Lolita (1997)

Rain

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Rain
I just watched the Adrian Lyne's film of Lolita for the first time ever last night.

First off, I cannot recommend this film highly enough.

Though I'm likely to draw some flame for this, I have to tell you that in all honestly it is a far superior film to Kubrick's version. While Kubrick made a good film of the novel, Lyne made a great one.
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Anyway, what I am wondering is how the 2 DVDs of this film compare. I picked up the newer Lion's Gate Signature Series version and I guess I just want to make sure I picked the right one. Usually the newer version is of better quality, but it's not always the case.

Has anyone seen both and compared the transfers?
 

PaulP

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As I have the first version, I was wondering this as well. So the content is identical?
 

Randall Dorr

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Though I'm likely to draw some flame for this, I have to tell you that in all honestly it is a far superior film to Kubrick's version. While Kubrick made a good film of the novel, Lyne made a great one.
Absolutely.

Stanley Kubrick is probably my favorite filmmaker (after Lars von Trier) and I love every film he's ever made except Lolita. When I first saw it, I was sickened by the fact that it was such a bastardization of Nabokov's brilliant novel. Kubrick seemed to be making some sort of comedy, instead of the lonely tragedy Nabokov wrote.

And I do know Nabokov is the credited screenwriter, but if you read his original script (found in Vladimir Nabokov: Novels 1955-1962: Lolita, Pnin, Pale Fire, Lolita: A Screenplay) you can see it has almost no resemblance to Kubrick's film.

On later reflection, I realized Kubrick's film is not so terrible, I was just angry that there were so many deviations from the novel. But even considering that, I must still conclude that Lyne's film is a much better dramatic work, perfectly capturing the feel of what some consider the best novel of the twentieth century.
 

Rob Lutter

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Kubrick liked to make stories HIS OWN. He took the IDEAS behind the book and made it into a totally different movie. I kind of liked how Kubrick blended humor (one of my favorite performances of Peter Sellers) and the main character's tragic end...
without Lolita... killing the man that split them apart... and going to prison for it

Kubrick's movie is AWESOME in my book (definately in my top 50 + top 10 B&W films)... but it shouldn't really be compared with the, uh... BOOK.
I actually think of Lolita as Kubrick's bow to Hitchcock... it just FEELS like a Hitchcock film to me.

Rain, I'll definately have to check out the newer version seeing as you liked it so much.
 

Rain

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Lyne's film is not without some terrific dark humour as well.

I agree with Rob's point....Kubrick was usually less interested in following the source material to the letter than he was in making the adaptation into his own vision.

However, I've never read the novel, so I am only comparing the two films...with no regard to which one is more faithful to the book.
 

Richard Kim

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Count me in as one who prefers the Kubrick version over Lyne's. I thought that Shelley Winters perfectly captured the loneliness and irritability of Charlotte Haze, compared to Melanie Griffith, who paled in comparison.

Kubrick seemed to be making some sort of comedy, instead of the lonely tragedy Nabokov wrote.
Actually, I was much more moved by Humbert's final scene with Lolita in the Kubrick version, while Lyne's version left me cold.
 

Rain

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I thought Melanie Griffith was far more effective than Shelly Winters.

Ditto for Irons vs. Mason and Swain vs. Lyon.

The only thing to "miss" in the newer version of Lolita is Peter Sellars. And while his performance in the original film is fun, it's also a bit distracting.

In Lyne's version, Frank Langella, despite having very limited screen time, makes the character of Quilty his own, delivering a terrific performance.

To me, Lyne's film packs much more of an emotional wallop than Kubrick's.

But to each their own.
 

Eric Peterson

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I agree completely with Rain. In my opinion the Lyne version is much better than Kubrick's, but that is probably also due to the time in which it was made. Kubrick had his hands tied by the censorship of the early 60's. I did love Shelly Winter's performance in the original, however it went a bit over the top at times, which I found distracting. My SE of the Lyne version should show up in the mail today, and I can't wait to watch it again.
 

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