• 18
  • Adrian Lyne (1997)
  • Fr / US
  • 131 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

It was a thankless task, putting Vladimir Nabokov's notorious 1955 novel on the screen. But after Stanley Kubrick's valiant, inventive and funny attempt in 1961 (which Nabokov himself scripted), why try again? To be fair, this 1997 version isn't as sacrilegious as it might have been with the flashy, superficial Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction, Indecent Proposal) at the helm. However, it is Lyne's bid for artistic "respectability" (the artful shots, the fidelity to the book) that is also the film's undoing. It looks good, but lacks danger. Despite a compelling, tortured turn from Jeremy Irons as Humbert - and a seductive one from Dominique Swain as Lolita - it's all a little too cosmetic and soft-focused. Although some might say that makes it even more insidiously controversial.

Plot Summary

Black comedy drama adapted from Vladimir Nabokov's novel. Jeremy Irons stars as Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged college lecturer who rents a room from widow Charlotte Haze only to become unhealthily fixated on her 12-year-old daughter, Lolita. Soon he will do anything in his power to get close to her.

Cast and crew


Humbert Humbert
Jeremy Irons
Charlotte Haze
Melanie Griffith
Clare Quilty
Frank Langella
Lolita Haze
Dominique Swain
Miss Pratt
Suzanne Shepherd
Reverend Rigger
Keith Reddin
Erin J Dean
Miss LeBone
Joan Glover


Adrian Lyne

Other Information

Violence, sex scenes and nudity .
Available on video and DVD
Certificate 18