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Lolita

Dir. Stanley Kubrick. 1962. 152 mins. 35mm. With James Mason, Shelley Winters, Peter Sellers, Sue Lyon. Outwitting the censors, Kubrick turned Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 novel about a professor’s obsession with a young “nymphet” into a dark social comedy. A monstrously proper Mason is unforgettable as Humbert Humbert, whose twisted heart leads him to destroy his own life and soul for the love of the teenage daughter (Lyon) of his crass and lovelorn landlady (Winters). As the mysterious oddball playwright Clare Quilty, Sellers lends Kubrick’s tragic satire a coherent sense of eccentricity and outlandish humor.