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Fear and Desire (1953)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller, War | 1 April 1953 (USA)
Four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines must confront their fears and desires.




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Cast overview:
Kenneth Harp ...
Fletcher / The Captain (as Steve Coit)
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)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally shot silent with a budget of $13,000. The budget went up an additional $20,000 when the actors dubbed their lines in a studio. A March 1994 retrospective on the film in "Film Comment" fixes the total budget at $40,000. See more »


The shots of the dead girl show her either with her face three-quarter turned to the ground (close shot) or with her face looking straight out to the side (long shot). This may be deliberate due to the surreal nature of the scene, namely the mental state of her killer. See more »


Sergeant Mac: It's better to roll up your life into one night and one man and one gun.
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User Reviews

Kubrick's "lost" feature
2 August 1999 | by See all my reviews

Fear and Desire is of interest mainly to Kubrick obsessives, who can plumb this pretentious clap trap for signs of his still-to-come greatness. Kubrick was right in seeking to ensure that the film was not screened or available on legitimate video. He considered it embarrassing and amateurish, and he was correct in his evaluation. This is a weak and tedious film--at 68 minutes it still seems longer than "Barry Lyndon"!--it nevertheless is of historical interest, and has its genuine absorbing moments. It's a difficult film to find (only "unofficial" copies are in circulation), though perhaps this may change if Kubrick's estate relents and has it released on video. Recommended only for Kubrick enthusiasts.

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