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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lolita - That lovely, lyrical lilting name
Regardless of the hidden (or even obvious) peversion of James Mason's character, I felt this film was brilliantly acted and beautifully shot. Sue Lyon's portrayal of the teenage Lolita is spot on, whilst Shelley Wintar's manical and irritating mother role is painfully real. Peter Sellar's does his usual good job of injecting a little humour into the otherwise unpleasant...
Published on 2 Aug. 2008 by Ms. F. I. Macdonald

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good performances but ultimately flawed
The subject matter of Lolita naturally poses some problems for a director, but this adaptation has ultimately gone down as a victory for the censors. The original novel was almost entirely focused on the character of Humbert Humbert, his flamboyant obsession with a young girl and the increasingly ridiculous lengths he goes to in an effort to keep the object of his...
Published on 11 Nov. 2007 by Mr. S. A. Brown


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lolita - That lovely, lyrical lilting name, 2 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Lolita [1962] [DVD] (DVD)
Regardless of the hidden (or even obvious) peversion of James Mason's character, I felt this film was brilliantly acted and beautifully shot. Sue Lyon's portrayal of the teenage Lolita is spot on, whilst Shelley Wintar's manical and irritating mother role is painfully real. Peter Sellar's does his usual good job of injecting a little humour into the otherwise unpleasant storyline and of course James Mason is as always perfect in his role. Whether it is an insult to say he is perfect for the part I do not know, but he certainly fits the character as though the part was made for him. Watch if you want to be unhinged from normal everyday topics and taken for a little while into the taboo, dark side of unnatural relationships, at the same time enjoying the great music and awesome camera work.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, lyrical, lascivious, 7 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Lolita [1962] [DVD] (DVD)
Lolita: that "lovely, lyrical, wilting name". After Nabokov's novel and Kubrick's film adaptation, the name Lolita has, unfortunately, become synonymous solely with sexual precociousness. Really, we should add 'vulgar' and 'brash' to that synonymy - the real Dolores Haze (Sue Lyon) is brusque, and anything but wilting. She's known by two names; she leads two VERY different lives.

Given the reputation that follows the tale of Lolita around, it's sometimes easy to forget how funny this first (and best) film adaptation is. With Kubrick, we're in the hands of a master satirist. So when Lolita is shipped off to the hilariously named 'Camp Climax', her emotional farewell embrace with Humbert Humbert (James Mason) is cut short with what amounts to a snappy "see ya" before the camera swoops over our troubled anti-hero as he gazes longingly over the banister, full of yearning and repressed passion, while melodramatic music swells like something out of Gone With The Wind.

Humbert is an amusingly sardonic sort when he knows he's going to get what he wants; he's stroppy when he can't. So, while we're never offered any backstory to help us build a psychological justification for Humbert's infatuation, we can clearly see that his passion brings out the teenager in him: fickle, randy, playful and obstreperous.

Shelley Winters marvellously over-plays Dolores' lonesome mother, the actress's alleged poor treatement by the director pre-dating Shelley Duvall's by almost 20 years - and, similarly, it could be argued the performance is improved accordingly.

This was Kubrick's first collaboration with Peter Sellers (who plays the writer Clare Quilty). Like Dr Strangelove, there's an exhilarating unpredictability whenever the chameleonic Sellers occupies the screen. This was the first time Kubrick encouraged improvisation - it's partially this, I believe, which elevates the film to the status of the first true Kubrick classic. Paradoxically, with Lolita we're able to see the control Kubrick would wield thereon; he arrests the image, moving the actors with the precision of chess grand-master, shooting everything from the beautiful to the banal with sublime artistry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely and lyrical., 14 Jan. 2012
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Mr. G. Robinson "garyrobinson15" (North Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lolita [1962] [DVD] (DVD)
" How could they make a film of Lolita" This was on everyones lips in 1961 when it was announced that Stanley Kubrick was to make a film out of Nabokovs infamous book which deals with paedophilia. The end result is a strange mixture of high drama and pitch black comedy that works wonderfully.

Humbert Humbert, played by James Mason, a european intelectual, arrives in Ramsdale and decides to marry his new landlady, the preening and needy Charlotte Haze, in order to to be close to her precocious teenage daughter Lolita played beautifully by newcomer Sue Lyon. Humbert falls for the daughter and without really knowing it begins to lose his identity to the lust he cannot control for Lolita. The deluded Humbert soon finds Lolita has another admirer in the form of Clare Quilty played with relish by the ever wonderful Peter Sellers.

Please don't be put off by the notion of a relationship between a man in his fifties and a teenager, Kubrick deals with this facet of the story with great subtleness and sensitivity. The story of Humberts decent into almost madness and his relationships between the Haze and Quilty characters is the most entertaining in the film. The actual scenes between him and Lolita are rather subdued and uninteresting, the Lolita character is rather vacuous and has little to say, and when she does say something it is of little consequence.

At 147 minutes it's quite a long film but it never really flags because, Winters, Sellers, and Mason are all superb and when they are on screen you really do want to know what happens next. It's a tribute to Kubrick that he was able to create a film with such a subject without it being uncomfortable or difficult to watch. What you will remember are the wonderful performances that will stay with you after the film has finished.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A subtle version of that the book blatantly demonstrated, 14 Sept. 2011
By 
GratuitousViolets "Ash" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lolita [1962] [DVD] (DVD)
While the original novel was somewhat graphic, blatant and incredibly perverse, Kubrick found a way (grudgingly, so I believe) to make this film without turning it into something far more sleazy and disturbing (the remake went to those heights which is most likely why it flopped so badly).

The plot - being centred around a middle-aged university professor who has a perverse sexual attraction to the fourteen year old nymphet daughter of his landlady - was something of a leap ahead of its time, and certainly for this to be demonstrated on screen was even more highly unusual considering the moral codes of filmmaking in the early 60s (MPAA had this toned down badly from what was originally scripted). Lead actor James Mason, smooth voiced, darkly smouldering and charmingly handsome is hardly the stereotyped actor you would expect to be cast as a paedophile, and yet, he carries the role quite well of Humbert Humbert's obsession with fourteen year old sexually aware Dolores "Lolita" Haze.

The MPAA were negligent enough to ignore some of the subtle (now blatantly obvious) innuendo that the script was full of which gives good opportunity for a laugh or two at certain intervals (see if you can spot the references!). For those worried about viewing such material, there is thankfully no scenes of a sexual nature between Lolita and Humbert on screen, but alot is implied and more than obvious to the viewer of what is going on (and if the thought disturbs you perhaps even this cult classic should be avoided).

Although James Mason leads the cast beautifully, as does Sue Lyon as his co-star, Peter Sellars rather unusual performance as the nervous twitchy Clare Quilty is something to be marvelled at, especially if you've never seen the man in a serious role and Shelley Winters is outstandingly over the top which is absolutely perfect; the role could have been written for her.

One thing I did feel is that the ending felt rather sudden in comparison to how slowly paced the beginning is and that was my only real gripe with the film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh as a daisy - or should I say Dolores, 7 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Lolita [1962] [DVD] (DVD)
I loved the book but never managed to see Kubrick's film - until now. Dated? Yes, perhaps. Is Lolita too old in this version? Yes, definitely. In the book she is thirteen, here Sue Lyon looks twenty. Is the under-age sex neatly side-stepped? Indeed, and certainly by today's standards of what is acceptable. So what's good about this DVD? Answer: James Mason in what I think is his most subtle, humorous and deeply moving performance - ever. This, remember, is a love story and no one does it better that James. Even Peter Sellers in multiple roles cannot match Mason's timing, facial expressions and astounding voice. Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comical and serious at the same time, 1 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Lolita (1962) (DVD)
"Lolita" by legendary Director Stanley Kubrick (my personal favorite Director of all time), is a very funny, dark and serious film all at the same time.

Stanley Kubrick has a talent for dark comedy and many people wished he'd done more of the comedy genre. "Lolita" follows the story of a middle aged man named Humbert Humbert (played by James Mason) who is obsessed with a teenage girl named "Lolita", who marries her mother in order to be close to her.

This film is very funny in parts, with Mason's mannerisms and speeches being very entertaining. Some people may find it hard to get into this film as in parts its slow. One of the best parts of the film is Peter Sellers who plays several different characters in the film (who is really one person), which I found was an interesting and original touch (Kubrick was always original.) I also loved how Kubrick showed the end of the movie first so we could see how events developed into that eventuality. Sellers acting was brilliant which is why he was later brought in for "Dr. Strangelove" by Kubrick. Because of the films controversial nature, about a fourteen year old girl going with a much older man, it may leave some viewers displeased. Sometimes the seriousness of the film is clouded to the audience in comedy, in trying to detract the main issue of the film as a kind of diversion tactic.

This film is quite enjoyable and I can see why so many people regard this as a comedy classic. For 1962, it is good and does start to show Kubrick's film-making development. This is by no means his greatest work of all time as many of his films that came afterward are much better and showed his maturity as a Director and he really started to come into his own.

Final Verdict for "Lolita" - 7/10. Despite the film's controversial nature, I found it to be intelligently written, humorous and entertaining.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good performances but ultimately flawed, 11 Nov. 2007
By 
Mr. S. A. Brown "yentilsale1" (Kilmarnock, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lolita [1962] [DVD] (DVD)
The subject matter of Lolita naturally poses some problems for a director, but this adaptation has ultimately gone down as a victory for the censors. The original novel was almost entirely focused on the character of Humbert Humbert, his flamboyant obsession with a young girl and the increasingly ridiculous lengths he goes to in an effort to keep the object of his affections. The genius in Humbert's character was that despite the hopelessly immoral nature of his actions, the reader could always sympathise with the position he found himself in.

In the film this dimension is ultimately lost. James Mason makes an admirable attempt to play Humbert and Shelley Winters is perfect as the naive Charlotte, but divorced of its finest material the tale becomes a rather dry affair and were it not for the odd suggestive phrase now and then, you would be forgiven for thinking that Humbert was simply an overly conservative father figure. Worthy of mention is Peter Sellers who plays an amusing cameo-esque role, but it speaks volumes when the humour which was such a vital part of the novel is provided by a bit-part character (as Quilty was in the novel) and some rather absurd slapstick elements including a decidedly galling scene involving a fold out bed that could have come straight from Charlie Chaplin.

Overall, there are some good performances on display, but the film neither captures the genius of the novel nor does it provide any other motivation for the viewer to become engrossed in the plot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Jan. 2015
By 
Robert Beard "Robert" (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lolita Deluxe Edition (DVD)
Superb adaptation of Nabukov's controversial classic, with outstanding performances from James Mason and Peter Sellers.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KUBRICK DESERVES HIS REPUTATION, 16 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Lolita [1962] [DVD] (DVD)
I have this in a box set with 7 other of his films and a documentary. I really like Stanley Kubrick and his films so it's a pleasure to watch them and last night I watched Lolita for the first time (I only got chance last night). Now I haven't read the novel this is based on so I don't know any different but it is a compelling film about how far a man will go for love. The only fault I found with it is the performance of Charlotte Haze (Shelly Winters) I found it was over the top but other then that I really enjoyed the film.

The story everyone knows by now so I won't go into detail but they deliver career bests in there performance and Peter Sellers steals the film and he has some funny lines in the film.

I think that Stanley Kubrick is a master at his work and I will watch the films in this box set over the coming nights.

The dvd has a trailer for the film and that's it but you don't watch a Kubrick film for the special features.

Stanley Kubrick explores a theme he would revisit later in his career with the film EYES WIDE SHUT.

These themes are relevant today as much as they were back then.

All in all a really good film
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sellers makes this film, 23 Feb. 2003
By 
N Taylor (Kent, Kent United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lolita [VHS] [1962] (VHS Tape)
The book is excellent and beyond compare but this film is a flawed adaptation that loses the main themes that make the book so special, and gains nothing in its place. Sellers is the reason to watch this film. His excellent portrayal of Quilty is mesemerising and his character is the one who takes your attention, rather than Humbert Humbert (Mason) who ideally should.
The whole point of the book was to delve inside Humbert's head and reveal feelings of obsession, passion and despair. We lose this in the film. We don't feel much sympathy for Humbert, which is the main feeling the book gives us, incredible since this whole story is about paedophilia.
However, don't let this put you off. This is essentially a love sory, something this film does excellently, and the acting is very good indeed. I'd recommend it as a story everyone sould experience and it's a great talking point and is very thought provoking. Worth a view if only for Sellers.
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Lolita (1962)
Lolita (1962) by Stanley Kubrick (Blu-ray)
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