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Fear and Desire (1953)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller, War | 1 April 1953 (USA)
Four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines must confront their fears and desires.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writer:

Howard Sackler
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Frank Silvera ... Mac
Kenneth Harp Kenneth Harp ... Lt. Corby / The General
Paul Mazursky ... Sidney
Stephen Coit ... Fletcher / The Captain (as Steve Coit)
Virginia Leith ... The Girl
David Allen David Allen ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

A ficticious war in an unidentified country provides the setting for this drama. Four soldiers survive the crash-landing of their plane to find themselves in a forest six miles behind enemy lines. The group, led by Lt. Corby, has a plan: They'll make their way to a nearby river, build a raft, and then, under cover of night, float back to friendly territory. Their plans for getting back safely are sidetracked by a young woman who stumbles across them as they hide in the woods, and by the nearby presence of an enemy general who one member of the group is determined to kill. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Trapped... 4 Desperate Men and a Strange Half-Animal Girl!

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

1 April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shape of Fear See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$33,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kubrick Family See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanley Kubrick disowned the film soon after its release and wanted to make sure it was never seen again by not re-releasing the print. What he didn't know was that Kodak, when making a print for a film, had a policy of making an extra print for its archives. It is this one that survives and where the DVD-R and VHS bootleg prints come from. See more »

Goofs

When Mac looks from the raft to the house, there are no people in front of it. However. the close shot shows four guards. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: There is war in this forest. Not a war that has been fought, or one that will be, but any war. And the enemies who struggle here do not exist, unless we call them into being. This forest, then, and all that happens now is outside history. Only the unchanging shapes of fear - and doubt - and death - are from our world. These soldiers that you see keep our language and our time, but have no other country but the mind.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Blu-ray Disc releases in America also include The Seafarers, a short film from Kubrick, as a bonus feature. The European Masters of Cinema release also includes two additional shorts, Day of the Fight and Flying Padre. See more »

Connections

Featured in Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Bad, the Terrible, and the Hilarious.
16 December 2000 | by kubrick114See all my reviews

Quite a few people claim to have seen this film, but anybody who tell you that it is not as bad as Kubrick would lead you to believe is flat-out lying about having seen the film. Kubrick is the greatest artist of the last couple centuries, but this film is BAD. Not Kubrick bad, but Ed Wood bad. There are lines like, "I felt fear. Fear I hadn't felt since I kissed my dying grandmother." And the whole thing looks like it was made in somebody's backyard.

There is one thing funnier than this film: the trailer! It was shown with the film at the George Eastman House, and trust me, if you ever get the chance to see it, the trailer alone is one of the most hilarious pieces of film you will ever see. It's a gem!

"Fear & Desire" should be seen, if only to show how an awful, pretentious young filmmaker can flourish to such heights as "Dr. Strangelove," "2001," and "Barry Lyndon." Interestingly enough, the Eastman House print (one of the two still in existence, I believe) was short the film's official running time by a couple of minutes, and there are a few unlikely jump-cuts in the film, which leads one to believe that Kubrick himself cut this film a bit, as he did with "The Shining." However, the other remaining print is the original camera negative, which is stored somewhere out of the country. I would kill to get my hands on that print.

If you get a chance to see this film, do so, and see Kubrick's genesis, and how far he came.


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