This article is for quizzes on Monday May 2nd...

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the USSR and the US. The film was directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, stars Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, and features Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, and Slim Pickens.
The story concerns an unhinged United States Air Force general who orders a first strike nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. It follows the President of the United States, his advisers, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a Royal Air Force (RAF) officer as they try to recall the bombers to prevent a nuclear apocalypse. It separately follows the crew of one B-52 bomber as they try to deliver their payload.
In 1989, the United States Library of Congress included it in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. It was listed as number three on AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs list.

Columbia Pictures agreed to finance the film if Peter Sellers played at least four major roles. The condition stemmed from the studio's opinion that much of the success of Kubrick's previous film Lolita (1962) was based on Sellers's performance in which his single character assumes a number of identities.

Sellers ended up playing three of the four roles written for him. He had been expected to play Air Force Major T. J. "King" Kong, the B-52 Stratofortress aircraft commander, but from the beginning, Sellers was reluctant. He felt his workload was too heavy and he worried he would not properly portray the character's Texas accent. Kubrick pleaded with him and asked screenwriter Terry Southern (who had been raised in Texas) to record a tape with Kong's lines spoken in the correct accent. Using Southern's tape, Sellers managed to get the accent right and started shooting the scenes in the airplane but then Sellers sprained an ankle and could not work in the cramped cockpit set.

Sellers is said to have improvised much of his dialogue, with Kubrick incorporating the ad-libs into the written screenplay so the improvised lines became part of the canonical screenplay, a practice known as retroscripting.


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