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
Just as in the novel, there are many double-entendres, and humorous references - both verbal and visual - throughout the film. A couple of such references happen when Humbert's first seen at the office of Lolita's camp, to pick her up. The shot show's Humbert standing there, as all these nubile young girls come in and out of the room, whilst Humbert stands there, with a tennis racquet, and a stuffed beaver. The name of the camp? 'Camp Climax'. Further still, the name of Lolita's friend who has been attending Camp Climax since she was 10 years old is: Mona. See more »
When Humbert starts his journey to pick up Lolita, you'll see at Camp Climax sign, the white station wagon has a license place that reads 2178 and seems to be from a different state than the other plates. The car Humbert parks at the service station has a lamp attached to the front grille, and carries number plate 17459. A few minutes later when he has the blowout (which seems to leave all four tires intact) the lamp is missing and a white number plate that reads AC629. The car that has been trailing them also has this same type of license plate, too. It is visible on the front of the car and on the back, when it turns around. At the end of the film, the car has the 17459 license plate again. See more »
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 »
A significant part of Stanley Kubrick's genius was his ability to translate a literary style into a visual one. It is demonstrated nowhere more brilliantly than in LOLITA and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
LOLITA is perhaps the more stunning accomplishment, in that Nabokov's style is complex and multi-layered. Yet Kubrick captures the effect of it in camera angles and movements, in timing and point of view.
The broadest layer of Nabokov's novel, the parable of the aging culture of Europe trying to revivify itself by debauching the seductive young culture of America, is really missing in the film. But everything else is there, despite the fact that the film departs from the exact events of the novel.
Not to say that the film depends on the novel. It stands by itself quite easily. But it succeeds brilliantly in conveying the ideas and feelings that are the core of the novel, and it does so in completely cinematic terms. If films are to be based on works of literature, this is the way to do it, and the way it is almost never done.
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