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Lolita (1962)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 21 June 1962 (West Germany)
A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writers:

Vladimir Nabokov (screenplay), Vladimir Nabokov (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
1,273 ( 166)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Mason ... Prof. Humbert Humbert
Shelley Winters ... Charlotte Haze
Sue Lyon ... Lolita
Gary Cockrell ... Richard T. Schiller
Jerry Stovin Jerry Stovin ... John Farlow
Diana Decker Diana Decker ... Jean Farlow
Lois Maxwell ... Nurse Mary Lore
Cec Linder ... Physician
Bill Greene Bill Greene ... George Swine
Shirley Douglas ... Mrs. Starch
Marianne Stone ... Vivian Darkbloom
Marion Mathie Marion Mathie ... Miss Lebone
James Dyrenforth James Dyrenforth ... Frederick Beale Sr.
Maxine Holden Maxine Holden ... Miss Fromkiss
John Harrison John Harrison ... Tom
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For Persons Over 18 Years Of Age See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French | Spanish | German

Release Date:

21 June 1962 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Лолита See more »

Filming Locations:

Albany, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,250,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Peter Sellers had trouble developing an interpretation of his role, Stanley Kubrick had jazz musician Norman Granz record the dialogue, which gave Sellers the key to Quilty's character. See more »

Goofs

When Humbert is considering shooting Charlotte while she supposedly is taking a bath, he uncorks and drinks from a liquor bottle, tossing the cork onto the end table. Seconds later he is shown with the same cork in his left hand, which he then places on the end table. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Spoofed in Zolita (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the finest films of The Sixties
14 August 2003 | by dantbrooksSee all my reviews

8/10

Kubrik's version of Nabokov's tale of a middle-aged professor's self-destructive obsession with a young schoolgirl. Making a film that dealt with underage sex was considered impossible in 1962 due to the strict censorship regulations. Kubrik manages to get round this by merely alluding to sexual encounters and subtle wordplay and symbolism creeps into several scenes. He also raises the girl's age from 12 in the novel to 14 in the film. Lolita is also rich in Kubrik's trademark dark humour.

The three central characters of the novel are all portrayed more than adequately in the film; James Mason as the smitten professor, Shelley Winters as the suburban widow with pretensions of culture and Sue Lyons as the young nymphet. However, it is Sellars' performance as the creepy eccentric Clare Quilty (a relatively minor character in the book) that steals the show and, ultimately, makes the film. The opening scene (which is the ending of the film) is an outstanding testament to his talent and versatility. The said scene gives the film the same "circular structure" used by David Lean in "Brief Encounter".

My favourite moments include; Quilty's re-introduction to the film at the school's summer ball as the camera pans across the dancefloor and subtly reveals a look of comic ambivalence on his face as he dances with his lover, Humbert awkwardly trying to book the only remaining hotel-room at the police convention and Humbert again trying to teach the cynical Lolita the joys of Edgar Allen Poe's poetry.

I thoroughly recommend this film. My only complaint is the length - the final third seemed to drag a bit.


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