IMDb > Fear and Desire (1953)
Fear and Desire
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Fear and Desire (1953) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
5.7/10   3,272 votes »
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Howard Sackler (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Fear and Desire on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 April 1953 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Trapped... 4 Desperate Men and a Strange Half-Animal Girl!
Plot:
Four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines must confront their fears and desires. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(94 articles)
Films paid for almost entirely by a wealthy(ish) benefactor
 (From Den of Geek. 31 July 2014, 3:33 AM, PDT)

Director Paul Mazursky Dies
 (From PEOPLE.com. 2 July 2014, 5:30 AM, PDT)

Director Paul Mazursky Dies
 (From PEOPLE.com. 2 July 2014, 5:30 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Even Genius Falters in Youth... See more (35 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Frank Silvera ... Sgt. Mac
Kenneth Harp ... Lt. Corby / The General

Paul Mazursky ... Pvt. Sidney
Stephen Coit ... Pvt. Fletcher / The Captain (as Steve Coit)
Virginia Leith ... The Girl
David Allen ... Narrator (voice)
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Directed by
Stanley Kubrick 
 
Writing credits
Howard Sackler (written by)

Produced by
Stanley Kubrick .... producer
Martin Perveler .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Gerald Fried 
 
Cinematography by
Stanley Kubrick (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Stanley Kubrick 
 
Art Direction by
Herbert Lebowitz 
 
Makeup Department
Chet Fabian .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Steve Hahn .... unit manager
Bob Dierks .... production director (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bob Dierks .... assistant director (as Robert Dierks)
 
Sound Department
Stanley Kubrick .... sound (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Gerald Fried .... conductor
 
Other crew
Joseph Burstyn .... distributor
Barney Ettengoff .... title designer
Toba Kubrick .... dialogue director
Alexander Pietrzak .... copyright administrator
Steve Hahn .... direction assistant (uncredited)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
62 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Quotes:
Lieutenant Corby:We spend our lives running our fingers down the lists in directories, looking for our real names, our permanent addresses. No man is an island?
[chuckles softly]
Lieutenant Corby:Perhaps that was true a long time ago, before the Ice Age. The glaciers have melted away, and now we're all islands - parts of a world made of islands only...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in True Romance (1993)See more »

FAQ

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32 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
Even Genius Falters in Youth..., 3 July 1999
Author: JonB-2 from Los Angeles, CA

Let me preface this review with one simple statement: Stanley Kubrick is god. I'm a rabid fan, the man could do no wrong, and his death was the greatest loss that film has ever known -- every other director moved up a notch when Stanley went, because Mr. Kubrick was, is and always will be number one...

That said -- it was actually heartening to see "Fear and Desire" and to realize that the film pretty much sucks. In other words, even genius has to be born somewhere, and in his first feature, Mr. Kubrick just didn't have it yet. Pretty much a still "Life" photog at the time, "Fear and Desire" comes across as a pretentious student film, albeit a well shot one. However, this is in the days before Kubrick developed his own style, and so anything eye-catching in this movie is by way of Sergei Eisenstein. At times, the influence is painfully obvious, as in a sequence in which our lead soldiers make a raid on a house held by the enemies -- it might as well be a re-take of "Potemkin," sans the steppes and the lady with the busted glasses. But, the jump cuts, the creation of scene through editing, the visual ellipses is entirely Eisenstein and none at all Kubrick, and the effect is jarring.

Not that there aren't points to recommend in the film. Oddly enough, a very young Paul Mazursky turns in a wonderful performance as a soldier who cracks under the stress of it all, and Kubrick stages what's basically a rape scene under the constraints of 50s censorship, while infusing it with so much eroticism that it's rather uncomfortable. (Side note to Adam Sandler: if you ever chose to go into drama, study Mazursky's role in this film -- it's everything you could be if you give up the "dumb but pure" roles of "Wedding Singer" and "The Water Boy.")

Pluses in the film are that it deals with the subject of war without ever identifying sides -- there's a vague Prussian-ness about the villains, but if you look closely, none of the soldiers are identified by country. Kubrick also pulls off some interesting double casting in which the leads play the "villains," but are not obviously the same people. On the down side, the film opens and closes with possibly the most pretentious voice over narration ever committed to celluloid. There's a BIG IDEA working here, but given that Kubrick was only 24 when he made the film, it's understandable that the Ooh-Aah idea wasn't really as big as he thought it was. (Then, again, making an anti-war movie during the Korean war was probably about as egregious as one could get. I wouldn't know, I wasn't alive in 1953.)

All of this said -- for film students and Kubrick fans, this film is a must-see if you can track it down -- and good luck trying, since Mr. Kubrick wisely killed all availability of the movie. In a lot of ways, it's actually a very encouraging experience to see a genius like Mr. Kubrick churn out absolute crap -- brilliant moments that add up to nothing. Given his career since this film, it just shows that everyone has to start somewhere, and even the (arguably) greatest director in the history of cinema was once just a young schmuck with a camera, film and some actors.

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Message Boards

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I Own a Copy Anyone want it? Makenshi
It has been leaked arcanjo
FEAR AND DESIRE DVD sterhudson
Kino Lorber is releasing it on Blu Ray and DVD scarecrow_politics
I traveled to the Kodak Archives in Rochester to see this film itstheit
Startling and Surprising for 1953 JonBruno
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