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Lolita (1962) Poster

(1962)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1) | Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (3) | Spoilers (4)
Sue Lyon was chosen for the title role partly due to the size of her breasts. Stanley Kubrick had been warned that the censors felt strongly about the use of a less developed actress to portray the sexually active 14-year-old.
Peter Sellers modeled the voice of his character Clare Quilty on that of his director, Stanley Kubrick.
Stanley Kubrick originally wanted Joey Heatherton for the title role of Lolita, but Heatherton's father Ray Heatherton said no for fear his daughter would be typecast as a promiscuous sex kitten.
Since the censors would allow nothing close to a suggestion of pedophilia, Lolita's age had to be increased from 12 in Vladimir Nabokov's original novel to 14 for the film. They also objected to a scene where Humbert Humbert was to gaze at Lolita's picture while in bed with her mother Charlotte; in the end, the scene was filmed with Charlotte lying fully dressed on the bed and Humbert lying beside her wearing a robe.
The famous heart-shaped sunglasses that Lolita wears appear only in publicity photos taken by Bert Stern; Lolita wears cat eye sunglasses in the movie.
Sue Lyon did not attend the premiere, as she was too young to see the film.
Errol Flynn was considered for Humbert Humbert, but died before the film was made.
Sue Lyon went horse-back riding everyday after filming. Stanley Kubrick told her, "If you get thrown, roll over. Don't hurt your face."
The name of Vivian Darkbloom is an anagram of "Vladimir Nabokov". Quilty's description of Judo matches with her is a direct address of the nature of the relationship between character and creator.
Close to 800 girls auditioned for the part of Lolita Haze.
The Humbert Humbert role was originally offered to Cary Grant, who turned it down in indignation.
Clare Quilty's role in the screenplay was greatly expanded from that of the novel.
Stanley Kubrick shot most of Peter Sellers' scenes with two or three cameras at once. The actor did his most inspired work on the first take, so Kubrick used that technique to get all the angles he needed without losing spontaneity.
Stanley Kubrick held a special screening for Vladimir Nabokov a few days before the film's premiere. That was the first time the author learned that most of his screenplay had been jettisoned, but he reported himself very happy with the picture, praising Kubrick and the cast.
Sue Lyon's outstanding performance as "Lolita" earned her the "Most Promising Female Newcomer" award at the 1963 Golden Globes.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov's original screenplay diverged greatly from the novel, but only a portion of it was used by Stanley Kubrick, even though Nabokov gets screen credit. Nabokov later published it as "Lolita: A Screenplay". The unused screenplay featured an Alfred Hitchcock-like cameo for Nabokov, who is referred to as "that nut with a butterfly net" (Nabokov was well known as an amateur lepidopterist). Although he generally admired the movie adaptation of his book, Nabokov regretted the waste of his time in writing a screenplay which was altered so drastically during filming.
Although the story takes place all across the United States, many of the major sets and exteriors (hotel, hospitals, even residential streets), clearly look more like locales in England, where the picture was actually shot.
During filming, James Mason realized that Peter Sellers was stealing the film. He confided in friends that he should have insisted on playing Quilty himself.
Cinematographer Oswald Morris had a major falling out with director Stanley Kubrick during shooting. Kubrick was furious when images from the film appeared in the press during shooting. He blamed Morris, who, as cinematographer, was responsible for managing rushes/ dailies from each days shoot, and which was where the leaked images had apparently come from. It was later revealed that it was in fact a junior lab assistant at the film processing lab that had sold them to the press. Kubrick never apologized to Morris for the accusation and an angry Morris vowed never to work with director again.
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 Noël Coward also rejected the role.
In later years, Stanley Kubrick confessed that if he had fully appreciated the moral implications of adapting Vladimir Nabokov's novel for film, he probably wouldn't have tackled the project.
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.
Hayley Mills also turned down the role of Lolita. At the time, her father, John Mills was credited with the decision. Later, Walt Disney was blamed.
In the novel, Lolita is a brunette. In the film, she is a blonde.
All throughout the film, Lolita's mother and friends refer to her by the nickname "Lolita". Which in fact in the novel Dolores Haze's nickname "Lolita" was given to her only by Humbert and he was the only one using that name. Lolita's mother used "Lo" as a nickname for her daughter.
Stanley Kubrick's first choice for composing the score was Bernard Herrmann, but the composer balked at having to use Bob Harris' "Theme from Lolita" in his score.
Although Vladimir Nabokov originally thought that Sue Lyon was the right selection to play Lolita, years later Nabokov said that the ideal Lolita would have been Catherine Demongeot.
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Marlon Brando and David Niven were considered for the part of Humbert.
The Edgar Allan Poe poem Humbert reads to Lolita is "Ulalume." According to an ear-witness at a Poe recitation of the poem, the author pronounced the title as "You-la-loom."
This was the first film that Stanley Kubrick produced independently in England.
At one point Lolita mentions hanging out with friends named Rex and Roy. Both of these names mean "king" (Rex in Latin and Roy in French).
Tuesday Weld was considered for the title role.
The distinctive Flemish-Gothic spires of the Delaware & Hudson Building in Albany, New York can be seen in the background, as Humbert drives to Lolita's house near the end of the movie. This would indicate that she was living in or near the town Rensselaer.
Though they never made another film together, James Mason and Stanley Kubrick remained friends, and Mason visited the set of The Shining (1980).
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The film Humbert, Charlotte and Lolita watch at the drive-in is The Curse of Frankenstein (1957). When the film cut to the three characters in the car, Stanley Kubrick had a different soundtrack recorded to make the film sound scarier.
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The Legion of Decency agreed to pass the film as long as children under 18 were barred from seeing the film.
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In the opening scene, when Humbert encounters the drunken Quilty, he asks him, "Are you Quilty?" Quilty replies, "No, I'm Spartacus. You come to free the slaves?" This is a reference to Stanley Kubrick's previous film, Spartacus (1960).
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First film of Ed Bishop.
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Teen actress Jenny Maxwell tested for title role.
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The film that Charlotte, Humbert, and 'Lolita' are watching at the Drive-In is: 'The Curse of Frankenstein', with Christopher Lee & Peter Cushing.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Although Vladimir Nabokov originally thought that Sue Lyon was the right selection to play Lolita, years later Nabokov said that the ideal Lolita would have been Catherine Demongeot
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Cameo 

James B. Harris: The film's producer plays Brewster.
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Director Cameo 

Stanley Kubrick: In the opening minutes of the film, as the shot dissolves to the mansion interior, just before Humbert opens the door, Kubrick makes an unintentional cameo walking out of the shot.

Director Trademark 

Stanley Kubrick: [bathroom/toilet] The first Kubrick film in which showing a shot of a bathroom/toilet became his trademark. He would repeat this in every film since until his death in 1999.
Stanley Kubrick: [three-way] Humbert vs. Quilty vs. Lolita.
Stanley Kubrick: [faces] Quilty, when he is impersonating a policeman at the hotel.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

One ending that was considered was to have Humbert and Lolita get married in a state that allowed young people to wed; this ending was considered in order to appease the censors.
Like Humbert, James Mason died in real life of a heart attack. He had suffered a severe heart attack two years prior to filming this movie.
Peter Sellers' suggested the ping-pong game between Quilty and Humbert that precedes the murder.
The Production Code Administration passed the film with a few snips on the soundtrack and an early fade to the scene in which Lolita seduces Humbert after her mother's death. The British and Australian prints contain the scene as originally shot.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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