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Through a series of military and political accidents, a pair of psychotic senior military officers -- U.S. Air Force Commander Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) and Joint Chiefs of Staff General "Buck" Turgidson (George C. Scott) -- hatch an ingenious, foolproof, and irrevocable plan to unleash a wing of B-52 bombers and their nuclear payloads on strategic targets inside Russia. And when the brains behind the scheme, Dr. Strangelove (Peter Sellers), a wheelchair-bound nuclear scientist with bizarre ideas about man's future, accidentally activates the bombing mission, the President of the United States (Peter Sellers) is unable to stop it. Although he knows the secret code to stop the mission, the Royal Air Force's Group Captain Mandrake (Peter Sellers) isn't much help since he's come under attack at a U.S. Air Force base by a group of U.S. paratroopers who've been accidentally activated, too. So, despite all efforts to recall him, Major T. J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) personally sees his bombing mission to its fateful conclusion, even as the Russian Ambassador (Peter Bull) is summoned to the White House in hopes of averting a crisis and preventing the activation of the "Doomsday" machine. But the inevitable comes to pass as the efforts of the Pentagon brass and all the politicians in Moscow and Washington cannot undo the cascading series of cataclysmic events.