A literate, unhackneyed war drama, outstanding for its fresh camera treatment and poetic dialogue. --Variety
An existential war film that is often compared with Kubrick's PATHS OF GLORY (1957) among three Kubrick films selected for the Library's National Film Registry-and FULL METAL JACKET (1987), FEAR AND DESIRE follows a squad of soldiers who have crash-landed behind enemy lines and must work their way downriver to rejoin their unit.
In the process, they encounter a peasant girl (Virginia Leith) and tie her to a tree, where she is tormented by a mentally unbalanced soldier (future director Paul Mazursky). Before making their escape, the soldiers determine the location of an enemy base and formulate a plot to assassinate its commanding officer.
Independently financed, and shot by a skeleton crew - with Kubrick controlling almost every aspect of production - FEAR AND DESIRE was conceived as a European-style art film, cloaked in the guise of a Hollywood war picture. Kubrick described the film to distributor Joseph Burstyn as allegorical and poetic. ''A drama of 'man', lost in a hostile world-deprived of material and spiritual foundations-seeking his way to an understanding of himself, and of life around him.''
Beautifully restored and remastered in HD from an original camera negative and thanks to the preservation efforts of the Library of Congress, Kino Lorber is proud to share with the world FEAR AND DESIRE, fresh from the 24-year-old mind of the man who would become the most influential filmmaker of his generation.
BONUS FEATURE: ''The Seafarers'', A short subject film, restored and remastered in HD (for the first time) by the The Museum of Modern Art & The Film Foundation.