Talk:Dr. Strangelove

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References to use[edit]

Please add to the list references that can be used for the film article.
  • King, Mike (2008). "Dr. Strangelove". The American Cinema of Excess: Extremes of the National Mind on Film. McFarland. pp. 46–49. ISBN 0786439882. 

Gross Revenue?[edit]

There doesn't seem to be a mention of the gross revenue of the movie. Could this be found somewhere? GruffyBears (talk) 15:24, 24 January 2010 (UTC)


Reference available for citing in the article body. Erik (talk) 20:20, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Question about B-52 scale model[edit]

Aviators! I have doubts about the veracity of the statement that the composited B-52 model in the film was, in fact, a Monogram 1/72nd scaler. I was an avid model builder in the late 60's, and I distinctly remember this kit being released, amongst much advertising, in the 1968-69 period, making it much too late for studio use.

Rather, I suspect that the model-makers just did a bang-up job using publicly available documentation. After all, they did a dead-on flightdeck based on a single photo... So - I hold this unreferenced comment as suspect... Mark Sublette (talk) 09:31, 9 March 2010 (UTC)Mark SubletteMark Sublette (talk) 09:31, 9 March 2010 (UTC)


The reception section needs some work. The Rotten Tomatoes claim isn't true (there are over 100 movies with 100% fresh rating and over 20 reviewers) and appears to be WP:OR. I understand that its position can be easily noted as of some stated date but I think that commenting on how many other movies received this rating isn't needed as it will constantly be changing. Metacritic named it #96, not #6. IMDB has it as #33 of all time. I'll be making these changes and wanted to leave an explanation here instead of in a edit note. OlYellerTalktome 02:04, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

I misunderstood the Metacritic rating vs ranking and adjusted it accordingly. I added a reference for TopTenMovies and changed the IMDB rating. I also removed the comment about it being one of some number of movies to receive a 100 on RottenTomatoes as it's just to variable to keep updated. OlYellerTalktome 02:11, 23 August 2010 (UTC)


I don't really know of any sources that can verify my point, but I do know that a lot of people believe the use of We'll Meet Again in the ending conveyed that some people survived the detonation of the Doomsday Device. This is flawed thinking, as it was detonated before Strangelove's plan regarding mineshafts could be put into action. Kubrick used the song ironically, as he also did with Singin' in the Rain in A Clockwork Orange and the theme for the Mickey Mouse Club in Full Metal Jacket. Would this be pertinent to include in the article, and if so, would a reference be necessary? (talk) 20:37, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

As it is now, there is no implication as to the meaning of the song, merely that it is played. To insert a comment regarding the intended meaning of the song you would need a verifiable source. SpigotMap 21:12, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Even if the Doomsday Device was detonated immediately, it would take some time, weeks or months, for the fallout to reach the USA. So there would be time for a few to take refuge. Barsoomian (talk) 00:18, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
The song was suggested by Spike Milligan and the point to using it was that they wouldn't meet again. No-one would. Ever. So it is indeed, Irony.
Or the point is that they all will meet again, immediately, in heaven, since they're all going to die. (talk) 13:43, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
If you watch the film you'll see that the only two main characters who aren't mentally deranged are President Muffley and Group Captain Mandrake. The rest are all having trouble grasping the seriousness of the whole situation. And for the most part, it is they who are running things. That's one of the jokes of the film. "The lunatics have taken over the asylum".
... the other point of the film is that the other characters all think they are doing the right thing, which they would be in different circumstances, and do their best to carry out their orders. But the circumstances aren't what they perceive them to be - at least not initially. So what they are doing is exactly wrong. You see, all the sophisticated 'safety measures' implemented to prevent an enemy thwarting retaliation conspire to first, prevent access to Burpelson Air Base, and finally, prevent the recall of Ripper's final lone bomber. And that leads to the end of the world. By mistake. That's the joke.
... and that's why We'll Meet Again is used for the finale. Because no-one would ever be meeting anyone ever again. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:20, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

The way I perceived the final song was this: "We'll meet again" is highly reminicent of the British Blitz of WWII. To me, its use at the end of Strangelove communicates a blitz spirit - but not necessarily survival. Ie: "Looks like the world is ending again dear, best batten down the hatches and settle in until its over." with a melancholy note of "maybe it will never be over and we will all die".
Imagine the news comes in that a doomsday device has been detonated and fallout will arrive in some small number of days and everyone herds into shelters to wait it out, not knowing that the wait will be too long, and they are singing the song to pass the time/keep up spirits.

So for me it is unknown whether anyone survived the doomsday detonation, or if so, for how long, and the movie ends on a pessimistic-but-still-weirdly-hopeful kind of tone.

The song at the end is indeed irony. No-one will ever meet again. Everyone dies. That's why the Soviet device was called the 'Doomsday machine' and the final sequence shows the linked detonations of the machine going off. The people in any mineshaft(s) will eventually die of thirst or starvation or end up eating each other. That is the lunacy of it all. "We'll meet again" is an optimistic song in a situation where there is no possibility of an optimistic outcome whatsoever. None. That's why the song in that context is funny. If they were all going to meet again in heaven the song wouldn't be funny. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Is there any significance of the name Merkin Muffley?[edit]

Merkin has a Wikipedia page. Muffley, is muff+ly. Merkin and muff seem to both refer to fur fashion accessories and possibly a womans pubic area. So it might be part of a joke. Geo8rge (talk) 21:34, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Try imagining Peter Sellers saying quickly in a fake Mid-West accent "I'm not British, I'm a Merkin". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:23, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Cast section[edit]

Are we perhaps laying it on a bit thick in several entries of the first part of the Cast section? Is the "King" nickname for Major Kong really a reference to the movie monster—isn't just a natural nickname for a guy named Kong? Likewise General Ripper being a "reference" to the 19th century serial murderer: is it really a reference or is it just a coy smile? Same for the Soviet ambassador and the 18th century writer and revolutionary thinker. Seems to me that if you claim every little thing is a reference, then you lose some of the punch of your real references. Also, is the tabular structure of the first part of the cast section really the place to discuss characters' backgrounds (particularly when we come right back with the very same information presented more prosaically in the very next section)? Isn't the first section about, ummm, casting? There's a lot of repetition in this article.—HarringtonSmith (talk) 20:21, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

I'll agree with you on both points. Certainly the cast section is simply for who played each role with minimal explanation. I suspect some of the "references" can be sourced, but it should be done later in the article if at all. With stuff like "King" Kong, Jack "the Ripper", I'd want to see verification that Kubrick has stated that he intended it the way it is taken. That might make it worth reporting. Yworo (talk) 20:27, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Does anyone even refer to Major Kong as "King" in the dialogue, Yworo? I can't remember its being used anywhere.—HarringtonSmith (talk) 20:39, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

You know, I don't think anyone does. Yworo (talk) 15:15, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

General Ripper's Motive[edit]

Plans to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar and ice cream were motivating factors for General Ripper not disclosing the code to recall the nuclear strike of Russia. The entire Dr. Strangelove movie is about getting the recall code from General Ripper needed to recall the Nuclear bombing of Russia and General Ripper's refusal to disclose it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:46, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

SEXUALITY: The reply letter from Kubrick could also be looked at as sarcasm to the writer,rather then true insight as the article claims. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

General Ripper's Recall Code[edit]

Genaral Ripper's Recall code POE or Purity Of Essence or Peace On Earth. When Guano shoots his way in to General Ripper's office Mandrake is looking at General Ripper's notes trying to figure out what the recall code is. The Notes General Ripper wrote were Peace On Earth and Purity Of Essence. What the Recall Code was and it's meaning should be discussed in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:00, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Remember that Mandrake says, "Something like POE or OPE." In fact, I thought I'd seen something in the film that indicted the recall code began OPE, but I couldn't find it. Nonetheless, OPE remains a possibility.Marcomillions (talk) 00:58, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

With all due respect, the code prefix/recall code is hardly a mystery. You can see the code OPE being set on the CRM 114 at 0:17:58 or you can hear the voice of SAC Communications Control read it at 1:13:15 (timings from the Special Edition DVD) Aileron Spades (talk) 02:41, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Doesn't Mandrake suggest OPE as meaning 'Our Precious Essences'? Khamba Tendal (talk) 23:35, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

American or British film?[edit]

What determines the nationality of a film? If it's the director then Kubrick was American. If it's where it's filmed then it was filmed in London because Peter Sellers was in the middle of a divorce and could not leave the country, according to the article. If it's the nationality of the leading actors then George C. Scott was American but Peter Sellers was British. If it's the distribution company then Columbia Pictures is American. I am going to remove any references to the nationality of the film until we reach a consensus on this. –CWenger (talk) 19:48, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Don't forget it was American money that bankrolled it.—HarringtonSmith (talk) 20:29, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
It was made by a British Company; Hawk Films Ltd, and was adapted from a British book by an English author; Peter George.
BTW, it was British money that bankrolled the P-51 Mustang fighter plane so would you call that a British aeroplane? - no? - I thought not.
.... oh, and another BTW, Stanley Kubrick took up British Citizenship not long before he died. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
According to the American Film Institute the film is a British production - see here: [1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. This request was obviously Lugnuts' Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 04:00, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Dr. StrangeloveDr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb—This article should be at the full correct name of the film, and not the title most people refer to it as. Dr. Strangelove can redirect back here. --Lugnuts (talk) 11:51, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME: "Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's 'official' name as an article title; it instead uses the name which is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources. This includes usage in the sources used as references for the article." We can write the official title in the article's lead sentence, but the official title is not repeated ad nauseum in references. Erik (talk | contribs) 13:01, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
    • I assume this might have been brought about (and forgive me if I'm wrong) because of Borat, which does include the full length title for the article header.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:32, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
      • For that article, the move discussion can be found here. (The discussion took place in March 2007.) Despite the original poster mentioning WP:COMMONNAME, he probably should have quoted it more fully, as there are people saying to keep the long title because it is official. The situation was also slightly complicated by the existence of the character article Borat Sagdiyev. Erik (talk | contribs) 13:40, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
        • I was just pointing it out, I thought I remembered a discussion on moving that in the past (and thought it was moved). As for the character, it doesn't help anyone who would argue that case since Borat redirects to the film and not the character. So, someone probably should restart that move discussion.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:47, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. The case of Borat is different because "Borat" can also refer to Borat Sagdiyev, Sacha Baron Cohen's character, whose creation preceded the film. The Celestial City (talk) 13:37, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per above (which is per WP:COMMONNAME). There are a lot of films with overly long titles which are used for comedic effect, but it just because silly to try and replicate that for the article title. It's one thing to have it in the lead, and another to just list the film's page with that name when a more common, shortened form can be used. I don't believe anyone would argue that if the common name was completely unrelated that we would switch it, but in this case it is more common for people to simply refer to the film as "Dr. Strangelove" than it's full title.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:47, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I was also looking at WP:NCF which doesn't seem to be clear on this. Maybe this needs updating too? Lugnuts (talk) 14:59, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
    • I think that NCF doesn't address it because it isn't a common problem. Though we do have what would seem like "quite a few" of these articles, they aren't typical compared to the rest and I think that is why NCF probably just lets COMMONNAME handle such cases. That said, I wouldn't be opposed to a brief blurb about long titled films.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 18:43, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME--John (talk) 18:13, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per WP:COMMONNAME.  — Amakuru (talk) 18:35, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME as with the film Swept Away and others. I thought that we had a conversation about this when this article was moved from the lengthier title several years ago but it isn't in this talkpage archives. Was it on the talk page for the Filmproject? Or somewhere else? MarnetteD | Talk 19:04, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: Per this discussion, I started a new discussion to request moving Borat to the more concise title per guidelines. The discussion can be found here. Erik (talk | contribs) 00:26, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Col. Batguano: Are we sure about this?[edit]

I can't get a good enough look at his name tape to know definitively that "Batguano" is his surname, as asserted here in a recent edit. Google search returns everything as "Col. Bat Guano", first name and surname. Until the recent edit here, I've never seen it as "Batguano", all together as a surname, anywhere. Thoughts?—HarringtonSmith (talk) 13:13, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm pretty confident that "Batguano" is not the surname. I too am unable to read the letters of the ID strip on his uniform, but I can see the lengths of words (rank and names) and the spaces between quite well. The best place to examine these is in the sequence in the hallway outside Gen. Ripper's office involving the telephone booth and Coke machine. Keenan Wynn stands more squarely to the camera, and the lighting is flatter and lower contrast than in the scene inside Gen. Ripper's office, where dark shadows from the daylight coming through the windows make it harder to be sure about spaces between words. What I see are three word-units, consistent with "Col. Bat Guano." The third word-unit, the surname, is not long enough to be "Batguano." Moreover, Mandrake, in reading the ID strip, pronounces the name as if three separate units. I mean, how should we pronounce "Batguano" if it were a single name?Marcomillions (talk) 01:11, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Watch the film with VLC player. In the scene inside Gen. Ripper's office, freeze the frame at 1:09:20, just as the Guano character says to Mandrake, "While he was shaving, huh?"

Using VLC Player's "Interactive Zoom", it is then possible to clearly read the name tape as, "Col. Bat Guano". (talk) 21:10, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks IP72.215.148.50. I have to change some of my forum-ids from "Pat Guano" to "Bat Guano". :-( And I was so sure ... -- (talk) 19:32, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

He's Col. Guano and his nickname is 'Bat'. Isn't 'Bat' in quotes on his name tape? Khamba Tendal (talk) 23:39, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

James Earl Jones[edit]

I know James Earl Jones didn't have a very large role, but I think it should be mentioned somewhere that Dr. Strangelove was his first film role. But I have no idea where to put it, any suggestions? Woknam66 talk James Bond 19:49, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, it should go right after his name in the Cast list section, like: "James Earl Jones, in his first motion picture role as Lieutenant Lothar Zogg, the B-52's bombardier." Please insert the info with a proper source reference (IMDB is not a reliable source for WP articles). Thanks. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 20:35, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Length of plot synopsis[edit]

The length of the plot synopsis exceeds the guideline of "400–700 words" established in WP:FILMPLOT, yet text continues to be added. The Plot section doesn't need to be a word-for-word recitation of everything in the screenplay. Anyone have any thoughts? — UncleBubba T @ C ) 22:44, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, text continues to be added, but not words. Is this eight character edit really worth threatening me? Maury Markowitz (talk) 16:56, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I didn't threaten you, but I did get a little insistent when you didn't respond to notes placed here and on your personal Talk page.
To answer your question, no, the eight-byte edit--your most recent--isn't terribly large, but the preceding three or four added 1,384 bytes to the article, and many of them are words. You also commented in one edit summary, "plot length seems fine to me". — UncleBubba T @ C ) 18:21, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
The film's on TV now so I came to have a look... the Plot section stands around 1300 words, nearing double the recommended maximum. Unfortunately, I don't know the film well enough to trim it effectively. This is why i'm tagging it again. JaffaCakeLover (talk) 11:47, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

release date[edit]

I am fairly certain I saw the film at RAF Swanton Morley in March 1963. Was this film shown at military bases before general release? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Beanstew46 (talkcontribs) 22:05, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

  • In March 1963, the movie was still being filmed. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 05:48, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Getting to Bat Guano[edit]

There is no way to get here without knowing he's a character in Dr. Strangelove. When I searched here on the name, with initial caps, too, it took me to the guano page. There is a disambiguation page for "guano" but not for "Bat Guano." I'm not sure what needs to be done, once again, to avoid the automatic redirect, but I sure wish someone would tell me. I'm really tired of running afoul of them. If it weren't for IMDB, I'd still be searching. Zlama (talk) 13:13, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure why one would be searching for "Bat Guano" without knowing it was a character in this film, but Bat Guano is now a redirect to Dr. Strangelove#Cast. Opera hat (talk) 14:06, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I can't remember the sequence of events, but I kept coming across names in articles that were links. When I followed them, they took me to pages that had the same name or were related by spelling if not by meaning or purpose because of Wikipedia's automatic redirect. It's a crutch, I'd guess, for authors to just put the brackets there and let the software do the work, but it would be nice if they'd check first to see if there was an actual page that applied. ;) /end rant Zlama (talk) 21:40, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Cutting the "Pie Fight Ending"...[edit]

These sentences appear in the "JFK Assassination" section of the article:

The assassination also serves as another possible reason why the pie-fight scene was cut. In the scene General Turgidson exclaims, "Gentlemen! Our gallant young president has been struck down in his prime!" after Muffley takes a pie in the face. Editor Anthony Harvey states that "[the scene] would have stayed, except that Columbia Pictures were horrified, and thought it would offend the president's family."

Yet in the section above—and in most Strangelove scholarship—Kubrick is cited as the decision-maker to cut the pie fight for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being it didn't work. I understand that Anthony Harvey was the film editor, but aren't we being misleading when we include his dubious claim that it was the studio's intervention on behalf of the Kennedy family that cut the scene, otherwise "it would have stayed"?—HarringtonSmith (talk) 13:43, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

My question is where's that footage now? I've read Kubrick's wife or daughter is sitting on the several minute segment cut from the end of The Shining (the scene where Ullman talks to Wendy and Danny in the hospital at the end) and she refuses to release to the public. Do they have the pie fight footage, too? --RThompson82 (talk) 02:40, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Depending on the breaks[edit]

In the below quote from the movie, are the breaks a reference to firebreaks or a reference to the probabilty of Nuclear weapon Fratricide. I've never got a good answer on the true meaning of the word in that context, any help would be appreciated. Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops, uh, depending on the breaks." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boundarylayer (talkcontribs) 01:40, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

This has been discussed before; it's an American term referring to random chance. "Uh, depending on how lucky we get" would be similar--since a certain percentage of the Soviet bombers would manage to get through American air defenses, it's just a matter of which targets would successfully get hit, and that's pretty much a matter of luck. rdfox 76 (talk) 03:57, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

So it was not a reference to firebreaks? I see, confusing, can you point me to where it has been discussed before? Boundarylayer (talk) 22:34, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Previous discussion can be seen here Talk:Dr. Strangelove/Archive 3#Possible misquotation. I can also back up the fact that this is a very common term in US life and you will find it used in many different areas including business, sports etc. A related term is "those (sometimes themz) are the breaks." My thanks to rdfox 76 for his detailed explanation from almost 5 years ago and for remembering it now. MarnetteD | Talk 00:21, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Good lord, that far back? God, I'm getting old... Get off my lawn, you whippersnappers! rdfox 76 (talk) 03:53, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Who is the narrator?[edit]

This is my favorite film and I think I've read close to everything ever published about it, but nowhere have I seen a credit for - or even speculation about - the narrator. My top suspect is Peter Ustinov. Does anybody have a clue on this?Aileron Spades (talk) 03:33, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

"News of the detonation..."[edit]

The final paragraph of the Plot section begins with: "News of the detonation reaches the war room; the activation of the doomsday device is inevitable..." I don't recollect the scene where any news reaches the war room; could someone please refresh my memory? (talk) 05:54, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

There is no on-screen receipt of the news of a detonation, but it is sort of implied by the tone of the conversation towards the end that things have worked out badly.RJ4 (talk) 06:48, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
If there's no on-screen receipt, isn't the sentence in question giving a wrong impression? The personnel in the war room are bounding along on a flight of seriocomic fantasy, planning out their sexual futures, without any regard to any inevitability. They get the news the same way the rest of the world gets it—when the planet is suddenly vaporized. Shouldn't this inaccuracy be fixed? (talk) 15:36, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
"Implied" is going to be in the POV of each viewer. I have seen the film more than 50 times and I never got the sense that they new what had happened with Kong's plane and its bombs. I can see where other viewers would speculate that something had occurred but our plot should reflect what is seen onscreen so I have had a go at reworking the paragraph. MarnetteD | Talk 17:37, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Well done MarnetteD. (talk) 21:28, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, they def. don't get news of the bombing in the film - they just prepare for the worst-case outcome and the mineshaft gap! Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 18:10, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Release date vs production date[edit]

The film was made in 1963, not 1964. Hence "a 1963 film". See the credits at the beginning of the movie (1'47). It was released in 1964. This seems like a minor point, but the confusion between the production year and the release year can lead to serious mistakes in interpretation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Historienne2012 (talkcontribs) 08:21, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

We use the release date in the lead sentence. See WP:FILMLEAD and please don't make such changes again. Yworo (talk) 06:03, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Using the release date is really stupid. See the example of Andrei Rublev: Wikipedia says it's a movie "of 1966" and it's true, it was made in 1966, but shown abroad during the Cannes festival only in 1969, censored in USSR until 1971, and not officially released in the US before 1983. So please chek out your "rules" again. --Historienne2012 (talk) 17:06, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your opinion. I'll fix that. Yworo (talk) 17:18, 9 March 2013 (UTC)


Concur with User:Darkwarriorblake. There was a consensus here to use the common-name title. --Tenebrae (talk) 23:36, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Character names[edit]

There should probably be a list in the article indicating the names of the characters in the original novel Red Alert, because all of the main characters' names were changed from the book to the film. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 03:39, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Infobox omissions[edit]

We need to mention that the film is in black-and-white. Also the aspect ratio, which the article notes was changed for the 1994 re-release (and note that in the infobox too). -- (talk) 15:01, 25 October 2014 (UTC)


"The film was a popular success, earning US$4,420,000 in rentals in North America during its initial theatrical release.[51]"
Rentals? There were no video rental stores in those days. Video cassettes hadn't been invented yet, let alone DVDs. [-- 01:01, 19 December 2014

Think it's just an entertainment-industry term referring to rental fees charged for providing big film reels to movie theater owners (as opposed to raw ticket sales), as partially explained in footnote... AnonMoos (talk) 05:56, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Origins of Dr. Strangelove[edit]

Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove was original. The screenplay was not based on a novel. Any student doing research on his creative efforts would consider The Mouse That Roared (1959), where he had seen his main actor Peter Sellers play three roles. The novel itself was a humorous satire, also about nuclear war - a small country wins it by declaring war on the United States. As discussed in the Wikipedia section Themes, Stanley's options on Red Alert were used to delay Fail-Safe's release. I do not know of any interview to support this, but clearly the creative themes of The Mouse That Roared stirred the mind of Kubrick enough to extract Peter Sellers for equally humorous, and more adult purposes in Kubrick's production. Markbeaulieu (talk) 17:48, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

First, the sourced info in the Dr. Strangelove#Novel and screenplay would indicate that you are incorrect in your assessment of the situation. Next, to state that both are nuclear war films is to overstate the case. For one thing any reference to nuclear bombs in TMtR does not come info the film (or the book) until, approximately, halfway through the story. Next, so you have any WP:RS that Kubrick and Southern wrote this film based on TMtR? - or that he had ever seen that film? - or read the book? The sourced info in this section Dr. Strangelove#Peter Sellers.27s multiple roles indicate that it was the studio that wanted Sellers cast in multiple roles not SK. Your assertion that there is a "clear" connection between the two is WP:OR as well as WP:SYNTH. Now, there is nothing wrong with your having that theory but until you can find verifiable WP:SECONDARY sources to back it up this is a WP:NOTESSAY situation. There are other plenty of other places on the web (like facebook) that you can write about your theory. Unfortunately, without sourcing, Wikipedia is not one of them. MarnetteD|Talk 20:27, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
2015 BBC News Item on George's work on Dr Strangelove here: [2] The Dr was George's invention and he wrote a whole backstory for him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:58, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

A sourced opinion requires attribution to whoever offers it—it should not be a statement of fact[edit]

The removal of this text was reverted on the sole basis that it was sourced:

Kahn came over as cold and calculating, for example in his willingness to estimate how many human lives the United States could lose and still rebuild economically, but this was unfair, as he was not really advocating nuclear warfare. (He simply meant that if it came to nuclear war, there might in fact be a limited one, and we should keep our options open.)

This section is opinion, not fact, and it requires attribution to the person(s) or group(s) giving that opinion. (talk) 07:09, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

The item is quite clearly sourced to the Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, Volume 1. How you have missed that is worrisome. MarnetteD|Talk 12:34, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes. A REFERENCE is provided, but the text does not provide proper attribution, instead stating it as a fact. It is not a fact; it is an opinion, and therefore the text itself should say who is giving it. How about you pay attention to the specific concern I'm raising? (talk) 03:59, 30 June 2015 (UTC)


Peter Sellers as President Merkin Muffley

Kubrick's next project was Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), another satirical black comedy. Because Kubrick came of age after World War II and the beginning of the Cold War period, he, like many others, was worried about the possibilities of nuclear war. He became preoccupied with it in the late 1950s, fearing that New York, where he lived, could be a likely target, and even considered moving to Australia. Kubrick studied over forty military and political research books and eventually reached the conclusion that "nobody really knew anything and the whole situation was absurd".[1] After reading the novel Red Alert, he decided that a "serious treatment" of the subject would not be believable, and thought that some of its most salient points would be fodder for comedy.[2] Kubrick hired noted black comedy and satirical writer Terry Southern to transform Red Alert into "an outrageous black comedy", loaded with sexual innuendo.[3] Peter Sellers agreed to play four roles in the film; "an RAF captain on secondment to Burpelson Air Force Base as adjutant to Sterling Hayden's crazed General Ripper; the inept President of the United States; his sinister German security adviser; and the Texan pilot of the rogue B52 bomber".[4] The film scholar Abrams considers Dr. Strangelove to be the direct opposite from Fear and Desire, in that in contrast to the monologues and aloof atmosphere of the latter, in Dr. Strangelove, "Kubrick addresses the question of what happens when men try to handle the most important human issues as collectives rather than as individuals", featuring "ridiculous dialogues".[5] He points out that Kubrick was a "unique kind of absurdist", and enjoyed presenting how human beings face the absurd in the face of death.[6]

Kubrick found that Dr. Strangelove would be impossible to make in the U.S. for various technical and political reasons, forcing him to move production to England. It was shot in some 15 weeks, ending in April 1963, after which Kubrick spent eight months editing.[7] Dr. Strangelove, a $2 million production,[8] employed what became the "first important visual effects crew in the world",[9] and the War Room set created for the film by Ken Adam was considered by Steven Spielberg to be the greatest set that Adam had ever designed.[10] A custard pie scene was actually shot in the room over one week, striking down President Muffley, but in end Kubrick thought it was too farcical and inconsistent with the dark humor of the picture.[7] Upon release, the film stirred up much controversy and mixed opinions. Although Time, the Nation, Newsweek and Life, among many, gave it "positive, often ecstatic reviews", New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther worried that it was a "discredit and even contempt for our whole defense establishment ... the most shattering sick joke I've ever come across".[11] Robert Brustein of Out of This World in a February 1970 article called it a "Juvenalian satire that releases through comic poetry, those feelings of impotence and frustration that are consuming us all".[7] Kubrick responded to the criticism, stating: "A satirist is someone who has a very skeptical view of human nature, but who still has the optimism to make some sort of a joke out of it. However brutal that joke might be".[12] Today the film is considered to be one of the sharpest comedy films ever made, and holds a near perfect 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 68 reviews as of August 2015.[13] It was voted the 39th greatest American film and third greatest comedy film of all time by the American Film Institute,[14][15] and in 2010 it was voted the sixth best comedy film of all time by The Guardian.[16]


  1. ^ Duncan 2003, p. 87.
  2. ^ Walker 1972, p. 29.
  3. ^ Duncan 2003, pp. 87-9.
  4. ^ Baxter 1997, p. 177.
  5. ^ Abrams 2007, p. 22.
  6. ^ Abrams 2007, p. 30.
  7. ^ a b c Duncan 2003, p. 91.
  8. ^ Baxter 1997, p. 191.
  9. ^ LoBrutto 1999, p. 233.
  10. ^ Dowd, Vincent (15 August 2013). "Kubrick recalled by influential set designer Sir Ken Adam". BBC. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Kercher 2010, pp. 340–341.
  12. ^ Ng, David (26 October 2012). "2012: A Stanley Kubrick Odyssey at LACMA". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "AFI's 100 GREATEST AMERICAN FILMS OF ALL TIME". American Film Institute. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "AFI's 100 Funniest American Movies Of All Time". American Film Institute. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  16. ^ Patterson, John (18 October 2010). "Dr Strangelove: No 6 best comedy film of all time". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 

Misc improvements[edit]

I made a few improvements to the article which someone is undoing for no apparent reason. They were:

  1. I changed "Sellers is said to have improvised much of his dialogue" to "Sellers is said to have ad-libbed much of his dialogue", because "ad libitum" is a general concept, and linking the text "his dialogue" would suggest that the article linked was specifically about this instance of ad-libbing.
  2. I changed "However, as he later explained during interviews, he began to see comedy inherent in the idea of mutual assured destruction as he wrote the first draft. Kubrick said:" to "However, he began to perceive comedy in the idea of mutual assured destruction as he wrote the first draft, saying", because "as he later explained" implies that Wikipedia also believes whatever Kubrick said, and that there is comedy to be perceived in MAD. We don't take positions like that.
  3. I removed the block quote tags because there was no need for them. Quotations should generally be worked into the article text, so as not to inhibit the pace, flow and organization of the article.
  4. I added a citation tag for the claim that Southern and Kubrick did not do much to dispel the impression that Southern had written the script.
  5. I changed "Peter George wrote an indignant letter" to "Peter George wrote a letter". Applying a judgement as to the tone of a letter is not the function of this encyclopaedia. See WP:NPOV again.

The user reverting my edits did so without offering a reason, merely saying "rvt to last clean version", and following that up with very childish insults when I asked them for an explanation on their talk page. I do not think my edits were in any way "dirty". In fact, I think they were not just useful but essential, and that undoing them was an act of vandalism by someone who either didn't understand them, or (more likely) didn't even care whether they were good or bad. I thus hope that someone other than this user will express an opinion here. (talk) 21:36, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Whether they are improvements is debatable. As to the reasons you are in error about most of them - especially the removal of blockquotes. Per WP:BRD you should not restore these edits until others have commented on them. MarnetteD|Talk 22:01, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
If it were debatable, you'd probably have given reasons when you were reverting, and perhaps even responded sensibly to this discussion. (talk) 22:17, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
You made quite a few changes so it was probably difficult for Marnette to summarize his issues with your edits. He may not even have disagreed with all of them, but rather than discussing the etiquette of reverting let's discuss the issues at hand: i) In this particular context "improvising" and "adlibbing" mean the same thing, but the alteration does reduce the WP:EGG factor; ii) I think this was actually an improvement because not everyone sees humor in the possibility of nuclear war; iii) Yes, going by the guideline you are technically correct and would probably win if you pushed the point, but on a personal basis I have a preference for the current version because I like quotes to stick out a bit; iv) Do we know for sure this isn't sourced by the book i.e. have you checked the citation at the end? v) If the accompanying source states the letter was "indignant" then its inclusion here is justified, but I agree that you have a point that dropping it might be slightly more in keeping with an encyclopedic tone. Betty Logan (talk) 00:15, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Betty Logan and any others who post here. After the IPs first edit (which included a CN tag for an item that was already sourced) was reversed here they came to may talk page and posted an unjustified attack on me. It was difficult to AGF after that. After I decided that I was being goaded I felt it was better to make no further replies to the IP. Later, I noticed this thread which seem to back up my suspicions that something was fishy Wikipedia talk:Long-term abuse/Best known for IP#August 2016. As to the specific edits please feel free to restore and alter any of them as you see fit. MarnetteD|Talk 01:02, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

Major Kong's nickname...[edit]

I've watched the picture many times, and I've never once heard anyone refer to Major Kong as "King" — yet it seems that our story works "this nickname" into most every mention of Kong. If it's not used in the picture, then it ought not be in this article. If no one can cite its use in the picture, then let's lose it from the article. — ~~— — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

It's been two weeks now... Any thoughts on "King"? — (talk) 01:50, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
Maj. T. J. "King" Kong is how TCM, AllMovie, American Film Institute refer to the character. These are wp:reliable sources, which is what Wikipedia goes by. Just ramblin': The nickname may have been an inside joke. The use of King might have been cut from the final version or script. The guy doing the credits may have slipped it in. Or the nickname was left in the credits. Who knows. You might be able to find an RS on "King" - how it came about. It would be of interest to add it to the article. Jim1138 (talk) 08:05, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
Oh, if it's in the credits, then I'll stop whining. I never saw it there. Hey, we can check those credits to see if Bat Guano is one word or two (that was the subject of some bilious wrangling some time back. And we can see if the German words for strangelove are one or two. Why would the German be two words while the English is just one? — (talk) 02:20, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
The credits do not list any of the character names. Major Kong's nickname and initials are not specified. Neither is there any reference to the name of James Earl Jones character, nor the surname of "Ace". I don't know where they have come from. Maybe the novel. Maybe. RJ4 (talk) 08:16, 25 October 2016 (UTC)

Too many antecedents...[edit]

There's a mountain of copy, and a lot of conjecture, about the antecedents to the Strangelove character — four probables (though only 1 Nazi) and one "definitely not" — Kissinger, who was unknown at the time. The section — still under the "Cast" umbrella — swells and even introduces a discussion of MAD. There's even a faceshot photo of John von Neumann, one of the "amalgam" guys. I guess the photo is there to help me understand MAD. Shortly thereafter, under the heading of "Satirizing the Cold War" there's another turgid (sorry, Buck) account of the cold war era that introduces topics hardly (if at all) mentioned in the movie like Nelson Rockefeller's foolish plan to build a network of fallout shelters. If an event itself is foolish, then just mentioning it is not satire.

And by the way, there's no question that Gen. Turgidson is based squarely on A-F Gen. Curtis LeMay, who was a public figure in 1963. How come he doesn't get a mention, let alone a photo!

Please, editors, step back and look at the balance of this piece. Our readers are asking the time, and we're explaining the metallurgy of building a watch! — (talk) 07:24, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

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The physical act of love,,,"[edit]

MarnetteD -- Mandrake asks Ripper when it first was he realized about the bodily fluids, and Ripper says it was during the physical act of love. If we don't discuss the end of the world resulting from one general's inability to get it up, we're skipping the main satiric point of the script! (talk) 03:32, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

A) That is your interpretation of one scene. Others will find other meanings so B) That is WP:OR and WP:SYNTH on your part. Ripper also sees fluoridation as a wider plot that is sapping more than just sexual energy from Americans and that is what the caption is about. C) per WP:BRD your edit should not be put back until others have commented on the talk page thread. MarnetteD|Talk 04:08, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Self reverted tho captions really should not be used to explain plot points of the film. MarnetteD|Talk 04:21, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

C'mon, MarnetteD, it's hardly "interpretation" or WP:OR when one character asks the other when did you discover this plot and gets the answer "it was during the physical act of love." Your caption said Ripper is telling Mandrake of "how he first discovered the Communist plot." He's telling the time and circumstances of his discovery—not the breadth of the plot. If you don't want to mention Ripper's motivation for destroying the world (and giving us a movie) here, then please, let's work it in somewhere.— (talk) 04:36, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Wish I were a faster typer! I love the caption now -- thank you both!— (talk) 04:41, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Do we know what the "plagiarism" lawsuit is for?[edit]

Plagiarism isn't a cause of action in U.S. law. The lawsuit was likely for either copyright infringement or some sort of unfair competition. Does anyone know? Croctotheface (talk) 14:27, 25 February 2017 (UTC)