Fear and Desire (1953)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Thriller, War  |  1 April 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 4,624 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 56 critic

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



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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 <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Drama | Thriller | War


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
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Did You Know?


The original camera negative was discovered in the late 1980s in the holdings of a now-defunct film storage facility in Puerto Rico, and was acquired by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in 1993. (How the negative got to Puerto Rico in the first place remains a mystery.) The OCN is being kept at the Library's National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. See more »


Lieutenant Corby: Well, we have nothing to lose but our futures.
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Featured in Room 237 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Not Bad
10 March 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Fear and Desire (1953)

** (out of 4)

Stanley Kubrick's first feature film isn't nearly as bad as some reviews have said and I'm really not sure why he doesn't want the public to see this one. Four soldiers are shot down behind enemy lines and must face their fears in order to survive. The film has an extremely low budget, which hurts matters but it's interesting enough to see Kubrick working on his technique. The camera-work by Kubrick is certainly the highlight and there's some nice editing along the way.

As of today the Kubrick estate hasn't released any of his shorts but you can find the online at various places.

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