)
  Leon Mintoff (Unit mgr)
Country: Great Britain and United States
Language: English

Songs: "We'll Meet Again," music and lyrics by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles, sung by Vera Lynn.
Composer: Hughie Charles
  Ross Parker
Source Text: Based on the novel Red Alert by Peter George (New York, 1958).
Authors: Peter George

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Hawk Films, Ltd. 31/12/1963 dd/mm/yyyy LP26988

PCA NO: 20469
Physical Properties: Sd: Westrex Recording System

Genre: Black comedy
Subjects (Major): Atomic bomb
  Cold War
  Nuclear warfare
Subjects (Minor): Communists
  Great Britain. Royal Air Force
  Judgment Day
  Pentagon Bldg. (VA)
  United States. Air Force
  United States. Army
  United States. Presidents

Note: The film was released in Great Britain in 1964. Other songs on the soundtrack include "Try a Little Tenderness" and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was ranked 39th on AFI's 2007 10 Years...100 Movies--10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films, moving down from the 26th position it held on AFI's 1997 list. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   15 Jan 1964.   
Filmfacts   26 Mar 1964   pp. 33-35.
Hollywood Reporter   28 Jun 1963.   
Hollywood Reporter   15 Jan 1964   p. 3.
New York Times   31 Jan 1964   p. 16.
New Yorker   1 Feb 1964   pp. 75-76.
Newsweek   3 Feb 1964   p. 79.
Time   31 Jan 1964   p. 69.
Variety   22 Jan 1964   p. 6.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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