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28 Dr. Strangelove Trivia Questions & Answers

Dr. Strangelove
This category is for trivia questions and answers related to Dr. Strangelove, as asked by users of

There are 28 questions on this topic. Last updated Sep 26 2023.
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1 The full name of the movie "Dr. Strangelove" includes a subtitle. What is the subtitle?
Answer: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

The subtitle appears in the opening credits of the movie. Before I first saw the movie, I saw the preview which included several readings of the subtitle with an emphasis on the phrase "Love the Bomb". Does the movie make the case for loving the bomb? You be the judge.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
trivia question Quick Question
What target does Major Kong's crew ultimately destroy?

2 "Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Bomb" was based on the novel "Red Alert", written by which author?
Answer: Peter George

A former officer in the Royal Air Force, George was concerned that the United States and the Soviet Union would face each other down in nuclear conflict. Along with American satirist Terry Southern, he based the black-comedy screenplay on his deadly serious novel.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
3 How many roles did Peter Sellers play?
Answer: 3

Originally Peter Sellers was cast in 4 roles, but only played 3 (Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, Dr. Strangelove) when he faced problems in trying to develop a Texas accent for Major T. J. 'King' Kong.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
4 Which actor played three roles in the movie including the title role?
Answer: Peter Sellers

In addition to the title character, Peter Sellers played Group Captain Lionel Mandrake and President Muffley. This wasn't the first time he played three roles in a movie. Five years earlier he played three roles in "The Mouse That Roared", another classic but unusual movie.

James Earl Jones' role as the bombardier was his first credited role in a motion picture.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
5 Which major studio produced "Dr. Strangelove"?
Answer: Columbia Pictures

Though Columbia has its name all over "Dr. Strangelove", the movie was acutally filmed at Shepperton Studios outside London, England. The late Peter Sellers was going through a divorce at the time of shooting and was unable to leave the country.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
6 'You can't fight in here, this is the ___ ____!'
Answer: War Room

This quote is from President Merkin Muffley directed towards General 'Buck' Turgidson, and Ambassador de Sadesky.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
7 In addition to the actor who played the title role, which other actor is listed as a star in the credits?
Answer: George C. Scott

Scott's role as General Buck Turgidson may have been his first military role but certainly not his last, as he is best known for his role as the title character in the movie "Patton". In the war room in "Dr. Strangelove", he is in favor of a full scale attack on the Russians before they can strike back.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
8 Who directed "Dr. Strangelove"?
Answer: Stanley Kubrick

All the directors here left their mark on the motion picture industry. "Dr. Stranglove" happened to be one of the many gems left by the late Stanley Kubrick, whose own fear of nuclear war led him to work on this movie.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
9 Dr. Strangelove is based on which novel?
Answer: Two Hours to Doom

Based on Peter George's 'Two Hours to Doom', also known as 'Red Alert', and originally conceived as a tense thriller about the possibility of accidental war. But, Stanley Kubrick while working on the script realized that many scenes he had written were actually quite funny.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
10 What is the unusual name of the general who starts all the trouble?
Answer: Jack D. Ripper

Sterling Hayden, who later went on to play Captain McCluskey in "The Godfather", plays General Ripper who decides on his on accord to send the planes at his command on an atomic bomb mission to targets inside Russia. He has the authority to counterattack in cases where the country's leaders in Washington have been incapacitated by a sneak attack, but he aims for a pre-emptive first strike. Unfortunately, he is also the only one who knows the code to recall the attack. As General Turgidson states in the first war room scene, "It's beginning to look like General Ripper has exceeded his authority."
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
11 The opening sequence of the movie depicts which specific military activity?
Answer: Midair refueling

Establishing a sexual overtone to the movie, the opening sequence shows the refueling boom of a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker making contact with a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. The two aircraft stay mated until the end of the opening credits.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
12 Major T. J. 'King' Kong's comment about the survival kit ('a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff') originally referred to what city?
Answer: Dallas

Originally referred to Dallas instead of Las Vegas, but was overdubbed after President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
13 During the scenes inside the cockpit of the plane, music derived from which song can frequently be heard in the background?
Answer: When Johnny Comes Marching Home

"When Johnny Comes Marching Home" is used it stir patriotism during the scenes where the B-52 is involved in the attack. It can also be thought of as the longing for home the airmen must be feeling during this time.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
14 What is the name of the fictional American air force base from which the B-52 bombers are dispatched to attack the Soviet Union?
Answer: Burpleson Air Force Base

During the scenes in which base commander General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) and Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Sellers) fight off army troops, a large aerial photo of what is supposed to be the air base is shown on the wall. That photo is actually of Heathrow Airport in London.

Barksdale (Boosier City, LA), Beale (Yuba County, CA) and Brooks (San Antoino, TX) are all real US Air Force bases.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
15 General Turgidson (George C. Scott) was not scripted to do what in the War Room when he gets excited (but did anyway)?
Answer: Fall

When George C. Scott fell over in the War Room, it wasn't in the script, but Stanley Kubrick decided it was in character, and left it in.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
16 Who was originally tabbed to play the role of the B-52 bomber commander, Major T.J. "King" Kong?
Answer: Peter Sellers

Had Peter Sellers not suffered a broken leg during filming, he would have wound up playing four roles in "Dr. Strangelove". As it was, though, he relinquished the role to Slim Pickens. Kubrick remembered Pickens from his work in another movie and brought him onboard to play Kong.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
17 Which German word means Strangelove?
Answer: Merkwurdigliebe

When Strangelove is talking about the doomsday device, Turgidson says, 'Strangelove. What is that, German?' The reply he receives is 'He changed his {name;} it was originally Merkwurdigliebe' -- which means Strangelove in German.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
18 What is the name of the device that will destroy all human and animal life if Russia is attacked by a nuclear weapon?
Answer: Doomsday Machine

The Doomsday Machine was supposed to deter a nuclear attack by creating a completely hopeless situation for the attacker. Unfortunately, while the device has already been activated, it has not yet been publicized which takes away its effectiveness as a deterrent. (It was going to be announced to the world the following Monday.) It can't be turned off which means that if the nuclear strike works, the population of Earth will be wiped out.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
19 Which of the following items was NOT found in the B-52 aircrew's survival kits?
Answer: A flare gun

One of the most interesting edits in motion picture history, and one you have to be on your toes to catch, happens when Major Kong (Pickens) finishes reading off the list of items in the survival kit. His original line was, "A fella could have a pretty good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff." Because "Dr. Strangelove" was completed just after the Kennedy assassination, the word "Vegas" was dubbed in for "Dallas".
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
20 'Gee, I wish we had one of them ________ machines.'
Answer: doomsday

Although wrong, slurpee machine would have been funnier. Maybe. This wish is expressed by Gen. 'Buck' Turgidson after the President and the Russian Ambassador have been discussing why the Russians developed their own doomsday machine.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
21 When Mandrake has the colonel get him change for a phone call to the president, who does the colonel tell him he will have to answer to if he doesn't get the president on the phone?
Answer: The Coca-Cola Company

Mandrake needs to talk to the president in order to tell him the recall code which he believes he knows. The only working phone they can find is a pay phone but Mandrake doesn't have enough change to make the call. When he spots a nearby Coca-Cola vending machine and tells the colonel to shoot off the lock, the colonel warns him that the machine is private property and that if he doesn't get the president on the phone he'll have to answer to the Coca-Cola company.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
22 Kubrick intended to end 'Dr. Strangelove' with what type of fight between the Americans and Russians?
Answer: custard pie

The custard pie scene was shot but Kubrick changed his mind on it because it was too farcical to fit in with the satirical nature of the rest of the film. Another reason for the cut might have been when President Muffley took a pie in the face and fell down, prompting Gen. Turgidson to cry, 'Gentlemen! Our gallant young president has just been struck down in his prime!' Written before J.F.K's assassination this line showed eerie similiarity to it, and the scene would have been cut anyway, or at least this line in particular.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
23 What is the recall code?
Answer: OPE

OPE is an anagram of the first letters of "Purity of Essence", three words that General Ripper used in the communist conspiracy theories he proposes to Mandrake. They are also an anagram of the initials of "Peace on Earth" which Ripper doesn't actually say in the film but which Mandrake writes down while trying to figure out the code. By limiting the code to three letters, that means that there are only six codes to try rather than over 17,000 combinations of all 26 letters.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
24 What target does Major Kong's crew ultimately destroy?
Answer: A missile complex

In one of the most famous scenes in motion picture history, Major Kong finds himself free-falling atop a multi-megaton hydrogen bomb destined to destroy a Soviet ICBM base. The crew, low on fuel and in desperate need of ditching, choose the first available target of opportunity to destroy. This act prompts the Soviet ambassador (Peter Bull) to set off the powerful Doomsday Device.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.
25 Along with Stanley Kubrick who also helped write the screenplay for 'Dr. Strangelove'?
Answer: Terry Southern

Often the forgotten writer of 'Dr. Strangelove', Terry Southern is the person who gave us General Ripper's fixation with bodily fluids and Colonel 'Bat' Guano's certainty that Mandrake was a pervert of some sort.
Question Reference: Quiz: Dr. Strangelove.