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Lolita VHS

VHS video


4.2 out of 5 stars 276 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Gary Cockrell, Jerry Stovin
  • Directors: Stanley Kubrick
  • Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Vladimir Nabokov
  • Producers: Eliot Hyman, James B. Harris
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: February 10, 1998
  • Run Time: 153 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 276 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0792837983
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,617 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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Editorial Reviews

When director Stanley Kubrick released his film adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel about a hopelessly pathetic middle-aged professor's sexual obsession with his 12-year-old stepdaughter, the ads read, "How did they ever make a film of Lolita?" The answer is "they" didn't. As he did with his "adaptations" of Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange, and, especially, The Shining, Kubrick used the source material and, simply put, made another Stanley Kubrick movie--even though Nabokov himself wrote the screenplay. The chilly director nullifies Humbert Humbert's (James Mason's) overwhelming passion and desire, and instead transforms the story, like many of his films, into that of a man trapped and ruined by social codes and by his own obsessions. Kubrick doesn't play this as tragedy, however, but rather as both a black-as-coffee screwball comedy and a meandering, episodic road movie. The early scenes between Humbert, Lolita (a too-old but suitably teasing Lyons) and her loud, garish mother (Shelley Winters in one of her funniest performances) play like a wonderful farce. When Humbert finally fulfills his desires and captures Lolita, the pair hit the road and Kubrick drags in Peter Sellers. As the pedophilic writer Clare Quilty--Humbert's playful doppelgänger and biggest threat--Sellers dons a series of disguises with plans of stealing Lolita away from her captor. It's here more than anywhere that Kubrick comes closest to the novel. He extends Nabokov's idea of the games and puzzles played between reader and writer, Quilty and Humbert, Lolita and Humbert, etc., to those between filmmaker and audience: the road eventually goes nowhere and Humbert's reality is exposed as mad delusion. Perhaps not a Kubrick masterpiece, or the provocative film many wanted, Lolita still remains playfully fascinating and one of Kubrick's strongest, funniest character studies. --Dave McCoy

Additional Features

EDITOR'S NOTE: According to a Warner Home Video technician involved in the production of The Stanley Kubrick Collection, Kubrick authorized all aspects of the Collection, from the use of Digital Component Video (or "D-1") masters originally approved in 1989, to the use of minimalist screen menus, chapter stops, and (in the case of 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining on DVD) supplementary materials. Full-screen presentation of The Shining and Full Metal Jacket was also approved by Kubrick, who recomposed his original framing, reportedly believing that those films looked best on video in the full-screen format. (In fact, the original theatrical aspect ratio of The Shining was 1.66:1, meaning that a relatively small portion of the image is lost.) Kubrick also chose mono over stereo, believing that inconsistencies in theatrical sound systems resulted in loss of control over theatrical presentation. In every respect, the Warner spokesman said, the films in the Collection remain as Kubrick approved them. Any future attempt to remaster or alter them would have to be approved by an appointee of the Kubrick estate.

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