Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 black comedy film by Stanley Kubrick. Despite the film's darkly comedic tone, it can also be seen as an anti-war film depicting a series of events leading to a nuclear war. Today, most critics consider the film to be one of the very best and most intelligent of its genre.


American Air Force General Jack D. Ripper decides to order a full-out nuclear strike against Russia, because he hears that the Soviet Union will fluoridate American water and "pollute Americans' precious bodily fluids". He initiates "Plan R" which allows him to order the bombers to attack without presidential authorization.

Meanwhile, at the War Room in the Pentagon, President Merkin Muffley discovers that the Russians have built a doomsday device which could destroy planet Earth if Russia is attacked; Muffley, his advisors, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a Royal Air Force officer try to recall the bombers and halt the attack on Russia, so as to prevent the activation of the deadly doomsday machine.

Original ending

The ending sequence from the released film was not actually the first intended ending for it. There was an original pie fight sequence with everyone in the war room involved in the fight. But this scene was dropped for supposedly a number of different reasons: Kubrick stated in a 1969 interview that it was farce and not consistent with the tone of the rest of the film.

Also, a humorous quote in the sequence referring to President Merkin Muffley getting hit with a pie was "Gentlemen! Our gallant young president has been struck down in his prime!" This would be very distasteful to include in the final cut, considering President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated the year before the film's release.


The Academy Awards nominated the film for Best Picture. Stanley Kubrick was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay (with Peter George and Terry Southern). Peter Sellers received a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Stanley Kubrick received many nominations for Best Director, including the Academy Awards, the Directors Guild of America, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists. He won the latter two.

Overtime, Dr. Strangelove gained much recognition from the AFI (American Film Institute), and was placed in a few of their lists:

100 Years...100 Movies 26
100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary) 39
100 Years...100 Laughs 3

100 Years...100 Movie Quotes

("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, this is the war room!")


Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper and Dr. Strangelove, both film characters, were also nominated for a place in AFI's "100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains" list.