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Fear and Desire (1953)

Not Rated  |   |  War, Drama  |  1 April 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 4,490 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 56 critic

Four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines must confront their fears and desires.



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Title: Fear and Desire (1953)

Fear and Desire (1953) on IMDb 5.7/10

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Cast overview:
Sgt. Mac
Kenneth Harp ...
Lt. Corby / The General
Pvt. Sidney
Stephen Coit ...
Pvt. Fletcher / The Captain (as Steve Coit)
Virginia Leith ...
The Girl
David Allen ...
Narrator (voice)


A ficticious war in an unidentified country provides the setting for this drama. Four soldiers survive the crash-landing of their plane to find themselves in a forest six miles behind enemy lines. The group, led by Lt. Corby, has a plan: They'll make their way to a nearby river, build a raft, and then, under cover of night, float back to friendly territory. Their plans for getting back safely are sidetracked by a young woman who stumbles across them as they hide in the woods, and by the nearby presence of an enemy general who one member of the group is determined to kill. Written by Eugene Kim <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Trapped... 4 Desperate Men and a Strange Half-Animal Girl!


War | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shape of Fear  »

Box Office


$33,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kubrick later denounced this film as amateurish, saying he considered it like a child's drawing on a fridge. See more »


Lieutenant Corby: Cold stew on a blazing island. We've just made a perfect definition of war, Mac.
See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: Episode #10.25 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

The Bad, the Terrible, and the Hilarious.
16 December 2000 | by (Rochester, NY) – See all my reviews

Quite a few people claim to have seen this film, but anybody who tell you that it is not as bad as Kubrick would lead you to believe is flat-out lying about having seen the film. Kubrick is the greatest artist of the last couple centuries, but this film is BAD. Not Kubrick bad, but Ed Wood bad. There are lines like, "I felt fear. Fear I hadn't felt since I kissed my dying grandmother." And the whole thing looks like it was made in somebody's backyard.

There is one thing funnier than this film: the trailer! It was shown with the film at the George Eastman House, and trust me, if you ever get the chance to see it, the trailer alone is one of the most hilarious pieces of film you will ever see. It's a gem!

"Fear & Desire" should be seen, if only to show how an awful, pretentious young filmmaker can flourish to such heights as "Dr. Strangelove," "2001," and "Barry Lyndon." Interestingly enough, the Eastman House print (one of the two still in existence, I believe) was short the film's official running time by a couple of minutes, and there are a few unlikely jump-cuts in the film, which leads one to believe that Kubrick himself cut this film a bit, as he did with "The Shining." However, the other remaining print is the original camera negative, which is stored somewhere out of the country. I would kill to get my hands on that print.

If you get a chance to see this film, do so, and see Kubrick's genesis, and how far he came.

29 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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