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Stanley Kubrick directs an all-star cast in Vladimir Nabakov's screenplay of his own once-shocking, now-classic novel, Lolita. When worldly, middle-aged professor Humbert Humbert (James Mason) rents a room from widowed Charlotte Haze (Shelly Winters), he quickly becomes obsessed with her young daughter, Lolita (Sue Lyon). Humbert goes so far as to marry Charlotte to be close to her daughter, but when Charlotte discovers her husband's secret lust, the knowledge leads to her death. Now free to pursue his obsession with his willing, under-aged stepdaughter, Humbert seduces Lolita, unable to control a lust that will destroy him.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
The oddly named Humbert Humbert (James Mason in, perhaps, his finest performance), comes to America from some unspecified European country. Looking for lodging, he crosses paths with Dolores "Lolita" Haze (Sue Lyon), and her mother Charlotte (brilliantly played by Shelley Winters). What follows is a black comedy swirling giddily around a host of sexual taboos - pedophilia chief among them, as Humbert finds himself sexually obsessed with the teen-aged Lolita. Had this been a TV-movie of the week, Lolita would have been the saintly victim of the villainous Humbert. Instead, Kubrick and Nabokov's Lolita is a precocious manipulator - awakening to her sexual identity and the strange power she can exert over members of the opposite sex. The difference, of course, is that she is a child and doesn't know any better; Humbert is an adult and damn well should.
So, for that matter, should Clare Quilty, Humbert's rival for the attentions of the young nymphet.Read more ›
LOLITA is well-made in some ways, frustrating in others. The shock value is largely gone today, since the film contains very little beyond innuendo. We know precisely what happens and when, of course, but it's all done in a very 50s-repressed filmic style. James Mason's Humbert Humbert is a neurotic when we first meet him, and whatever elements of his past have set him up to fall for Lolita at first sight are never really explained. We meet Lolita in the only lascivious shot of the movie, sunbathing in her back yard. Sue Lyons plays a younger teenager (a couple years older than the Lolita of the novel, actually) with a very accurate child-woman-like combination of boredom, pouting, self-absorption, giggling and see-sawing between moods. Shelley Winters is annoyingly right as the needy, pitiable mother, and Peter Sellers is good in a rare serious role as Lyon's other elder love interest who has no ethical compunction about interfering with Humbert's pursuit of Lolita.
Had Mason simply rented the room from the mother in order to dally with the underage girl, the story would not be nearly as disturbing, though perhaps just as controversial.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lot more like a Hitchcock thriller than a salacious romance. A very well done social satire, tragedy, black comedy, that covers a somewhat taboo subject about a professor who... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joe Cool
One of Stanley Kubrick's best movies. Wonderful cast, beautiful cinematography. The subject matter is uncomfortable and rightly so, although Kubrick toned it down in many ways... Read morePublished 3 months ago by David R. Voth
very good movie a lot to compare from the the previous version....Published 3 months ago by mark one
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