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Film & TV Adaptations > Film -Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

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message 1: by MK (last edited May 01, 2014 05:26AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Lolita is a group read for June, 2014. It has also been the subject of English language book-to-movie adaptations twice, once in 1962, and again in 1997.

Anyone seen either of them? Love it? Hate it? Faithful to the book? Out on it's own, doing it's own thing? :D Tell us your opinion! :)

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Lolita (1962)



152 min - Drama | Romance - 12 June 1962 (USA)
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 51,974 users
Reviews: 190 user | 90 critic

A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers: Vladimir Nabokov (screenplay), Vladimir Nabokov (novel), 1 more credit »
Stars: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon |

source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056193/?...

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Lolita (1997)



137 min - Drama | Romance - 25 September 1998 (USA)
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 28,526 users Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 200 user | 65 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

A man marries his landlady so he can take advantage of her daughter.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Writers: Vladimir Nabokov (novel), Stephen Schiff (screenplay)

source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119558/?...

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message 2: by MK (last edited Jun 02, 2014 12:15PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita was chosen from monthly nominations as our June 2014 Contemporary Classic Group Read. I hope you will join the conversation!

Nav links for book discussions -

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Nav links -
(view spoiler)


message 3: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) I'm watching the 1962 version now. I read the book a long time ago and don't remember that much of it (it was when I just started to read "serious" English books, so I wasn't a very good reader yet and this book was quite hard). But I was pretty sure she was 12 and did not look like a woman yet, which she does in this movie (she's 14 here, but really doesn't look to me...)

But then I was thinking, maybe 12 was really pushing it and they didn't want to make a pervy movie like that. It's the 60's still...

Nontheless, I do like the movie. I understand the book a bit better now, especially Humbert's paranoia about every boy and every man trying to steal Lolita away. Lolita is still a strange and incomprehensible character to me. She's playing games I don't even understand, so how does she understand them? It's quite fascinating.


Pink | 6556 comments I think the quote from the Kubrick version is very apt - 'How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?'

More concerning is how did they ever categorise the film versions as romance!

I absolutely love this book and think it's one of the best things I've ever read, without a doubt. I haven't seen either film versions and honestly don't see how they could portray all the complexities (I'm also sure the more graphic scenes couldn't have been depicted on screen, even with increasing her age from 12 to 14)

I'm not sure whether I should watch one or not!


message 5: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Pink, no kidding on the 'romance' characterization!

I haven't seen either film adaption either. Not really sure HOW they could portray the pedophilia aspect of it. Legally speaking I mean ;-).


message 6: by Kim (last edited May 02, 2014 07:08AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) MK wrote: "Pink, no kidding on the 'romance' characterization!

I haven't seen either film adaption either. Not really sure HOW they could portray the pedophilia aspect of it. Legally speaking I mean ;-)."


They didn't. They just insinuated it, for example rumors, "the neighbours are talking...".

But I do get it why they called it a romance. There isn't really anything perverse in the movie. The idea is kind of nasty, but it doesn't really come across as that. I did watch it as a romance, because it's not a dramatic story about how a young girl is abused by her stepfather, who is a pedophile. It's more a story about a man who is in love with a young girl and he becomes obsessed with her and wants her all for himself. The girl plays along with him, until he gets really paranoid and then she tries to escape from him. But not in a way that she feels she is being abused, she's just being a teenager and gets tired of playing her games with this particular old man, so she's moving on to another old man. She's not a victim, I think. And Humbert is completely heartbroken when he realizes she has escaped from his arms forever. It's a sad love story with a heartbreaking ending.


Melanti | 2386 comments Kim wrote: "But I was pretty sure she was 12 and did not look like a woman yet, which she does in this movie (she's 14 here, but really doesn't look to me...)...

Yep. 12 or so in the book. In fact, once she starts puberty Humbert Humbert refers to her as his "aging mistress"

How do they deal with the unreliable narrator aspect in the movies? Or do they just ignore that altogether?


message 8: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) Melanti wrote: "Kim wrote: "But I was pretty sure she was 12 and did not look like a woman yet, which she does in this movie (she's 14 here, but really doesn't look to me...)...

Yep. 12 or so in the book. In fac..."


Ummmm, I think they ignore it. I didn't notice anyhting, maybe someone else does? It's been a long time since I've read it, so I don't remember much of the book itself.


message 9: by Feliks (last edited May 02, 2014 08:00AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Its probably the most controversial book on Goodreads; one which causes the most vehement debate. You can see this--for yourself by examining the discussions page. I myself have dropped a few grenades there; but not many---I hesitate to be 'drawn out' or 'baited' by rabid suburban Middle-America housewives who usually invade any exchange on the matter. They march with lit torches and pitchforks towards anyone who doesn't agree that the book promotes pedophilia. Believe me, you don't want to mess with such morons--not in this country.

I like the themes of the book; there's *parts* of the book I feel are vital and important--for instance, Nabokov's fantastic descriptions of the bourgeois 1950s American heartland--its also one of the great 'road trip' novels as well. But overall, I toss the book aside because I dislike Nabokov's over-artsy prose. Bad technique. Either write a poem or write a novel, but don't mix them. That's what he does here.

As to the book's central, 'ethical crux'--I'm not in favor of simple, cut'n'dried, 'black'n'white' interpretations. I don't think anyone in the novel is 'not guilty'. They're all warped in some way. Nor do I think Nabokov is promoting child abuse. Its a work of fiction, put down the nails & the 2x4"s.

I like the 1962 film and consider it the definitive version. How else?

The modern version (of the film) is too weak to take seriously; it doesn't have a director of any note and is really just a timid, tentative 're-tread' --today's producers continually attempt to wring more milk from these cows everyone's long forgotten about.
High-school kids may still be getting informed about the book; but Kubrick's movie is never revived in today's consciousness (except for places like TCM) and certainly, you can't repeat the impact it had.

Although yes, I agree the book has nuances that can never be captured on screen; still..the 1962 version was directed by Stanley Kubrick. That the daring of this, the audacity of the whole project--the casting--doesn't 'register on people' today is simply due to the fact that Spielberg/Lucas' legacy has destroyed serious film culture and film debate in America.

A film like this only could have been done by Kubrick--Otto Preminger or perhaps Douglas Sirk might have taken it on, but it wouldn't have been as good. Kubrick had more freedom. He always got away with whatever he wanted because he amassed the clout to work independently from the safety of the UK. He worked in a 'European' mode.

James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Peter Sellers..really, you just can't beat that.

DVDBEAVER


p.s. Seriously? Describing Jeremy Irons as 'an old man'? Come on. James Mason definitely looked like an 'older man' but not Irons.


message 10: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) ^ They're all old men to me! :D
I just mean old man because that's what he is to Lolita, a teenage girl. Just like they are to me. It's not normal to have a relationship with men that are "old".


message 11: by Feliks (last edited May 02, 2014 08:08AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Its actually always been the norm, the world over. Every culture and every civilization. Everywhere except in backwards, Puritan-founded America. Remember, we're the country founded by an exiled bunch of hysterical religious prudes. That's the only reason we're an exception.


message 12: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) Feliks wrote: "Its actually always been the norm, the world over. Everywhere except in prudish, backwards, Puritan-founded America."

But it isn't anymore. That's the whole thing, right? If it was still considered as normal, the whole Lolita story wouldn't be as shocking as it is.


message 13: by Feliks (last edited May 02, 2014 08:19AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Well, actually--it still goes on in plenty of places all around the world.

You're right in that the story is shocking..but more so, to American society. And the rest of the world probably wonders why.

Shock is partly why Nabokov wrote it; he had other goals as well ..such as wishing to make people question, reflect, think; consider, and debate. He wants us to ask ourselves 'what love really is', what it sometimes can be...what it should 'not' be? And these reasons are the same ones why Kubrick filmed it. Its a great theme.


Melanti | 2386 comments Kim wrote: "^ They're all old men to me! :D
I just mean old man because that's what he is to Lolita, a teenage girl. Just like they are to me. It's not normal to have a relationship with men that are "old"."


Just looked Irons up on IMDB and he was born in 1947, which would have made him 50 in '97 when they filmed the movie... That would put him about 10 years older than Humbert Humbert in the books. But yeah, that would certainly be old to someone of Lolita's years.

I guess that's another question I have! Do they call him Humbert Humbert in the movie or something else? If they call him Humbert Humbert, what's the explanation for the odd name?

oh, and do they bring up Annabelle Lee? (Humbert's childhood sweetheart)

I don't generally watch movies based on books cause they always screw them up, but I have so many questions on how they handled this difficult subject I might have to make an exception!


message 15: by Melanti (last edited May 02, 2014 08:25AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Melanti | 2386 comments Feliks wrote: "Well, actually--it still goes on in plenty of places all around the world.

You're right in that the story is shocking..but more so, to American society. And the rest of the world probably wonders..."


I would really hope that most of the world would look askance at a 35-40 yr old having a relationship with a pre-pubescent child.

But that's the ages in the books, not the movie, so perhaps this part of the discussion might have to be saved for those threads. It should be a really interesting discussion next month!


message 16: by MK (last edited May 02, 2014 08:37AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Feliks wrote: "Its actually always been the norm, the world over. Every culture and every civilization. Everywhere except in backwards, Puritan-founded America. Remember, we're the country founded by an exiled bu..."

It was the norm in cultures and times when women were chattel ... perhaps.


It is NOT the norm now. America is not the exception with regard to pedophilia.

And, sexual desire of prepubescent children IS pedophilia.


message 17: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Melanti wrote: "Just looked Irons up on IMDB and he was born in 1947, which would have made him 50 in '97 when they filmed the movie... That would put him about 10 years older than Humbert Humbert in the books. But yeah, that would certainly be old to someone of Lolita's years..."

Old enough to be her grandfather is certainly an old man.


Most women have little sexual desire for old men, when they are in their prime child-bearing years. Exceptions, to be sure. But, the NORM, no most sexually mature females desire mates near to their generation, not their grandparents'.


But, "Lolita" was neither a sexually mature teen, nor a woman. She was a prepubescent child.


message 18: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Melanti wrote: "But that's the ages in the books, not the movie, so perhaps this part of the discussion might have to be saved for those threads. It should be a really interesting discussion next month!..."


Good point!!

This thread is for the movie discussion not the book. Friendly reminder to all (myself included).

Important, please restrict comments to the movie, and save the book discussions for the book threads, when they open


Melanti | 2386 comments Semi-related to the movies -- there is an audiobook version narrated by Jeremy Irons and it's fantastic.


Melanti | 2386 comments Feliks, I'm curious... Did you see the movie or read the book first?

I've seen some speculation that people who've seen the movie before reading the book tend to be more accepting of H.H./Lolita. And also that people in their Teens/early 20's are also more accepting than those closer to H.H.'s age.


message 21: by Kim (last edited May 03, 2014 01:54AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) Feliks wrote: "Well, actually--it still goes on in plenty of places all around the world.

You're right in that the story is shocking..but more so, to American society. And the rest of the world probably wonders..."


Mind you, America isn't the only place where things have progressed. :D It's true that in India, Middle East, Africa, there's still the whole young bride + "older" man thing going on. But that's because, let's just face it, they have not progressed as much as western civilization has. The regions who still do this, are poor and they will remain poor until they stop doing this and provide these girls with educations instead of 4 babies at the age of 20. But that's not the point. This story is set in our world, not in that world, so what's going on somewhere else isn't relevant to this story. In our society the girl is way too young to be in a relationship with an older man. But I guess you would be right that if you showed this to people from rural India, for example, they wouldn't react the same way as we do.

And yes, I really like the theme as well. Even though it is illegal in our society, I was still able to identify it as love, pure love. A little bit on the jealous and controlling side, but still love. That's why it's a love story to me.

And besides, the child marriages that are still going on in other regions, have nothing to do with love or sexual attraction. They marry these young girls because they are poor and at home, there are 10 other children to feed. By giving your daughter away for marriage, you make sure she has a roof over her head, food on her table and a life. And yes, they do it early, and to much older men, but these older men are usually richer than the family of the girl, so they are trying to make her life a little more comfortable. Now I'm not saying being married and a mother at age 15 is comfortable, but that's their point of view. A woman is a wife and a mother, so it doesn't matter to them at what age she actually becomes a mother. She's destined to be that and only that anyway. This is a decision, not a love story. It's very different from pedophiles and little girls.


message 22: by Pink (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pink | 6556 comments Kim, you make some very good points, lots I want to comment on, but I think this is more a discussion of the book, than the films. So, I'll hold off from answering on here for now and wait to comment on the other threads. We all seem eager to discuss this one, which is good!


message 23: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Lots of GREAT stuff! Apologies for book threads for July not yet open. We still had a few things to sort out, to get our ducks in a row :-p. I'll make sure to get to the Lolita threads today tho, to get them open. (On kindle at the moment, when I'm at my desktop, I'll take care of it.)


message 24: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments ^^ I meant June, not July :p

Lolita threads open, including a contemporaneously written article about the sexual themes controversy in Lolita.

Let's bring book (including audiobook, Melanti, lol) discussions over there:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...


message 25: by Pink (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pink | 6556 comments MK wrote: "^^ I meant June, not July :p ..."

I thought that was getting a little far ahead, though I still can't believe we're in May already!


message 26: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Pink wrote: "I thought that was getting a little far ahead, though I still can't believe we're in May already!"

heh ~

Me too!!! (It's been an insane winter here, and suddenly it's summer almost? We never had spring here in Maine, in the US :p)


message 27: by Feliks (last edited May 03, 2014 07:56AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) I encountered them both around the same time. Maybe slight lead time given to the book in advance of the film.

Next: it doesn't really matter what Irons' birthdate is. Just look at him! He looks better than most men half his age. Some folks are simply blessed with good genes; and look great no matter when you encounter them.

I assert that his looking-so-good, changes the dynamic of the re-make vs the dynamic of the original film. Now, James Mason was a very handsome man--I'm the first to acknowledge this--but in 1962 he was definitely showing the effects of age, lack of fitness, unregulated diet, etc. Mason came from different era when fitness-&-nutrition were not as prevalent (they were too busy surviving world wars, instead). Anyway, it certainly shows (on him) and makes his pairing with Lo more incongruous (as the book depicts).

Interesting point on 'who gets more uptight over Lolita' --definitely middle-aged American women, seem to really shriek over the 'immorality' of this important work of English fiction. I've seen dozens of 'Lolita' discussions ...and rarely see men trying to get the book banned. I don't know why. Men are just more cynical and jaded I guess. Wise-to-the-ways-of-the-world. [To digress a moment: there's a certain element of absurdity which (I think) strikes us: American culture grotesquely promotes and parades way-too-young-females-as-sex-symbols..throughout all our media..so, there's a double-standard going on which simply wearies us].

Anyway I'd also suggest that the strongest opposition still--to this day--comes from Americans who don't travel much outside the good ole continental U-S-of-A. [Do you think this book fazes Europeans?] To suppose that significant age-differences in marriages around the world don't still occur...well. I don't know why anyone would think it doesn't; its totally a mis-assumption gained from TV, perhaps. The world's a big place. A lot of stuff happens in it that you don't know unless you go out there. If you think everything is hunky-dory and 'up-to-date' overseas; you're likely being fooled by the thin, superficial, veneer (which is all TV-news-media ever reports on).

MK wrote "...Old enough to be her grandfather is certainly an old man...."

Not necessarily so. It depends on when each generation in the family, starts bearing children. Teenagers can (and do) get pregnant, all over the globe. What's 15 x 3? 45.

MK wrote "...Most women have little sexual desire for old men, ..."

But they do, for older men. Humbert Humbert is not a 90 yr old with a cane or a long white beard. He's simply an adult male.

MK wrote "...when they are in their prime child-bearing years. ..."

Actually, its pretty well-established that young women tend to dislike boys-their-own-age when they are in their late teens/early 20s. Girls mature biologically faster than boys; and thus boys seem too immature when they are exactly contemporary. Its a commonplace to hear this, direct from the mouths of females--whether in real life or all throughout literature, theater, music, etc. Its a truism.

MK wrote "...Exceptions, to be sure. But, the NORM, no ..."

A lot more than just 'exceptions'; for a practice that is so widespread and so long-standing. What would you suggest, that every young girl down through history--since neolithic times, say--every girl who lay with a man with a 15-20 age diff had to be 'forced'? No, not in this patriarchy...

MK wrote "...most sexually mature females desire mates near to their generation, not their grandparents'...."

A small but embedded distortion weakens this statement. I think you're failing to take-into-account that sexuality often begins at a younger age in other cultures. 'Old enough to be a grandparent' does not mean, 'octogenarian'. In other cultures, it can mean someone exactly Humbert's age.

MK wrote "...And, sexual desire of prepubescent children IS pedophilia...."

I knew this thread wouldn't last too long with out someone advancing their 'definition of pedophilia' again. But really, "the dictionary" is useless in a situation in a debate over real-life-problems and personal values, which 'Lolita' invokes. A dictionary is more like, a good way to 'stop thinking' about an issue. Real-world questions don't stop with Merriam-Webster. After all, the definition of 'homosexual' has certainly changed over time. Greco-Roman societies had their own 'definition' for sexual behaviors; (even today, French culture defines 'mistress' in a way which we do not). One should always ask, 'which dictionary?'--right? Rather than just halt at the handiest available--taking the easy exit out.

Just sayin'


message 28: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments I haven't seen either of the movies, so I will confine my comments to the book discussion threads :)


message 29: by Pink (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pink | 6556 comments Agreed, I've commented with some of my thoughts on the book thread, rather than go too off topic here :)


message 30: by [deleted user] (last edited May 24, 2014 09:21AM) (new)

I was looking on Netflix hoping a decent movie version of Lolita would be available for instant streaming, which unfortunately does not seem to be the case. During my search this 2013 documentary called Are All Men Pedophiles? was listed. Since we are delving into this subject matter through a fictional account, perhaps some readers would be interested in a current psychological, cultural and social perspective. (I have not viewed the documentary myself, just am passing the info along.) It is available on Netflix instant streaming currently--

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2072045/


message 31: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Thanks for link, Lisa!


message 32: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) Lisa wrote: "I was looking on Netflix hoping a decent movie version of Lolita would be available for instant streaming, which unfortunately does not seem to be the case. During my search this 2013 d..."

I sort of want to see it but then I don't.... I'm sort of afraid of the answer!


message 33: by [deleted user] (last edited May 24, 2014 09:24AM) (new)

Kim wrote: "I sort of want to see it but then I don't..."

Ditto for me Kim, although I surmise the answer to the question will be no.


message 34: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments MK wrote: "Pink, no kidding on the 'romance' characterization!

I haven't seen either film adaption either. Not really sure HOW they could portray the pedophilia aspect of it. Legally speaking I mean ;-)."



I just saw a review that answered this question:

Movie Info

"How did they make a movie out of Lolita?"
teased the print ads of this Stanley Kubrick production. The answer: by adding three years to the title character's age. The original Vladimir Nabokov novel caused no end of scandal by detailing the romance between a middle-aged intellectual and a 12-year-old nymphet. The affair is "cleansed" ever so slightly in the film by making Lolita a 15-year-old (portrayed by 16-year-old Sue Lyon). In adapting his novel to film, Nabokov downplayed the wicked satire and sensuality of the material, concentrating instead on the story's farcical aspects.

more at link: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/10126...



message 35: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Here's another pretty interesting review of the Kubrick film. By the way, I didn't realize it had been up against To Kill a Mockingbird for the Oscar for best screenplay! (One of last month's group read books in our group). Mockingbird won. Also, Nabakov did the screenplay, Lee did not do the screenplay for the film adaptation of her novel.


Lolita (1962)
Pages: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

Background
Lolita (1962)
was Stanley Kubrick's sixth film - a brilliant, sly adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's celebrated yet controversially-infamous 1955 novel of a middle-aged man's unusual, doomed sexual passion/obsession for a precocious, seductive "nymphet" girl. [The scandalous book was banned in Paris in 1956-1958, and not published in its full form in the US or UK until 1958.] The age of Lolita in the novel was raised from 12 years old to that of a typical high-schooler - probably 14 or 15. [The well-known scandal at the start of the century of actor Charlie Chaplin's second marriage and subsequent divorce to under-age actress Lolita McMurry may have been the original reference point for Nabokov's novel.]

The black humor and dramatic story of juvenile temptation and perverse, late-flowering lust was centered on a pubescent nymphet and a mature literature professor in an aura of incest. Rather than a film of overt sexuality and prurient subject matter, its content was mostly suggestive, with numerous double entendres and metaphoric sexual situations. Actors who were offered or considered for the role of the middle-aged, obsessed European intellectual included Kubrick's first choice - Noel Coward, then Cary Grant, Laurence Olivier, Rex Harrison, and David Niven.

The film's production, the first of Kubrick's films produced independently in England, was marked by a long casting search for the proper 'Lolita' [Kubrick decided upon blue-eyed blonde Sue Lyon, a fourteen-year-old television actress in her screen debut, and almost 16 by the time the film was released], the appointment of Nabokov to write the screenplay for his own lengthy novel, Kubrick's rewriting (with co-producer James B. Harris) of Nabokov's unacceptable versions of the script, and the threat of censorship and denial of a Seal of Approval from the film industry's production code.

The film received only one Oscar nomination, Best Adapted Screenplay (credited to Vladimir Nabokov), that lost to Horton Foote's screenplay for To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). It received five Golden Globe nominations for Best Director (Kubrick), Best Dramatic Actor (Mason), Best Dramatic Actress (Winters), Best Supporting Actor (Sellers) and a win for Most Promising New Female Star of the Year (Lyon). Nabokov's novel was again adapted for the screen (by Stephen Schiff) and directed by Adrian Lyne - an R-rated Lolita (1997), that starred Jeremy Irons, Melanie Griffith, Dominique Swain, and Frank Langella.

more: http://www.filmsite.org/loli.html



message 36: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments MK wrote: "-------

Lolita (1997)



137 min - Drama | Romance - 25 September 1998 (USA)
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 28,526 users Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 200 user | 65 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

A man marries his landlady so he can take advantage of her daughter.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Writers: Vladimir Nabokov (novel), Stephen Schiff (screenplay)

source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119558/?...

-------"


I watched this version of the film on DVD tonight.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments @MK

Don't keep us on pins and needles! What were your impressions of this film?


message 38: by MK (last edited Jun 06, 2014 05:47AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) wrote: "@MK

Don't keep us on pins and needles! What were your impressions of this film?"


Sorry :p. I meant to add, I plan on watching the 1962 Stanley Kubrick version tonight, and I'd sort out my impressions after.

But, I guess the answer is, I think it will be hard to sort my feelings about the book from the movie. I suspect that those watching only the movie might see a tragic love affair. Lolita is older, complicity and duplicity on he part is played up. It was portrayed as love gone wrong, I think.


Edit to add: I was also on kindle then, and now too, it 'encourages' brevity in typing ;-)


message 39: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments PS - one thing I did notice, is that the word 'rape' didn't seem to be in the movie, although it is in the book several times. Lolita telling HH he raped her, HH saying he deserved 35 years for rape, etc


Melanti | 2386 comments So, I've watched it as well - the older one.

Some things I noticed -- not sure if any of this deserves spoilers --
(view spoiler)

Final point (cause the movie restarted while I was sitting here typing this) -- HH is really awful at painting toenails!


message 41: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments No, you don't need spoiler tags in the movie thread, appreciate the caution tho! :)

I watched up to the first motel after camp, in the 1962 version tho. There are completely invented scenes in this movie so far, things that were never in the book. The dance for instance. The boy who was going to ask Lo to go steady with her. Yes, she's definitely portrayed as older. She's sexually developed in this movie, for one.

And ... I KNOW on the Camp name. REALLY?!?


I was surprised the Annabelle Lee story was absent, too. It was featured strongly in the later movie version. I thought they were about to launch into it, when they went from the Quilty scent, to the "$ years later", because the narration I thought referenced his youth in Europe, but then, it was just right into the Haze household story, and no childhood at all.


Melanti | 2386 comments The 60's version is certainly very sanitized. It got past the censors only by gutting it of 90% of what made it so controversial in the first place.

It's no wonder that the "Lolita" of popular culture/opinion is so different than Nabokov's Lolita. The book and the movie share similarities but they seem to be very different stories.

I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to watch the newer version too.


message 43: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Good point on the cultural Lolita being different than the book Lolita!! I can see why too, now.

I would have watched the '62 first, had it not been that it was on blu-ray, and my daughter was using the room that the blu-ray player was in, the night I watched the first movie. My library has the older on blu-ray, and the newer one on dvd, oddly.

The other one is truer to the book so far .... with the big fat caveat that it's not ALL that true to the book at all. (ie it leaves out some stuff, over-emphasizes Annabelle, changes Lolita's age, etc)

The older one, despite having the screenplay written by Nabokov, is - at least up to the part I've seen - a completely different thing. I mean, there have been scenes invented out of whole cloth. The characterization is different, too. Lolita is much more sexualized, Charlotte is much more shrewish, strident, and on the prowl, the couple they are friends with? The 'swingers' implication? Really? wth, that wasn't in the book at all.


Melanti | 2386 comments Well, I guess they didn't have HH's literary allusions to prove that he was a sophisticated European so they had to contrast him against some shrews and swingers instead.

I bet those swingers raised a lot of scandalized eyebrows back in the day!

But ... if Quilty was a porn film maker, and he had an acquaintance with Charlotte, I wonder if he and Charlotte ever went to those swingers place together?


And yes, on Charlotte being shrewish. She actually struck me as being very jealous of Lolita's sexuality - and that's not something I recall seeing in the book.


My library only had the older version. If I want to watch the new version, I'll have to rent it. Granted, it's only $3 to do so, but still. I have this aversion to paying for TV.


message 45: by MK (new) - rated it 1 star

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Ya, me too. I wouldn't rent it, it's not as good as the book, not worth it, imo.


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