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 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 »
Polonaise in A major, Op. 40, No. 1
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Played by Quilty on the piano during the film's opening scene. See more »
Lolita 55 years later
I sat to watch Lolita for the third time. The first time I was too young to truly understand what I was seeing. Then I read the book a few years later and saw the film again. That time it left a mark. I detested James Mason's Humbert Humbert to such a degree that stopped me from accepting him in other roles other than utter villains. To see it now after two decades is a whole other story - All of a sudden James Mason's Humbert Humbert has become human, very human. Corrupt and haunted by the awareness of his own weakness. What a performance. Shelley Winters is superb, unafraid and bold bringing to life an embarrassing human spectacle. What a performance. Peter Sellers is chilling in all of his Quilty incarnations. Sue Lyon is sublime as the innocent torturer. Stanley Kubrick never made 2 films alike but I'm starting to suspect that as literary adaptations go, this is his finest.
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