James Mason (Humbert Humbert), Sue Lyon (Lolita
Haze), Shelley Winters (Charlotte Haze), Peter Sellers (Clare Quilty), Marianne Stone (Vivian Darkbloom), Diana Decker (Jean Farlow), Jerry Stovin (John Farlow)
Never one to shy away from controversial subjects, Stanley
Kubrick's tackling of Vladimir Nabakov's contentious novel about a love affair between a grown man and a child is incredibly diluted from its source material, arguably because it's all the
filmmakers could get away with in 1962, though the symbolism and innuendo is still done incredibly well.
The performances are never short of excellent and the
screenplay does push some boundaries. It's far from the great director's best work though and the material is certain to leave an unpleasant aftertaste.
D: Adrian Lyne
Pathé (Mario Kassar & Joel B. Michaels)
W: Stephen Schiff [based on the novel by Vladimir
DP: Howard Atherton
Ed: Julie Monroe, David Brenner & F. Paul
Mus: Ennio Morricone
Jeremy Irons (Dr. Humbert Humbert), Melanie Griffith
(Charlotte Haze), Frank Langella (Clare Quilty), Dominique Swain (Dolores 'Lolita' Haze)
Though this 1990's adaptation of Nabakov's novel increases the
age gap between the lustful man and the child of his desires, it seems even less controversial or provocative than Kubrick's 1962 version.
No fault can be placed with the performances, and the
cinematography is also excellent. Perhaps the problems lie with director Adrian Lyne not wishing to caught up in the controversy of the subject matter (or perhaps it's simply not a very nice
story to tell in the first place).
On balance, the 1962 version is much more palatable, but
neither version is what I would consider pleasant viewing.