Mandrake: politely irritated Oh hell.
Are the Russians involved, sir? It just came in on the Red Phone. My orders are for this base to be sealed tight, and that's what I mean to do, seal it tight. Now, I want you to transmit plan R, R for Robert, to the wing. Plan R for Robert It looks like it's pretty hairy Now last, and possibly most important - I want all privately-owned radios to be immediately impounded They might be used to issue instructions to saboteurs.
As the alert is signaled by a siren sounding on the base - and the special code is transmitted to a fleet of B's, Ripper closes his venetian blinds. The narrator makes a final statement regarding Strategic Air Command readiness - later dubbed "Operation Dropkick":.
In order to guard against surprise nuclear attack, America's Strategic Air Command maintains a large force of B bombers airborne 24 hours a day. Each B can deliver a nuclear bombload 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 Two. 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. In the claustrophobic, machine-dominated interior of one of the B bombers at its failsafe point, a dim-witted crew is engaged in routine pursuits.
Radio operator Lieutenant B. Irritated when informed of the orders for Wing attack Plan R R for Romeo [Ripper's attack is correlated to a famous male lover] , Major Kong questions whether his crew is playing a practical joke and disdains the order: "How many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?
Well I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones. Ain't nobody ever got the Go code yet. And old Ripper wouldn't be giving us plan R unless them Russkies had already clobbered Washington and a lot of other towns with a sneak attack. Kong dons his ten-gallon hat and solemnly announces to his crew, as the soundtrack plays a snare-drum accentuated theme song: " When Johnny Comes Marching Home ":. Well, boys, I reckon this is it.
Nuclear pronounced 'nookular' combat, toe-to-toe with the Rooskies. Over the intercom, Kong delivers a memorable, patriotic speech to his men - a parody of the totally-loyal American sent on a glory mission:. Now look, boys. I ain't much of a hand at makin' speeches. But I got a pretty fair idea that somethin' doggone important is goin' on back there. And I got a fair idea of the kind of personal emotions that some of you fellas may be thinkin'. Heck, I reckon you wouldn't even be human beins if you didn't have some pretty strong personal feelings about nuclear combat.
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I want you to remember one thing: the folks back home is a-countin' on ya, and by golly, we ain't about to let 'em down. Tell ya somethin' else. If this thing turns out to be half as important as I figure it just might be, I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions an' personal citations when this thing's over with.
That goes for every last one of ya, regardless of your race, color, or your creed. Now, let's get this thing on the hump. We got some flyin' to do. In the next scene, the phone rings in the mirrored hotel suite of hawkish, hedonistic, cartoonish General "Buck" Turgidson George C. Freddie Puntridge that Turgidson is "catching up on some of the General's paperwork" but is currently "tied up" in "the powder room. He has just "monitored a transmission about eight minutes ago from Burpelson Air Force Base It decoded as Wing Attack, Plan R.
Grumbling, complaining that he always has to think of everything, the boyish crew-cutted Turgidson approaches the phone from the bathroom, first viewed in the wall mirror reflection next to his secretary. Right wing war hawk Turgidson wears an open sports shirt and shorts, slapping his bare gut during the phone conversation.
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He first finds out that there's nothin' "cookin' on the threat board. Turgidson intermingles war and sex talk in his departing words:. Miss Scott: Buck, honey I'm not sleepy either. Turgidson: I know how it is, baby. Tell you what you do. You just start your countdown, and old Bucky'll be back here before you can say Blast Off! Back at an alerted Burpelson Air Force Base, Ripper uses the PA system from his desk with his cigar in one hand and the phallic-looking microphone in the other.
He paranoically proclaims the Red Alert to grim-faced guards and soldiers who stand ready behind many quick shots of the soldiers is again posted the motto of the SAC: "Peace is Our Profession" :. Your commie has no regard for human life, not even his own.
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And for this reason, men, I 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. Only he has the code needed to recall the bombers, and just as a US Army unit is penetrating the sealed base to get into contact with him, he commits suicide, leaving Group Captain Lionel Mandrake to try and figure out the code alone.
The parallel in his name to famed serial killer Jack the Ripper is intentional, and he is played by Sterling Hayden. Mandrake is second-in-command to Ripper, and at first believes that the Condition Red initiated by Gen. Ripper is the result of an authentic attack by the Soviets. Condition Red requires that the base cut off all communication coming in from the outside world, and Mandrake is in charge of confiscating all radios on the base.
Before he turns the last one in, he hears regular programming over the radio and realizes that there could not have been an attack, nor could one be imminent. He excitedly tells Ripper that he can recall the bomber wing because there must be some mistake, but quickly realizes that Ripper has gone insane and is looking to personally start World War III.
Mandrake is played by Peter Sellers. Guano is not told the reason that he needs to put Ripper in touch with the President, and is apparently completely unaware of the situation at hand which shows the fatal consequences of the U. When Col.
Mandrake, now the acting head of command at Burpelson, has a difficult time convincing Col. Guano to put him in touch with the President so that he can give him the recall code. Guano would be punished for extreme negligence get through to him, and Col.
Guano helps Mandrake get in touch with the President. They are slowed down, however, by Col.
Guano is played by Keenan Wynn. In terms of personality traits Kahn was likely more of an inspiration for Dr. Turgidson is used at various points to critique the US Air Force and its commanders as excessively macho, paradoxical in their Christianity, childish, sexist, self-centered, and jingoistic. Turgidson is played by George C. Scott, who did not want to play the character as over-the-top as Kubrick wanted.
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Major Kong is a profoundly loyal officer, determined to fulfill his duty at all cost, but nevertheless struggling to come to grips with the idea of detonating a nuclear weapon. When his nuclear payload becomes stuck in position and unable to drop, Major Kong must go and manually free the missile. Sellers was removed from the role when he sprained an ankle in the cockpit set, and some have speculated that he faked the injury to get out of his contractual obligation to play the role.
He is likely a reminder of the then-recent desegregation of the US military, and how with that equality came the impartiality of victimization at the hands of crazy white generals. Sadesky is the Russian ambassador to the United States, who becomes the first citizen of the Soviet Union to ever be allowed inside the War Room.
This fact greatly disturbs Gen. Buck Turgidson who believes that Sadesky should not be trusted near sensitive material. Sadesky and Turgidson get into a physical altercation shortly after Sadesky enters, because Turgidson claims Sadesky was trying to take pictures. Once it seems there is no hope to prevent a nuclear catastrophe, he eagerly gets involved in the planning of the underground tunnel system that Strangelove proposes. Sadesky is played by Peter Bull. Merkin Muffley is the President of the United States.
He is an ineffective and weak politician, who cannot believe that the situation has gotten this far, even though he approved the orders that gave lower generals the authority to issue such strikes. His character is something akin to a schoolteacher who has lost control of a classroom: he cannot control Turgidson and Ambassador Sadesky from physically fighting in the War Room, and must calm down the drunk Soviet Prime Minister over the phone.
President Muffley is also played by Peter Sellers.