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

Year: 1963

Production: Hawk / Columbia

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens

Screenwriter: Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, Peter George

Based on Two Hours to Doom (Red Alert) (1958) by Peter George

94 minutes; B/W


This, the first of Kubrick's 3 sf films, has worn well, with its curious blend of black comedy, documentary realism and almost poetic homage to the very machines (B-52s and their nuclear cargo) that shows as destroying the world. The original novel was a serious story about an insane US general who launches a preemptive attack on Russia without presidential authority, but Kubrick opted for a grotesquely satirical and very funny treatment, helped by a strong cast including Peter Sellers, who play three roles: one is Dr Strangelove, a sinister ex-Nazi, generally seen as burlesquing a distinguished real-life scientist. The appalling point of the film is the way the vision of Armageddon attracts the very protagonist whose job it is to prevent it: Strangelove is sexually aroused by the idea of cleansing holocaust, and it excites the lunatic general and even the bomber pilot (Pickens), who rides his own bomb down with Texan whoops of triumph as Vera Lynn's voice rises plangently into "We'll Meet Again".

The film received the 1965 Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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