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Lolita (1998)

Jeremy Irons , Melanie Griffith , Adrian Lyne  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeremy Irons, Melanie Griffith, Frank Langella, Dominique Swain, Suzanne Shepherd
  • Directors: Adrian Lyne
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 1999
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00001IVFG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,784 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lolita" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Casting Session With Jeremy Irons & Dominique Swain
  • "On the Set" Special
  • Never-Before-Seen Footage

Editorial Reviews

Jeremy Irons is a remarkable man with a poisonous wound. A memory of a fated childhood love and haunting urge to rediscover it's lost passion.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, carefully crafted movie. December 21, 1999
Format:DVD
There is a moment in Adrian Lyne's LOLITA that effectively captures the twisted, yet surprisingly innocent feeling that Vladimir Nabokov wanted to portray with his novel. When Lolita, wonderfully played by newcomer Dominique Swain, is rushing up the stairs to say goodbye to Humbert Humbert (Jeremy Irons), before she leaves for summer camp, you realize that the look of excitement in Jeremy Irons face, and the nervous posture he has is that of an innocent child in love.
Indeed it is true that Humbert is a child at heart, a fact which becomes clear early in the movie, when we learn a little bit about Humbert's first encounter with love and its subsequent painful and unexpected loss.
It seems impossible to not compare Lyne's version with Stanley Kubrick's version, made over 35 years ago. I have to admit that I am an avid Kubrick fan, and that I always thought his version of Nabokov's novel, if not faithfully reproduced, was a classic. So it was that with apprehension (and some morbid curiosity) I decided to watch Lyne's version. Boy was I blown away.
It is a terrible thing that our society as a whole, at this day and age, can't see pass the taboo that apparently clogs the story. It is sad because Lyne's LOLITA is an excellent and beautiful film in every respect. From Lyne's carefully crafted visual style, to the outstanding performance given by both Swain but especially by Irons (this is his movie), to the heart-breaking music score by legendary composer Ennio Morricone. Everything is in place here.
It is clear that Lyne has a profound understanding of the novel, he successfully directs the story in a way the slowly engulfs you and never seems to fall into the traps that plagued Kubrick's version.
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113 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Overdue Tribute to Nabakov a Masterpiece October 14, 1999
By Hikari
Format:VHS Tape
The novel of "Lolita" has justly been called one of the best works written in the English language since Shakespeare. The fact that its author was not a native speaker of English makes his achievement all the more amazing. "Lolita" simply must be read, and any attempts to convert it to the medium of film must inevitably suffer in comparison. That said, Adrian Lyne's film is as close to perfect a translation from book to screen as one could hope to find. The performances are pitch-perfect: Dominique Swain, in her first film role captures the essence of Nabakov's creation, at once gangly and seductive; endearing, infuriating and a definite "starlet". The viewer, like Humbert, is quickly wooed and won. Melanie Griffith gives her small role as Charlotte a tarnished dignity and a weary grace, and Frank Langella does what he can with the enigmatic, barely-seen Quilty. But Jeremy Irons simply carries the film. Known for plumbing baser human emotions in all his films, he embues Humbert Humbert with a simple humanity that is heartbreaking to watch. To admit to liking Humbert even a little is uncomfortable--it means empathizing on some level with the force that drives him, even as we may be disgusted by his actions, but it is impossible not to be charmed. Irons drops his customary reserved demeanor to mine the humor in the role, and his voice-overs of dialog straight from the book are most effective.
This film version succeeds where Stanley Kubrick's 1962 version failed in remaining true to the spirit of Nabakov's vision. I can't recommend it highly enough. It's just a shame that the self-serving hypocrisy of the studio heads involved prevented its American theatrical release when so much commercial swill packed with violence and degradation of all kinds passes for entertainment in this country.
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66 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outdoes Kubrick May 25, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Beginning with one of the most famous opening lines in literary history ("Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta.") we are introduced once more to the inimitable Humbert Humbert and his elusive quest for the Holy Grail in the form of "nymphness" personified. And oh what a sordid sorry trek it is, taking him and his young orphaned charge to some of the seamier spots of a fifties era American landscape. To cheap hotel rooms in little podunk towns where he can for a few fleeting days share a bit of privacy with his nubile naiad. Then of course, we follow the happy pair to the final confrontaion with one Clare Quilty, the only character in cinema/literary history who could make a pedophile like Humbert Humbert look wholesome by comparison.
Remakes of movies always draw varying responses. Many critics and viewers were reluctant to favor this 1997 Adriane Lyne/Stephen Schiff/Jeremy Irons remake to the Kubrick/Nabokov/James Mason 1962 original. It's hard to argue when a novelist of the stature of Nabokov had such a direct hand in writing the screenplay (Kubrick was an uncredited co-author). Surely the work's creator would be better able to realize his vision cinematically? Yet, I believe the later film actually does a much better job in capturing the essence ot the novel.
It boils down to casting. Shelley Winters was probably more right for the role of Lolita's Mom, Charlotte Haze, than was Melanie Griffith (almost universally described as the weakest link in the remake). That role aside, however, I think that every casting choice in the '92 version was spot-on. Irons, though he doesn't conjure up the physical characteristics of the Humbert that comes across in the novel, nevertheless did a better job than Mason in conveying Humbert's rakish libertinism.
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