Humbert Humbert forces a confrontation with a man, whose name he has just recently learned, in this man's home. The events that led to this standoff began four years earlier. Middle aged Humbert, a European, arrives in the United States where he has secured at job at Beardsley College in Beardsley, Ohio as a Professor of French Literature. Before he begins his post in the fall, he decides to spend the summer in the resort town of Ramsdale, New Hampshire. He is given the name of Charlotte Haze as someone who is renting a room in her home for the summer. He finds that Charlotte, widowed now for seven years, is a woman who puts on airs. Among the demonstration of those airs is throwing around the name of Clare Quilty, a television and stage script writer, who came to speak at her women's club meeting and who she implies is now a friend. Those airs also mask being lonely, especially as she is a sexually aggressive and liberated woman. Humbert considers Charlotte a proverbial "joke" but ...Written by
The Criterion laserdisc release is the only one to use a transfer approved by Stanley Kubrick. This transfer alternates between a 1.33 and a 1.66 aspect ratio (as does the Kubrick-approved 'Strangelove' transfer). All subsequent releases to date have been 1.66 (which means that all the 1.33 shots are slightly matted). See more »
Inspired by the eponymous novel (Vladimir Nabokov, 1955), this film admirably describes the sulfurous relationship between a middle-aged writer and his nymph Dolores Haze, aka Lolita.
By chance, looking for a furnished rental, the professor Humbert Humbert encounters Charlotte Haze and her beloved daughter Dolores. From the very first sight, the professor irrevocably accepts the rental conditions! A triangular relationship settles quickly between 1) an intellectual sensitive to beauty and youth, 2) a desperate widow impressed by this professor, both unable to fight against theirs own obsessive desires, and 3) a manipulative and nonchalant teen. Consecutively to a fatal accident and because of the inquisitive and invasive look of Clare Quilty, the teacher will progressively and ineluctably descend in the depths of the abyss.
James Mason is awesome and monumental. He is also excellently seconded by Sue Lyon, Peter Sellers and Shelley Winters. And Stanley Kubrick is definitely a regular of successful and even improved literary adaptations, with Shining (1980), 2001, A space odyssey (1968), Barry Lyndon (1975), A clockwork orange (1971), The Killing (1956), ...
This movie is truly a masterpiece.
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