Lolita | 1962 | Peter Sellers, James Mason

Lolita | 1962 | Peter Sellers, James Mason

The novel that remains an unquenchable controversy as adapted for the screen by its author, Nabokov. While the novel, though once banned, is accepted in most quarters as a masterpiece, this film version by Kubrick is hotly debated. A professor (Mason) who takes rooms in a widow’s home conceives a distracting obsession with her teenage daughter, eventually marrying the grasping mother (Winters) in order to remain close to Lolita (Lyon). The triangle results in murder and humiliation. Lyon seems a bit too knowing as the object of obsession, and Sellers’s Quilty seems to have dropped in on his way to Mars, but the overall effect is as absorbing and repellent as a slow-motion car crash.

Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita is, among many things, a love letter to the American roadside. Ironically when Stanley Kubrick shot Lolita (1962) he made it in England, necessitating the use of back projection images of the American landscape. The 1998 remake by Adrian Lyne starring Jeremy Irons renewed the controversy with an even closer reading of the novel and its resultant inability to find a U.S. release until the Showtime cable network stepped forward. Academy Award Nomination for Best (Adapted) Screenplay.

production details
UK, US | 153 minutes | 1962

Director Of Photography: Oswald Morris
Clapper Loader: Mike Rutter
Wardrobe Master: Barbara Gillett
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Editor: Anthony Harvey
Producer: James B. Harris
Music: Bob Harris
Original Music Composer: Nelson Riddle
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick, James B. Harris, Vladimir Nabokov
Novel: Vladimir Nabokov

James Mason as Humbert “Hum” Humbert
Sue Lyon as Dolores “Lolita” Haze
Shelley Winters as Charlotte Haze
Peter Sellers as Clare Quilty
Lois Maxwell as Nurse Mary Lore
John Harrison as Tom
Diana Decker as Jean Farlow
Jerry Stovin as John Farlow
Gary Cockrell as Richard T. “Dick” Siller
Bill Greene as George Swine
Shirley Douglas as Mrs. Starch
Marianne Stone as Vivian Darkbloom



The Viewer's Guide to Film intends to be a comprehensive guide to the very best of cinema from the earliest silent era, through to the golden age of Hollywood and on to today's biggest blockbusters.

Each entry on the site includes a capsule review/plot overview, along with cast and crew credits, images and trailers where available.