Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Special Edition): Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, Peter Bull, James Earl Jones, Tracy Reed, Jack Creley, Frank Berry, Robert O'Neil, Glenn Beck, David Naylor, Stanley Kubrick, Lee Pfeiffer, Peter George, Robert Fleck, Terry Southern: Movies & TV
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Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Special Edition) (1964)

Peter Sellers , George C. Scott , David Naylor , Stanley Kubrick  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (669 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens
  • Directors: David Naylor, Stanley Kubrick
  • Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Lee Pfeiffer, Peter George, Robert Fleck, Terry Southern
  • Producers: David Naylor
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 27, 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (669 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000055Y0X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,716 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Did we miss any relevant features for this product? Tell us what we missed.
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  • Learn more about "Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Because this movie was originally shot using various aspect ratios, the proportions of the screen image will change periodically throughout the movie. This transfer (with its changing aspect ratio) was approved by director Stanley Kubrick himself
  • Featurette: "The Art of Stanley Kubrick: From Short Films to Strangelove"
  • Documentary: "Inside the Making of Dr. Strangelove"
  • Original Split-Screen Interview with Peter Sellers and George C. Scott
  • Original advertising Gallery
  • Talent Files (Stanley Kubrick, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens and James Earl Jones)

Editorial Reviews

Arguably the greatest black comedy ever made, Stanley Kubrick's cold-war classic is the ultimate satire of the nuclear age. Dr. Strangelove is a perfect spoof of political and military insanity, beginning when General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), a maniacal warrior obsessed with "the purity of precious bodily fluids," mounts his singular campaign against Communism by ordering a squadron of B-52 bombers to attack the Soviet Union. The Soviets counter the threat with a so- called "Doomsday Device," and the world hangs in the balance while the U.S. president (Peter Sellers) engages in hilarious hot-line negotiations with his Soviet counterpart. Sellers also plays a British military attaché and the mad bomb-maker Dr. Strangelove; George C. Scott is outrageously frantic as General Buck Turgidson, whose presidential advice consists mainly of panic and statistics about "acceptable losses." With dialogue ("You can't fight here! This is the war room!") and images (Slim Pickens's character riding the bomb to oblivion) that have become a part of our cultural vocabulary, Kubrick's film regularly appears on critics' lists of the all-time best. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Psychotic Air Force General unleashes ingenious foolproof and irrevocable scheme sending bombers to attack Russia. U.S. President works with Soviet premier in a desperate effort to save the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
550 of 583 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aspect-Ratio Madness! October 31, 2007
Format:DVD|Amazon Verified Purchase
Regarding the review cited as the "most helpful critical review," in which the main criticism is that the aspect-ratio of this DVD is 1.66 throughout instead of "variable" (some shots 1.33, some 1.66), I'd like to put to rest the unfortunate idea that Kubrick ever intended this film to be seen with a "variable aspect ratio."
Yes, the film was photographed that way; but no, it was not meant to be seen that way. Let me explain:
"Variable aspect-ratio" seems to be a term invented to market an early DVD release of "Dr. Strangelove." The term has no meaning in the film industry because no film has ever been released that way (except for that misguided "Strangelove" DVD -- a mistake which has now been corrected).
Much of "Dr. Stangelove" was photographed with no matte in the camera, thus exposing the entire 1.33 film frame. Many shots, however, were filmed with a 1.66 matte in the camera, reflecting Kubrick's intention to release the film to theaters in 1.66. Therefore, if you transfer this movie to tape using an unmatted film element, and you take the whole 1.33 frame for every shot, the aspect ratio will vary between 1.33 (shots filmed with no matte in the camera) and 1.66 (shots filmed with a 1.66 matte). But it seems self-evident that this is not the way any movie was ever intended to be seen, with the shape of the frame randomly bouncing around from shot to shot for no reason.
So why shoot it that way? Because Kubrick (and his cameraman) knew that the theatrical printing negative, and therefore every release print sent to theaters, would have the 1.66 matte printed-in from start to finish, making the entire film 1.66 for theatrical presentation.
Is it possible Kubrick shot it "variable" so that the eventual 1.33 DVD release could have a meandering frame-line? I know Kubrick was smart, but it's unlikely he was thinking of the DVD release in 1964.
In those days, movies were made for theaters; televised movies were mainly 16mm prints, edited for time and sold in syndication. The TV market as it existed in 1964 did not influence any film director's compositions. The theatrical release was all that mattered; and the theatrical release of "Dr. Strangelove" was 1.66. All of it.
Therefore, if one wants to see this film the way Kubrick meant it to be seen (and a new, matted 35mm print is not available), the film-to-tape transfer must recreate the matted 1.66 theatrical aspect-ratio throughout -- which is what the "40th Anniversary" DVD and of course the BluRay do (thank you, Sony Home Video).
I oversaw film restorations for a major Hollywood film studio for more than a decade, so I know the subject of aspect ratios pretty well. Hope this info is helpful.
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396 of 449 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A black comic masterpiece. A vast monumental farce. August 11, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
...Kubrik masterminded Dr. Strangelove, loosely basing the movie upon the book "Red Alert" (the book is a completely serious Cold War nuclear war scenario, but Strangelove is a complete and total farce). "Strangelove" came out a year or two after the Cuban October missile crisis, a year after US President John Kennedy was assassinated as well as 2 other contemporaneous films, the brilliant and paranoid "The Manchurian Candidate" and the serious treatment of the same book, "Fail Safe."

Kubrik originally set out to do a serious treatment of the book. But Kubrik found as he tried to develop the screenplay that he kept running into scenes that he ended up writing as satire. Recognizing the challenge, Kubrik enlisted the talents of one of the best comedic screenwriters in Hollywood, Terry Southern, to do the screenplay.

Casting the film was part genius and part hit-and-miss happy accident. ... Somehow Slim Pickens' name came up and Pickens accepted the role of the B-52 bomber pilot. Even more ironic yet, Slim Pickens was more conservative than Dan Blocker, but Pickens never caught on during the film's production that Dr. Strangelove was a comedy, much less a satire and a farce unsympathetic to the official propaganda of the cold war.

In of itself, it was a comic master stroke telling Pickens play the role seriously. Pickens was apparently no great wit, so Kubrik was able to keep Pickens completely unaware that Pickens was actually playing in a comedy, not a serious war movie (one can only assume that the humor of the situation was not lost on the other cast members, including James Earl Jones who played Capt. Kong's bombardier.. "Don't tell Slim this is all a big joke, we have to let him think this is a real war movie." ).

Other than Peter Sellers' roles, George C. Scott (later in "Patton") and Sterling Hayden delivered memorable performances. Both were obviously instructed to play their roles "over the top." Kubrik instructed Scott to overact the role of the cigar-smoking, gut-slapping, martini-drinking & womanizing General Buck Turgidson (get it? Turgid-son?). In the scene in the war room where Turgidson exuberantly proclaims the spectacle of a B-52 bomber evading radar by hedge-hopping, Kubrik instructed George C. Scott to deliberately overact the part. Kubrik had Scott re-take the scene several times, asking Scott to make it even more over-the-top than before. On the last take of that scene, Scott practically performed it as a burlesque parody, which was of course, the final take that Kubrik actually used.

Sterling Hayden delivered a brilliant performance as the psychotic Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper, the Air Force general who unilaterally orders the nuclear strike against the USSR. The confusion of Cold War paranoia, paranoid psychosis and false sexual power in Hayden's scenes is the blackest of black satire. Totally over the top, ludicrous and frightenlingly possible (what if one of your top military brass really went insane and over-rode all the safe-guards against nuclear war?). The insane babblings of General Ripper set the film's direction and act as its centerpiece, delivering both Kubrik's satire of anti-communist propaganda and the air of impossible odds for the rest of the film's characters to overcome that they might somehow avert doomsday.

Peter Seller's performances as the President, the British officer and Dr. Strangelove (a left-over Nazi scientist) are memorable, Sellers delivers the title role as the deranged wheelchair-bound Nazi scientist who suffers from involuntary palsied "Seig Hiels!" in his right arm. Again sex is the real underlying motive to yet another character and the opportunities for a sexually prodigious post-apocalyptic eugenic world brings the deranged Strangelove to a frenzied outburst of libidinal energy: "Mein Fuhrer! I can vwalk!" But as much as I enjoy Sellers' roles, they seem overshadowed by the rest of the film's characters. P>It comes probably of no surprise that the U.S. Air Force refused to assist Kubrik in shooting the movie. Having to choice, Kubrik had to resort to mocking up the B-52 flying scenes and bomber interior cabin scenes as best he could (the bomber interior was apparently such a good replica of the real thing that the FBI launched an investigation into who gave Kubrik such a detailed layout of a B-52's flight deck). Appropriately, the exterior B-52 flying scenes hold a comic flaw if you look closely enough: In one scene, as the damaged bomber hedge-hops across the Siberian taiga (northern boreal forest), you can see that the underlying shadow of the plane is actually that of a four-engine propellor aircraft and doesn't match the profile of the overlaid B-52 model.

Suffice it to say, when the movie came out, it was not universally received or even widely understood. It was drummed by political commentators and movie reviewers who found it to be tasteless and sophomoric. The studio was very concerned about the potential a negative backlash from its release (consider that in the same year, the Manchurian Candidate was withdrawn from theaters after Kennedy was assassinated). An internal memo described Dr. Strangelove as "a huge, sick malefic joke" and questioned the wisdom of even releasing the movie at all. After all, the movie starts off with B-52's and tanker planes copulating during mid-flight refuelings, displays Air Force "Peace is Our Profession" billboards in the midst of a fire fight between the US Army and Air Force security, depicts two Air Force generals as complete sex-obsessed baffoons, one a psychotic and the other a braying ass, delivers a deranged Nazi scientist and finally a cowboy pilot bucking the biggest phallic bronco of his career (never mind blowing up the world).

I can think of few other films whose film makers so defied convention and created a story that really turned conventional wisdom on its head. Dr. Strangelove keeps coming at you as one outrageous scene after another, interspersed with segments of complete straight-faced dead-pan, piling them all on until the fateful end. When Pickins died in 1983, CBS news anchor Dan Rather delivered the obituary replete with the out take of Pickins riding the bomb (Perhaps DeForest Kelley topped that and made good on his threat to have "He's dead, Jim" engraved on his tombstone....).

There are some things you just can't live down: Being the face that gets a great closing falling scene that leads to the end of all life on Earth happens to be one of those things. Poor Slim, he's probably suffering in a purgatory of a Liberal Methodist heaven.

In closing, I have to agree with that long-forgotten studio executive who wrote in the memo: Dr. Strangelove *IS* a huge, sick malefic joke. But it is one of the finest huge, sick malefic jokes ever created, and stands as a film masterpiece. Those who extoll the virtues of this fil

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85 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop worrying and love this movie January 23, 2001
Could a sane man initiate global mass-destruction? Can any political system that would destroy all life on earth as it valediction claim the moral high ground, now that we've entered a murder-suicide pact so absolute it even involves all future generations of life on earth? Liberalism, conservatism, capitalism, communism- they all become moot in the face of extinction.

So we have "Dr. Strangelove," the movie that dares point out how our drive to destroy ourselves just might be some sort of twisted outgrowth of our libido. Hardly a moment goes by in this film without sexual text or context. Even the two bombs in the B-52 (named by its crew, "Leper Colony") are scribbled with what were then considered come-on lines. Deranged Gen. Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) has sent his air wing into the Soviet Union because he felt a "loss of essence" during the "physical act of love," and is certain this is caused by flouridated water.

Peter Sellars plays three roles, wimpy President Muffley, RAF Group Captain Lionel Mandrake and the title character, the bizarre, wheelchair-bound not-so-former Nazi advisor to the President. The awesome George C. Scott turns in a marvelous performance as Gen. Buck Turgidson, who has difficulty hiding his enthusiasm for Ripper's plan.

But the revelation here is Hayden (veteran of many a manly role), playing a character so concerned with losing his virility, he sets the world on course for an explosive and very final climax. Hayden's performance is a masterpiece of subtle derangement- no drooling or chewing the scenary. Watch for Sellar's reaction when he realizes Hayden's burly, muscular symbol of American power, in his medal-bejeweled Air Force uniform, is completely, irretrievably round the bend. It's a moment of pure, comic horror.

Sellars' characterization of Dr. Strangelove is the epitome of the post-nuclear man as monster. He's completely comfortable, almost gleeful, when talking about mass-murder as an abstraction and a political expediency.

Beautifully filmed in black and white (which gives it a certain Cold War veracity) and featuring some impressive sets and effective, documentary-style combat footage, "Dr. Strangelove" is one of Stanley Kubrick's finest films, uncompromising as it condemns hubris and macho posturing on all sides. And it does it with a weapon hopefully more effective in the long run than A-bombs and H-bombs. Humor.

Watch for Slim Pickens as twangy-voiced Maj. "King" Kong: his final scene has become iconic, and will remain in your mind for days. This movie also features James Earl Jones' movie debut, and yes, even then he had that impressive voice.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you see no other movie in your life...
For the cold war kids who hid beneath their desks in grade school while the sirens blew, (and I was one}, this movie is the epitome of gallows humor. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Tom Rhoades
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark fun
It's Kubric... what else needs to be said. Another masterpiece, but this masterpiece is of a farcical nature. Every work of his is different, but brilliant. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Alan Trauner
5.0 out of 5 stars WE'LL MEET AGAIN
Best dark comedy about the cold war.So glad I was informed about the plan to sap and impurify all my precious bodily fluids. Read more
Published 3 days ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously and amazing for a movie so old! B&W doesn't diminish this...
Now for a lot of you young people, I am sure you're thinking "Laaame! It's all old and in Black & White". I will admit that this is what I thought at first as well. Read more
Published 5 days ago by AyanamiRei
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Must see. Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Slim Pickens, James Earl Jones ...and the infamous Col Jack D. Ripper. Classic Cold War hi-jinks with a sharp satirical edge. Fun movie. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Kevin Lacostelo
5.0 out of 5 stars Social and Political Satire! The Best! Peter Sellers rules!
I've seen this movie over and over and I love it. Peter Sellers is my hero. One of many Stanley Kubrick greats. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Richard C. Almada
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
It's good. Watch it and chances are you'll agree.

Eleven more words required. Now only seven. And now only four.
Published 5 days ago by Benjamin M. Downs
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection
Every viewing of this movie yields a deeper understanding of storytelling and how a master storyteller is able to build a greater more fulfilling vision using the fewest amount of... Read more
Published 6 days ago by mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny Show
1960's fear mongering over something that never happened...but delivered in a period funny people faced with funny situations. I love it.
Published 6 days ago by D. Veracity
5.0 out of 5 stars Still funny and relevant today
As relevant as ever, and beautifully done, this movie was the start of what I consider Kubrick's best run of movies. And stop to consider that the next flick from Kubrick was 2001. Read more
Published 7 days ago by J. Hamill
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