Dr. Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

13 corrected entries

Corrected entry: When the military attacks Ripper's base, Ripper and Mandrake are barricaded in Ripper's office. Ripper breaks out his window and starts firing at the advancing soldiers with what appears to be a Browning M2 .50 cal machine gun. That's all well and good, except notice how and where he supports the barrel with his hand. The Browning is air cooled. That wasn't a very smart place to hold it unless he was actually trying to burn his hand off.

Correction: That's not an M2, it's a 1919 A4 Browning in 30-06 cal. There was a A6 version that was used like a S.A.W.

Corrected entry: The tracks of the bombers on the "big board" descend on Russia from all angles. In reality bombers would only attack Russia from a few directions, as they must all start from a handful of air bases. For planes to take off from a mythical US base and then approach Russia from the Arctic or Europe would have required a flying time comparable to circling the Earth.

Correction: It is actually stated by the Narrator in the first shots of Burpelson Air Force Base that "the Airborne alert force is deployed from the Persian Gulf to the Arctic Ocean, but they have one geographical factor in common: they are all two hours from their targets inside Russia".

Corrected entry: When Group Captain Lionel Mandrake meets Lt. Colonel "Bat" Guano for the first time, it's very clear that neither man has ANY idea who the other is. In fact, with his hands up, Mandrake looks at Guano's name tag to ascertain whom he's communicating with. The problem is that Mandrake says something to the effect of "Colonel Bat Guano, if that really is your name!" Only his last name - "Guano" - appears on his name tag. There's also absolutely nothing that can be seen on the front of his uniform (which is the only thing Mandrake could have been looking at) that says "Bat." So how does Mandrake know that Lt. Colonel Guano's nickname is "Bat"?

Correction: First, Guano is wearing shoulder flashes and a cap badge which show his rank. His name badge is far too long to just say "Guano" (in fact we never get a clear look at it - see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUAK7t3Lf8s) and it almost certainly shows his name and rank.

Corrected entry: As the B-52 approaches the target and the bomb is dropped, the details of the ICBM base (silos, building, connecting roads, etc.) are visible. These details are then suddenly absent with the substitution of stock footage when the bomb explodes.

Correction: The scene cuts from an overhead shot taken from a few thousand feet in the air to an extremely wide shot taken from many miles away. In the fireground is a low ridge. This obscures the lowest part of the explosion and all details of the relatively small target.

Corrected entry: When the B-52 was hit by the missile, it sustained a great deal of damage. However, the plane looks perfectly intact in all of the subsequent aerial shots (except for the black smoke).

Correction: That's because it wasn't hit by the missile. It detonated some distance away and the damage was caused by shockwaves.

Corrected entry: When, at the end, Dr. Strangelove is explaining his plan and his hand goes out of control, you can see the Russian diplomat behind him (on the left) trying desperately not to laugh.

Correction: Look again - the 'desperate' attempt not to laugh continues after an edit. It's deliberate - the Russian ambassador is trying not to show his derision at an American acting like a lunatic. He is a diplomat, after all.

Corrected entry: The opening shot of this movie is a night shot of Berbelson Air Force Base. The very next shot is of a rotating radar antenna in broad daylight.

Nicki

Correction: Followed by shots of B52s in flight and other militaria. There is no indication that the radar installation is at Burpleson - it's part of the world wide military machine, the theme of the film, and it could be anywhere.

Corrected entry: If you look past General Turgidson during one of his speeches at the round table, you can see a 'stand-in' Dr. Strangelove sitting on the far side, long before the character is even introduced in the story.

Nicki

Correction: Why is Strangelove being there a mistake? He's a top presidential advisor, of course he's going to be in a meeting of such importance, especially since the meeting is about a nuclear strike and Strangelove appears to be very knowledgable about Nuclear weapons. Just because he doesn't have anything to say until he's properly introduced doesn't mean he wouldn't be there, waiting to be called upon.

Gary O'Reilly

Corrected entry: The Russian ambassador's Russian is awful. The accent is terrible, many words are either pronounced wrong or just incomprehensible (I am Russian), and pronunciation of some phrases is stereotypically American - such as "dos visdanya" or "niet".

Grigory the Wanderer

Correction: He's not the Russian ambassador - he's the Soviet Ambassador, and the distinction is an important one. It also explains his poor spoken Russian. He could be a native of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belorussia, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, The Ukraine, or Uzbekistan, all of which were part of the Soviet Union in the sixties and all of which had their own languages (and many, many regional dialects, too.) So, Russian could be a second language to him and he might not speak it well. (As ambassador to the U.S.A., his spoken English would be far more important anyway.)

Corrected entry: The so-called cobalt chlorium (.) G, which is supposed to be used in the Russian doomsday device, has, according to the Russian ambassador, a half-life period of 93 years. He then states that it would contaminate Earth for 93 years. However, per definition half of the radioactivity would still be left after this period.

xx:xx:xx

NancyFelix

Correction: He's an ambassador, a professional diplomat, not a nuclear physicist. The mistake he makes about 'half-lives' is a very common one amongst laymen.

Corrected entry: The B-52 approaches its target at a rate of 15 seconds per mile (240 mph), which is a bit too slow for an airplane.

xx:xx:xx

NancyFelix

Correction: 240mph is a slow but reasonable speed for the B-52 in the low-altitude attack mode. The airplane lands at approximately 120 mph. Max level flight is about 550 mph, but the bomb bay doors tend to come off at that speed.

5thgroup

Corrected entry: In the scene when Grp. Captain Mandrake confronts General Ripper in the latter's office with the knowledge that there is no Russian attack, he salutes and then turns to leave but finds both exits locked. He then returns to Ripper's desk and asks for the doorkey and the recall code for the planes that are en route to Russia. He hadn't asked for the code before trying to leave, yet he was prepared to leave without it.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: Mandrake has just recognized that his superior officer has gone insane and launched a nuclear attack on another country that will lead to the destruction of the US and possibly all mankind. He can be forgiven for being a bit rattled.

Phoenix

Corrected entry: It takes practically the whole movie for the lines on the 'Big Board' to approach their targets. When the planes are recalled, these lines beat a pretty hasty retreat.

Correction: It's called time compression. Films don't show a narrative of every single minute that passes. If Dr. Strangelove did this it, the film would be about forty hours long.

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Quotes

Major T. J."King" Kong: Well, boys, we got three engines out, we got more holes in us than a horse trader's mule, the radio is gone and we're leaking fuel and if we was flying any lower why we'd need sleigh bells on this thing... But we got one little budge on them Rooskies. At this height why they might harpoon us but they dang sure ain't gonna spot us on no radar screen!

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Mistakes

When the B-52 is flying low over Russia, the shadow on the ground is a Boeing B-17G, a World War II propeller driven bomber.

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Trivia

Kubrick originally wanted to make this a serious drama. During the screenwriting process he was confronted again and again with situations that were completely truthful and serious, yet he was afraid and audience would laugh at how absurd it is. Such as general Turgeson referring to general Ripper's sending an entire bomb wing to obliterate Russia as "Overextending his authority". He eventually figured out that the only way to write it would be as a comedy.

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