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

For more than a year, ominous rumours had been circulating...

...among high-level Western leaders...

...that the Soviet Union had been at work on what was hinted to be...

...the ultimate weapon: a doomsday device. lntelligence sources traced the site of the top-secret Russian project...

...to the perpetually fog-shrouded wasteland...

...below the Arctic peaks of the Zhokhov lslands.

What they were building...

...or why it should be located in such a remote and desolate place...

...no one could say.

-General Ripper, sir. -Group Captain Mandrake speaking.

-This is General Ripper speaking. -Yes, sir.

-Do you recognise my voice? -l do, sir. Why do you ask?

Why do you think l ask?

Well, l don't know, sir. We spoke just a few moments ago, didn't we?

You don't think l'd ask unless it was pretty damned important, do you?

-No, I don't, sir, no. -Let's see if we can stay on the ball.

Has the wing confirmed holding at their fail-safe points?

Yes, sir. The confirmations have all just come in.

Very well. Now, listen to me carefully.

The base is being put on condition red.

I want this flashed to all sections immediately.

Condition red. Jolly good idea. Keeps the men on their toes.

I'm afraid this is not an exercise.

Not an exercise, sir?

I shouldn't tell you this, but you're a good officer and have a right to know.

It looks like we're in a shooting war.

Oh, hell.

-Are the Russians involved? -That's all l've been told.

It came in on the red phone. l'm gonna follow orders and seal this base tight.

Now, l want you to transmit Plan R...

...R for Robert, to the wing.

-Plan R for Robert. -ls it that bad, sir?

-Looks like it's pretty hairy. -Yes, sir.

Plan R for Robert, sir.

Now, last, and possibly most important...

... l want all privately-owned radios to be immediately impounded.

They might be used to issue instructions to saboteurs.

As l previously arranged, Air Police will have lists of all owners.

I want every single one of them collected without exception.

After you've done that, report back to me.

ln order to guard against surprise nuclear attack...

...America's Strategic Air Command...

...maintains a large force of B-52 bombers...

...airborne 24 hours a day.

Each B-52 can deliver a nuclear bomb load of 50 megatons...

...equal to 16 times the total explosive force of all the bombs and shells...

...used by all the armies in World War ll.

Based in America, 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.

Major Kong, l know you'll think this is crazy...

...but l just got a message from base over the CRM 114.

It decodes as wing attack Plan R. R for Romeo.

Goldie, did you say wing attack Plan R?

Yes, sir, I have.

Goldie, how many times have I told you guys...

...that l don't want no horsing around on the airplane?

I'm not horsing around, sir, that's how it decodes.

Well, l've been to one world fair, a picnic and a rodeo...

...and that's the stupidest thing l ever heard over earphones.

You sure you got today's code?

Yes, sir, it is.

There's just gotta be something wrong.

Wait a second, l'm coming back.

Maybe you'd better get a confirmation from base.

Yes, sir.

Major Kong, is it possible this is some kind of loyalty test?

Give the go code and then recall to see who would actually go?

Ain't nobody ever got the go code yet.

Old Ripper wouldn't be giving us Plan R...

...unless them Russkies had clobbered Washington...

...and a lot of other towns with a sneak attack.

Yes, sir.

Major Kong, message from base confirmed.

Well, boys, l reckon this is it.

Nuclear combat toe-to-toe with the Russkies.

Now, look, boys, I ain't much of a hand at making speeches.

But l got a pretty fair idea that something doggone important...

...is going on back there.

Now, l've got a fair idea of the kind of personal emotions...

...that some of you fellows may be thinking.

Heck, I reckon you wouldn't even be human beings...

...if you didn't have strong personal feelings about nuclear combat.

But I want you to remember one thing:

That folks back home is counting on you...

...and by golly, we ain't about to let them down.

Tell you something else.

If this thing turns out to be half as important as l figure it just might be...

...l'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions...

...and personal citations when this thing's over with.

And that goes for every last one of you...

...regardless of your race, colour or your creed.

Now, let's get this thing on the hump. We got some flying to do.

Buck, should I get it?

Yeah, you have to.


Yes, General Turgidson is here, he can't come to the phone at the moment.

Well, this is his secretary, Miss Scott.

Freddie, how are you?

Fine, and you?

Oh, we were just catching up on some of the general's paperwork.

Well, look, Freddie, he's tied up at the moment.

I'm afraid he can't come to the phone.

Just a minute.

General Turgidson, a Colonel Puntrich calling.

Tell him to call back.

Freddie, the general says could you call back in a minute or two?

He says it can't wait.

For Pete's-- Find out what he wants.

Freddie, the thing is, the general is in the powder room right now.

Could you tell me what it's about?

Just a second.

Apparently they monitored a transmission eight minutes ago... Just a second.

Apparently they monitored a transmission eight minutes ago...

...from Burpelson Air Force Base.

Right. It was directed to the 843rd bomb wing on airborne alert.

It decoded as wing attack Plan R.

Well, tell him to call what's-his-name, the base commander. Ripper.

Do I have to think of everything?

The general suggests you call General Ripper, the 843rd base commander.

All communications are dead.

Bull! Tell him to do it himself.

Freddie, the general asks if you could possibly try again yourself.

I see. He says he's tried personally several times, but everything is dead.

Even the normal phone lines are shut down.

Fred? Buck. What's it look like?


Well, are you sure it's Plan R?

What's cooking on the threat board? Nothing? Nothing at all?

I don't like the look of this, Fred.

Tell you what you better do, old buddy.

Give Elmo and Charlie a blast. Bump everything up to condition red.

Stand by the blower. I'll get back to you.

-What's up? -Nothing, nothing.

-Where's my shorts? -On the floor. Where are you going?

No place.

I thought I might mosey over to the war room, see what's doing over there.

It's 3:00 in the morning.

The Air Force never sleeps.

Buck, honey, l'm not sleepy either.

I know how it is, baby.

Tell you what you do.

You just start your countdown and old Bucky will be back here...

...before you can say, "Blastoff!"

Your Commie has no regard for human life, not even his own.

And for this reason, men, l want to impress upon you...

...the need for extreme watchfulness.

The enemy may come individually or he may come in strength.

He may even come in the uniform of our own troops.

But however he comes, we must stop him.

We must not allow him to gain entrance to this base.

Now, I am going to give you three simple rules.

First: trust no one, whatever his uniform or rank...

...unless he is known to you personally.

Second: anyone or anything...

...that approaches within 200 yards of the perimeter is to be fired upon.

Third: if in doubt, shoot first and ask questions afterwards. l would sooner accept a few casualties through accident...

...than lose the entire base and its personnel through carelessness.

Any variation on these rules must come from me personally.

Now, men, in conclusion...

...l would like to say that in the two years...

...it has been my privilege to be your commanding officer...

...l have always expected the best from you...

...and you have never given me anything less than that.

Today the nation is counting on us.

We are not going to let them down.

Good luck to you all.

Here's the attack profile, sir.

This is your attack profile.

"To ensure that the enemy cannot monitor voice transmission...

...or plant false transmission...

...the CRM 114 is to be switched into all receiver circuits.

The emergency base code prefix is to be set...

...on the dials of the CRM.

This will block any transmission other than those preceded by a code prefix.

Stand by to set code prefix.

Roger. Ready to set code prefix.

Set code prefix.

-Code prefix set. -Lock code prefix.

Code prefix locked.

Switch all receiver circuits to CRM discriminators.

All circuits switched to CRM discriminators.

Check auto-destruct circuits.

Auto-destruct circuits checked.

Primary target: the ICBM complex at Laputa.

Target reference: Yankee-Golf-Tango, 360.

Thirty-megaton nuclear device fused for airburst at 10,000 feet.

Twenty-megaton nuclear device will be used if first malfunctions.

Otherwise, proceed to secondary target:

Missile complex seven miles east of Borchov.

Target reference: November-Bravo-X-ray...


Fused airburst at 10-- Check, 12,000 feet.

Excuse me, sir. Something rather interesting has just cropped up.

Listen to that. Music. Civilian broadcasting.

I think the Pentagon has given us an exercise to test our readiness.

I think it's taking things too far.

Our fellows will be inside Russian radar cover in 20 minutes.

Listen to that. Chock-a-block full of stations, all churning it out.

-Mandrake? -Yes, sir?

I thought I issued instructions for all radios to be impounded.

You did, and I was in the process of impounding this when l switched it on.

I thought, our fellows hitting Russian radar, dropping all their stuff...

... l'd better tell you. Because if they do, it'll cause a bit of a stink.

Group captain, the officer-exchange programme...

...does not give you any special prerogatives to question my orders.

I realise that, sir, but l thought you'd be rather pleased to hear the news.

I mean, after all... Well, let's face it.

We don't want to start a nuclear war unless we really have to, do we?

Please sit down. And turn that thing off.

Yes, sir.

What about the planes? Surely we must issue the recall code immediately.

Group captain, the planes are not gonna be recalled.

My attack orders have been issued and the orders stand.

If you'll excuse me saying so, sir, that would be, to my way of thinking...

...rather an odd way of looking at it.

If a Russian attack was in progress...

...we would certainly not be hearing civilian broadcasting.

-Are you certain of that? -l'm absolutely positive.

And what if it is true?

I'm afraid I'm still not with you, sir, because, l mean....

If a Russian attack was not in progress...

...then your use of Plan R-- In fact, your orders to the entire wing....

I would say that there was something dreadfully wrong somewhere.

Why don't you take it easy, group captain.

Please make me a drink of grain alcohol and rainwater...

...and help yourself to whatever you'd like.

General Ripper, sir, as an officer in Her Majesty's Air Force...

...it is my clear duty under the present circumstances...

...to issue the recall code upon my own authority and bring back the wing.

If you'll excuse me, sir.

Sir, l must ask you for the key and the recall code. Have you got them handy?

I told you to take it easy, group captain.

There's nothing anybody can do about this now.

I'm the only person who knows the code group.

Then l must insist, sir, that you give them to me!

Do I take it, sir, you are threatening a brother officer with a gun?

Mandrake, l suppose it never occurred to you...

...that while we're chatting here so enjoyably...

...a decision is being made by the president...

...and the joint chiefs in the war room at the Pentagon.

And when they realise there is no possibility of recalling the wing...

...there will be only one course of action open:

Total commitment.

Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war?

No, I don't think l do, sir. No.

He said war was too important to be left to the generals.

When he said that, 50 years ago...

...he might have been right.

But today...

...war is too important to be left to politicians.

They have neither the time, the training...

...nor the inclination for strategic thought.

I can no longer sit back and allow...

...Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination...

...Communist subversion...

...and the international Communist conspiracy...

...to sap and impurify...

...all of our precious bodily fluids.

Staines, is everybody here?

Mr. President, the secretary of state is in Vietnam.

The secretary of defence is in Laos, the vice president is in Mexico City.

We can establish contact with them at any time.

The undersecretaries are all here.

Right. Now, General Turgidson, what's going on here?

Mr. President...

...about 35 minutes ago...

...General Jack Ripper, the commanding general...

...of Burpelson Air Force Base...

...issued an order to the 34 B-52s of his wing...

...which were airborne at the time...

...as part of a special exercise we were holding called Operation Dropkick.

Now, it appears that the order called for the planes...

...to attack their targets inside Russia.

The planes are fully armed with nuclear weapons...

...with an average load of 40 megatons each.

Now, the central display of Russia will indicate the position of the planes.

The triangles are their primary targets.

The squares are their secondary targets.

The aircraft will begin penetrating Russian radar cover within 25 minutes.

General Turgidson, I find this very difficult to understand.

I was under the impression I was the only one in authority...

...to order the use of nuclear weapons.

That's right, sir. You are the only person authorised to do so.

And although l hate to judge before all the facts are in...

...it's beginning to look like General Ripper exceeded his authority.

It certainly does. Far beyond the point I would have imagined possible.

Well, perhaps you're forgetting the provisions of Plan R, sir.

Plan R?

Plan R is an emergency war plan...

...in which a lower-echelon commander may order...

...nuclear retaliation after a sneak attack...

...if the normal chain of command has been disrupted.

You approved it, sir. You must remember.

Surely you must recall, sir, when Senator Beaufort...

...made that big hassle about our deterrent lacking credibility.

The idea was for Plan R to be a sort of retaliatory safeguard.

A safeguard?

I admit the human element seems to have failed us here.

But the idea was to discourage the Russkies from any hope...

...they could knock out Washington, and yourself...

...as part of a sneak attack...

...and escape retaliation because of lack of proper command and control.

I assume the planes will return automatically...

...once they reach their fail-safe points.

No, sir, l'm afraid not. The planes were holding at their fail-safe points...

...when the go code was issued.

Once they fly beyond fail-safe, they do not require a second order to proceed.

They will continue until they reach their target.

Then why haven't you radioed the planes, countermanding the go code?

I'm afraid we're unable to communicate with any of the aircraft.


As you may recall, sir...

...one of the provisions of Plan R provides...

...that once the go code is received...

...the normal SSB radios in the aircraft...

...are switched into a special coded device...

...which I believe is designated as CRM 114.

Now, in order to prevent the enemy...

...from issuing fake or confusing orders...

...CRM 114 is designed not to receive at all...

...unless the message is preceded...

...by the correct three-letter code group prefix.

Do you mean to tell me, general, you will be unable to recall the aircraft?

That's the size of it. However, we are ploughing through...

...every possible three-letter combination of the code.

But since there are 17,000 permutations...

...it's going to take us about two days to transmit them all.

How soon will planes penetrate Russian radar cover?

-Eighteen minutes from now. -Are you in contact with Ripper?

No, sir. General Ripper sealed off the base and cut off communications.

-Where did you get this information? -General Ripper called...

...Strategic Air Command headquarters shortly after he issued the go code.

I have a portion of the transcript, if you'd like me to read it.

Read it.

The duty officer asked General Ripper...

...to confirm the fact that he had issued the go code and he said:

"Yes, gentlemen, they are on their way in and no one can bring them back.

For the sake of our country and our way of life...

... l suggest you get the rest of SAC in after them.

Otherwise, we will be totally destroyed by Red retaliation.

My boys will give you the best kind of start: 1400 megatons' worth.

And you sure as hell won't stop them now.

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...


God bless you all."

Then he hung up.

We're still trying to figure out the meaning of that last phrase.

There's nothing to figure out. This man is obviously a psychotic.

I'd like to hold off judgement on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in.

General Turgidson, when you instituted the human reliability tests...

...you assured me there was no possibility...

...of such a thing ever occurring.

Well, l don't think it's quite fair to condemn the whole programme...

...because of a single slip-up, sir.

I wanna speak to General Ripper on the telephone.

I'm afraid that's impossible.

General Turgidson, I am becoming less and less interested...

...in your estimates of what is possible and impossible.

-General Faceman. -Yes, sir?

Are there any Army units stationed near Burpelson?

I'll just check, sir.


I told you never to call me here. Don't you know where l am?

Look, baby, l can't talk to you now.

My president needs me.

Of course Bucky would rather be there with you.

Of course it isn't only physical.

I deeply respect you as a human being.

Someday I'm gonna make you Mrs. Buck Turgidson.

Oh, listen, you go back to sleep.

Bucky will be back there just as soon as he can.

All right. Listen, sug, don't forget to say your prayers.

Apparently, the 23rd Airborne Division...

...is stationed seven miles away at Alvarado.

General Faceman, l want them to enter the base, locate General Ripper...

...and put him in immediate contact with me.

Yes, sir.

Mr. President, if l may advise.

Under a condition red, it is standard procedure the base be sealed off...

...and the base defended by base security troops.

Any force trying to enter there would certainly encounter heavy casualties.

General Turgidson, with all due respect for your defence team...

...my boys can brush them aside without too much trouble.

Mr. President, there are one or two points l'd like to make, if l may?

Go ahead, general.

One: our hopes for recalling the 843rd bomb wing...

...are quickly being reduced to a very low order of probability.

Two: in less than 15 minutes from now...

...the Russkies will be making radar contact with the planes.

Three: when they do...

...they will go absolutely ape and strike back with everything they've got.

Four: if, prior to this time...

...we have done nothing to suppress their retaliatory capabilities...

...we will suffer virtual annihilation.



If, on the other hand...

...we immediately launched an attack on their airfields and missile bases...

...we'd stand a good chance of catching them with their pants down.

We've got a 5-to-1 missile superiority.

We could easily assign three missiles to every target...

...and still have an effective reserve force for any other contingency.

Six: an unofficial study which we undertook of this eventuality...

...indicated that we would destroy 90 percent of their nuclear capabilities.

We would therefore prevail...

...and suffer only modest civilian casualties from their remaining force...

...which would be badly damaged and uncoordinated.

General, it is the avowed policy of our country...

...never to strike first with nuclear weapons.

Well, Mr. President, l'd say Ripper has already invalidated that policy.

That was not an act of national policy. There are still alternatives open to us.

Mr. President...

...we are rapidly approaching a moment of truth...

...both for ourselves and for the life of our nation.

Now, truth is not always a pleasant thing.

But it is necessary now to make a choice.

To choose between two admittedly regrettable...

...but nevertheless distinguishable, postwar environments.

One where 20 million people are killed. The other, 150 million people killed.

You're talking about mass murder, general, not war.

Mr. President, l'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed.

But l do say no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops.

Depending on the breaks.

I will not go down in history as the greatest mass murderer since Hitler.

It might be better if you were more concerned...

...with the American people than with your image in history books.

General Turgidson, I've heard quite sufficient from you.

Thank you very much.

Mr. President, they have the ambassador upstairs.

-Oh, good. Any difficulty? -He's having a fit about the MPs.

That can't be helped. Have him brought here.

Yes, sir.

Is that the Russian ambassador?

Yes, it is, general.

Am l to understand the Russian ambassador...

...is to be admitted entrance to the war room?

That is correct. He is here on my orders.

I don't know exactly how to put this, sir...

...but are you aware of what a breach of security that would be?

I mean, he'll see everything. He'll see the big board.

That is precisely the idea, general. That is precisely the idea.

Staines, get Premier Kissoff on the hot line.

Survival kit contents check.

In them, you will find one .45-calibre automatic...

...two boxes of ammunition...

...four days' concentrated emergency rations...

...one drug issue containing antibiotics...

...morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills...

...sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills...

One miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible...

...$100 in rubles...

...$100 in gold...

...nine packs of chewing gum...

...one issue of prophylactics...

...three lipsticks, three pair of nylon stockings.

Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with that stuff.

-You don't have any fresh fish? -l'm afraid not, sir.

-Your eggs are fresh? -Oh, yes, sir.

I will have poached eggs. And bring me some cigars, please. Havana cigars.

And that will be all for you, sir? I'll see to it right away.

Try one of these Jamaican cigars, ambassador. They're good.

Thank you, no. I do not support the work of imperialist stooges.

Oh, only Commie stooges, huh?

Mr. President.

You're gonna let that lousy Commie punk vomit all over us like this?

Mr. President?

They haven't reached Premier Kissoff. They don't know where he is...

...and he won't be back for another two hours.

-Try B86543 Moscow. -Yes, sir.

You'd never have found him through his office.

Our premier is a man of the people, but he is also a man, if you follow.

-Degenerate, atheistic Commie. -What did you say?

I said, Premier Kissoff is a degenerate, atheistic Commie!

-Have this ignorant fool-- -l'm sorry!

Mr. President, I think they're trying the number.

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room!

What is going on here? I demand an explanation.

This clumsy fool tried to plant that ridiculous camera on me.

You bet your sweets, Mr. Commie! Look at this.

This lousy Commie rat was taking pictures with this, of the big board!

Mr. Ambassador!

This clumsy fool attempted to plant that ridiculous camera on me.

That's a damn lie! I saw him with my own eyes.

This is outrageous. I have never heard of such behaviour in the war room.

Mr. President, l think they're getting him on the line.

You gotta hand it to those Commies.


Those trucks sure look like the real thing, don't they?

I wonder where they got them from.

Probably bought them from the Army as war surplus.

Okay, open up at 200 yards.

Tell him where you are and that you'll speak if l say anything untrue...

...but please don't tell him anything more than that.

Alexi? Alexi, please. l beg you.

But l don't have a phone.

Give him your phone, Frank.

I've done as you asked. Be careful. I think he is drunk.

Hello? Hello, Dimitri?

Listen, l can't hear too well.

Do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little?

Oh, that's much better.

Yeah. Yes.

Fine. l can hear you now, Dimitri.

Clear and plain and coming through fine.

I'm coming through fine too? Good. Then....

Well, then, as you say, we're both coming through fine. Good.

Well, it's good that you're fine and l'm fine.

I agree with you. It's great to be fine.

Now then, Dimitri...

...you know how we've always talked about the possibility...

...of something going wrong with the bomb.

The bomb, Dimitri.

The hydrogen bomb.

Well, now, what happened is...

...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 he went and did a silly thing.

Well, l'll tell you what he did. He ordered his planes...

...to attack your country.

Well, let me finish, Dimitri.

Let me finish, Dimitri.

Well, listen, how do you think I feel about it?

Can you imagine how I feel about it, Dimitri?

Why do you think l'm calling you? Just to say hello?

Of course I like to speak to you!

Of course I like to say hello!

Not now, but any time, Dimitri.

I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened.

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.

I am-- I am positive, Dimitri.

I've been all over this with your ambassador.

It is not a trick.

Well, l'll tell you.

We'd like to give your air staff a complete rundown on the targets...

...the flight plans and the defensive systems of the planes.

Yes, l mean, if we're unable to recall the planes...

...then l'd say that, well...

...we're just gonna have to help you destroy them, Dimitri.

I know they're our boys.

All right, listen. Now, who should we call?

Who should we call, Dimitri? Sorry, you faded away there.

The People's Central Air Defense Headquarters.

Where is that, Dimitri?

In Omsk. Right.


Oh, you'll call them first, will you?

Do you happen to have the phone number on you, Dimitri?

What? l see. Just ask for Omsk information.

I'm sorry too, Dimitri. I'm very sorry.

All right, you're sorrier than I am. But l am sorry as well.

I am as sorry as you are, Dimitri.

Don't say that you're more sorry...

...because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are.

So we're both sorry, all right? All right.

Yes, he's right here. Yes, he wants to talk to you. Just a second.


What? What is it? What?

The fools. The mad fools.

What's happened?

The doomsday machine.

The doom--? The doomsday machine? What is that?

A device which will destroy all human and animal life on Earth.

All human and animal life?

-Mandrake? -Yes, Jack?

Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?

Well, no, l can't say l have, Jack.

Vodka. That's what they drink, isn't it? Never water.

Well, l believe that's what they drink, Jack, yes.

On no account will a Commie ever drink water...

...and not without good reason.

Oh, yes.

I can't quite see what you're getting at, Jack.

Water. That's what l'm getting at, water.

Mandrake, water is the source of all life.

Seven-tenths of this Earth's surface is water.

Why, do you realise that...

...70 percent of you is water?

Good Lord.

And as human beings, you and I need fresh, pure water...

...to replenish our precious bodily fluids.

-You beginning to understand? -Yes.


Mandrake, have you never wondered why l drink only distilled water...

...or rainwater, and only pure grain alcohol?

Well, it did occur to me, Jack, yes.

Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation? Fluoridation of water?

Yes, l have heard of that, Jack, yes. Yes.

Well, do you know what it is?

No. No, l don't know what it is, no.

Do you realise that fluoridation...

...is the most monstrously conceived...

...and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?

Two can play at that game, soldier.

That's nice shooting, soldier!

Mandrake, come here.

You calling me, Jack?

Come over here and help me with this belt.

I haven't had very much experience...

...you know, with those sort of machines, Jack...

... l've only ever pressed a button in my old Spitfire.

In the name of Her Majesty and the Continental Congress, feed the belt.

Jack, I'd love to come, but what's happened, you see...

...the string in my leg's gone.

-The what? -The string. I never told you...

...but, you see, I've got a gammy leg. Oh, dear. Gone. Shot off.

Mandrake, come over here. The redcoats are coming. Come on!

When it is detonated, it will produce enough radioactive fallout...

...so that in 10 months...

...the surface of the Earth will be as dead as the moon.

Come on, de Sadesky! That's ridiculous!

Our studies show even the worst fallout...

...is down to a safe level after two weeks.

You've obviously never heard of cobalt thorium G.

No, what about it?

Cobalt thorium G has a radioactive half-life of 93 years.

If you take, say, 50 H bombs in the 100 megaton range...

...and jacket them with cobalt thorium G...

...when they are exploded, they will produce a doomsday shroud...

...a lethal cloud of radioactivity...

...which will encircle the Earth for 93 years!

What a load of Commie bull. I mean, after all...

I'm afraid I don't understand something, Alexi.

Is the premier threatening to explode it if we carry out the attack?

No. It is not a thing a sane man would do.

The doomsday machine is designed to trigger itself automatically.

But surely you can disarm it somehow.

No. It is designed to explode if any attempt is made to un-trigger it.


It's a Commie trick! We're wasting valuable time!

Look at the big board! They're getting ready to clobber us!

But this is absolute madness. Why should you build such a thing?

Some of us fought against it.

But we could not keep up with the expense involved in the arms race...

...the space race and the peace race.

At the same time, our people grumbled...

...for more nylons and washing machines.

Our doomsday scheme cost us a small fraction...

...of what we had been spending on defence in a single year.

The deciding factor was when we learned your country...

...was working along similar lines. We were afraid of a doomsday gap.

This is preposterous! l've never approved of anything like that.

Our source was The New York Times.

Dr. Strangelove, do we have anything like that in the works?

A moment, please, Mr. President.

Under the authority granted me...

...as director of weapons research and development...

... l commissioned last year a study of this project...

...by the Bland Corporation.

Based on the findings of the report...

...my conclusion was that this idea was not a practical deterrent...

...for reasons which at this moment must be all too obvious.

Then you mean it is possible for them to have built such a thing?

Mr. President, the technology required is easily within the means...

...of even the smallest nuclear power.

It requires only the will to do so.

But how is it possible for this thing to be triggered automatically...

...and at the same time impossible to un-trigger?

Mr. President, it is not only possible...

...it is essential.

That is the whole idea of this machine, you know.

Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy...

...the fear to attack.

And so because of the automated and irrevocable decision-making process...

...which rules out human meddling...

...the doomsday machine is terrifying.

This is simple to understand.

And completely credible and convincing.

Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines, Stainesy.

But this is fantastic, Strangelove. How can it be triggered automatically?

Well, it's remarkably simple to do that.

When you merely wish to bury bombs...

...there's no limit to the size.

After that, they are connected to a gigantic complex of computers.

Now, then: a specific and clearly-defined set of circumstances...

...under which the bombs are to be exploded...

...is programmed into a tape memory bank.

-A single role of tape can store.... -Strangelove.

What kind of a name is that? That ain't no Kraut name, is it?

He changed it when he became a citizen.