Stanley Kubrick wanted to end his 1964 satire of nuclear doomsday in a very specific way: a pie fight between Russian and American officials in the War Room beneath Washington where the President (Peter Sellers), adviser Dr. Strangelove (also Sellers), General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) and other officials have tried and failed to prevent the rogue missile launch. But Kubrick felt the filmed result wrecked the tone of the movie, taking it from dry ironic absurdity to slapstick silliness. Plus, Turgidson had a line about the young president being struck down in the prime of his life by a pie; in the months following the JFK assassination, that line suddenly seemed in bad taste.
Kubrick cut the film so that it would end with Strangelove miraculously rising from his wheelchair (“Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!”, followed by a montage of mushroom clouds. The footage of the pie fight seems to have been lost, but still photos remain, giving a good idea of the gooey chaos that, even in a movie whose punchline was the destruction of the world, was just too over-the-top. (You can see the stills in the behind-the-scenes documentary embedded on this page, starting at about 35:30.)
Next The Great Race