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

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We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 satirical film about the Cold War in which an insane renegade general attempts to start a nuclear war and others attempt to avert it.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Written by Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, and Peter George, based on the book Red Alert by Peter George.
The hot-line suspense comedy


President Merkin Muffley

  • [on the phone, after having been told that the Russian Premier is drunk] Hello? Uh, hello? Hello, Dmitri? Listen, I can't hear too well, do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little? [pause] Oh, that's much better. Yes. Fine, I can hear you now, Dmitri. Clear and plain and coming through fine. I'm coming through fine too, eh? Good, then. Well then, as you say we're both coming through fine. Good. Well, it's good that you're fine, and - and I'm fine. I agree with you. It's great to be fine. [Laughs] Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the bomb. [pause] The BOMB, Dmitri! The hydrogen bomb! Well now, what happened is, uh, one of our base commanders, he had a sort of, well, he went a little funny in the head. You know. Just a little...funny. And uh, he went and did a silly thing. Well, I'll tell you what he did, he ordered his planes...to attack your country. Well, let me finish, Dmitri. Let me finish, Dmitri. Well, listen, how do you think I feel about it? Can you imagine how I feel about it, Dmitri? Why do you think I'm calling you? Just to say hello? [sounding hurt] Of course I like to speak to you! Of course I like to say hello! Not now, but any time, Dmitri. I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened. It's a friendly call. Of course it's a friendly call. Listen, if it wasn't friendly,...you probably wouldn't have even got it. They will not reach their targets for at least another hour. [pause] I'm sorry too, Dmitri. I'm very sorry. All right! You're sorrier than I am! But I am sorry as well. I am as sorry as you are Dmitri. Don't say that you are more sorry than I am, because I am capable of being just as sorry as you are. So we're both sorry, all right? All right.

General Jack D. Ripper

  • Do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk, ice cream? Ice cream, Mandrake? Children's ice cream!...You know when fluoridation began?...1946. 1946, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works. I first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love...Yes, a profound sense of fatigue, a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I-I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence. I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women, er, women sense my power, and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women, Mandrake...but I do deny them my essence.

Dialogue

Turgidson: General Ripper called Strategic Air Command Headquarters shortly after he issued the go code. I have a phone transcript of that conversation if you'd like me to to read it.
Muffley: Read it!
Turgidson: Ahem... The Duty Officer asked General Ripper to confirm the fact that he *had* issued the go code, and he said, uh, "Yes gentlemen, they are on their way in, and nobody can bring them back. For the sake of our country, and our way of life, I suggest you get the rest of SAC in after them. Otherwise, we will be totally destroyed by Red retaliation." Uh... "My boys will give you the best kind of start, 1400 megatons worth, and you sure as hell won't stop them now." Uhuh. Uh... "So let's get going, there's no other choice. God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural... fluids. God bless you all." And he hung up.
[Pause as he realizes the implications of General Ripper's words]
Turgidson: Uh, we're... still trying to figure out the meaning of that last phrase, sir.
Muffley: There's nothing to figure out, General Turgidson. This man is obviously a psychotic.
Turgidson: We-he-ell, uh, I'd like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in.
Muffley: General Turgidson! When you instituted the human reliability tests, you assured me there was no possibility of such a thing ever occurring!
Turgidson: Well, I, uh, don't think it's quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up, sir.
Muffley: General Turgidson, I find this very difficult to understand. I was under the impression that I was the only one in authority to order the use of nuclear weapons.
Turgidson: That's right sir. You are the only person authorized to do so. And although I hate to judge before all the facts are in, it's beginning to look like General Ripper exceeded his authority.

Turgidson: 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.
Muffley: I refuse to go down in history as the greatest mass murderer since Adolf Hitler.
Turgidson: Perhaps it might be better, Mr. President, if you were more concerned with the American people, than with your image in the history books.

Russian Ambassador: When it is detonated, it will produce enough lethal radioactive fallout so that within ten months, the surface of the Earth will be as dead as the moon!...When they are exploded, they will produce a Doomsday shroud. A lethal cloud of radioactivity which will encircle the earth for ninety-three years!...It is not anything a sane man would do. The Doomsday Machine is designed to trigger itself automatically...It is designed to explode if any attempt is ever made to untrigger it...
Turgidson: That's a load of Commie bull and an obvious Commie trick.
Muffley: It's absolute madness.
Russian Ambassador: There were those of us who fought against us. But in the end, we could not keep up with the expense involved in the arms race, the space race, and the peace race. And at the same time, our people grumbled for more nylons and washing machines. Our Doomsday scheme cost us just a small fraction of what we'd been spending on defense in a single year. But the deciding factor was when we learned that your country was working along similar lines, and we were afraid of a Doomsday gap.
Muffley: This is preposterous! I've never approved of anything like that!
Russian Ambassador: Our source was the New York Times.

Dr. Strangelove: I would not rule out the chance to preserve a nucleus of human specimens. It would be quite easy...heh, heh...at the bottom of ah...some of our deeper mineshafts. Radioactivity would never penetrate a mine some thousands of feet deep, and in a matter of weeks, sufficient improvements in drilling space could easily be provided.
Muffley: How long would you have to stay down there?
Dr. Strangelove: ...I would think that uh, possibly uh...one hundred years...It would not be difficult Mein Fuehrer! Nuclear reactors could, heh...I'm sorry, Mr. President. Nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely. Greenhouses could maintain plant life. Animals could be bred and slaughtered. A quick survey would have to be made of all the available mine sites in the country, but I would guess that dwelling space for several hundred thousands of our people could easily be provided.
Muffley: Well, I, I would hate to have to decide...who stays up and...who goes down.
Dr. Strangelove: Well, that would not be necessary, Mr. President. It could easily be accomplished with a computer. And a computer could be set and programmed to accept factors from youth, health, sexual fertility, intelligence, and a cross-section of necessary skills. Of course, it would be absolutely vital that our top government and military men be included to foster and impart the required principles of leadership and tradition. Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh? There would be much time, and little to do. Ha, ha. But ah, with the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, ten females to each male, I would guess that they could then work their way back to the present Gross National Product within say, twenty years.
Muffley: Wouldn't this nucleus of survivors be so grief-stricken and anguished that they'd, well, envy the dead and not want to go on living?
Dr. Strangelove: When they go down into the mine, everyone would still be alive. There would be no shocking memories, and the prevailing emotion will be one of nostalgia for those left behind, combined with a spirit of bold curiosity for the adventure ahead! [involuntarily gives the Nazi salute and forces it down with his other hand]Ahhh!
Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?
Dr. Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious...service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.
Russian Ambassador: I must confess, you have an astonishingly good idea there, Doctor.

Cast

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