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.
In future Britain, charismatic delinquent Alex DeLarge is jailed and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem - but not all goes according to plan.
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
James Mason was the first choice of director Stanley Kubrick and producer James B. Harris for the role of Humbert Humbert, but he initially declined due to a Broadway engagement. Laurence Olivier then refused the part, apparently on the advice of his agents. Kubrick considered Peter Ustinov, but decided against him. Harris then suggested David Niven; Niven accepted the part, but then withdrew for fear the sponsors of his TV show, Four Star Playhouse (1952), would object. Mason then withdrew from his play and got the part. Harris denies claims that Noel Coward also rejected the role. See more »
Wrong punctuation on sign outside high school play reads "Beardsley High Thesp's". It should read Thesps (no apostrophe). See more »
A riveting transposition from page to screen. The accomplices are two giants in both fields. Nabokov adapts his own infamous novel for the screen and Kubrick, no less, translates it into images in a way that makes it unique, unforgettable and transcendental without ever putting himself in front of the camera. A Kubrick film can't be recognized by its style. Kubrick never made two films alike but there is something that, unquestionable, makes them stand out. In "Lolita"'s case the mere idea of touching the controversial novel with its taboo subject at its very core seem like a provocation from the word go. Pornography for the thinking man in which the only explicit act is the intention written in the character's eyes. Nothing is excessive and nothing is pulled back. James Mason - villain or victim - is monumental, mo-nu-men-tal! The unspeakable truth never leaves his brow. He is the most civilized man trapped in the lowest echelon of his own psyche. So aware, that it is painful to watch. Shelley Winters goes for it, taking her Mrs Hayes for all its worth and dives into the void of a desperate housewife, craving for sex. It is one of the most entertaining, shattering human spectacles, I've ever seen. But unlike Mason, she's not aware of it. There is a horrible innocence attached to her sickness. Peter Sellers's character from hell, the torturer comes in three riveting characterizations and Sue Lyon's temptress, the child, is the devil incarnate in a performance that defies description. None of them were nominated for Oscars and the film was condemned by every moral group in America and beyond. As film experiences go, this is one of the most provocative, enthralling, disgusting, entertaining and satisfying I've ever been through. Yep, I really mean that.
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