Kubrick’s masterpiece may be as chilly as the Cold War it spoofs, but its bleak satire on mutually assured destruction remains a comic tour de force. Hard to imagine, then, that it started out as a conventional thriller (variously titled Edge Of Doom and The Delicate Balance Of Terror) before Stanley and writer Terry Southern wisely decided to play it all for laughs. Peter Sellers had taken multiple roles before, but his bumbling British soldier, chrome-domed President and insane Nazi scientist (“Mein Fuhrer... I can walk!”) remain inch-perfect characterisations. The real revelation, though, is George C Scott, whose warmonger general – modelled on Curtis ‘Bombs Away’ LeMay – seems to predate Donald Rumsfeld by four decades.