Lolita is an odd film but is a first for Kubrick. His first non-genre film, the adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel, tells the story of a literature lecturer Humbert Humbert (James Mason), who falls in love with Dolores Haze AKA Lolita (Sue Lyons), a fourteen year old school girl who lives in the house where he lodges.
The difficulty of Spartacus is that for Kubrick it was definitely a promotion but at the same time also a demotion. The budget was bigger, the cast as well and this was by far the most ambitious film he had ever attempted - perhaps would ever attempt in terms of logistics - it literally had a cast of thousands. But at the same time, he was a hired director. He hadn't developed the work - it was the baby of the film's star Kirk Douglas - and some of the footage in the finished film wasn't even his. Director Anthony Mann had been feared early on and Kubrick brought in to replace him. So how was this really a Stanley Kubrick film at all?
Stanley Kubrick's fourth feature film Paths of Glory is his first to establish him as the complete product. This is the first of his movies where we stop spotting traces of the genius to come and see his first fully fledged Kubrickian masterpiece.
Okay, we can stop mucking about now. After a couple of shaky starts, Kubrick with The Killing finally makes a fantastic film. Released in 1956, Kubrick's film comes at the fag end of the film noir period - Touch of Evil would close the first phase in 1958 - and there is a sense of the walls closing in not only on the protagonists but also on the genre itself.
Davey Gordon (Jamie Smith) is a 29-year-old welterweight New York boxer at the fag end of his career. Across from his apartment, he watches his beautiful neighbor, taxi dancer Gloria Price (Irene Kane), but she is already the object of the obsessive interest of her violent employer Vincent Rapallo (Frank Silvera).
Having made two short films to some success, a 25 year old Look photographer decided to raise some money and make a feature film, because - after all - that's where the money is. The result was Fear and Desire, a pretentious allegorical war story with some dazzling photography and flashes of promises.