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Peter Sellers brilliantly plays three roles — stiff-upper-lipped British flier Lionel Mandrake, ineffective American president Merkin Muffley, and crazed, wheelchair-bound ex-Nazi scientist Dr. Strangelove — in Stanley Kubrick's nightmarishly hilarious satire of atomic-age madness.
In Stanley Kubrick's classic satire of the nuclear age, crazed Gen. Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), convinced that the Soviets have contaminated the US water supply and thus sapped him of his "precious bodily fluids," orders his bomber group to launch a nuclear strike against the USSR. Only three people can possibly stop the end of the world: Grp. Cpt. Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers), a stiff-upper-lipped Brit who tries to wheedle the abort codes out of Ripper; ineffectual American President Merkin Muffley (Sellers); and former Nazi scientist Dr. Strangelove (Sellers), a wheelchair-bound maniac who gleefully envisions a post-apocalyptic world where there will be ten women to each man. Released in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Dr. Strangelove's disarmingly hilarious vision of warmongering ignorance is as relevant today as it was when it was first released. "Arguably the best political satire of the century, a film that pulled the rug out from under the Cold War by arguing that if a 'nuclear deterrent' destroys all life on Earth, it is hard to say exactly what it has deterred" (Roger Ebert).