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
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. See more »
At the dance, Charlotte takes a bite out of a fresh hot dog and less than five seconds later has polished off half the sandwich. See more »
The credits are played over footage of Lolita's toenails being painted. See more »
The scene where Lolita first "seduces" Humbert as he lies in the cot is a good 10 seconds longer in the British cut of the film. In the U.S. cut, the shot fades as she whispers the details of the "game" she played with Charlie at camp. In the U.K. print, the shot continues as Humbert mumbles that he's not familiar with the game. She then bends down again to whisper more details. Kubrick then cuts to a closer shot of Lolita's head as she says "Well, allrighty then" and then fades as she begins to descend to Humbert on the cot. The British cut of the film was used for the Region 1 DVD release. See more »
A significant part of Stanley Kubrick's genius was his ability to translate a literary style into a visual one. It is demonstrated nowhere more brilliantly than in LOLITA and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
LOLITA is perhaps the more stunning accomplishment, in that Nabokov's style is complex and multi-layered. Yet Kubrick captures the effect of it in camera angles and movements, in timing and point of view.
The broadest layer of Nabokov's novel, the parable of the aging culture of Europe trying to revivify itself by debauching the seductive young culture of America, is really missing in the film. But everything else is there, despite the fact that the film departs from the exact events of the novel.
Not to say that the film depends on the novel. It stands by itself quite easily. But it succeeds brilliantly in conveying the ideas and feelings that are the core of the novel, and it does so in completely cinematic terms. If films are to be based on works of literature, this is the way to do it, and the way it is almost never done.
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