Humbert Humbert forces a confrontation with a man, whose name he has just recently learned, in this man's home. The events that led to this standoff began four years earlier. Middle aged Humbert, a European, arrives in the United States where he has secured at job at Beardsley College in Beardsley, Ohio as a Professor of French Literature. Before he begins his post in the fall, he decides to spend the summer in the resort town of Ramsdale, New Hampshire. He is given the name of Charlotte Haze as someone who is renting a room in her home for the summer. He finds that Charlotte, widowed now for seven years, is a woman who puts on airs. Among the demonstration of those airs is throwing around the name of Clare Quilty, a television and stage script writer, who came to speak at her women's club meeting and who she implies is now a friend. Those airs also mask being lonely, especially as she is a sexually aggressive and liberated woman. Humbert considers Charlotte a proverbial "joke" but ...Written by
Whether it had to do with her casting as Lolita (1962), or not, Sue Lyon, 3 years earlier, played a "Lolita type" character in an episode of "The Loretta Young Show" entitled The Loretta Young Show: Alien Love (1959), in which she flirts with her older male teacher, who winds up in trouble for it. See more »
Charlotte Haze's house is obviously British in architectural style as is the street in front of her home, although the location for her house is New Hampshire, USA according to the voice over in the film. Much of the film was shot in the UK. See more »
The credits are played over footage of Lolita's toenails being painted. See more »
The Criterion laserdisc release is the only one to use a transfer approved by Stanley Kubrick. This transfer alternates between a 1.33 and a 1.66 aspect ratio (as does the Kubrick-approved 'Strangelove' transfer). All subsequent releases to date have been 1.66 (which means that all the 1.33 shots are slightly matted). See more »
One year after Lolita was released, Stanley Kubrick cut his ties with producer James B. Harris after starting Doctor Strangelove., thus only making his own films. Lolita is Kubrick's apparent transition from making money type of pictures (Paths of Glory) to art (Doctor Strangelove. It seems like Humbert and Lolita are the only sane characters while everyone else is sane. As the troubled Humbert, James Mason shines, turning in a performance of emotional capacity that even generates sympathy for him. As Lolita's oddball and energetic mother, Shirley Winters also does very well; creating a sort of hate for her. Sue Lynon plays Lolita with a nice sort of childness, yet at the same time she shows a sort of maturity not usually shown done by an actress of that age. And of course there's Peter Sellers as the eccentric Clarence Quilty, who's downright hilarious and very strange. The script provides fleshed out characters, and at the same time not always letting the viewer know what's going on. Stanley Kubrick's direction is beautiful and cold, letting the viewer have emotions instead of telling them what to feel. Stanley Kubrick doesn't come back to these proffesionall and well- spoken characters until Barry Lyndon (1975). Unfortunately, this film ends up getting repeating and dull. The photography provides a sort of gloss to it that few films have, and also the editing is rapid- fire. 9.5/10
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