10 Legendary Films You Never Realised Were Based On Books

8. Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb – Red Alert By Peter George

nothing lasts forever cover
Columbia Pictures

Many of famed director Stanley Kubrick’s works are adapted from novels. Horror writer Stephen King has spoken at great length about how much he dislikes Kubrick’s version of The Shining, due to how much it deviates from the original text. But there is one other entry in Kubrick’s filmography that strays even further from its source material.

The main difference between Peter George’s novel Red Alert and Dr. Strangelove is that the novel plays its events completely straight, while still following the same basic plot of one insane American general setting the entire world on the path to nuclear annihilation. Kubrick's film meanwhile, plays all of this for darkly comic laughs, adding elements such as the titular mad scientist Dr. Strangelove and the overexcitable General Buck Turgidson.

The film also changes the novel’s upbeat conclusion, where catastrophe is narrowly averted, and ends instead with the Earth destroyed in atomic fire to the sweet sounds of Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again”.

Peter George clearly approved of this new approach, seeing as he is credited as a screenwriter on the film.


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