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Lolita (1962)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  12 June 1962 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 60,466 users  
Reviews: 199 user | 97 critic

A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

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(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: Lolita (1962)

Lolita (1962) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Gary Cockrell ...
Richard T. Schiller
Jerry Stovin ...
John Farlow
Diana Decker ...
Jean Farlow
...
Nurse Mary Lore
Cec Linder ...
Physician
Bill Greene ...
George Swine
...
Mrs. Starch
Marianne Stone ...
Vivian Darkbloom
Marion Mathie ...
Miss Lebone
James Dyrenforth ...
Frederick Beale Sr.
Maxine Holden ...
Miss Fromkiss
John Harrison ...
Tom
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Storyline

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 filmfactsman

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How did they ever make a movie of Lolita? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 June 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Лолита  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Elstree Studios records, Lolita was filmed from Nov 1960 to Feb 1961. The studio charged £34,000 for the sound stage rentals. Sadly, the sound stages used for the film were demolished to make way for a Tesco store. See more »

Goofs

Punctuation error in the opening credits: a line reads, "Miss Winter's costumes by Gene Coffin". It should be "Miss Winters' costumes by Gene Coffin". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Humbert Humbert: Quilty! Quilty?
Clare Quilty: Ah, wha? Who's there?
Humbert Humbert: Are you Quilty.
Clare Quilty: No, I'm... Spartacus. You come to free the slaves or sumpn?
Humbert Humbert: Are you Quilty?
Clare Quilty: Yeah, yeah, I'm Quilty, yeah, sure.
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Sue Lyon See more »

Connections

Referenced in First Love and Other Pains (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Put Your Dreams Away
(uncredited)
By Paul Mann
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Both Lolitas are good
1 September 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

Someone commented that if you want to acquaint yourself with Nabokov's `Lolita' without actually reading it, the best you can do is to see Adrian Lyne's version. This is surely true. And, I might add, if you want to acquaint yourself with Nabokov's `Lolita' without actually reading it - to hell with you. You don't stand a chance anyway. Humbert's narration cannot possibly make it to the screen in one piece. Kubrick, at least, made no attempt. He even invents his own material, which Lyne is afraid or unwilling to do.

Something about Lyne's authenticity is even shocking. He opens the story in 1947, which is when the story in fact opens - yet everything looks jarringly old-fashioned, whereas Kubrick's indeterminate 1950s setting looks right. The bulk of the story might as well take place in the 1950s as any other time. The crucial point is that the story cannot begin any EARLIER than 1947 - we need a post-war America with motels dotting the landscape. Humbert has little contact with contemporary culture; he only encounters the snippets of music and film that obsess Lolita, and he finds them unendurably vulgar. Kubrick captures this very well. There's this boppy little pop tune we never hear the end of - although most of the time we only hear it subliminally - for the first half of the movie, and it sounds like exactly the kind of tune that drove Humbert up the wall.

Kubrick's cast is a strong one. It's crowned by Peter Sellers as Quilty - and before you complain that we see too much of him, ask yourself what scene featuring Quilty could you possibly want to be removed? Admittedly, since this is 1962, we have a Lolita who is merely sixteen - but maybe this isn't just because it's 1962. After all, the book does two things at once. It makes us understand perfectly why Humbert is attracted to Lolita - we see her through his eyes - while constantly reminding us that Lolita is not someone that we would be attracted to, ourselves. Both are worthy goals, but when it comes time to film the book, the director must make a choice between them. Kubrick picked a genuinely attractive, but still obviously young, Sue Lyon. I can't fault this choice. As for Humbert - well, here Kubrick was actually MORE daring than Lyne was. Humbert Humbert is a sympathetic character who is also calculating, manipulative and - now and then - shockingly brutal. James Mason allows Humbert to be all of these things. This doesn't prevent him from being sympathetic. The story takes care of that.

It comes down to this. What, exactly, does Humbert do that's so wrong? Is it that he has sex with a minor? Considered in itself this is the least of his crimes. What's really wrong is the way he attempts to be Lolita's lover and guardian simultaneously, and, of course, he makes a hash of both jobs. THAT is what's essential to the story of Lolita, and that's what Kubrick transfers to the screen at least as well as Lyne.

Having said that I must add that both versions are very good. They're also different enough to scarcely even be competitors. See them one after the other, if you like.


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