Lost Media Archive

Picture from the chaotic pie fight scene.

As most everyone knows, the ending to Stanley Kubrick's 1964 anti-war black comedy Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, ended with the title character (Played by Peter Sellers) emerging from his wheelchair and taking a few steps, then a cut to a montage of atom bombs. However, in a cut, extended ending, the film went on to show that Strangelove then fell flat on his face. General Turgidson (George C. Scott) then notices the Russian Ambassador (Peter Bull) taking pictures of "the big board" and tackles him. He asks for permission to bodily search him for more cameras, only to

Dr. Strangelove with the Luger.

have the Ambassador throw a custard pie from the buffet table at him in a rage. Turgidson ducks and the pie hits President Muffley (also Sellers) instead, which prompts a comical pie fight in the War Room which simulates an actual battle. Meanwhile, Strangelove, after struggling to get back into his wheelchair, sees the chaos, and, unbeknownst to him, his sinister black gloved hand pulls a Luger from his jacket pocket and aims it at his temple. Strangelove then realizes this and wrestles with the gun, resulting in it going off into the air. This catches everyone's attention and the fight stops. After Strangelove calls everyone to order, they see that the President and the Russian Ambassador are building sand castles from the pie custard in a childlike fashion, having lost their minds. Turgidson announces that from now on, the country belongs in the hands of people like Strangelove and the scene ends with the men giving him a cheer.

Ironically, the film was being edited around the date of November 23rd, 1963. The day President Kennedy was assasinated. Ultimately, the scene where President Muffley is struck with a pie and Turgidson announces "Our President has been struck down in his prime!" was considered too close to the situation and the ending was cut. In addition, Kubrick felt that the pie fight itself (which was a metephor for war) was not played in a serious fashion, as most of the actors were smiling and laughing. According to editor Anthony Harvey, the ending was put in the bin for cut scenes, was then misplaced and lost. To this day it has yet to surface with the exception of a single public showing in 1999 shortly after Kubrick's death.