This Shot of Slim Pickens Is the Bomb

By Mat Honan on at

I grew up under the shadow of the spectre of nuclear war. In the 1980s, popular culture was rife with the imagery of nuclear annihilation—from The Day After, to Threads, to Smiths songs. But nothing approached Dr. Strangelove.

Stanley Kubrick's dark 1964 satire is filled, end-to-end, with amazing acting. Peter Sellers and George C. Scott both gave career-defining performances. But the iconic image from the film is that of rodeo clown turned actor Slim Pickens riding the bomb back down to earth, going toe to toe with the Russkies, after climbing aboard it and releasing it manually from the bomb bay of his damaged B-52.

Here's a pulled-back view of Kubrick and Pickens filming that remarkable scene.
This Shot of Slim Pickens Is the Bomb

[Old Hollywood]