The Shelley Winters Blogathon – Lolita (1962)


This is the first of three reviews for Gill of RealWeegieMidget’s and Erica of Popitty Talks Classic Films’ The Shelley Winters Blogathon which will take place 1-3 October.

Thanks for letting me take part Ladies!

“I want you to live with me and die with me and everything with me! ” – Humbert Humbert

Number of Times Seen – 1 (25 Sep 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A poet becomes infatuated by the 14 year old daughter of his new landlady which causes much tension in the house and in the neighborhood.

My Take on it – This is a film that I have avoided watching for years because the premise didn’t interest me at all despite the fact that I’m a big fan of Stanley Kubrick’s films.

When I heard about this blogathon being hosted by Gill and Erica, I decided to finally take the plunge and see what it was all about.

The premise of this film might be very risque, but they find a way to present things in a very subtle and mature way.

Kubrick expertly uses innuendo and symbols to properly tell this story without the need to be over explicit with everything that is going on.

This actually can lead to an interesting situation that two people can watch this movie together yet each will see a completely different story depending on how much of the symbols and innuendo they manage to catch and understand.

The story itself is quite provocative but the subtle way that Kubrick presents things actually adds a lot to the intrigue of story because of the way it only alludes to things over and over.

The cast of this movie is superb and James Mason, Shelley Winters and Sue Lyon all do wonderful jobs with the characters they are given.

Mason is able to play his character without feeling too creepy; Winters plays her character in a way that we understand what she is after the whole time even if the other characters around her aren’t fully aware.

Lyon plays her character in a way that despite being very young, we can see how manipulative she is of those around her.

Each of them are quite convincing in these roles.

Peter Sellers though outdoes all of them and shines in every scene that his character appears in.

The story is presented in a great way and is paced really well which adds so much to the intrigue of the story especially given the fact that it often goes off in directions that one doesn’t expect.

Bottom Line – Very interesting premise that is dealt with in a very mature and subtle way. Kubrick takes this idea and chooses to present things in a fashion that is done largely via symbols and innuendo instead of outright explaining things. This could conceivably cause different people watching this film to understand things very different depending on how much of the symbols and innuendo are understood. The story itself is quite provocative and this film alludes to things that are immoral yet doesn’t go into detail which actually works in order to find a way to raise the level of intrigue in the story. The cast is superb with Mason, Winters and Lyon giving very convincing performances, but Sellers steals every scene he appears in.  The story moves along at a great pace that helps keep things very intriguing as things play out in ways one doesn’t initially expect them to.  Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Stanley Kubrick held a special screening for Vladimir Nabokov a few days before the film’s premiere. It was at this time the author learned that most of his screenplay had been jettisoned, but he reported himself very happy with the finished picture, praising Kubrick, and the cast. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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10 thoughts on “The Shelley Winters Blogathon – Lolita (1962)

  1. Pingback: The Shelley Winters Blogathon has arrived! – Poppity Talks Classic Film

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  3. Great review of a movie some consider a masterpiece. Though not my favorite Kubrick, I agree with your assessment that it is an exercise in subtlety, dealing with potentially disturbing material with a very light touch, and that the performances are uniformly strong, and Sellers steals the film, of course.

    Like

  4. I’m so glad you took the plunge and watched this, Rob. It was a very controversial book that was adapted in a satisfactory manner for the Production Code though Kubrick did have his little ways of getting around that entirely!
    I like the fact that you mention that many of the other characters don’t give much notice to Charlotte or take her seriously. She could have been very depressed by this but rather she continues to be vibrant and alive. Unfortunately reality comes crashing down on her.
    Thank you so much for this first contribution! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1962 | MovieRob

  6. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1962 | MovieRob

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