Study Guide

Dr. Strangelove Scene 9

Scene 9

Scene 9

  • In the huge War Room, President Merkin Muffley sits with lots of important looking guys around a giant circular table.
  • The "big board," a giant glowing map, shows little dots representing the planes that are flying toward the Soviet Union.
  • President Muffley is none too happy as he questions General Turgidson about what the heck is going on.
  • Turgidson gives Muffley a rundown of the situation:
  • Seems like Ripper acted on his own.
  • Seems like Ripper might've lost his mind as evidenced by the mention of bodily fluids in a phone call.
  • And the president himself approved legislation that would allow a general to initiate nuclear war, though it was intended to be used only if the president has been killed.
  • Pres. Muffley is furious and basically tells Turgidson to shut up.
  • Turgidson gets a random phone call from his bikini-babe.
  • He assures her that he respects her as a person and their relationship isn't just physical.
  • Uh-huh.
  • He's gotta hang up, though, honey, since there's like...a nuclear war about to happen.
  • Muffley orders the army to invade Ripper's base and put him on the phone.
  • Turgidson points out that the base will fight back, but another General says not to worry because his boys will brush Turgidson's air force soldiers aside without much effort.
  • Bucky has some more helpful suggestions.
  • He points out that the Soviets are going to know very soon that a fleet of bombers is heading toward their country.
  • Turgidson advises that the best thing to do would be to launch an all-out nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, incinerating the whole place before they have a chance to retaliate.
  • "I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed," he says. "But I do say no more than 10 to 20 million killed. Tops!"
  • Oh, okay then.
  • The Prez refuses to be a mass murderer like Hitler.
  • An aide tells Muffley that the Russian ambassador is on his way down to the War Room.
  • Turgidson is super upset that a Russian is coming there.
  • "He'll see the big board!" warns the General.
  • But that's just the sort of thing Muffley has in mind.
  • The president orders an aide to get Premier Kissov, the Soviet leader, on the phone.