Lolita (1962)HD Closed Captioning
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About the Movie
Oscar-winning filmmaker Stanley Kubrick ("A Clockwork Orange," "The Shining," "2001: A Space Odyssey") directs this dark, comedic adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's classic novel about a middle-aged university professor who becomes so infatuated with a 14-year-old girl that he marries her mother in order to stay close to her. Starring Oscar-nominee James Mason ("North by Northwest") as smitten professor Humbert Humbert, Oscar-winner Shelly Winters ("The Poseidon Adventure," "A Place in the Sun") as Lolita's vulnerable mother, Oscar-nominee Peter Sellers ("The Pink Panther," "Being There") as a degenerate playwright whose attraction to Lolita fuels a fatal rivalry, and sultry Sue Lyon ("The Night of the Iguana") as the sexually precocious Lolita. Nabokov received an Oscar nomination for his outstanding screenplay.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 41
- Fresh: 39
- Rotten: 2
- Average Rating: 7.8/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The picture has a rare power, a garbled but often moving push toward an off-beat communication.
Fresh: Where Nabokov was witty, Kubrick is sometimes merely snide, but fine performances (particularly from Peter Sellers, as the ominous Clare Quilty) cover most of the rough spots.
Fresh: "How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?" With great difficulty!
Fresh: Lolita, with its acute mix of pathos and comedy, and Mason's mellifluous delivery of Nabokov's sparkling lines, remains the definitive depiction of tragic transgression.
Classic Movie, Terrible Adaption
While I personally liked this film more than the 1997 version, I have to point out the flaws and bonuses of both. FirstL after many years of begging by a lot of people, iTunes has given us this film to buy. Good job, iTunes. Secondly, the acting in this film is subpar, with Mason perfectly cast as Humbert Humbert and Shelley Winters an enjoyable Charlotte. Sue Lyon, despite appearing older than her character, gives a deft and knowing performance. Sellers is a knockout, both sleazy and hilarious at the same time. However, this is Kubrick's Lolita, and there are quite a few changes done to the story. While this film is a trenchant black comedy that is more accessible than its dark remake, the remake with Irons and Dominique Swain better captures the flavor and events of the novel. If you're interested in this deliciously lurid story and are not familiar with it, start here. If you are a seasoned Nabokov reader and want to see a more faithful adaption, seek out the Adrian Lyne version at Blockbuster.
BTW- iTunes! You keep taking off great movies, and never add the ones I want! Not to mention you delete half of my reviews! Seriously, if you are reading this, add Waterloo Bridge (1940) and Letter From an Unknown Woman! I (and others, I'm sure) will thank you!
Kubrick overcomes 60
What Kubrick has given us isn't the novel Lolita painfully, faithfully adapted to the screen. Instead, what he gives us is the essence of Lolita, captured perfectly in the time frame of the swinging 60's (or rather, the beginning of it). Obviously, due to some of the language and actions of the book, there was a lot Kubrick could not include, and so a lot is left as sexual innuendo. But what innuendos! They are done smartly, with just a slight wink, and really give the film its flavor. What most people forget about the novel is that while it is passionately romantic, it is also bitingly funny. Kubrick gets that down to a T. The film is quite hysterical and has a certain sexual innocence to it that keeps itself from getting vulgar, drab or dull (something that the 90's remake is all of). If you need a visual to apply all of this to, consider this: just watch the opening credits. It's the exact tone of the movie: simple, classy, a little sexy, a little naughty, and intriguingly funny.
Also, I defy you to watch this film and not get the movie's theme ("Lolita-Ya Ya") out of your head. It's impossibly catchy.
Good, but not the book.
This is a great movie, but does not correspond whatsoever to Lolita, the masterpiece of Vladimir Nabokov. If you're looking for a fun movie, this is fine, but don't expect the book.