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Lolita (1962)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  12 June 1962 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 63,370 users  
Reviews: 204 user | 99 critic

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



(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Cockrell ...
Richard T. Schiller
Jerry Stovin ...
John Farlow
Diana Decker ...
Jean Farlow
Nurse Mary Lore
Cec Linder ...
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 ...


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


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


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

12 June 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Лолита  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the novel, Lolita is a brunette. In the film, she is a blonde. See more »


As Humbert Humbert and Dolores race to escape the car that HH believes has been tailing them for three days, their own car sustains a puncture (blowout) and HH has to slew the car to a halt. The low camera angle at the front of the vehicle, however, shows all four tyres fully inflated and all four corners of the car riding at normal height above the road surface. See more »


[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

The credits are played over footage of Lolita's toenails being painted. See more »


Spoofed in Beach Party (1963) See more »


Learnin' the Blues
By Dolores Vicki Silvers
[Plays in the hotel lobby]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A delicious, adult meditation on youth, obsession and sex.
16 August 2005 | by (Atlanta, Georgia) – See all my reviews

This film remains my all-time favorite. It's a delicious, adult meditation on youth, obsession and sex. While not entirely faithful to the novel, it captures the book's spirit and is nonetheless a masterpiece on its own terms. To fully appreciate what Kubrick has done, compare this version to Adrian Lyne's anemic remake.

Kubrick chose his cast wisely for the most part. James Mason conveys both the tormented inner soul and the outwardly polite gentleman with such charm that you simply can't despise him for his treachery. Shelley Winters was never better as the shrill, man-hungry shrew. Sue Lyon is enormously credible in a complex role - physically attractive, childish at times in her behavior, but quietly calculating and manipulative. The weakest link is Peter Sellers, who Kubrick found amusing enough to let him run on too long. Sellers was a brilliant performer, but just not right for this film. As Quilty, he's fine. When masquerading as others, he's mostly intrusive and tends to alter the tone of what's going on.

The need to tread carefully around the censors in 1962 actually works in the film's favor. There's a sophisticated subtlety that counterbalances the lurid subject matter. In fact, I even prefer the edited-for-television version of the scene in which Humbert and Lolita first have sex. Here she merely whispers in his ear before a suggestive fade-out. In the complete version of the film, the scene continues with them discussing a silly game played at summer camp. The less said, the better.

"Lolita" has aged remarkably well. Its topic is relevant today, and the careful craftsmanship that went into this production holds up beautifully. I think it's Kubrick's best film - they tended to get more self-indulgent as time went on. This one's a gem. Not to be overlooked are the aptly provocative title sequence and Nelson Riddle's luscious piano score.

68 of 87 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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