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?