A paranoid U.S. Air Force officer launches an unauthorized nuclear bomber strike against the Soviet Union. The President of the United States is brought to the War Room to decide how to stop the bombers release the nukes. The rogue Air Force officer has locked down his base and is the only one who knows the codes to override the orders. The top U.S. General suggests that the preemptive attack would severely cripple the Soviet's nuclear arsenal, giving the United States the upper hand. The Soviets reveal that they have built a Doomsday device that will automatically trigger and destroy humanity if they are attacked. Finally, the base is stormed and the codes are forwarded to the bomber crews, who break off their attack. There's just one problem; one of the planes radio has been damaged and they never receive the order to stand down. The plane tries to release its payload only to discover the launch system is damaged. One of the pilots climbs on top of the bomb and gets it to release. Believing himself to be a hero, he rides the bomb down to his death, waving his cowboy hat the whole time. Wait, what?

Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb sounds like a tense Cold War thriller, but in reality it's a fantastic satire. The movie is actually loosely based off of the book Red Alert, which is an actual Cold War thriller. Dr. Strangelove boasts a terrific cast led by Peter Sellers who plays three roles; Merkin Muffley, the President of the United States; Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, an RAF officer; and the titular Dr. Strangelove, a former Nazi and current nuclear war expert for America. Sellers was originally cast to play a fourth role, that of Air Force Major T.J. "King" Kong, but he sprained his ankle and had trouble with the airplane scenes. The role of "King" Kong went to Slim Pickens, shown above. George C. Scott was cast as General Buck Turgidson, whose performance was the result of Kubrick asking Scott to go over the top for test scenes and then using those scenes in the movie. Did you see who wrote the article in that link? You didn't even click it did you? Well, it was James Earl Jones. He played Lt. Lothar Zogg, in his very first film role.

Dr. Strangelove received four Academy Award nominations and seven BAFTA award nominations. It won four BAFTA awards including Best British Film, Best British Art Direction (Black and White), Best Film From Any Source and the UN Award. The film was ranked #3 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs list and has been preserved in the National Film Registry. None of that matters though, because some people didn't like it!

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Before we get to the stats and the reviews, I want to share something. I tried out the review system on Amazon.com and that mother tells you when you spell something wrong! Check this out:

Just so you know, I didn't actually submit this review. Here's the stats. Dr. Strangelove has received 753 total reviews on Amazon.com. The movie has an average rating of 4.6 stars. There are twenty-one total 1-Star reviews, with five of these reviews being for technical issues like "Blu Ray wouldn't play in my VCR" or delivery problems. That leaves sixteen people who did not enjoy the film. Or does it?

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Not funny

My cousin Mary Jo has pretty good taste in movies.. she likes good stuff like Waterworld, Battlefield Earth, The Seed of Chucky, etc.. so when I asked her for movie recommendations she told me to check out Dr. Strangelove. I was shocked that she wanted me to see this, because both of us know that movies made before 1990 are horrible. I was hesitant to watch this because it's so old but I decided to give it a shot. What a mistake!! People who pass this off as a "comedy" are ridiculous, as this movie was VERY unfunny. It wasn't even in colour, the characters were boring and there was way too much dialogue.
For a REAL black comedy watch "Soul Plane" or "White Chicks"!

This is a "joke" review on Amazon, the kind that make up Buzzfeed lists. "The Top Ten Hilarious Amazon Reviews Accompanied By .Gifs of Kittens" I have a problem with people bringing down the rating of a movie with fake reviews, but if you are going to write these kinds of reviews for movies on Amazon, at least make them clever. I do appreciate how you put right in the title that the review wouldn't be funny. I should try doing that on these posts.

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It's kind of like Catch-22, except not funny

There is nothing worse, when it comes to comedy, than blatant satire; YOU CAN'T FIGHT IN HERE, THIS IS THE WAR ROOM.

Wow, hilarious, because it's a room where they talk about wars, where fighting goes on.

Kubrick made a few masterpieces, and a few mediocre films, this is his one complete and total bomb.

You're absolutely right; there is no worse comedy than blatant satire. That's why Stephen Colbert lives in an alley by my house. Oh, and the quote "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!" was #64 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes list.

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Worst movie...

This is the worst movie that I have ever seen. I don't particularly care for Peter Sellers but he was adequate in the movie. The other actors I enjoy but not here. I had to watch it for a class assignment. Otherwise I would not have made it beyond the first five minutes.

Yeah, watching movies for class assignments is the worst! Was it for film school? Peter Sellers was so adequate in this movie, he was only nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award that year! You couldn't even beat Rex Harrison? You're a hack, Sellers!

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Boring, dragged out, not funny

Looking for comedy and seeing the great rating the movie gets everywhere, I expected to be entertained... I wasn't. There are very few comedic moments to it, and for those that are there, the humor is weak and accompanied with many minutes of dragging scenes. When I watch old movie (and I've seen plenty) I try to give them some leeway since filmography was young, technology was limited, and budgets were narrow, but this movie fails to entertain me in the slightest.

Ahhh, 1964! Back when filmography was young and technology was limited! We weren't even able to film the fake moon landing yet!

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Unfunny, amateurish and a waste of time

OK, all you lemmings out there, please listen up. For years, our so-called "film experts" have been beating us over the head about what a histerically funny this movie is. Have you ever heard the story of the king's new clothes? I was embarrassed at having spent good money to go see this junior high level attempt at parody. What an original idea for a movie! Hey kids, let's make fun of the military by depicting them as morons! The "genious" overacting and unoriginal characters portrayed by Peter Sellers were pathetic. Occasionally, I heard forced laughter from one or two people in the otherwise silent audience. During all the years since my first viewing of the film, the myth of this "masterpiece" has grown to unbelievable proportions. As Cher once said in "Moonstruck"...Snap out of it!

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All right, you've got the lemming's attention. I know you're tired of these "film experts" (I like to call them "people who get paid to watch and review movies") telling you their opinion of movies. Probably a bunch of film school nerds. In this case, you might want to listen to them. In 1964, a movie that satirized the nuclear tension between the United States and the Soviet Union was anything but unoriginal. This was the height of the Cold War! Duck and cover drills and all that. As far as your claims of "overacting and unoriginal characters portrayed by Peter Sellers", I have to again reference that he was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for this performance. I'm also going to let you in on a little secret. I was in the military for over a decade and a lot of them are morons!

Waste of time and money

ok, some minimal thrill but not worth spending the time watching it. The so called humor was ineffective. The scene with the cowboy riding the bomb down was a sad reminder of the cowboy diplomacy that's been running the country for 8 years.

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You watched Dr. Strangelove and all it made you think was that George W. Bush's foreign policy was bad? Allow me to recommend something you might enjoy more.

over rated

I did not like this movie, neither did my friend or girlfriend. I seem to remember some hype about it as an old classic comedy, but it was not funny like it was supposed to be. Maybe if they did a remake of this movie that actually had punch lines to the jokes it may not be half bad. Some people may like this movie or understand it on a different level than me, but I dont understand.

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Shut up! They'll hear you! Hollywood executives troll the Amazon reviews looking for things exactly like this!

"Hey, Chet. I saw on the Amazon.com that the kids are clamoring for a Dr. Strangelove remake. I think we could get Eddie Murphy to take over all the roles for Peter Sellers."

"Good idea, Geoff, but why couldn't Eddie play ALL the roles?"

"Brilliant!"

I didn't Laugh Once.

I asked for a bunch of comedies from the 60s & somehow this war satire landed in the pile. At least it was't one of those lame 50's propoganda films & had a somewhat interesting twist; this time an introverted American biggot nutcase is the bad guy, with his own president against him at every step, & Russua is the innocent victim. I couldn't get through more than 1/2 of it.

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Did you actually order a pile of movies from Amazon? I didn't know they sold them that way.

black and white

If I know the film recorded black and white styl, I didn't bay it.

Moving on.

Reference

Slim Pickens riding the bomb is a reference that is part of the American culture. Other than knowing the origin of this reference, this movie is a waste of time.

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You could have just used Bing to find that out.

SORRY TO BRING DOWN THE AVERAGE.

THIS MOVIE IS PRETTY BAD. GOOD ACTING THOUGH

Your apology for bringing down the average is accepted. Unfortunately, using all caps for your review is unforgivable!

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Doesn't live up to reputation ... an insulting bore of a film.

After years of glowing positives, the movie turned out to be pretty bad when I finally saw it. Itching to eject after a few minutes so as to get on with something more meaningful in life (like caulking my bathtub), I did sit through it to see what could be salvaged. The passage of events has aged this movie terribly.

The method of the satire in this movie is to (a) take people who fought the Cold War, (b) put them in a contrived situation, (c) have them state many of their beliefs (from concerns about government mandated fluoridation to nuclear policy) in a bizarrely unrealistic context created by the film-makers so as to make them look foolish.

The beliefs themselves aren't analyzed. Fictional events are instead arranged to make them look nutty by association. You are quickly taught who to laugh at on cue, like conditioning Pavlov's dogs. If someone has idea X, you know you are supposed to laugh at them and that's approved.

It is the approach of lazy pseudo-intellectuals everywhere. This movie shows the tedious shape of modern liberal thought, bigotry, and prejudice in the process of forming, before it ravaged the country in the late 60's down to the present, degrading hundreds of millions of lives along the way. Same thing with Sarah Palin and Saturday Night Live; instilling conditioned reflex responses so people don't have to think.

Since history and Soviet archives have shown the Cold War architects to have been correct in their assessment of just about everything (i.e., McCarthy was right), the mocking in "Dr. Strangelove" just looks foolish.

It's the sort of movie people who want to appear sophisticated go to and say they liked to get in with the "enlightened elite" for having "correct" thinking.

Dr. Strangelove himself is a minor character, having ~5 minutes of material out of 1.5 hours. Apparently the joke with him is that he can't control his arm, which keeps wanting to "Heil Hitler" salute, etc., as he discusses plans with generals and President. I don't know why that's funny or interesting. It's boring and stupid. Sort of like Monty Python — if you think MP is clever and deep like most 12 year olds, you'll like Dr. Strangelove.

Many interesting and thoughtful things could have been done about the Cold War, the effort to halt an ideology bent on enslaving the world to the will of an elite that thought itself better and more enlightened than everyone, but was really just a systematically defective understanding of reality.

Dr. Strangelove is an echo of this elite and their defective understanding of reality trying to lull asleep the masses they despise, by trying to mock and ridicule people who correctly acted against them to all of our benefit.

Ooh, missed it by that much. How's second place feel? You had a lot of crazy ideas in there but I just didn't feel like you were committed to them. You might want to try using more random capitalization and more exclamation points on the next one. It expresses anger really well. Let me show you. MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT!!! DR. STRANGELOVE IS AN ECHO OF THIS ELITE!!!! That's better, right?

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Here's your winner:

The worst "classic" movie ever made

An insane anti-communist repressed homosexual air force colonel—a smear on real life Air Force officer Curtis Le May whom Robert McNamara and the Kennedys hated—launches an unauthorized B-52 atomic attack on the Soviet Union. The President of the United States has no choice but to warn the Russians and provide them with information to shoot the planes down while a level headed British officer strives to discover the code that will recall the planes. At the same time, the army attacks the base resulting in American soldiers killing other American soldiers.

Meanwhile another anti-communist sexually questionable and foolish Air Force officer—-also a smear on Le May—-advises the President that he must launch a full scale assault on the Red Empire before it is too late. However it is already too late and one plane captained by a Texas cowboy has managed to get through. This will activate a Communist doomsday weapon that will cover the planet with a radioactive cloud for 100 years. The United States, advised by Nazi Scientist Dr. Strangelove, must prepare to move a select number of its people to permanent underground living quarters where they will have sex with ten women each to repopulate the planet.

This, of course, will mean no conservatives, anti-communists or military personnel since they are all homosexuals or otherwise sexual dysfunctional.

A perfect example of a film being declared a classic based not on quality but on its politics and the power of the liberal media. Stanley Kubrick had three great movies in him.........and this is not one of them. Stanley Kubrick was not renowned for his sense of humor nor a talent for comedy.........and this is a purported comedy. The man actually gives his characters names like Jack D. Ripper or King Kong or Gen. Turgeson!!!! Stanley Kubrick was a far left ideologue who later made such poisonous anti-american/free world pro commie prop venom as FULL METAL JACKET which was really simply a continuation of this film.

This film is such a vicious attack on all the things and persons that liberals hate that Kubrick had to pretend it was a comedy to allow him some deniability. All the Moscow generated smears are in place. Anti-communists are homosexuals. Virile heterosexual Communists get the chicks. Patriotic Americans are illiterate sex obsessed goons. The US govt. is advised and run by Nazis. Texas cowboys will destroy the world. The American military is the true threat to world peace. There is even a potshot at respect for private property.

The interesting thing is that the film is not so much a comedy as it is camp. It is interesting to note that those who claim to abhor camp would never think of criticizing this film for its excessive camp. The camp here—-which is oppressive—-is not even the camp of first season BATMAN but the camp of that program's third season. It is the ghastly camp of the George Pal DOC SAVAGE. The film's camp and hatred is so suffocating that the film never once allows the viewer to breath, to sit back and be taken up with the plot or enjoy an exciting sequence. The film is all propaganda and venom for every second of its running time and it never moves or excites or thrills or inspires any emotion of its own. Rather it allows those viewers already so inclined to sneer and smirk and indulge their pathologies. The same effect a viewer so inclined would take from THE BIRTH OF A NATION or EARTH or THE ETERNAL JEW.

There is nothing else here for anyone else who is not of The Party. It is a perfect example of the exclusionary aesthetic Jim Crow nature of what passes for liberal "art" but is actually a form of pornography. And it is never even slightly truly amusing. Not once.

The acting is mostly of the buffoonish caricature variety and as such is mostly horrendous. George C Scott appears to be channeling Huntz Hall and Hugh Herbert. I have rarely seen such a wretched performance by an actor.......and never by the usually fine Scott. Pickens is quite good but one understands that Kubrick allowed him to play it straight and that the sandbagged actor was not told he was supposed to be in a comedy. Sellers, in three parts, is good in that he is very different in those parts but I have long thought that Sellers was more of a surface performer rather than a genuine actor. A gifted mimic—rather like Robin Williams—-who is interesting for a brief vignette but dull and unengaging the longer he is on the screen. His Dr Strangelove is a perfect example of this. The actor is okay for the first five minutes.......and after that it is just mugging. His President is okay until when he gets on the phone with the Russian premier and then he is a one note punch line. His British officer—-representing European sophistication in the face of American moroncy is better but obviously offensive.

Kubrick's direction is atypically very bad and seemingly out of control—-particularly in the editing. There is one sequence with Sellers on the phone to the premier where Kubrick keeps cutting back to Scott mugging for the camera. Another where he cuts to Dr Strangelove sitting in the shadows for no real dramatic reason other than he apparently needed some filler footage. It is like watching a Ritz Brothers movie.

Adams' set design is very good and he would move on to better things with the James Bond series............but one does not see a film for the set design.

I believe the Library of Congress recently declared this film to be "culturally significant". Well yeah and so was DEEP THROAT.

That does not mean it is good...........and it is not.

A turd.

To see a truly brilliant and mature intelligent take on a similar situation, one is advised to watch FAIL SAFE with Henry Fonda and Walter Mathou. A picture that deserves its classic status the hard way. It earns it.

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The movie is anti-American and full of homosexuals and communists. Set design is good though.

I'm done! Is there any room for me up in Canada?

1-Star Movie Reviews Archive:

Close Encounters | The Princess Bride | Time Bandits | The Goonies | 2001: A Space Odyssey | Alien | Blade Runner

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