Lolita (1962)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Drama, Romance

Lolita (1962) Poster

A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

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  • "Lolita" Premiere Sue Lyon 1962 MGM / **I.V.
  • James Mason and Sue Lyon in Lolita (1962)
  • James Mason and Peter Sellers in Lolita (1962)
  • Sue Lyon in Lolita (1962)
  • James Mason and Shelley Winters in Lolita (1962)
  • Sue Lyon in Lolita (1962)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

7 April 2007 | littlemartinarocena
| Whispering, Loudly
A riveting transposition from page to screen. The accomplices are two giants in both fields. Nabokov adapts his own infamous novel for the screen and Kubrick, no less, translates it into images in a way that makes it unique, unforgettable and transcendental without ever putting himself in front of the camera. A Kubrick film can't be recognized by its style. Kubrick never made two films alike but there is something that, unquestionable, makes them stand out. In "Lolita"'s case the mere idea of touching the controversial novel with its taboo subject at its very core seem like a provocation from the word go. Pornography for the thinking man in which the only explicit act is the intention written in the character's eyes. Nothing is excessive and nothing is pulled back. James Mason - villain or victim - is monumental, mo-nu-men-tal! The unspeakable truth never leaves his brow. He is the most civilized man trapped in the lowest echelon of his own psyche. So aware, that it is painful to watch. Shelley Winters goes for it, taking her Mrs Hayes for all its worth and dives into the void of a desperate housewife, craving for sex. It is one of the most entertaining, shattering human spectacles, I've ever seen. But unlike Mason, she's not aware of it. There is a horrible innocence attached to her sickness. Peter Sellers's character from hell, the torturer comes in three riveting characterizations and Sue Lyon's temptress, the child, is the devil incarnate in a performance that defies description. None of them were nominated for Oscars and the film was condemned by every moral group in America and beyond. As film experiences go, this is one of the most provocative, enthralling, disgusting, entertaining and satisfying I've ever been through. Yep, I really mean that.

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Did You Know?


Hayley Mills also turned down the role of Lolita. At the time, her father, John Mills was credited with the decision. Later, Walt Disney was blamed.


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.


As Humbert brings their Ford station wagon to a screeching halt after the "blowout", the outside view of the front of the car shows all four tires fully inflated and a license plate with AC629 on a white background. When they stopped at the gas station previously, the numbers were 17459 on a black background. The auxiliary light that was next to the left parking lamp is also now missing. As the car comes to a halt after the blowout, Lolita is sitting in the front passenger seat instead of in the middle of the back seat. On the cut to the inside of the car afterwards, Lolita is still in the back seat.

Crazy Credits

The credits are played over footage of Lolita's toenails being painted.

Alternate Versions

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).


Put Your Dreams Away
Paul Mann


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Crime | Drama | Romance

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