Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Dr. Strangelove Or:
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964, US/UK)

In Stanley Kubrick's black comedy satire, with Peter Sellers playing three marvelous and distinctive roles:

  • the opening credits sequence of a B-52 jet aircraft refueling in mid-air - looking like a sexual act (mechanical copulation)
  • the caricatures of all the major characters: the belligerent military leaders and politicians
  • delusionally-demented cigar-chomping renegade general Gen. Jack D. Ripper's (Sterling Hayden) babbling about "precious bodily fluids"
  • the egg-head ineffectual American President Merkin Muffley's (Peter Sellers also) classic, polite hot-line phone call (a monologue) to the drunken Soviet premier Dmitri Kissof to explain an erroneous bombing attack ("...It's a friendly call. Of course it's a friendly call. Listen, if it wasn't friendly, probably wouldn't have even got it. They will not reach their targets for at least another hour!")
  • the priceless dialogue in the War Room
  • militarist Gen. "Buck" Turgidson's (George C. Scott) dalliance with his Playmate 'secretary' and his cold calculations about nuclear destruction and the lone bomber's chances against Soviet defenses
  • "Buck's" scuffle in the War Room with the Soviet Ambassador de Sadesky (Peter Bull) that concluded with Muffley's line: "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room"
  • the scene of the British RAF attache Capt. Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) not having enough spare change to telephone the White House to save the world and Col. "Bat" Guano's (Keenan Wynn) refusal to shoot at a Coca Cola machine for fear of retribution by the company
  • the sinister and peculiar wheelchair-bound ex-Nazi mad German scientist Dr. Strangelove (Peter Sellers) with a falsetto- and German-accent, and an uncontrollable, independently-minded mechanical-arm Nazi salute (and his wrestling with his own gloved hand)
  • Strangelove's giggling pleasure as he described his plan for survival of the elites - and his personal duty to populate the human race with women (at a ratio of 10 females to one male) in deep underground, mine-shaft caverns
  • Strangelove's ultimate exclamation: "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!"
  • gung-ho redneck cowboy commander-pilot of the radio-disabled B-52 bomber plane Major T.J. "King" Kong's (Slim Pickens) patriotic speech: ("I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions an' personal citations when this thing's over with")
  • the image of Kong rodeo-riding the nuclear bomb like a bucking bronco toward its target and crying "Yaahooo" as he fanned his cowboy hat
  • the finale with multiple H-bomb mushroom clouds signaling universal nuclear destruction, blossoming into Vera Lynn's rendition of "We'll Meet Again" ("We'll meet again / Don't know where, don't know when / But I know we'll meet again / Some sunny day")
The H-Bomb and Mushroom Cloud Destruction

Gen. Jack D. Ripper

Gen. "Buck" Turgidson (George C. Scott)

Phone Call Between Soviet Premier and US President

"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room"

Crazed Dr. Strangelove: "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!"


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