Stanley Kubrick (/ˈkuːbrɪk/; July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999)
was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is
frequently cited as one of the greatest and most influential directors
in cinematic history. His films, which are mostly adaptations of
novels or short stories, cover a wide range of genres, and are noted
for their realism, dark humor, unique cinematography, extensive set
designs, and evocative use of music.
Kubrick was raised in the Bronx, New York City, and attended William
Howard Taft High School from 1941 to 1945. Although he only received
average grades, Kubrick displayed a keen interest in literature,
photography, and film from a young age, and taught himself all aspects
of film production and directing after graduating from high school.
After working as a photographer for Look magazine in the late 1940s
and early 1950s, he began making short films on a shoestring budget,
and made his first major Hollywood film, The Killing, for United
Artists in 1956. This was followed by two collaborations with Kirk
Douglas, the war picture
Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory (1957) and the historical epic
Spartacus (1960). His reputation as a filmmaker in Hollywood grew, and
he was approached by
Marlon Brando to film what would become One-Eyed
Jacks (1961), though Brando eventually decided to direct it himself.
Creative differences arising from his work with Douglas and the film
studios, a dislike of Hollywood, and a growing concern about crime in
America prompted Kubrick to move to the United Kingdom in 1961, where
he spent most of the remainder of his life and career. His home at
Childwickbury Manor in Hertfordshire, which he shared with his wife
Christiane, became his workplace, where he did his writing, research,
editing, and management of production details. This allowed him to
have almost complete artistic control over his films, but with the
rare advantage of having financial support from major Hollywood
studios. His first British productions were two films with Peter
Lolita (1962) and
Dr. Strangelove (1964).
A demanding perfectionist, Kubrick assumed control over most aspects
of the filmmaking process, from direction and writing to editing, and
took painstaking care with researching his films and staging scenes,
working in close coordination with his actors and other collaborators.
He often asked for several dozen retakes of the same scene in a movie,
which resulted in many conflicts with his casts. Despite the resulting
notoriety among actors, many of Kubrick's films broke new ground in
cinematography. The scientific realism and innovative special effects
of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) were without precedent in the history
of cinema, and the film earned him his only personal Oscar, for Best
Steven Spielberg has referred to the film as his
generation's "big bang", and it is regarded as one of the greatest
films ever made. For the 18th-century period film
Barry Lyndon (1975),
Kubrick obtained lenses developed by Zeiss for NASA, to film scenes
under natural candlelight. With The Shining (1980), he became one of
the first directors to make use of a
Steadicam for stabilized and
fluid tracking shots. While many of Kubrick's films were controversial
and initially received mixed reviews upon release—particularly A
Clockwork Orange (1971), which Kubrick pulled from circulation in the
UK following a mass media frenzy—most were nominated for Oscars,
Golden Globes, or BAFTA Awards, and underwent critical reevaluations.
His last film, Eyes Wide Shut, was completed shortly before his death
in 1999 at the age of 70.
1 Early life
2 Photographic career
3 Film career
3.1 Short films (1951–1953)
3.2 Early feature work (1953–1955)
3.3 Hollywood success (1956–1961)
3.4 Collaboration with
Peter Sellers (1962–1964)
3.5 Ground-breaking cinema (1965–1971)
3.6 Period and horror filming (1972–1980)
3.7 Later work and final years (1981–1999)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
A.I. Artificial Intelligence and unrealized projects
3.8.1 A.I. Artificial Intelligence
3.8.3 Other projects
4 Career influences
5 Directing techniques
5.2 Writing and staging scenes
5.5 Editing and music
6 Personal life
8 See also
10 External links
Kubrick was born in the Lying-In Hospital at 307 Second Avenue in
Manhattan, New York City, to a
Jewish family. He was the first
of two children of Jacob Leonard Kubrick (May 21, 1902 –
October 19, 1985), known as Jack or Jacques, and his wife Sadie
Gertrude Kubrick (née Perveler;
October 28, 1903 – April 23,
1985), known as Gert. His sister, Barbara Mary Kubrick, was born in
May 1934. Jack Kubrick, whose parents and paternal grandparents
were of Polish Jewish, Austrian Jewish, and Romanian
was a doctor, graduating from the New York Homeopathic Medical
College in 1927, the same year he married Kubrick's mother, the child
Jewish immigrants. Kubrick's great-grandfather, Hersh
Kubrick (also spelled Kubrik or Kubrike), arrived at
Ellis Island via
Liverpool by ship on December 27, 1899, at the age of 47, leaving
behind his wife and two grown children, one of whom was Stanley's
grandfather Elias, to start a new life with a younger woman. Elias
Kubrick followed in 1902. At Stanley's birth, the Kubricks lived in
an apartment at 2160 Clinton Avenue in the Bronx. Although his
parents had been married in a
Jewish ceremony, Kubrick did not have a
religious upbringing, and would later profess an atheistic view of the
universe. By the district standards of the West Bronx, the family
was fairly wealthy, his father earning a good income as a
Soon after his sister's birth, Kubrick began schooling in Public
School 3 in the Bronx, and moved to Public School 90 in June 1938.
Although his IQ was discovered to be above average, his attendance was
poor, and he missed 56 days in his first term alone, as many as he
attended. He displayed an interest in literature from a young age,
and began reading Greek and Roman myths and the fables of the Grimm
brothers which "instilled in him a lifelong affinity with Europe".
He spent most Saturdays during the summer watching the New York
Yankees, and would later photograph two boys watching the game in an
assignment for Look magazine to emulate his own childhood excitement
with baseball. When Kubrick was 12, his father Jack taught him
chess. The game remained a lifelong interest of Kubrick's,
appearing in many scenes of his films. Kubrick, who later became a
member of the United States
Chess Federation, explained that chess
helped him develop "patience and discipline" in making decisions.
At the age of 13, Kubrick's father bought him a
triggering a fascination with still photography. He befriended a
neighbor, Marvin Traub, who shared his passion for photography.
Traub had his own darkroom, where the young Kubrick and he would spend
many hours perusing photographs and watching the chemicals "magically
make images on photographic paper". The two indulged in numerous
photographic projects for which they roamed the streets looking for
interesting subjects to capture, and spent time in local cinemas
studying films. Freelance photographer
Weegee (Arthur Fellig) had a
considerable influence on Kubrick's development as a photographer;
Kubrick would later hire Fellig as the special stills photographer for
Dr. Strangelove (1964). As a teenager, Kubrick was also interested
in jazz, and briefly attempted a career as a drummer.
Kubrick attended William Howard Taft High School from 1941 to 1945.
One of his classmates was Edith Gormezano, later known as the singer
Eydie Gorme. Though he joined the school's photographic club,
which permitted him to photograph the school's events in their
magazine, he was a mediocre student, with a meager 67 grade
average. Introverted and shy, Kubrick had a low attendance record,
and often skipped school to watch double-feature films. He
graduated in 1945, but his poor grades, combined with the demand for
college admissions from soldiers returning from the Second World War,
eliminated hope of higher education. Later in life, Kubrick spoke
disdainfully of his education and of contemporary American schooling
as a whole, maintaining that schools were ineffective in stimulating
critical thinking and student interest. His father was disappointed in
his son's failure to achieve excellence in school, of which he felt
Stanley was fully capable. Jack also encouraged Stanley to read from
the former's library at home, while at the same time permitting
Stanley to take up photography as a serious hobby.
Kubrick with showgirl Rosemary Williams in 1949
While still in high school, Kubrick was chosen as an official school
photographer for a year. In the mid-1940s, since he was not able to
gain admission to day session classes at colleges, he briefly attended
evening classes at the City College of New York. Eventually, he
sold a photographic series to Look magazine, having taken a photo to
Helen O'Brian, head of the photographic department, who purchased it
without hesitation for £25 on the spot.[a] It was printed on June
26, 1945. Kubrick supplemented his income by playing chess "for
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park and various
Photo of Chicago taken by Kubrick for Look magazine, 1949
In 1946, he became an apprentice photographer for Look and later a
full-time staff photographer. G. Warren Schloat, Jr., another new
photographer for the magazine at the time, recalled that he thought
Kubrick lacked the personality to make it as a director in Hollywood,
remarking, "Stanley was a quiet fellow. He didn't say much. He was
thin, skinny, and kind of poor—like we all were". Kubrick
quickly became known, however, for his story-telling in photographs.
His first, published on April 16, 1946, was entitled "A Short Story
from a Movie Balcony" and staged a fracas between a man and a woman,
during which the man is slapped in the face, caught genuinely by
surprise. In another assignment, 18 pictures were taken of various
people waiting in a dental office. It has been said retrospectively
that this project demonstrated an early interest of Kubrick in
capturing individuals and their feelings in mundane environments.
In 1948, he was sent to Portugal to document a travel piece, and
covered the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Sarasota,
Florida.[b] Kubrick, a boxing enthusiast, eventually began
photographing boxing matches for the magazine. His earliest,
"Prizefighter", was published on January 18, 1949, and captured a
boxing match and the events leading up to it, featuring Walter
Cartier. On April 2, 1949, he published a photo essay, named
"Chicago-City of Extremes" in Look, which displayed his talent early
on for creating atmosphere with imagery, including a photograph taken
above a congested Chicago street at night. The following year, on July
18, 1950, the magazine published his photo essay, "Working Debutante -
Betsy von Furstenberg", which featured a
Pablo Picasso portrait of
Angel F. de Soto in the background. Kubrick was also assigned to
photograph numerous jazz musicians, from
Frank Sinatra and Erroll
Garner to George Lewis, Eddie Condon, Phil Napoleon, Papa Celestin,
Alphonse Picou, Muggsy Spanier, Sharkey Bonano, and others.
Kubrick married his high-school sweetheart Toba Metz on May 28, 1948.
They lived together in a small apartment at 36 West 16th Street, off
6th Avenue just north of Greenwich Village. During this time,
Kubrick began frequenting film screenings at the Museum of Modern Art
and the cinemas of New York City. He was inspired by the complex,
fluid camerawork of the director Max Ophüls, whose films influenced
Kubrick's later visual style, and by the director Elia Kazan, whom he
described as America's "best director" at that time, with his ability
of "performing miracles" with his actors. Friends began to notice
that Kubrick had become obsessed with the art of filmmaking—one
friend, David Vaughn, observed that Kubrick would scrutinize the film
at the cinema when it went silent, and would go back to reading his
paper when people started talking. He also spent many hours
reading books on film theory and writing down notes. Sergei
Eisenstein's theoretical writings had a profound impact on Kubrick,
and he took a great number of notes from books in the library of
Arthur Rothstein, the photographic technical director of Look
See also: Filmography and awards of Stanley Kubrick
Short films (1951–1953)
Kubrick shared a love of film with his school friend Alexander Singer,
who after graduating from high school had the intention of directing a
film version of Homer's The Iliad. Through Singer, who worked in the
offices of the newsreel production company, The March of Time, Kubrick
learned that it could cost $40,000 to make a proper short film, money
he could not afford. However, he had $1500 in savings and managed to
produce a few short documentaries fueled by encouragement from Singer.
He began learning all he could about filmmaking on his own, calling
film suppliers, laboratories, and equipment rental houses.
Kubrick decided to make a short film documentary about boxer Walter
Cartier, whom he had photographed and written about for Look magazine
a year earlier. He rented a camera and produced a 16-minute
black-and-white documentary, Day of the Fight. Kubrick found the money
independently to finance it. He had considered asking Montgomery Clift
to narrate it, whom he had met during a photographic session for Look,
but settled on CBS news veteran Douglas Edwards. According to Paul
Duncan the film was "remarkably accomplished for a first film", and
was notable for using a backward tracking shot to film a scene in
which the brothers walk towards the camera, a device later to become
one of Kubrick's characteristic camera movements. Vincent Cartier,
Walter's brother and manager, later reflected on his observations of
Kubrick during the filming. He said, "Stanley was very stoic,
impassive but imaginative type person with strong, imaginative
thoughts. He commanded respect in a quiet, shy way. Whatever he
wanted, you complied, he just captivated you. Anybody who worked with
Stanley did just what Stanley wanted".[d] After a score was added
by Singer's friend Gerald Fried, Kubrick had spent $3900 in making it,
and sold it to RKO-Pathé for $4000, which was the most the company
had ever paid for a short film at the time. Kubrick described his
first effort at filmmaking as having been valuable since he believed
himself to have been forced to do most of the work, and he later
declared that the "best education in film is to make one".
Inspired by this early success, Kubrick quit his job at Look and
visited professional filmmakers in New York City, asking many detailed
questions about the technical aspects of film-making. He stated that
he was given the confidence during this period to become a filmmaker
because of the number of bad films he had seen, remarking, "I don't
know a goddamn thing about movies, but I know I can make a better film
than that". He began making
Flying Padre (1951), a film which
documents Reverend Fred Stadtmueller, who travels some 4,000 miles to
visit his 11 churches. The film was originally going to be called "Sky
Pilot", a pun on the slang term for a priest. During the course of
the film, the priest performs a burial service, confronts a boy
bullying a girl, and makes an emergency flight to aid a sick mother
and baby into an ambulance. Several of the views from and of the plane
Flying Padre are later echoed in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) with
the footage of the spacecraft, and a series of close-ups on the faces
of people attending the funeral were most likely inspired by Sergei
Battleship Potemkin (1925) and Ivan the Terrible
Flying Padre was followed by
The Seafarers (1953), Kubrick's first
color film, which was shot for the Seafarers International Union in
June 1953. It has shots of ships, machinery, a canteen, and a union
meeting. For the cafeteria scene in the film, Kubrick chose a long,
sideways-shooting dolly shot to establish the life of the seafarer's
community; this shot is an early demonstration of a technique which
would become a signature of his. The montage of speaker and audience
echoes scenes from Eisenstein's Strike (1925) and
Day of the Fight,
Flying Padre and
The Seafarers constitute Kubrick's
only surviving documentary works, although some historians believe he
Early feature work (1953–1955)
Fear and Desire
Fear and Desire (1953)
After raising $1000 showing his short films to friends and family,
Kubrick found the finances to begin making his first feature film,
Fear and Desire
Fear and Desire (1953), originally running with the title The Trap,
written by his friend Howard Sackler. Kubrick's uncle, Martin
Perveler, a Los Angeles businessman, invested a further $9000 on
condition that he be credited as executive producer of the film.
Kubrick assembled several actors and a small crew totaling 14 people
(five actors, five crewmen, and four others to help transport the
equipment) and flew to the
San Gabriel Mountains
San Gabriel Mountains in California for a
five-week, low-budget shoot. Later renamed The Shape of Fear
before finally being named Fear and Desire, it is a fictional allegory
about a team of soldiers who survive a plane crash and are caught
behind enemy lines in a war. During the course of the film, one of the
soldiers becomes infatuated with an attractive girl in the woods and
binds her to a tree. This scene is noted for its close-ups on the face
of the actress. Kubrick had intended for
Fear and Desire
Fear and Desire to be a
silent picture in order to ensure low production costs; the added
sounds, effects, and music ultimately brought production costs to
around $53,000, exceeding the budget. He was bailed out by
Richard de Rochemont on the condition that he help in de
Rochemont's production of a five-part television series about Abraham
Lincoln on location in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
Fear and Desire
Fear and Desire was a commercial failure, but garnered several
positive reviews upon release. Critics such as the reviewer from The
New York Times believed that Kubrick's professionalism as a
photographer shone through in the picture, and that he "artistically
caught glimpses of the grotesque attitudes of death, the wolfishness
of hungry men, as well as their bestiality, and in one scene, the
wracking effect of lust on a pitifully juvenile soldier and the
pinioned girl he is guarding". Columbia University scholar Mark Van
Doren was highly impressed by the scenes with the girl bound to the
tree, remarking that it would live on as a "beautiful, terrifying and
weird" sequence which illustrated Kubrick's immense talent and
guaranteed his future success. Kubrick himself later expressed
embarrassment with Fear and Desire, however, and attempted over the
years to keep prints of the film out of circulation.[e]
Following Fear and Desire, Kubrick began working on ideas for a new
boxing film. Due to the commercial failure of his first feature,
Kubrick avoided asking for further investments, but commenced a film
noir script with Howard O. Sackler. Originally under the title Kiss
Me, Kill Me, and then The Nymph and the Maniac,
Killer's Kiss (1955)
is a 67-minute film noir about a young heavyweight boxer's involvement
with a woman being abused by her criminal boss. Like Fear and Desire,
it was privately funded by Kubrick's family and friends, with some
$40,000 put forward from Bronx pharmacist Morris Bousse. Kubrick
began shooting footage in Times Square, and frequently explored during
the filming process, experimenting with cinematography and considering
the use of unconventional angles and imagery. He initially chose to
record the sound on location, but encountered difficulties with
shadows from the microphone booms, restricting camera movement. His
decision to drop the sound in favor of imagery was a costly one; after
12–14 weeks shooting the picture, he spent some seven months and
$35,000 working on the sound. Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail (1929)
directly influenced the film with the painting laughing at a
Martin Scorsese has, in turn, cited Kubrick's
innovative shooting angles and atmospheric shots in
Killer's Kiss as
an influence on
Raging Bull (1980). Actress Irene Kane, the star
of the film, observed: "Stanley's a fascinating character. He thinks
movies should move, with a minimum of dialogue, and he's all for sex
Killer's Kiss met with limited commercial success and
made very little money in comparison with its production budget of
$75,000. Although critics have praised the film's camerawork, its
acting and story are generally considered mediocre.[f]
Hollywood success (1956–1961)
While playing chess in Washington Square, Kubrick met producer James
B. Harris, who considered Kubrick "the most intelligent, most creative
person I have ever come in contact with". The two formed the
Harris-Kubrick Pictures Corporation in 1955. Harris purchased the
rights to Lionel White's novel Clean Break for $10,000[g] and Kubrick
wrote the script, but at Kubrick's suggestion, they hired film
noir novelist Jim Thompson to write the dialog for the film—which
became The Killing (1956)—about a meticulously planned racetrack
robbery gone wrong. The film starred Sterling Hayden, with whom
Kubrick had been impressed in
The Asphalt Jungle
The Asphalt Jungle (1950).
Kubrick and Harris moved to Los Angeles from New York and signed with
the Jaffe Agency to shoot the picture, which became Kubrick's first
full-length feature film shot with a professional cast and crew. The
Union in Hollywood stated that Kubrick would not be permitted to be
both the director and the cinematographer of the movie, so veteran
Lucien Ballard was hired for the shooting. Kubrick
agreed to waive his fee for the production, which was shot in just 24
days on a budget of $330,000. He clashed with Ballard during the
shooting, and on one occasion Kubrick threatened to fire Ballard
following a camera dispute, despite being only 27 years old at the
time and 20 years Ballard's junior. Hayden recalled that Kubrick
was "cold and detached. Very mechanical, always confident. I've worked
with few directors who are that good".
The Killing failed to secure a proper release across the United
States; the film made little money, and was promoted only at the last
minute, as a second feature to the Western movie Bandido! (1956).
Several contemporary critics lauded the film, however, with a reviewer
for TIME comparing its camerawork to that of Orson Welles. Today,
critics generally consider The Killing to be among the best films of
Kubrick's early career; its nonlinear narrative and clinical execution
also had a major influence on later directors of crime films,
including Quentin Tarantino.
Dore Schary of
highly impressed as well, and offered Kubrick and Harris $75,000 to
write, direct, and produce a film, which ultimately became Paths of
Adolphe Menjou (left) and
Kirk Douglas (right) in Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory, set during World War I, is based on Humphrey Cobb's
1935 antiwar novel, which Kubrick had read while waiting in his
father's office. Schary of MGM was familiar with the novel, but stated
that the company would not finance another war picture, given their
backing of the anti-war film The Red Badge of Courage (1951).[i] After
Schary was fired by MGM in a major shake-up, Kubrick and Harris
managed to interest
Kirk Douglas in playing Colonel Dax.[j] The
film, shot in Munich, from January 1957, follows a French army unit
ordered on an impossible mission, and follows with a war trial of
Colonel Dax and his men for misconduct. For the battle scene, Kubrick
meticulously lined up six cameras one after the other along the
boundary of no-man's land, with each camera capturing a specific field
and numbered, and gave each of the hundreds of extras a number for the
zone in which they would die. Kubrick himself operated an Arriflex
camera for the battle, zooming in on Douglas.
Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory became
Kubrick's first significant commercial success, and established him as
an up-and-coming young filmmaker. Critics praised the film's
unsentimental, spare, and unvarnished combat scenes and its raw,
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times
wrote: "The close, hard eye of Mr Kubrick's sullen camera bores
directly into the minds of scheming men and into the hearts of
patient, frightened soldiers who have to accept orders to die".
Despite the praise, the Christmas release date was criticized, and
the subject was a controversial one in Europe. The film was banned in
France until 1974 for its "unflattering" depiction of the French
military, and was censored by the Swiss Army until 1970.
The film poster for
Marlon Brando contacted Kubrick, asking him to direct a film
adaptation of the Charles Neider western novel, The Authentic Death of
Hendry Jones, featuring
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.[k] Brando
was impressed, saying that "Stanley is unusually perceptive, and
delicately attuned to people. He has an adroit intellect, and is a
creative thinker—not a repeater, not a fact-gatherer. He digests
what he learns and brings to a new project an original point of view
and a reserved passion". The two worked on a script for six
months, begun by a then unknown Sam Peckinpah. Many disputes broke out
over the project, and in the end, Kubrick distanced himself from what
One-Eyed Jacks (1961).[l]
In February 1959, Kubrick received a phone call from Kirk Douglas
asking him to direct
Spartacus (1960), based on the true life story of
the historical figure
Spartacus and the events of the Third Servile
War. Douglas had acquired the rights to the novel by
Howard Fast and
Dalton Trumbo began penning the script.
It was produced by Douglas, who also starred as rebellious slave
Spartacus, and cast
Laurence Olivier as his foe, the Roman general and
politician Marcus Licinius Crassus. Douglas hired Kubrick for a
reported fee of $150,000 to take over direction soon after he fired
director Anthony Mann. Kubrick had, at 31, already directed four
feature films, and this became his largest by far, with a cast of over
10,000 and a large budget of $6 million.[m] At the time, this was the
most expensive film ever made in America, and Kubrick became the
youngest director in Hollywood history to helm an epic. It was the
first time that Kubrick filmed using the anamorphic 35mm horizontal
Super Technirama process to achieve ultra-high definition, which
allowed him to capture large panoramic scenes, including one with
8,000 trained soldiers from Spain representing the Roman army.[n]
Disputes broke out during the filming. Kubrick complained about not
having full creative control over the artistic aspects, insisting on
improvising extensively during the production.[o] Kubrick and
Douglas were also at odds over the script, with Kubrick angering
Douglas when he cut all but two of his lines from the opening 30
minutes. Despite the on-set troubles,
Spartacus was a critical and
commercial success, earning $14.6 million at the box office in its
first run. The film established Kubrick as a major director,
Academy Award nominations and winning four; it
ultimately convinced him that if so much could be made of such a
problematic production, he could achieve anything.
marked, however, the end of the working relationship between Kubrick
Peter Sellers (1962–1964)
Sue Lyon, who played the role of Dolores "Lolita" Haze in Lolita
Kubrick and Harris made a decision to film Kubrick's next movie Lolita
(1962) in England, due to clauses placed on the contract by producers
Warner Bros. that gave them complete control over every aspect of the
film, and the fact that the Eady plan permitted producers to write off
the costs if 80% of the crew were English. Instead, they signed a $1
million deal with Eliot Hyman's Associated Artists Productions, and a
clause which gave them the artistic freedom that they desired.
Lolita, Kubrick's first attempt at black comedy, was an adaptation of
the novel of the same name by Vladimir Nabokov, the story of a
middle-aged college professor becoming infatuated with a 12-year-old
girl. Stylistically, Lolita, starring Peter Sellers, James Mason,
Shelley Winters, and Sue Lyon, was a transitional film for Kubrick,
"marking the turning point from a naturalistic cinema ... to the
surrealism of the later films", according to film critic Gene
Youngblood. Kubrick was deeply impressed by the chameleon-like
range of actor
Peter Sellers and gave him one of his first
opportunities to improvise wildly during shooting, while filming him
with three cameras.[q]
Lolita was shot over 88 days on a budget of $2 million at Elstree
October 1960 and March 1961. Kubrick often
clashed with Shelley Winters, whom he found "very difficult" and
demanding, and nearly fired at one point. Because of its
Lolita was Kubrick's first film to generate
controversy; he was ultimately forced to comply with censors and
remove much of the erotic element of the relationship between Mason's
Humbert and Lyon's
Lolita which had been evident in Nabokov's
novel. The film was not a major critical or commercial success
upon release, earning $3.7 million at the box office on its opening
Lolita has since become acclaimed by film critics.
Social historian Stephen E. Kercher documented that the film
"demonstrated that its director possessed a keen, satiric insight into
the social landscape and sexual hang-ups of cold war America", while
Jon Fortgang of
Film4 wrote: "Lolita, with its acute mix of pathos and
comedy, and Mason's mellifluous delivery of Nabokov's sparkling lines,
remains the definitive depiction of tragic transgression".
Kubrick's next project was
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop
Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), another satirical black comedy.
Kubrick became preoccupied with the issue of nuclear war as the Cold
War unfolded in the 1950s, and even considered moving to Australia
because he feared that New York City might be a likely target for the
Russians. He studied over 40 military and political research books on
the subject and eventually reached the conclusion that "nobody really
knew anything and the whole situation was absurd". After buying
the rights to the novel Red Alert, Kubrick collaborated with its
author, Peter George, on the script. It was originally written as a
serious political thriller, but Kubrick decided that a "serious
treatment" of the subject would not be believable, and thought that
some of its most salient points would be fodder for comedy.
Kubrick and George then reworked the script as a satire (provisionally
titled "The Delicate Balance of Terror") in which the plot of Red
Alert was situated as a film-within-a-film made by an alien
intelligence, but this idea was also abandoned, and Kubrick decided to
make the film as "an outrageous black comedy". Just before filming
began, Kubrick hired noted journalist and satirical author Terry
Southern to transform the script into its final form, a black-comedy,
loaded with sexual innuendo, becoming a film which showed
Kubrick's talents as "unique kind of absurdist" according to the film
scholar Abrams. Although Southern certainly made major
contributions to final script, and was co-credited (above Peter
George) in the film's opening titles, his perceived role in the
writing later led to a public rift between Kubrick and Peter George,
who subsequently complained in a letter to Life magazine that
Southern's intense but relatively brief (November 16 to December 28,
1962) involvement with the project was being given undue prominence in
the media, while his own role as the author of the film's source
novel, and his ten-month stint as the script's co-writer, were being
downplayed - a perception Kubrick evidently did little to
Kubrick found that Dr. Strangelove, a $2 million production which
employed what became the "first important visual effects crew in the
world", would be impossible to make in the U.S. for various
technical and political reasons, forcing him to move production to
England. It was shot in 15 weeks, ending in April 1963, after which
Kubrick spent eight months editing it.
Peter Sellers again agreed
to work with Kubrick, and ended up playing three different roles in
the film.[s] Upon release, the film stirred up much controversy and
The New York Times
The New York Times film critic
Bosley Crowther worried
that it was a "discredit and even contempt for our whole defense
establishment ... the most shattering sick joke I've ever come
across",  while
Robert Brustein of Out of This World in a
February 1970 article called it a "juvenalian satire". Kubrick
responded to the criticism, stating: "A satirist is someone who has a
very skeptical view of human nature, but who still has the optimism to
make some sort of a joke out of it. However brutal that joke might
be". Today, the film is considered to be one of the sharpest
comedy films ever made, and holds a near perfect 99% rating on Rotten
Tomatoes based on 68 reviews as of August 2015. It was voted the
39th-greatest American film and third-greatest comedy film of all time
by the American Film Institute, and in 2010, it was voted
the sixth-best comedy film of all time by The Guardian.
Ground-breaking cinema (1965–1971)
A model of the bedroom which appeared at the end of 2001: A Space
Kubrick spent five years developing his next film, 2001: A Space
Odyssey (1968), having been highly impressed with science fiction
writer Arthur C. Clarke's novel Childhood's End, about a superior race
of alien beings who assist mankind in eliminating their old selves.
After meeting Clarke in New York City in April 1964, Kubrick made the
suggestion to work on his 1948 short story The Sentinel, about a
tetrahedron which is found on the Moon which alerts aliens of
mankind. That year, Clarke began writing the novel 2001: A Space
Odyssey, and the screenplay was written by Kubrick and Clarke in
collaboration. The film's theme, the birthing of one intelligence by
another, is developed in two parallel intersecting stories on two very
different times scales. One depicts transitions between various stages
of man, from ape to "star child", as man is reborn into a new
existence, each step shepherded by an enigmatic alien intelligence
seen only in its artifacts: a series of seemingly indestructible
eons-old black monoliths. In space, the enemy is a supercomputer known
as HAL who runs the spaceship, a character which novelist Clancy Sigal
described as being "far, far more human, more humorous and conceivably
decent than anything else that may emerge from this far-seeing
Kubrick spent a great deal of time researching the film, paying
particular attention to accuracy and detail in what the future might
look like. He was granted permission by
NASA to observe the spacecraft
being used in the
Ranger 9 mission for accuracy. Filming
commenced on December 29, 1965, with the excavation of the monolith on
the moon, and footage was shot in
Namib Desert in early 1967,
with the ape scenes completed in the summer of that year. The special
effects team continued working diligently until the end of the year to
complete the film, taking the cost to $10.5 million. 2001: A
Space Odyssey was conceived as a
Cinerama spectacle and was
photographed in Super Panavision 70, giving the viewer a "dazzling mix
of imagination and science" through ground-breaking effects, which
earned Kubrick his only personal Oscar, an
Academy Award for Visual
Effects.[u] Louise Sweeney of the Christian Science Monitor
called the film the "ultimate trip" while praising one of the scenes
where the viewer moves through space while witnessing a vibrant mix of
lighting, color, and patterns. Kubrick said of the concept of the
film in an interview with Rolling Stone: "On the deepest psychological
level, the film's plot symbolized the search for God, and finally
postulates what is little less than a scientific definition of God.
The film revolves around this metaphysical conception, and the
realistic hardware and the documentary feelings about everything were
necessary in order to undermine your built-in resistance to the
Upon release in 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey was not an immediate hit
among many critics, who faulted its lack of dialogue, slow pacing, and
seemingly impenetrable storyline.  The film appeared to defy
genre convention, much unlike any science-fiction movie before
it, and clearly different from any of Kubrick's earlier films or
stories. Kubrick was particularly outraged by a scathing review from
Pauline Kael, who called it "the biggest amateur movie of them all",
with Kubrick doing "really every dumb thing he ever wanted to do".
 Despite mixed reviews from critics at that time, 2001: A Space
Odyssey gradually gained popularity and earned $31 million worldwide
by the end of 1972.[v] Today, it is widely considered to be one
of the greatest and most influential films ever made, and is a staple
on All Time Top 10 lists. Baxter describes the film as "one
of the most admired and discussed creations in the history of
Steven Spielberg has referred to it as "the big bang
of his film making generation". For LoBrutto it "positioned
Stanley Kubrick as a pure artist ranked among the masters of
An example of the erotica from A Clockwork Orange (1971)
After completing 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick searched for a project
that he could film quickly on a small budget. He settled on A
Clockwork Orange (1971) at the end of 1969, an exploration of violence
and experimental rehabilitation by law enforcement authorities, based
around the character of Alex (portrayed by Malcolm McDowell). Kubrick
had originally received a copy of Anthony Burgess's novel of the same
Terry Southern while they were working on Dr. Strangelove,
but had rejected it on the grounds that Nadsat,[w] a street language
for young teenagers, was too difficult to comprehend. In 1969, the
decision to make a film about the degeneration of youth was a more
timely one; the
New Hollywood movement was witnessing a great number
of films that were centered around the sexuality and rebelliousness of
young people, which no doubt influenced Kubrick in Baxter's
opinion. A Clockwork Orange was shot over the winter of 1970-1 on
a budget of £2 million. Kubrick abandoned his use of CinemaScope
in the filming, deciding that the 1.66:1 widescreen format was, in the
words of Baxter, an "acceptable compromise between spectacle and
intimacy", and favored his "rigorously symmetrical framing", which
"increased the beauty of his compositions". The film heavily
features "pop erotica" of the period, including a giant white plastic
set of male genitals, decor which Kubrick had intended to give it a
"slightly futuristic" look. McDowell's role in Lindsay Anderson's
if.... (1968) was crucial to his casting as Alex,[x] and Kubrick
professed that he probably would not have made the film if McDowell
had been unavailable.
Because of its depiction of teenage violence, A Clockwork Orange
became one of the most controversial films of the decade, and part of
an ongoing debate about violence and its glorification in cinema. It
received an X-rated certificate upon release, just before Christmas in
1971, though many critics saw much of the violence depicted in the
film as satirical, and less violent than Straw Dogs, which had been
released a month earlier. Kubrick personally pulled the film from
release in the United Kingdom after receiving death threats following
a series of copycat crimes based on the film; it was thus completely
unavailable legally in the UK until after Kubrick's death, and not
re-released until 2000.[y] John Trevelyan, the censor of the
film, personally considered A Clockwork Orange to be "perhaps the most
brilliant piece of cinematic art I've ever seen, and believed it to
present an "intellectual argument rather than a sadistic spectacle" in
its depiction of violence, but acknowledged that many would not
agree. Negative media hype over the film notwithstanding, A
Clockwork Orange received four
Academy Award nominations, for Best
Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Editing, and was
named by the
New York Film Critics Circle as the Best Film of
William Friedkin won Best Director for The French
Connection that year, he told the press: "Speaking personally, I think
Stanley Kubrick is the best American film-maker of the year. In fact,
not just this year, but the best, period".
Period and horror filming (1972–1980)
Ryan O'Neal, the lead actor of
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Barry Lyndon (1975) is an adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's
The Luck of
Barry Lyndon (also known as Barry Lyndon), a picaresque
novel about the adventures of an 18th-century Irish rogue and social
John Calley of
Warner Bros. agreed in 1972 to invest $2.5
million into the film, on condition that Kubrick approach major
Hollywood stars, to ensure it of success. Like previous films,
Kubrick and his art department conducted an enormous amount of
research, and he went from knowing very little about the 18th century
at the start of the production to becoming an expert on it. Extensive
photographs were taken of locations and artwork in particular, and
paintings were meticulously replicated from works of the great masters
of the period in the film.[z] The film was shot on location in
Ireland, beginning in the autumn of 1973, at a cost of $11 million
with a cast and crew of 170. The decision to shoot in Ireland
stemmed from the fact that it still retained many buildings from the
18th century period which England lacked. The production was
problematic from the start, plagued with heavy rain and political
strife involving Northern Ireland at the time. After Kubrick
received death threats from the IRA in the New Year of 1974 due to the
shooting scenes with English soldiers, he fled Ireland with his family
on a ferry from
Dún Laoghaire under an assumed identity, and filming
resumed in England.
William Hogarth's The Country Dance (circa 1745) illustrates the type
of interior scene that Kubrick sought to emulate with Barry Lyndon.
Baxter notes that
Barry Lyndon was the film which made Kubrick
notorious for paying scrupulous attention to detail, often demanding
twenty or thirty retakes of the same scene to perfect his art.
Often considered to be his most authentic-looking picture, the
cinematography and lighting techniques that Kubrick and
John Alcott used in
Barry Lyndon were highly
innovative. Most notably, interior scenes were shot with a specially
adapted high-speed f/0.7 Zeiss camera lens originally developed for
NASA to be used in satellite photography. The lenses allowed many
scenes to be lit only with candlelight, creating two-dimensional,
diffused-light images reminiscent of 18th-century paintings.
Allen Daviau states that the method gives the audience
a way of seeing the characters and scenes as they would have been seen
by people at the time. Many of the fight scenes were shot with a
hand-held camera to produce a "sense of documentary realism and
Barry Lyndon found a great audience in France, it was a box
office failure, grossing just $9.5 million in the American market, not
even close to the $30 million
Warner Bros. needed to generate a
profit. The pace and length of
Barry Lyndon at three hours put
off many American critics and audiences, but the film was nominated
Academy Awards and won four, including Best Art Direction,
Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Musical Score, more
than any other Kubrick film. As with most of Kubrick's films, Barry
Lyndon's reputation has grown through the years and it is now
considered to be one of his best, particularly among filmmakers and
critics. Numerous polls, such as
The Village Voice
The Village Voice (1999), Sight &
Sound (2002), and Time (2005), have rated it as one of the greatest
films ever made. As of March 2018, it has as 97% rating
on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 62 reviews.
Roger Ebert referred to
it as "one of the most beautiful films ever made", "certainly in every
frame a Kubrick film: technically awesome, emotionally distant,
remorseless in its doubt of human goodness."
Several of the interiors of
Ahwahnee Hotel were used as templates for
the sets of the Overlook Hotel.
The Shining, released in 1980, was adapted from the novel of the same
name by bestselling horror writer Stephen King. The Shining was not
the only horror film to which Kubrick had been linked; he had turned
down the directing of both The Exorcist (1973) and Exorcist II: The
Heretic (1977), despite once saying in 1966 to a friend that he had
long desired to "make the world's scariest movie, involving a series
of episodes that would play upon the nightmare fears of the
audience". The film stars
Jack Nicholson as a writer who takes a
job as a winter caretaker of a large and isolated hotel in the Rocky
Mountains. He spends the winter there with his wife, played by Shelley
Duvall, and their young son, who displays paranormal abilities. During
their stay, they confront both Jack's descent into madness and
apparent supernatural horrors lurking in the hotel. Kubrick gave his
actors freedom to extend the script, and even improvise on occasion,
and as a result, Nicholson was responsible for the 'Here's Johnny!'
line and scene in which he's sitting at the typewriter and unleashes
his anger upon his wife. So determined to produce perfection was
Kubrick, he often demanded up to 70 or 80 retakes of the same scene.
Duvall, who Kubrick also intentionally isolated and argued with often,
was forced to perform the iconic and exhausting baseball bat scene 127
times. Afterwards, Duvall presented Kubrick with clumps of hair that
had fallen out due to the extreme stress of filming. The bar
scene with the ghostly bartender was shot 36 times, while the kitchen
scene between the characters of Danny (Danny Lloyd) and Halloran
(Scatman Crothers) ran to 148 takes. The aerial shots of the
Overlook Hotel were shot at
Timberline Lodge on
Mount Hood in Oregon,
while the interiors of the hotel were shot at
Elstree Studios in
England between May 1978 and April 1979. Cardboard models were
made of all of the sets of the film, and the lighting of them was a
massive undertaking, which took four months of electrical wiring.
Kubrick made extensive use of the newly invented Steadicam, a
weight-balanced camera support, which allowed for smooth hand-held
camera movement in scenes where a conventional camera track was
impractical. According to Garrett Brown, Steadicam's inventor, it was
the first picture to use its full potential.
Five days after release on May 23, 1980, Kubrick ordered the deletion
of a final scene, in which the hotel manager Ullman (Barry Nelson)
visits Wendy (Shelley Duvall) in hospital, believing it to have been
unnecessary after witnessing the audience excitement in cinemas at the
climax of the film. The Shining opened to strong box office
takings, earning $1 million on the first weekend and earning $30.9
million in America alone by the end of the year. The original
critical response was mixed, and King himself detested the film and
Janet Maslin of
The New York Times
The New York Times praised the
"eerie way" in which Kubrick turned an "enormous building into
something cramped and claustrophobic", which would "undoubtedly amount
to one of the screen's scarier haunted houses". The Shining is
now considered to be a horror classic, and the American Film
Institute has ranked it as the 27th greatest thriller film of all
Later work and final years (1981–1999)
R. Lee Ermey, who portrayed the tyrannical Sergeant Hartman in Full
Metal Jacket (1987)
Kubrick met author
Michael Herr through mutual friend David Cornwell
(novelist John le Carré) in 1980, and became interested in his book
Dispatches, about the Vietnam War. Herr had recently written
Martin Sheen's narration for
Apocalypse Now (1979). Kubrick was also
intrigued by Gustav Hasford's
Vietnam War novel The Short-Timers. With
the vision in mind to shoot what would become Full Metal Jacket
(1987), Kubrick began working with both Herr and Hasford separately on
a script. He eventually found Hasford's novel to be "brutally honest"
and decided to shoot a film which closely follows the novel. All
of the film was shot at a cost of $17 million within a 30-mile radius
of his house between August 1985 and September 1986, later than
scheduled as Kubrick shut down production for five months following a
near-fatal accident with a jeep involving Lee Ermey. A derelict
Beckton in the
London Docklands area posed as the ruined
city of Huế, which makes the film visually very different from
Vietnam War films. Around 200 palm trees were imported via
40-foot trailers by road from North Africa, at a cost of £1000 a
tree, and thousands of plastic plants were ordered from Hong Kong to
provide foliage for the film. Kubrick explained he made the film
look realistic by using natural light, and achieved a "newsreel
effect" by making the
Steadicam shots less steady,  which
reviewers and commentators thought contributed to the bleakness and
seriousness of the film.
According to critic Michel Ciment, the film contained some of
Kubrick's trademark characteristics, such as his selection of ironic
music, portrayals of men being dehumanized, and attention to extreme
detail to achieve realism. In a later scene, United States Marines
patrol the ruins of an abandoned and destroyed city singing the theme
song to the
Mickey Mouse Club
Mickey Mouse Club as a sardonic counterpoint. The
film opened strongly in June 1987, taking over $30 million in the
first 50 days alone, but critically it was overshadowed by the
success of Oliver Stone's Platoon, released a year earlier.
According to one review, notes co-star Matthew Modine, "The first half
of FMJ is brilliant. Then the film degenerates into a
Roger Ebert was not particularly impressed with it,
awarding it a mediocre 2.5 out of 4. He concluded: "Stanley Kubrick's
Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket is more like a book of short stories than a novel",
a "strangely shapeless film from the man whose work usually imposes a
ferociously consistent vision on his material".
Kubrick's final film was
Eyes Wide Shut
Eyes Wide Shut (1999), starring Tom Cruise
Nicole Kidman as a
Manhattan couple on a sexual odyssey. Tom
Cruise portrays a doctor who witnesses a bizarre masked quasireligious
orgiastic ritual at a country mansion, a discovery which later
threatens his life. The story is based on Arthur Schnitzler's 1926
Freudian novella Traumnovelle (
Dream Story in English), which Kubrick
relocated from turn-of-the-century Vienna to New York City in the
1990s. Kubrick said of the novel: "A difficult book to describe—what
good book isn't. It explores the sexual ambivalence of a happy
marriage and tries to equate the importance of sexual dreams and
might-have-beens with reality. All of Schnitzler's work is
psychologically brilliant".  Although Kubrick was almost 70, he
worked relentlessly for 15 months to get the film out by its planned
release date of July 16, 1999. He commenced a script with Frederic
Raphael, and worked 18 hours a day, all the while maintaining
complete confidentiality about the film. Principal photography began
on November 7, 1996, and ended in February 1998.
Eyes Wide Shut, like
Lolita and A Clockwork Orange before it, faced
censorship before release. Kubrick sent an unfinished preview copy to
the stars and producers a few months before release, but his sudden
death on March 7, 1999, came a few days after he finished editing. He
never saw the final version released to the public, but he did
see the preview of the film with Warner Bros., Cruise, and Kidman, and
had reportedly told Warner executive Julian Senior that it was "my
best film ever". Today, critical opinion of the film is mixed,
and it is viewed less favorably than most of Kubrick's films. Roger
Ebert awarded it 3.5 out of 4 stars, comparing the structure to a
thriller and writing that it is "like an erotic daydream about chances
missed and opportunities avoided", and thought that Kubrick's use of
lighting at Christmas made the film "all a little garish, like an
Stephen Hunter of
The Washington Post
The Washington Post disliked
the film, writing that it "is actually sad, rather than bad. It feels
creaky, ancient, hopelessly out of touch, infatuated with the hot
taboos of his youth and unable to connect with that twisty thing
contemporary sexuality has become."
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
A.I. Artificial Intelligence and unrealized projects
Main article: Stanley Kubrick's unrealized projects
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Steven Spielberg, whom Kubrick approached in 1995 to direct A.I.
Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Kubrick collaborated with Brian
Aldiss on an expansion of his short story "Supertoys Last All Summer
Long" into a three-act film. It was a futuristic fairy tale about a
robot that resembles and behaves as a child, and his efforts to become
a 'real boy' in a manner similar to Pinocchio. Kubrick approached
Spielberg in 1995 with the AI script with the possibility of Steven
Spielberg directing it and Kubrick producing it. Kubrick
reportedly held long telephone discussions with Spielberg regarding
the film, and, according to Spielberg, at one point stated that the
subject matter was closer to Spielberg's sensibilities than his.
Following Kubrick's death in 1999, Spielberg took the various drafts
and notes left by Kubrick and his writers and composed a new
screenplay based on an earlier 90-page story treatment by Ian Watson
written under Kubrick's supervision and according to Kubrick's
specifications. In association with what remained of Kubrick's
production unit, he directed the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence
(2001). which was produced by Kubrick's longtime producer
(and brother-in-law) Jan Harlan. Sets, costumes, and art
direction were based on the works of conceptual artist Chris Baker,
who had also done much of his work under Kubrick's supervision.
Although Spielberg was able to function autonomously in Kubrick's
absence, he said he felt "inhibited to honor him", and followed
Kubrick's visual schema with as much fidelity as he could, according
to author Joseph McBride. Spielberg, who once referred to Kubrick as
"the greatest master I ever served", now with production underway,
admitted, "I felt like I was being coached by a ghost." The film
was released in June 2001. It contains a posthumous production credit
Stanley Kubrick at the beginning and the brief dedication "For
Stanley Kubrick" at the end. John Williams's score contains many
allusions to pieces heard in other Kubrick films.
The script from Kubrick's unrealized project, Napoleon
Following 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick originally planned to make a
film about the life of the French emperor Napoleon. Fascinated by his
life and own "self-destruction", Kubrick spent a great deal of
time planning the film's development, and had conducted about two
years of extensive research into Napoleon's life, reading several
hundred books and gaining access to Napoleon's personal memoirs and
commentaries. He also tried to see every film ever made about Napoleon
and found none of them appealing, including Abel Gance's 1927 film
which is generally considered to be a masterpiece, but for Kubrick, a
"really terrible" movie. Lo Brutto states that
Napoleon was an
ideal subject for Kubrick, embracing Kubrick's "passion for control,
power, obsession, strategy, and the military", while Napoleon's
psychological intensity and depth, logistical genius and war, sex, and
the evil nature of man were all ingredients which deeply appealed to
Kubrick drafted a screenplay in 1961, and envisaged making a
"grandiose" epic, with up to 40,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry. He
had intended hiring the armed forces of an entire country to make the
film, as he considered Napoleonic battles to be "so beautiful, like
vast lethal ballets", with an "aesthetic brilliance that doesn't
require a military mind to appreciate". He wanted them to be
replicated as authentically as possible on screen. Kubrick had
sent research teams to scout for locations across Europe, and
commissioned screenwriter and director Andrew Birkin, one of his young
assistants on 2001, to the Isle of Elba, Austerlitz, and Waterloo,
taking thousands of pictures for his later perusal. Kubrick approached
numerous stars to play leading roles, including
Audrey Hepburn for
Empress Josephine, a part which she could not accept due to
semiretirement. British actors
David Hemmings and
Ian Holm were
considered for the lead role of Napoleon, before
Jack Nicholson was
cast. The film was well into preproduction and ready to begin
filming in 1969 when MGM cancelled the project. Numerous reasons have
been cited for the abandonment of the project, including its projected
cost, a change of ownership at MGM, and the poor reception the
1970 Soviet film about Napoleon, Waterloo, received. In 2011, Taschen
published the book, Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon: The Greatest Movie
Never Made, a large volume compilation of literature and source
documents from Kubrick, such as scene photo ideas and copies of
letters Kubrick wrote and received. In March 2013, Steven Spielberg,
who previously collaborated with Kubrick on A.I. Artificial
Intelligence and is a passionate admirer of his work, announced that
he would be developing
Napoleon as a TV miniseries based on Kubrick's
In the 1950s, Kubrick and Harris developed a sitcom starring Ernie
Kovacs and a film adaption of the book I Stole $16,000,000, but
nothing came of them. Tony Frewin, an assistant who worked with
the director for a long period of time, revealed in a March 2013
Atlantic article: "He [Kubrick] was limitlessly interested in anything
to do with Nazis and desperately wanted to make a film on the
subject." Kubrick had intended making a film about the life story of
Dietrich Schulz-Koehn, a Nazi officer who used the pen name "Dr. Jazz"
to write reviews of German music scenes during the Nazi era. Kubrick
had been given a copy of the Mike Zwerin book Swing Under the Nazis
after he had finished production on Full Metal Jacket, the front cover
of which featured a photograph of Schulz-Koehn. A screenplay was never
completed and Kubrick's film adaptation plan was never initiated.
The unfinished Aryan Papers, based on Louis Begley's debut novel
Wartimes Lies, was a factor in the abandonment of the project. Work on
Aryan Papers depressed Kubrick enormously, and he eventually decided
that Steven Spielberg's
Schindler's List (1993) covered much of the
According to biographer John Baxter, Kubrick had shown an interest in
directing a pornographic film based on a satirical novel written by
Terry Southern, entitled Blue Movie, about a director who makes
Hollywood's first big-budget porn film. However, Baxter claims that
Kubrick concluded that he did not have the patience or temperament to
become involved in the porn industry, and Southern stated that Kubrick
was "too ultra conservative" towards sexuality to have seriously gone
ahead with it, but liked the idea. Kubrick was unable to direct a
film of Umberto Eco's
Foucault's Pendulum as Eco had given his
publisher instructions to never sell the film rights to any of his
books after his dissatisfaction with the film version of The Name of
the Rose. Also, when the film rights to Tolkien's The Lord of the
Rings were sold to United Artists, the Beatles approached Kubrick to
direct them in a film based on the books, but Kubrick was unwilling to
produce a film based on a very popular book. Director Peter
Jackson has reported that Tolkien was against the involvement of the
As a young man, Kubrick was fascinated by the films of Sergei
Eisenstein and would watch films like
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Anyone who has ever been privileged to direct a film knows that,
although it can be like trying to write War and Peace in a bumper car
at an amusement park, when you finally get it right, there are not
many joys in life that can equal the feeling.
— Stanley Kubrick, accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award
As a young man, Kubrick was fascinated by the films of Soviet
filmmakers such as
Sergei Eisenstein and Vsevolod Pudovkin.
Kubrick read Pudovkin's seminal theoretical work, Film Technique,
which argues that editing makes film a unique art form, and it needs
to be employed to manipulate the medium to its fullest. Kubrick
recommended this work to others for many years. Thomas Nelson
describes this book as "the greatest influence of any single written
work on the evolution of [Kubrick's] private aesthetics". Kubrick also
found the ideas of
Konstantin Stanislavski to be essential to his
understanding the basics of directing, and gave himself a crash course
to learn his methods.
Kubrick's family and many critics felt that his
Jewish ancestry may
have contributed to his worldview and aspects of his films. After his
death, both his daughter and wife stated that although he was not
religious, "he did not deny his Jewishness, not at all". His daughter
noted that he wanted to make a film about the Holocaust, the Aryan
Papers, having spent years researching the subject. Most of
Kubrick's friends and early photography and film collaborators were
Jewish, and his first two marriages were to daughters of recent Jewish
immigrants from Europe. British screenwriter Frederic Raphael, who
worked closely with Kubrick in his final years, believes that the
originality of Kubrick's films was partly because he "had a (Jewish?)
respect for scholars". He declared that it was "absurd to try to
Stanley Kubrick without reckoning on Jewishness as a
fundamental aspect of his mentality".
Max Ophüls was a major influence on Kubrick; pictured is his
The Earrings of Madame de...
The Earrings of Madame de... (1953).
Walker notes that Kubrick was influenced by the tracking and "fluid
camera" styles of director Max Ophüls, and used them in many of his
Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick
noted how in Ophuls' films "the camera went through every wall and
every floor". He once named Ophüls'
Le Plaisir (1952) as his
favorite film. According to film historian John Wakeman, Ophüls
himself learned the technique from director
Anatole Litvak in the
1930s, when he was his assistant, and whose work was "replete with the
camera trackings, pans and swoops which later became the trademark of
Max Ophüls". Geoffrey Cocks believes that Kubrick was also
influenced by Ophüls' stories of thwarted love and a preoccupation
with predatory men, while Herr notes that Kubrick was deeply inspired
by G. W. Pabst, who earlier tried, but was unable to adapt
Schnitzler's Traumnovelle, the basis of Eyes Wide Shut. Film
critic Robert Kolker sees the influence of Welles' moving camera shots
on Kubrick's style. LoBrutto notes that Kubrick identified with Welles
and influenced the making of The Killing, with its "multiple points of
view, extreme angles, and deep focus". Kubrick also cited
Eraserhead (1977) as one of his favorite films and used
it as a creative reference during the directing of The Shining.
When the American magazine Cinema asked Kubrick in 1963 to name his
favorite films, he listed Italian director Federico Fellini's I
Vitelloni as number one in his Top 10 list.
HAL 9000, the computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey
Kubrick's films typically involve expressions of an inner struggle,
examined from different perspectives. He was very careful not to
present his own views of the meaning of his films and leave them open
to interpretation. He explained in a 1960 interview with Robert Emmett
Ginna: "One of the things I always find extremely difficult, when a
picture's finished, is when a writer or a film reviewer asks, 'Now,
what is it that you were trying to say in that picture?' And without
being thought too presumptuous for using this analogy, I like to
T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot said to someone who had asked him—I
believe it was The Waste Land—what he meant by the poem. He replied,
'I meant what I said'. If I could have said it any differently, I
would have". Kubrick likened the understanding of his films to
popular music, in that whatever the background or intellect of the
individual, a Beatles record, for instance, can both be appreciated by
the Alabama truck driver and the young Cambridge intellectual in the
way that his films can because their "emotions and subconscious are
far more similar than their intellects". He believed that the
subconscious emotional reaction evoked by audiences was far more
powerful in the film medium than in any other traditional verbal form,
and was one of the reasons why he often relied on long periods in his
films without dialogue, placing emphasis on images and sound. In
a Time magazine interview in 1975, Kubrick further stated: "The
essence of a dramatic form is to let an idea come over people without
it being plainly stated. When you say something directly, it is simply
not as potent as it is when you allow people to discover it for
themselves." He also said "Realism is probably the best way to
dramatize argument and ideas. Fantasy may deal best with themes which
lie primarily in the unconscious".
Kubrick's production notes from The Killing
Diane Johnson, who co-wrote the screenplay for The Shining with
Kubrick, notes that he "always said that it was better to adapt a book
rather than write an original screenplay, and that you should choose a
work that isn't a masterpiece so you can improve on it. Which is what
he's always done, except with Lolita". When deciding on a subject
for a film, there were a number of aspects that he looked for, and he
always made films which would "appeal to every sort of viewer,
whatever their expectation of film". According to his co-producer
Jan Harlan, Kubrick mostly "wanted to make films about things that
mattered, that not only had form, but substance". Kubrick himself
believed that audiences quite often were attracted to "enigmas and
allegories" and did not like films in which everything was spelled out
Although none of his features display graphic sex scenes, sexuality in
Kubrick's films is usually depicted outside matrimonial relationships
in hostile situations. Baxter states that Kubrick explores the
"furtive and violent side alleys of the sexual experience: voyeurism,
domination, bondage and rape" in his films. He further points out
that films like A Clockwork Orange are "powerfully homoerotic", from
Alex walking about his parents' flat in his Y-fronts, one eye being
"made up with doll-like false eyelashes", to his innocent acceptance
of the sexual advances of his post-corrective adviser Deltroid (Aubrey
Morris). British critic Adrian Turner notes that Kubrick's films
appear to be "preoccupied with questions of universal and inherited
Malcolm McDowell referred to his humor as "black as coal",
questioning his outlook on humanity. Although a few of his
pictures were obvious satires and black comedies, such as
Dr. Strangelove, many of his other films also contained less visible
elements of satire or irony. His films are unpredictable, examining
"the duality and contradictions that exist in all of us". Ciment
notes how Kubrick often tried to confound audience expectations by
establishing radically different moods from one film to the next,
remarking that he was almost "obsessed with contradicting himself,
with making each work a critique of the previous one". Kubrick
stated himself that "there is no deliberate pattern to the stories
that I have chosen to make into films. About the only factor at work
each time is that I try not to repeat myself". As a result,
Kubrick was often misunderstood by critics, and only once did he have
unanimously positive reviews upon the release of a film—for Paths of
Writing and staging scenes
The tunnel used in the making of A Clockwork Orange
Film author Patrick Webster considers Kubrick's methods of writing and
developing scenes to fit with the classical auteur theory of
directing, allowing collaboration and improvisation with the actors
Malcolm McDowell recalled Kubrick's collaborative
emphasis during their discussions and his willingness to allow him to
improvise a scene, stating that "there was a script and we followed
it, but when it didn't work he knew it, and we had to keep rehearsing
endlessly until we were bored with it". Once Kubrick was
confident in the overall staging of a scene, and felt the actors were
prepared, he would then develop the visual aspects, including camera
and lighting placement. Walker believes that Kubrick was one of "very
few film directors competent to instruct their lighting photographers
in the precise effect they want". Baxter believes that although
American, Kubrick was heavily influenced by his ancestry and always
possessed a European perspective to filmmaking, particularly the
Austro-Hungarian empire and his admiration for Johann Ophuls and
Gilbert Adair, writing in a review for Full Metal Jacket, commented
that "Kubrick's approach to language has always been of a reductive
and uncompromisingly deterministic nature. He appears to view it as
the exclusive product of environmental conditioning, only very
marginally influenced by concepts of subjectivity and interiority, by
all whims, shades and modulations of personal expression".
Johnson notes that although Kubrick was a "visual filmmaker", he also
loved words and was like a writer in his approach, very sensitive to
the story itself, which he found unique. Before shooting began,
Kubrick tried to have the script as complete as possible, but still
allowed himself enough space to make changes during the filming,
finding it "more profitable to avoid locking up any ideas about
staging or camera or even dialogue prior to rehearsals" as he put
it. Kubrick told Robert Emmett Ginna: "I think you have to view
the entire problem of putting the story you want to tell up there on
that light square. It begins with the selection of the property; it
continues through the creation of the story, the sets, the costumes,
the photography and the acting. And when the picture is shot, it's
only partially finished. I think the cutting is just a continuation of
directing a movie. I think the use of music effects, opticals and
finally main titles are all part of telling the story. And I think the
fragmentation of these jobs, by different people, is a very bad
thing". Kubrick also said: "I think that the best plot is no
apparent plot. I like a slow start, the start that gets under the
audience's skin and involves them so that they can appreciate grace
notes and soft tones and don't have to be pounded over the head with
plot points and suspense tools."
"They work with Stanley and go through hells that nothing in their
careers could have prepared them for, they think they must have been
mad to get involved, they think that they'd die before they would ever
work with him again, that fixated maniac; and when it's all behind
them and the profound fatigue of so much intensity has worn off,
they'd do anything in the world to work for him again. For the rest of
their professional lives they long to work with someone who cared the
way Stanley did, someone they could learn from. They look for someone
to respect the way they'd come to respect him, but they can never find
anybody ... I've heard this story so many times."
— Michael Herr, screenwriter for
Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket on actors working
Kubrick was notorious for demanding multiple takes during filming to
perfect his art, and his relentless approach was often extremely
demanding for his actors.
Jack Nicholson remarked that Kubrick would
often demand up to fifty takes of a scene.
Nicole Kidman explains
that the large number of takes he often required stopped actors from
consciously thinking about technique, thereby helping them enter a
"deeper place". Kubrick's high take ratio was considered by some
critics as "irrational", although he firmly believed that actors were
at their best during the filming, as opposed to rehearsals, due to the
sense of intense excitement that it generates. Kubrick explained:
"Actors are essentially emotion-producing instruments, and some are
always tuned and ready while others will reach a fantastic pitch on
one take and never equal it again, no matter how hard they
try" ... "When you make a movie, it takes a few days just to
get used to the crew, because it is like getting undressed in front of
fifty people. Once you're accustomed to them, the presence of even one
other person on set is discordant and tends to produce
self-consciousness in the actors, and certainly in itself". He
also told biographer Michel Clement: "It's invariably because the
actors don't know their lines, or don't know them well enough. An
actor can only do one thing at a time, and when he learned his lines
only well enough to say them while he's thinking about them, he will
always have trouble as soon as he has to work on the emotions of the
scene or find camera marks. In a strong emotional scene, it is always
best to be able to shoot in complete takes to allow the actor a
continuity of emotion, and it is rare for most actors to reach their
peak more than once or twice. There are, occasionally, scenes which
benefit from extra takes, but even then, I'm not sure that the early
takes aren't just glorified rehearsals with the adding adrenaline of
film running through the camera."
Kubrick would devote his personal breaks to having lengthy discussions
with actors. Among those who valued his attention was Tony Curtis,
star of Spartacus, who said Kubrick was his favorite director, adding,
"his greatest effectiveness was his one-on-one relationship with
actors." He further added, "Kubrick had his own approach to
film-making. He wanted to see the actor's faces. He didn't want
cameras always in a wide shot twenty-five feet away, he wanted
close-ups, he wanted to keep the camera moving. That was his
Malcolm McDowell recalls the long discussions
he had with Kubrick to help him develop his character in A Clockwork
Orange, noting that on set he felt entirely uninhibited and free,
which is what made Kubrick "such a great director". Kubrick also
allowed actors at times to improvise and to "break the rules",
Peter Sellers in Lolita, which became a turning
point in his career as it allowed him to work creatively during the
shooting, as opposed to the preproduction stage. During an
Ryan O'Neal recalled Kubrick's directing style: "God, he
works you hard. He moves you, pushes you, helps you, gets cross with
you, but above all he teaches you the value of a good director.
Stanley brought out aspects of my personality and acting instincts
that had been dormant ... My strong suspicion [was] that I was
involved in something great". He further added that working with
Kubrick was "a stunning experience" and that he never recovered from
working with somebody of such magnificence.
Model of the War Room from Dr Strangelove
Kubrick credited the ease with which he photographed scenes to his
early years as a photographer. He rarely added camera
instructions in the script, preferring to handle that after a scene is
created, as the visual part of film-making came easiest to him.
Even in deciding which props and settings would be used, Kubrick paid
meticulous attention to detail and tried to collect as much background
material as possible, functioning rather like what he described as "a
detective". Cinematographer John Alcott, who worked closely with
Kubrick on four of his films, and won an Oscar for Best Cinematography
on Barry Lyndon, remarked that Kubrick "questions everything",
and was involved in the technical aspects of film-making including
camera placement, scene composition, choice of lens, and even
operating the camera which would usually be left to the
cinematographer. Alcott considered Kubrick to be the "nearest thing to
genius I've ever worked with, with all the problems of a genius".
Kubrick's camera, possibly used in Barry Lyndon
Among Kubrick's notable innovations in cinematography are his use of
special effects, as in 2001, where he used both slit-scan photography
and front-screen projection, which won Kubrick his only Oscar for
special effects. Some reviewers have described and illustrated with
video clips, Kubrick's use of "one-point perspective", which leads the
viewer's eye towards a central vanishing point. The technique relies
on creating a complex visual symmetry using parallel lines in a scene
which all converge on that single point, leading away from the viewer.
Combined with camera motion it could produce an effect that one writer
describes as "hypnotic and thrilling". The Shining was among the
first half-dozen features to use the then-revolutionary Steadicam
(after the 1976 films Bound for Glory, Marathon Man and Rocky).
Kubrick used it to its fullest potential, which gave the audience
smooth, stabilized, motion-tracking by the camera. Kubrick described
Steadicam as being like a "magic carpet", allowing "fast, flowing,
camera movements" in the maze in The Shining which otherwise would
have been impossible.
Kubrick was among the first directors to use video assist during
filming. At the time he began using it in 1966, it was considered
cutting-edge technology, requiring him to build his own system. Having
it in place during the filming of 2001, he was able to view a video of
a take immediately after it was filmed. On some films, such as
Barry Lyndon, he used custom made zoom lenses, which allowed him to
start a scene with a close-up and slowly zoom out to capture the full
panorama of scenery and to film long takes under changing outdoor
lighting conditions by making aperture adjustments while the cameras
rolled. LoBrutto notes that Kubrick's technical knowledge about lenses
"dazzled the manufacturer's engineers, who found him to be
unprecedented among contemporary filmmakers". For
Barry Lyndon he
also used a specially adapted high-speed (f/0.7) Zeiss camera lens,
originally developed for NASA, to shoot numerous scenes lit only with
candlelight. Actor Steven Berkoff recalls that Kubrick wanted scenes
to be shot using "pure candlelight", and in doing so Kubrick "made a
unique contribution to the art of filmmaking going back to
painting ... You almost posed like for portraits." LoBrutto
notes that cinematographers all over the world wanted to know about
Kubrick's "magic lens" and that he became a "legend" among cameramen
around the world.
Editing and music
György Ligeti, whose music Kubrick used in 2001, The Shining and Eyes
Kubrick spent extensive hours editing, often working seven days a
week, and more hours a day as he got closer to deadlines. For
Kubrick, written dialogue was one element to be put in balance with
mise en scène (set arrangements), music, and especially, editing.
Inspired by Pudovkin's treatise on film editing, Kubrick realized that
one could create a performance in the editing room and often
"re-direct" a film, and he remarked: "I love editing. I think I like
it more than any other phase of filmmaking ... Editing is the
only unique aspect of filmmaking which does not resemble any other art
form—a point so important it cannot be overstressed ... It can
make or break a film". Biographer John Baxter stated that
"Instead of finding the intellectual spine of a film in the script
before starting work, Kubrick felt his way towards the final version
of a film by shooting each scene from many angles and demanding scores
of takes on each line. Then over months ... he arranged and
rearranged the tens of thousands of scraps of film to fit a vision
that really only began to emerge during editing".
Kubrick's attention to music was an aspect of what many referred to as
his "perfectionism" and extreme attention to minute details, which his
wife Christiane attributed to an addiction to music. In his last six
films, Kubrick usually chose music from existing sources, especially
classical compositions. He preferred selecting recorded music over
having it composed for a film, believing that no hired composer could
do as well as the public domain classical composers. He also felt that
building scenes from great music often created the "most memorable
scenes" in the best films. In one instance, for a scene in Barry
Lyndon which was written into the screenplay as merely, "Barry duels
with Lord Bullingdon", he spent forty-two working days in the editing
phase. During that period, he listened to what LoBrutto describes as
"every available recording of seventeenth-and eighteenth- century
music, acquiring thousands of records to find Handel's sarabande used
to score the scene".
Jack Nicholson likewise observed his
attention to music for his films, stating that Kubrick "listened
constantly to music until he discovered something he felt was right or
that excited him".
Kubrick is credited with introducing Hungarian composer György Ligeti
to a broad Western audience by including his music in 2001, The
Shining and Eyes Wide Shut. According to Baxter, the music in
"at the forefront of Kubrick's mind" when he conceived the film.
During earlier screening he played music by Mendelssohn[aa] and
Vaughan Williams, and Kubrick and writer Clarke had listened to Carl
Orff's transcription of Carmina Burana, consisting of 13th century
sacred and secular songs. Ligeti's music employed the new style
of micropolyphony, which used sustained dissonant chords that shift
slowly over time, a style he originated. Its inclusion in the film
became a "boon for the relatively unknown composer" partly because it
was introduced alongside background by notable composers, Johann
Strauss and Richard Strauss.
In addition to Ligeti, Kubrick also enjoyed a collaboration with
composer Wendy Carlos, whose 1968 album Switched-On Bach—which
re-interpreted baroque music through the use of a Moog
synthesizer—caught his attention. In 1971, Carlos composed and
recorded music for the soundtrack of A Clockwork Orange. Additional
music not used in the film was released in 1972 as Wendy Carlos's
Clockwork Orange. Kubrick later collaborated with Carlos on The
Shining (1980). The opening of the film—in which the camera follows
Jack Torrance's yellow VW beetle through the mountains to the Overlook
Hotel—employs Carlos' eerie rendering of "Dies Irae" (Day of Wrath)
from Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.
Personal life of Stanley Kubrick
Personal life of Stanley Kubrick and Political and
religious beliefs of Stanley Kubrick
Kubrick married his high-school sweetheart Toba Metz, a keen
caricaturist, on May 29, 1948, when he was nineteen years of age. They
had attended Taft High School together and had lived in the same
apartment block on Shakespeare Avenue. The couple lived together
Greenwich Village and divorced three years later in 1951. He met
his second wife, the Austrian-born dancer and theatrical designer Ruth
Sobotka, in 1952. They lived together in New York's East Village
beginning in 1952, got married in January 1955 and moved to Hollywood
in July 1955, where she played a brief part as a ballet dancer in
Killer's Kiss (1955). The following year she was art
director for his film, The Killing (1956). They divorced in 1957.
Kubrick lived with dancer and actress
Valda Setterfield after the
marriage broke down.
During the production of
Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory in
Munich in early 1957,
Kubrick met and romanced the German actress Christiane Harlan, who
played a small though memorable role in the film. Kubrick married
Harlan in 1958, and the couple remained together 40 years, until his
death in 1999. Besides his stepdaughter, they had two daughters
together: Anya Renata (April 6, 1959 – July 7, 2009) and Vivian
Vanessa (born August 5, 1960). In 1959 they settled into a home
at 316 South Camden Drive in Beverly Hills with Harlan's daughter,
Katherina, aged six. They also lived in New York, during which
time Christiane studied art at the Art Students League of New York,
later becoming an independent artist. The couple moved to the
United Kingdom in 1961 to make Lolita, and Kubrick hired Peter Sellers
to star in his next film, Dr. Strangelove, Sellers was unable to leave
the UK, so Kubrick made Britain his permanent home thereafter. The
move was quite convenient to Kubrick, since he shunned the Hollywood
system and its publicity machine, and he and Christiane had become
alarmed with the increase in violence in New York.
Childwickbury Manor in Hertfordshire, England
In 1965 the Kubricks bought Abbots Mead on Barnet Lane, just
South-West of the Elstree/Borehamwood studio complex in England.
Kubrick worked almost exclusively from this home for 14 years where,
with some exceptions, he researched, invented special effects
techniques, designed ultra-low light lenses for specially modified
cameras, pre-produced, edited, post-produced, advertised, distributed
and carefully managed all aspects of four of his films. In 1978,
Kubrick moved into
Childwickbury Manor in Hertfordshire, a mainly 18th
century stately home, which was once owned by a wealthy racehorse
owner, about 30 mi (50 km) north of London and a 10-minute
drive from his previous home at Abbotts Mead. His new home became a
workplace for Kubrick and his wife, "a perfect family factory" as
Christiane called it, and Kubrick converted the stables into
extra production rooms besides ones within the home that he used for
editing and storage.
A workaholic, Kubrick rarely took a vacation or left England during
the forty years before he died. Biographer Vincent LoBrutto notes
that Kubrick's confined way of living and desire for privacy has led
to spurious stories about his reclusiveness, similar to those of Greta
Garbo, Howard Hughes, and J. D. Salinger. Michael Herr, Kubrick's
co-screenwriter on Full Metal Jacket, who knew him well, considers his
"reclusiveness" to be myth: "[H]e was in fact a complete failure as a
recluse, unless you believe that a recluse is simply someone who
seldom leaves his house. Stanley saw a lot of people ... he was
one of the most gregarious men I ever knew, and it didn't change
anything that most of this conviviality went on over the phone." 
Lo Brutto states that one of the reasons he acquired a reputation as a
recluse was because he insisted in remaining near his home, but the
reason for this was because for Kubrick there were only three places
on the planet he could make high quality films with the necessary
technical expertise and equipment: Los Angeles, New York or around
London. He disliked living in Los Angeles, and had thought London a
superior film production center to New York.
As a person, Kubrick was described by
Norman Lloyd as "a very dark,
sort of a glowering type who was very serious". Marisa Berenson,
who starred in
Barry Lyndon fondly recalled: "There was great
tenderness in him and he was passionate about his work. What was
striking was his enormous intelligence, but he also had a great sense
of humor. He was a very shy person and self-protective, but he was
filled with the thing that drove him twenty-four hours of the
day." Kubrick was particularly fond of machines and technical
equipment, to the point that his wife Christiane once stated that
"Stanley would be happy with eight tape recorders and one pair of
pants". Although Kubrick had obtained a pilot's license in August
1947, some have claimed that he later developed a fear of flying,
stemming from an incident in the early 1950s when a colleague had been
killed in a plane crash. Kubrick had been sent the charred remains of
his camera and notebooks which, according to Duncan, traumatized him
for life.[ab] Kubrick also had a strong mistrust of doctors and
medicine, especially those he did not know, and on one occasion he had
a dentist from the Bronx flown to London to treat him.
On March 7, 1999, six days after screening a final cut of Eyes
Wide Shut for his family and the stars, Kubrick died in his sleep at
the age of 70, after suffering a massive heart attack. His funeral was
held five days later at his home estate at Childwickbury Manor, with
only close friends and family in attendance, totaling approximately
100 people. The media were kept a mile away outside the entrance
gate. Alexander Walker, who attended the funeral, describes it as
a "family farewell, ... almost like an English picnic", with
cellists, clarinetists and singers providing song and music from many
of his favorite classical compositions. Kaddish, the
Jewish prayer of
mourning, was recited. A few of his obituaries mentioned his Jewish
background. Among those who gave eulogies were Terry Semel, Jan
Harlan, Steven Spielberg,
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. He was buried
next to his favorite tree on the estate. In her book dedicated to
Kubrick, his wife Christiane included one of his favorite quotations
of Oscar Wilde: "The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but
that one is young."
Main article: Influence of Stanley Kubrick
Part of the
New Hollywood film-making wave, Kubrick's films are
considered by film historian
Michel Ciment to be "among the most
important contributions to world cinema in the twentieth century",
and he is frequently cited as one of the greatest and most influential
directors in the history of cinema. Leading directors,
including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Wes
Anderson, George Lucas, James Cameron, Terry
Gilliam, the Coen brothers, Ridley Scott, and George A.
Romero, have cited Kubrick as a source of inspiration, and
additionally in Spielberg's case, collaboration. On the DVD of
Eyes Wide Shut,
Steven Spielberg comments that the way Kubrick "tells
a story is antithetical to the way we are accustomed to receiving
stories" and that "nobody could shoot a picture better in
history". Orson Welles, one of Kubrick's greatest personal
influences and all-time favorite directors, said that: "Among those
whom I would call 'younger generation', Kubrick appears to me to be a
Kubrick continues to be cited as a major influence by many directors,
including Christopher Nolan, Todd Field, David Fincher,
Guillermo del Toro, David Lynch, Lars von Trier, Tim Burton, Michael
Mann, and Gaspar Noé. Many filmmakers imitate Kubrick's inventive and
unique use of camera movement and framing, as well as his use of
music, notably Frank Darabont. Paul Thomas Anderson, in an
interview with Entertainment Weekly, stated, "it's so hard to do
anything that doesn't owe some kind of debt to what Stanley Kubrick
did with music in movies. Inevitably, you're going to end up doing
something that he's probably already done before. It can all seem like
we're falling behind whatever he came up with."
In 2000, BAFTA renamed their Britannia lifetime achievement award the
Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award", joining the likes of D. W.
Griffith, Laurence Olivier, Cecil B. DeMille, and Irving Thalberg, all
of whom have annual awards named after them. Kubrick won this award in
1999, and subsequent recipients have included George Lucas, Warren
Beatty, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, and Daniel
Day-Lewis. A number of people who worked with Kubrick on his films
2001 documentary Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures,
produced and directed by Kubrick's brother-in-law, Jan Harlan, who had
executive produced Kubrick's last four films.
Entrance to Kubrick museum exhibit at LACMA
The first public exhibition of material from Kubrick’s personal
archives was presented jointly in 2004 by the Deutsches Filmmuseum and
Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt, Germany, in cooperation with
Christiane Kubrick and
Jan Harlan / The
Stanley Kubrick Estate.
In 2009, an exhibition of paintings and photos inspired by Kubrick's
films was held in Dublin, Ireland, entitled "Stanley Kubrick: Taming
October 30, 2012, an exhibition devoted to Kubrick
opened at the
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and concluded
in June 2013. Exhibits include a wide collection of documents,
photographs and on-set material assembled from 800 boxes of personal
archives that were stored in Kubrick's home-workplace in the UK.
A number of celebrities attended and spoke at the museum's pre-opening
gala, including Steven Spielberg,
Tom Hanks and Jack Nicholson,
while Kubrick's widow, Christiane, appeared at the pre-gala press
October 2013, the Brazil São Paulo International Film
Festival paid tribute to Kubrick, staging an exhibit of his work and a
retrospective of his films. The exhibit opened at the Toronto
International Film Festival (TIFF) in late 2014 and ended in January
Kubrick is widely referenced in popular culture, and the TV series The
Simpsons is said to contain more references to Kubrick films than any
other pop culture phenomenon. When the Directors Guild of Great
Britain gave Kubrick a lifetime achievement award, they included a
cut-together sequence of all the homages from the show. Pop
singer Lady Gaga's concert shows have included the use of dialogue,
costumes, and music from A Clockwork Orange. Several films have
been made related to Kubrick's life, including the mockumentary film
Dark Side of the Moon (2002), which is a parody of the pervasive
conspiracy theory that Kubrick had been involved with the faked
footage of the
NASA moon landings during the filming of 2001: A Space
Colour Me Kubrick
Colour Me Kubrick (2005), starring
John Malkovich as Alan
Conway, a con artist who had assumed Kubrick's identity in the
1990s. Both films were authorized by Kubrick's family. In the
2004 film The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Kubrick was portrayed
by Stanley Tucci, and documents their filming of Dr. Strangelove,
rather than Lolita.
Speculative fiction portal
Stanley Kubrick Archive
Stanley Kubrick bibliography
Stanley Kubrick's Boxes
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures
^ 1 pound sterling was equivalent to US$4.03 in 1945.
^ Coverage of the circus gave Kubrick grounds for developing his
documentary skills and capturing athletic movements on camera, and the
photos were published in a four-page spread for the May 25 issue,
"Meet the People". The same issue also covered his journalism work
documenting the work of opera star
Risë Stevens with deaf
^ Kubrick was particularly fascinated with Eisenstein's Alexander
Nevsky and played the
Prokofiev soundtrack to the film over and over
constantly to the point that his sister broke it in fury.
Walter Cartier also said of Kubrick: "Stanley comes in prepared like
a fighter for a big fight, he knows exactly what he's doing, where
he's going and what he wants to accomplish. He knew the challenges and
he overcame them".
^ Kubrick called
Fear and Desire
Fear and Desire a "bumbling, amateur film
exercise ... a completely inept oddity, boring and pretentious",
and also referred to it as "a lousy feature, very self-conscious,
easily discernible as an intellectual effort, but very roughly, and
poorly, and ineffectively made".
^ Kubrick himself thought of the film as an amateurish effort—a
student film. Despite this, the film historian Alexander Walker
considers the film to be "oddly compelling".
^ Harris beat
United Artists in the purchase of the rights for the
film, who were interested in it as the next picture for Frank Sinatra.
They eventually settled for financing $200,000 towards the
^ Kubrick and Harris had thought that the positive reception from
critics had made their presence known in Hollywood, but Max Youngstein
United Artists disagreed with Schary on the merit of the film and
still considered Kubrick and Harris to be "Not far from the bottom" of
the pool of new talent at the time. 
^ Kubrick and Schary agreed to work on Stefan Zweig's The Burning
Secret, and Kubrick began working on a script with novelist Calder
Willingham. However, he refused to forget Paths of Glory, and secretly
began drafting a script at night with Jim Thomson.
^ Douglas informed
United Artists that he would not do The Vikings
(1958) unless they agreed to make
Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory and pay $850,000 to
make it. Kubrick and Harris signed a five-film deal with Douglas's
Bryna Productions and accepted a fee of $20,000 and a percentage of
the profits in comparison to Douglas's salary of $350,000.
^ This is disputed by Carlo Fiore, who has claimed that Brando had not
heard of Kubrick initially and that it was he who arranged a dinner
meeting between Brando and Kubrick.
^ According to biographer John Baxter, Kubrick was furious with
Brando's casting of France Nuyen, and when Kubrick had confessed to
still "not knowing what the picture was about", Brando snapped "I'll
tell you what it's about. It's about $300,000 that I've already paid
Karl Malden". Kubrick was then reported to have been fired and
accepted a parting fee of $100,000, though a 1960 Entertainment
Weekly article claims he quit as director, and that Kubrick had been
quoted as saying "Brando wanted to direct the movie". Kubrick's
biographer LoBrutto states that for contractual reasons, Kubrick was
not able to cite the real reason, but issued a statement saying that
he had resigned "with deep regret because of my respect and admiration
for one of the world's foremost artists".
Spartacus eventually cost a reported $12 million to produce and
earned only $14.6 million.
^ The battle scenes of
Spartacus were shot over six weeks on location
in Spain in the summer of 1959. Biographer John Baxter has criticized
some of the battle scenes, describing them as "awkwardly directed,
with some clumsy stunt action and a plethora of improbable horse
^ A problematic production in that Kubrick wanted to shoot at a slow
pace of two camera set-ups a day, but the studio insisted that he do
32; a compromise of eight had to be made. Stills cameraman William
Read Woodfield questioned the casting and acting abilities of some of
the actors such as Timothy Carey, and cinematographer Russell
Metty disagreed with Kubrick's use of light, threatening to quit, but
later muting his criticisms after winning the Oscar for Best
^ According to biographer Baxter, Douglas continued to resent
Kubrick's domination during production, remarking, "He'll be a fine
director some day, if he falls flat on his face just once. It might
teach him how to compromise". Douglas later stated: "You don't
have to be a nice person to be extremely talented. You can be a shit
and be talented and, conversely, you can be the nicest guy in the
world and not have any talent.
Stanley Kubrick is a talented
^ The two got on famously during production, displaying many
similarities; both left school prematurely, played jazz drums, and
shared a fascination with photography. Sellers would later claim
that "Kubrick is a god as far as I'm concerned".
^ Kubrick and Harris had proved that they could adapt a highly
controversial novel without interference from a studio. The moderate
earnings allowed them to set up companies in Switzerland to take
advantage of low taxes on their profits and give them financial
security for life.
^ Footage of Sellers playing four different roles was shot by Kubrick:
"an RAF captain on secondment to Burpelson Air Force Base as adjutant
to Sterling Hayden's crazed General Ripper; the inept President of the
United States; his sinister German security adviser; and the Texan
pilot of the rogue B52 bomber", but the scene with him as a Texan
pilot was excluded from the final version.
^ Several commentators have speculated that HAL is a slur on IBM, with
the letters alphabetically falling before it, and point out that
Kubrick inspected the IBM 7090 during Dr Strangelove. However, both
Kubrick and Clarke have denied this, and insist that HAL simply means
"Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic Computer".
^ Biographer John Baxter quotes Ken Adam as saying that Kubrick was
not responsible for most of the effects, and that Wally Veevers was
the man behind about 85% of them in film. Baxter notes that none of
the film's technical team resented Kubrick taking sole credit,
however, as "it was Kubrick's vision which appeared on the
^ This made the film one of the five most successful MGM films at the
time along with Gone With the Wind (1939), The Wizard of Oz (1939),
and Doctor Zhivago (1965).
^ The name is derived from the Russian suffix for "teen"
^ Kubrick had been impressed with his ability to "shift from schoolboy
innocence to insolence and, if needed, violence".
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reports in British media in the early 1970s that the film could
transform a person into a criminal, and argued that "violent crime is
invariably committed by people with a long record of anti-social
^ Kubrick told Ciment, "I created a picture file of thousands of
drawings and paintings for every type of reference that we could have
wanted. I think I destroyed every art book you could buy in a
^ Baxter states that Kubrick had originally intended using the scherzo
from Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream to accompany the shuttle
docking at the space station but changed his mind after hearing Johann
Strauss's Blue Danube waltz.
^ Duncan notes that during the filming of
Spartacus in Spain, Kubrick
had suffered a nervous breakdown after the flight and was "terribly
ill" during the filming there, and his return flight would be his last
one. Matthew Modine, star of Full Metal Jacket, however, has
stated that the stories about his fear of flying were "fabricated",
and that Kubrick simply preferred spending most of his time in
England, where his films were produced and where he lived.
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McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-8473-7.
Carr, Jay (2002). The A List: The National Society of Film Critics'
100 Essential Films. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81096-4.
Ciment, Michel (1980). Kubrick: The Definitive Edition. Faber and
Cocks, Geoffrey (2004). The Wolf at the Door: Stanley Kubrick,
History, & the Holocaust. Peter Lang.
Debolt, Abbe A.; Baugess, James S. (2011). Encyclopedia of the
Sixties: A Decade of Culture and Counterculture [2 volumes]: A Decade
of Culture and Counterculture. ABC-CLIO.
Duchesneau, Louise; Marx, Wolfgang (2011). György Ligeti: Of Foreign
Lands and Strange Sounds. Boydell & Brewer Ltd.
Duncan, Paul (2003). Stanley Kubrick: The Complete Films. Taschen
GmbH. ISBN 978-3-8365-2775-0.
Duncan, Paul (2003a). Stanley Kubrick: Visual Poet 1928-1999. Taschen.
Estrin, Mark W. (2002). Orson Welles: Interviews. Univ. Press of
Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-57806-209-6.
Gilmour, David (February 2, 2008). Film Club: A True Story of a Father
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Herr, Michael (2001). Kubrick. Pan Macmillan.
Howard, James (1999).
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Kagan, Norman (2000). Cinema of Stanley Kubrick: Third Edition.
Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-0-8264-1243-0.
Kercher, Stephen E. (2010). Revel with a Cause: Liberal Satire in
Postwar America. University of Chicago Press.
King, Geoff; Molloy, Claire; Tzioumakis, Yannis (2013). American
Independent Cinema: Indie, Indiewood and Beyond. Routledge.
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University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-973888-5.
Kubrick, Christiane (2002). Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures.
Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-8212-2815-9.
LoBrutto, Vincent (1999). Stanley Kubrick: A Biography. Da Capo Press.
McBride, Joseph (2012). Steven Spielberg: A Biography (Third Edition).
Faber & Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-28055-1.
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Raphael, Frederic (1999). Eyes Wide Open: A Memoir of Stanley Kubrick
and Eyes Wide Shut. Orion. ISBN 978-0-7528-1868-9.
Rhodes, Gary Don (2008). Stanley Kubrick: Essays on His Films and
Legacy. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-3297-4.
Robb, Brian J.; Simpson, Paul (2013). Middle-earth Envisioned: The
Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: On Screen, On Stage, and Beyond.
Race Point Publishing. ISBN 978-1-937994-27-3.
Rosenfeld, Albert (1968). LIFE. Time Inc. p. 34.
Schneider, Steven Jay (
October 1, 2012). 1001 Movies You Must See
Before You Die 2012. Octopus Publishing Group.
Smith, Warren (2010). Celebrities in Hell. ChelCbooks.
Thuss, Holger (2002). Students on the Right Way: European Democrat
Students, 1961–2001. H. Thuss. ISBN 978-3-8311-4129-6.
Wakeman, John (1987). World Film Directors: 1890–1945. H. W. Wilson
Co. ISBN 978-0-8242-0757-1.
Walker, Alexander (1972).
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Jovanovich. ISBN 978-0-15-684892-3.
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Webster, Patrick (2010). Love and Death in Kubrick: A Critical Study
of the Films from
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Find more aboutStanley Kubrickat's sister projects
Media from Wikimedia Commons
Quotations from Wikiquote
Data from Wikidata
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Stanley Kubrick on YouTube, movie clip compilation, 4
Stanley Kubrick at
Library of Congress
Library of Congress Authorities, with 74 catalog
records (including 1 "from old catalog")
Fear and Desire
Fear and Desire (1953)
Killer's Kiss (1955)
The Killing (1956)
Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory (1957)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Barry Lyndon (1975)
The Shining (1980)
Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Eyes Wide Shut
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Day of the Fight
Day of the Fight (1951)
Flying Padre (1951)
The Seafarers (1953)
World Assembly of Youth (1952)
Strangers Kiss (1983)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001)
Dark Side of the Moon (2002)
Colour Me Kubrick
Colour Me Kubrick (2005)
Stanley Kubrick's Boxes (2008)
Room 237 (2012)
S Is for Stanley
S Is for Stanley (2016)
Filmography and awards
Interpretations of 2001
Political and religious beliefs
Recurring cast members
Awards for Stanley Kubrick
Academy Award for Best Visual Effects
Emil Kosa Jr. (1963)
Peter Ellenshaw, Eustace Lycett, and
Hamilton Luske (1964)
John Stears (1965)
Art Cruickshank (1966)
L. B. Abbott (1967)
Stanley Kubrick (1968)
Robbie Robertson (1969)
L. B. Abbott and
A. D. Flowers (1970)
Alan Maley, Eustace Lycett, Danny Lee (1971)
L. B. Abbott and
A. D. Flowers (1972)
no award given (1973)
Frank Brendel, Glen Robinson, and
Albert Whitlock (1974)
Glen Robinson and
Albert Whitlock (1975)
Carlo Rambaldi, Glen Robinson, and
Frank Van der Veer (1976)
John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune, and Robert
Les Bowie, Colin Chilvers, Denys Coop, Roy Field, Derek Meddings, and
Zoran Perisic (1978)
H. R. Giger, Carlo Rambaldi, Brian Johnson, Nick Allder, and Dennis
Brian Johnson, Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren,
Bruce Nicholson (1980)
Richard Edlund, Kit West, Bruce Nicholson, and
Joe Johnston (1981)
Carlo Rambaldi, Dennis Muren, and
Kenneth F. Smith (1982)
Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Ken Ralston, and
Phil Tippett (1983)
Dennis Muren, Michael J. McAlister, Lorne Peterson, and George Gibbs
Ken Ralston, Ralph McQuarrie, Scott Farrar, and David Berry (1985)
Robert Skotak, Stan Winston, John Richardson, and Suzanne Benson
Dennis Muren, William George, Harley Jessup, and Kenneth F. Smith
Ken Ralston, Richard Williams, Edward Jones, and George Gibbs (1988)
John Bruno, Dennis Muren, Hoyt Yeatman, and Dennis Skotak (1989)
Eric Brevig, Rob Bottin, Tim McGovern, and
Alex Funke (1990)
Dennis Muren, Stan Winston,
Gene Warren Jr., and
Robert Skotak (1991)
Ken Ralston, Doug Chiang, Doug Smythe, and Tom Woodruff Jr. (1992)
Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett, and
Michael Lantieri (1993)
Ken Ralston, George Murphy, Stephen Rosenbaum, and Allen Rall (1994)
Scott E. Anderson, Charles Gibson, Neal Scanlan, and John Cox (1995)
Volker Engel, Douglas Smith, Clay Pinney, and
Joe Viskocil (1996)
Robert Legato, Mark Lasoff, Thomas L. Fisher,
Michael Kanfer (1997)
Joel Hynek, Nicholas Brooks, Stuart Robertson, and Kevin Mack (1998)
John Gaeta, Janek Sirrs, Steve Courtley, and
Jon Thum (1999)
John Nelson, Neil Corbould, Tim Burke, and Rob Harvey (2000)
Jim Rygiel, Randall William Cook, Richard Taylor,
Mark Stetson (2001)
Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook, and
Alex Funke (2002)
Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook, and
Alex Funke (2003)
John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara, and John Frazier
Joe Letteri, Brian Van't Hul, Christian Rivers, and Richard Taylor
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson, and Allen Hall (2006)
Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris, and Trevor Wood (2007)
Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, and
Craig Barron (2008)
Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham, and Andrew R. Jones
Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley, and
Peter Bebb (2010)
Robert Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann, and
Alex Henning (2011)
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan de Boer, and Donald R.
Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, and
Neil Corbould (2013)
Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, and
Scott R. Fisher (2014)
Mark Williams Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris, and Andrew
Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and
Dan Lemmon (2016)
John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, and
Richard R. Hoover (2017)
BAFTA Award for Best Direction
Mike Nichols (1968)
John Schlesinger (1969)
George Roy Hill (1970)
John Schlesinger (1971)
Bob Fosse (1972)
François Truffaut (1973)
Roman Polanski (1974)
Stanley Kubrick (1975)
Miloš Forman (1976)
Woody Allen (1977)
Alan Parker (1978)
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola (1979)
Akira Kurosawa (1980)
Louis Malle (1981)
Richard Attenborough (1982)
Bill Forsyth (1983)
Wim Wenders (1984)
no award (1985)
Woody Allen (1986)
Oliver Stone (1987)
Louis Malle (1988)
Kenneth Branagh (1989)
Martin Scorsese (1990)
Alan Parker (1991)
Robert Altman (1992)
Steven Spielberg (1993)
Mike Newell (1994)
Michael Radford (1995)
Joel Coen (1996)
Baz Luhrmann (1997)
Peter Weir (1998)
Pedro Almodóvar (1999)
Ang Lee (2000)
Peter Jackson (2001)
Roman Polanski (2002)
Peter Weir (2003)
Mike Leigh (2004)
Ang Lee (2005)
Paul Greengrass (2006)
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2007)
Danny Boyle (2008)
Kathryn Bigelow (2009)
David Fincher (2010)
Michel Hazanavicius (2011)
Ben Affleck (2012)
Alfonso Cuarón (2013)
Richard Linklater (2014)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu (2015)
Damien Chazelle (2016)
Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro (2017)
BAFTA Fellowship recipients
Alfred Hitchcock (1971)
Freddie Young (1972)
Grace Wyndham Goldie (1973)
David Lean (1974)
Jacques Cousteau (1975)
Charlie Chaplin (1976)
Laurence Olivier (1976)
Denis Forman (1977)
Fred Zinnemann (1978)
Lew Grade (1979)
Huw Wheldon (1979)
David Attenborough (1980)
John Huston (1980)
Abel Gance (1981)
Michael Powell &
Emeric Pressburger (1981)
Andrzej Wajda (1982)
Richard Attenborough (1983)
Hugh Greene (1984)
Sam Spiegel (1984)
Jeremy Isaacs (1985)
Steven Spielberg (1986)
Federico Fellini (1987)
Ingmar Bergman (1988)
Alec Guinness (1989)
Paul Fox (1990)
Louis Malle (1991)
John Gielgud (1992)
David Plowright (1992)
Sydney Samuelson (1993)
Colin Young (1993)
Michael Grade (1994)
Billy Wilder (1995)
Jeanne Moreau (1996)
Ronald Neame (1996)
John Schlesinger (1996)
Maggie Smith (1996)
Woody Allen (1997)
Steven Bochco (1997)
Julie Christie (1997)
Oswald Morris (1997)
Harold Pinter (1997)
David Rose (1997)
Sean Connery (1998)
Bill Cotton (1998)
Eric Morecambe &
Ernie Wise (1999)
Elizabeth Taylor (1999)
Michael Caine (2000)
Stanley Kubrick (2000)
Peter Bazalgette (2000)
Albert Finney (2001)
John Thaw (2001)
Judi Dench (2001)
Warren Beatty (2002)
Merchant Ivory Productions (2002)
Andrew Davies (2002)
John Mills (2002)
Saul Zaentz (2003)
David Jason (2003)
John Boorman (2004)
Roger Graef (2004)
John Barry (2005)
David Frost (2005)
David Puttnam (2006)
Ken Loach (2006)
Anne V. Coates (2007)
Richard Curtis (2007)
Will Wright (2007)
Anthony Hopkins (2008)
Bruce Forsyth (2008)
Dawn French &
Jennifer Saunders (2009)
Terry Gilliam (2009)
Nolan Bushnell (2009)
Vanessa Redgrave (2010)
Shigeru Miyamoto (2010)
Melvyn Bragg (2010)
Christopher Lee (2011)
Peter Molyneux (2011)
Trevor McDonald (2011)
Martin Scorsese (2012)
Rolf Harris (2012)
Alan Parker (2013)
Gabe Newell (2013)
Michael Palin (2013)
Helen Mirren (2014)
Rockstar Games (2014)
Julie Walters (2014)
Mike Leigh (2015)
David Braben (2015)
Jon Snow (2015)
Sidney Poitier (2016)
John Carmack (2016)
Ray Galton & Alan Simpson (2016)
Mel Brooks (2017)
Joanna Lumley (2017)
Ridley Scott (2018)
Excellence in Film
Albert R. Broccoli
Albert R. Broccoli (1989)
Michael Caine (1990)
Peter Ustinov (1992)
Martin Scorsese (1993)
Anthony Hopkins (1995)
Bob Weinstein and
Harvey Weinstein (1996)
Dustin Hoffman (1997)
John Travolta (1998)
Stanley Kubrick (1999)
Steven Spielberg (2000)
George Lucas (2002)
Hugh Grant (2003)
Tom Hanks (2004)
Tom Cruise (2005)
Clint Eastwood (2006)
Denzel Washington (2007)
Sean Penn (2008)
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro (2009)
Jeff Bridges (2010)
Warren Beatty (2011)
Daniel Day-Lewis (2012)
George Clooney (2013)
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. (2014)
Meryl Streep (2015)
Jodie Foster (2016)
Matt Damon (2017)
Excellence in Directing
Peter Weir (2003)
Jim Sheridan (2004)
Mike Newell (2005)
Anthony Minghella (2006)
Martin Campbell (2007)
Stephen Frears (2008)
Danny Boyle (2009)
Christopher Nolan (2010)
David Yates (2011)
Quentin Tarantino (2012)
Kathryn Bigelow (2013)
Mike Leigh (2014)
Sam Mendes (2015)
Ang Lee (2016)
Ava DuVernay (2017)
Worldwide Contribution to
Howard Stringer (2003)
Kirk Douglas (2009)
Ridley Scott &
Tony Scott (2010)
John Lasseter (2011)
Will Wright (2012)
Ben Kingsley (2013)
Judi Dench (2014)
Harrison Ford (2015)
Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson (2016)
Kenneth Branagh (2017)
British Artist of the Year
Rachel Weisz (2006)
Kate Winslet (2007)
Tilda Swinton (2008)
Emily Blunt (2009)
Michael Sheen (2010)
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter (2011)
Daniel Craig (2012)
Benedict Cumberbatch (2013)
Emma Watson (2014)
James Corden (2015)
Felicity Jones (2016)
Claire Foy (2017)
Excellence in Comedy
Betty White (2010)
Ben Stiller (2011)
Trey Parker and
Matt Stone (2012)
Sacha Baron Cohen
Sacha Baron Cohen (2013)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (2014)
Amy Schumer (2015)
Ricky Gervais (2016)
Aziz Ansari (2017)
Excellence in Television
Aaron Spelling (1999)
HBO Original Programming (2002)
Dick Van Dyke
Dick Van Dyke (2017)
Richard Curtis (2007)
Don Cheadle (2008)
Colin Firth (2009)
Idris Elba (2013)
Mark Ruffalo (2014)
Orlando Bloom (2015)
Ewan McGregor (2016)
Tarsem Singh (1999)
Angela Lansbury (2003)
Helen Mirren (2004)
Elizabeth Taylor (2005)
Ronald Neame (2005)
Sidney Poitier (2006)
Bob Shaye and
Michael Lynne (2007)
London Film Critics' Circle Award for Director of the Year
Nicolas Roeg (1980)
Andrzej Wajda (1981)
Andrzej Wajda (1983)
Neil Jordan (1984)
Roland Joffé (1985)
Akira Kurosawa (1986)
Stanley Kubrick (1987)
John Huston (1988)
Terence Davies (1989)
Woody Allen (1990)
Ridley Scott (1991)
Robert Altman (1992)
James Ivory (1993)
Steven Spielberg (1994)
Peter Jackson (1995)
Joel Coen (1996)
Curtis Hanson (1997)
Peter Weir (1998)
Sam Mendes (1999)
Spike Jonze (2000)
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro González Iñárritu (2001)
Phillip Noyce (2002)
Clint Eastwood (2003)
Martin Scorsese (2004)
Ang Lee (2005)
Paul Greengrass (2006)
Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson (2007)
David Fincher (2008)
Kathryn Bigelow (2009)
David Fincher (2010)
Michel Hazanavicius (2011)
Ang Lee (2012)
Alfonso Cuarón (2013)
Richard Linklater (2014)
George Miller (2015)
László Nemes (2016)
Sean Baker (2017)
Locarno Film Festival Best Director Award
René Clair (1946)
René Clair (1947)
John Ford (1948)
William A. Wellman
William A. Wellman (1949)
Claude Chabrol (1958)
Stanley Kubrick (1959)
Mark Donskoy (1960)
Laurent Achard (2006)
Philippe Ramos (2007)
Denis Côté (2008)
Aleksei Mizgiryov (2009)
Denis Côté (2010)
Adrian Sitaru (2011)
Ying Liang (2012)
Sang-soo Hong (2013)
Pedro Costa (2014)
Andrzej Żuławski (2015)
João Pedro Rodrigues
João Pedro Rodrigues (2016)
ISNI: 0000 0001 1021 4609
BNF: cb119101579 (data)