Restoring Dr. Strangelove at 4K

Through over-printing and damage created at the time of initial release, the negative of Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War black comedy DR. STRANGELOVE or: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB was destroyed at the laboratory over forty years ago. This presentation will detail the history of the preservation aspects of the film, including the decision to digitally restore the film at Cineric, Inc., a New York laboratory that specializes in film restoration.
Chemical stains, scratches and dirt were either printed into, or physically embedded into, all existing film elements. After examination and testing, it was determined the best elements for the restoration were a 35mm fine-grain master positive, a 35mm duplicate negative and a 35mm print. Each element represented a different manufacturing generation from the original camera negative, resulting in wide variations in density and contrast. It was felt that the only way to restore the film correctly, given the many different elements, their poor condition, and the need to maintain the filmmakers’ aesthetic intentions, was to use a complete 4K digital workflow.

Hall Before

Hall After