This week’s entry in our ongoing series looking at famous diary entries should be interesting to anyone who has an interest in movie history or the brainstorming processes of geniuses. It comes from the diary of Stanley Kubrick, the director of such classic movies as 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining.

The entry dates back to the early-60’s when Kubrick was trying to come up with a name for the movie he was in the process of making. This is fascinating for a number of reasons – the opportunity to look at a genius’ brainstorming process, the chance to imagine the classic film existing with any of these alternate titles – but it’s probably most interesting because this page ultimately led to what is arguably one of the greatest names for a movie of all time: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. (In turn, the movie was based on a book with a comparatively lackluster name: Red Alert.)

Here’s a list of some of the titles Kubrick came up with:

  • Doctor Doomsday
  • Don’t Knock the Bomb
  • Dr. Doomsday and his Nuclear Wiseman
  • Dr. Doomsday Meets Ingrid Strangelove
  • Dr. Doomsday or: How to Start World War III Without Even Trying
  • Dr. Strangelove’s Bomb
  • Dr. Strangelove’s Secret Uses of Uranus
  • My Bomb, Your Bomb
  • Save The Bomb
  • Strangelove: Nuclear Wiseman
  • The Bomb and Dr. Strangelove or: How to be Afraid 24hrs a Day
  • The Bomb of Bombs
  • The Doomsday Machine
  • The Passion of Dr. Strangelove
  • Wonderful Bomb

It’s curious to note in the actual written entry (see below) how the ultimate title doesn’t appear and also how some ideas are circled, some are not, some words are underlined, some are written in cursive, some are not, etc.

Check it out:


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