Stanley Kubrick (1961)

X Certificate


Our Score
"How did they ever make a film of Lolita?" asked the posters for this brilliant Stanley Kubrick tour de force. Well, in Vladimir Nabokov's adaptation of his own novel about the paedophile professor and the 12-year-old girl, there are added layers of black comedy and only slight compromise: James Mason seems to love Sue Lyon rather than lust after her, and Lolita's age is increased to 15. As time goes by, Lolita gets even funnier - and even more uncomfortable. Shelley Winters's portrayal of Lolita's mother is sad and hilarious in equal measure, while Peter Sellers's Clare Quilty is like a creepy chameleon. Only one quibble: for economic and censorship reasons the picture was made in England and, because of this, Nabokov's nightmare vision of urban America and its seedy motels is reduced to obvious back projection and even more obvious Elstree locations. This apart, a perfect movie version of an incredibly difficult original.


A frustrated widow is flattered to be wooed by an eligible middle-aged suitor, but doesn't suspect his attentions are all an elaborate ploy designed to help him seduce her daughter. Stanley Kubrick's drama based on the novel by Vladmir Nabokov, with James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Peter Sellers and Marianne Stone.

Cast & Crew

Humbert Humbert James Mason
Lolita Haze Sue Lyon
Charlotte Haze Shelley Winters
Clare Quilty Peter Sellers
Jean Farlow Diana Decker
John Farlow Jerry Stovin
Dick Gary Cockrell
Vivian Darkbloom Marianne Stone
Mona Farlow Suzanne Gibbs
Lorna Roberta Shore
Roy Eric Lane
Director Stanley Kubrick
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-ray