A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.
Based on the 1935 novel of the same name, it tells the story of an ill-fated assault on German forces by French soldiers, and the grippling consequences those soldiers face when they refuse to follow through with it.
Humbert Humbert, a divorced British professor of French literature, travels to small-town America for a teaching position. He allows himself to be swept into a relationship with Charlotte Haze, his widowed and sexually famished landlady, whom he marries in order that he might pursue the woman's 14-year-old flirtatious daughter, Lolita, with whom he has fallen hopelessly in love, but whose affections shall be thwarted by a devious trickster named Clare Quilty. Written by
Stanley Kubrick encouraged Peter Sellers to improvise in front of the camera. Eventually, they built up the role of Quilty, adding the various disguises he uses to stalk Humbert and Lolita. See more »
In the filling station where HH is looking out the window, the car he sees is a white '56 Chevrolet. But the car following him in the next few scenes is clearly a dark-colored '57 Chevrolet. See more »
A significant part of Stanley Kubrick's genius was his ability to translate a literary style into a visual one. It is demonstrated nowhere more brilliantly than in LOLITA and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
LOLITA is perhaps the more stunning accomplishment, in that Nabokov's style is complex and multi-layered. Yet Kubrick captures the effect of it in camera angles and movements, in timing and point of view.
The broadest layer of Nabokov's novel, the parable of the aging culture of Europe trying to revivify itself by debauching the seductive young culture of America, is really missing in the film. But everything else is there, despite the fact that the film departs from the exact events of the novel.
Not to say that the film depends on the novel. It stands by itself quite easily. But it succeeds brilliantly in conveying the ideas and feelings that are the core of the novel, and it does so in completely cinematic terms. If films are to be based on works of literature, this is the way to do it, and the way it is almost never done.
70 of 86 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?