Paranoid Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper of Burpelson Air Force Base, believing that fluoridation of the American water supply is a Soviet plot to poison the US. populace, is able to deploy through a back door mechanism a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union without the knowledge of his superiors, including the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Buck Turgidson, and President Merkin Muffley. Only Ripper knows the code to recall the B-52 bombers and he has shut down communication in and out of Burpelson as a measure to protect this attack. Ripper's executive officer, RAF Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (on exchange from Britain), who is being held at Burpelson by Ripper, believes he knows the recall codes if he can only get a message to the outside world. Meanwhile at the Pentagon War Room, key persons including Muffley, Turgidson and nuclear scientist and adviser, a former Nazi named Dr. Strangelove, are discussing measures to stop the attack or mitigate its blow-up into an all.
In 1973 Peter Sellers, one of the biggest comedy actors at the time, embarked on a pirate comedy for Columbia Pictures. He lost confidence with the film immediately and tried to sabotage it, first firing the producers before turning on his friend (and the film's young director), Peter Medak. Despite an illustrious career and the passing of 43 years since the unraveling production, Medak is still reeling from the disastrous experience and healing the wounds inflicted by Sellers and the film's failure. The Ghost of Peter Sellers is a comic-tragic feature doc about what it takes to be a film director and survive your biggest disaster.