Monday, September 30, 2013

390. Lolita

Directed by Stanley Kubrik

I saw this film awhile ago when I was going through my Maybe-I-Should-Give-Stanley-Kubrik-A-Chance-And-Not-Just-Write-Him-Off-As-The-Most-Boring-Director-Known-To-Man phase.  And while I didn't hate this film, it is certainly not a favorite.

This story is based off of everyone's (especially the Russians) favorite premise: older man falls in love with a really young girl.  One of my all time favorite movies, American Beauty, is also based on this story, although Sam Mendes does it a lot better than Kubrick.  However, that is a story for a different time.

The movie's tagline is "how did they ever make a movie out of Lolita?"  Well, they did it, just not very well.  Now, this isn't necessarily anyone's fault; the censors were so strict that they couldn't even really suggest a sexual relationship between Lolita and Humbert.  But that fact is without those clues, I had a hard time figuring out what was going on.  It seemed to me that Humbert just acted as a father to her, albeit while he repressed his sexual desire for her.  But did he suppress it?  Who knows.

So maybe Kubrick's hands were tied when it came to telling their story.  But there are ways around the censors.  Do we all remember the end of The Thin Man?

Add to the fact that this was supposed to be a dark comedy and I didn't find any of it remotely funny and we have a film that I did not enjoy in the slightest.  I do love me some James Mason, though.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

800 girls auditioned for the role of Lolita.

Sue Lyon was chosen for the role mostly because she had large breasts.

Cary Grant was offered the role of Humbert Humbert first.



  1. I did not see this movie, but I assumed there would be a "creepy" component--you didn't mention that and I guess I was relieved. I like that I can read these reviews and not have to see the movie myself. :)

  2. I found that this was much less about pedophilia that about fools. Humbert treats everybody as fools, but the biggest fool is himself. It is a very wry form of humor and I am not sure I actually found it funny.

  3. I have since read the book. TSorensen, have you? I really preferred it to the movie, as I could at least understand his character a little better.

    1. Nope, I haven't gotten that far. I am stuck in the 17th century...