An English professor falls for a minor , and has to face the consequences of his actions.

Director:

Adrian Lyne

Writers:

Vladimir Nabokov (novel), Stephen Schiff (screenplay)
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Popularity
288 ( 26)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irons ... Humbert Humbert
Melanie Griffith ... Charlotte Haze
Frank Langella ... Clare Quilty
Dominique Swain ... Dolores 'Lolita' Haze
Suzanne Shepherd ... Miss Pratt
Keith Reddin Keith Reddin ... Reverend Rigger
Erin J. Dean Erin J. Dean ... Mona
Joan Glover Joan Glover ... Miss LaBone
Pat Pierre Perkins Pat Pierre Perkins ... Louise (as Pat P. Perkins)
Ed Grady ... Dr. Melinik
Michael Goodwin ... Mr. Beale
Angela Paton ... Mrs. Holmes
Ben Silverstone ... Young Humbert Humbert
Emma Griffiths Malin ... Annabel Lee (as Emma Griffiths-Malin)
Ronald Pickup ... Young Humbert's Father
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Storyline

In early adolescence, Humbert fell hopelessly and tragically in love with a girl his own age, and, as he grew into adulthood, he never lost his obsession with "nymphets," teenagers who walk a fine line between being a girl and a woman. While looking for a place to live after securing a new teaching position, he meets Charlotte Haze (Melanie Griffith), a pretentious and annoying woman who seems desperately lonely and is obviously attracted to Humbert. Humbert pays her little mind until he meets her 13-year-old daughter Lolita (Dominique Swain), the image of the girl that Humbert once loved. Humbert moves into the Haze home as a boarder and eventually marries Charlotte in order to be closer to Lolita. When Charlotte finds out about Humbert's attraction to her daughter, she flees the house in a rage, only to be killed in an auto accident. Without telling Lolita of her mother's fate, Humbert takes her on a cross-country auto trip, where their relationship begins to move beyond the ...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A forbidden love. An unthinkable attraction. The ultimate price. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for aberrant sexuality, a strong scene of violence, nudity and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hospital scenes filmed in Austin High School in El Paso, Texas. See more »

Goofs

Charlotte threatens to "ground" Lolita. Though the term was known to airmen it would not assume its current familiar meaning for many years. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Humbert: [voiceover] She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks, she was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always - Lolita. Light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin. My soul.
[whispered]
Humbert: Lolita.
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Crazy Credits

After the credits are over there is a brief clip where Lolita is shown juggling a red apple. See more »

Alternate Versions

Though Dawn Mauer was used as a body double for all nude scenes featuring Lolita (Dominique Swain), director Adrian Lyne bowed to public pressure and cut all of them from the film for its U.S. release. They reportedly exist in its original European release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Education: Christmas (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

T'ain't What You Do (It's The Way That Cha Do It)
Written by Sy Oliver and James Young
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald
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User Reviews

Lost Narrative Folds
12 August 2000 | by tedgSee all my reviews

The Author would be dismayed, and precisely because the story is so faithful to the book. But the story in the book was incidental, just something on which Nabokov could hang his layered challenges to concepts of narrative. The narrator is crazy, overly colors and outright lies. The story never fully exists in the book at all, and such as it does one can never be sure what is true and what imagined. Humbert is a made up name (as are all names) and clearly the narrator makes up most of the elements of his own character as well (European, Professor, Author... obviously a joke by the narrator on Nabokov).

In this film, everything makes sense, exactly the opposite of the reason the book exists. This is a beautiful film, with lovely detailed cinematography, good acting and great score, and all to solidify something that Nabokov created such that it could not be so. I believe that Peter Greenaway could make a good film of Lolita, and that he would have the courage to make it confusing and unerotic and unresolved. Why does Dolores' fate have to change in the film's epilogue? Because it ties up every last loose end. On Christmas Day no less!

(The real scandal is not that audiences/censors are shocked by prurient subjects, but that they take one of the greatest literary achievements ever and make it "explainable." Is this the only thing we can accept?)

But take the film on its own presumption that the book's story is what matters. This Lolita is too old, too pretty and sexy, too controlling. Irons is clearly narrowly channeled here and he is smart enough to know it: his frustration with the unimaginative stance of the film translates to a frustrated Humbert. I think Melanie is just right (just because HH calls her a cow means nothing). HH's violence with his previous wife should have been mentioned; her running away with the Russian cabbie is as much a setup for the Lolita fixation as the childhood dalliance, and better justifies the angst of loss. There should have been a few butterflies, and some explanation about the play: that it was written to allude to that first night at the hotel.

I highly recommend the audio tape version of Lolita. It is read by (guess...) Jeremy Irons! What he brings to the audio tape is the voice and phrasing of a man in a cell continually going over things in his own mind, embellishing and exaggerating and confusing and speculating and sometimes not at all sure about any of it. He brings this same voice to the voiceovers in the film, but it conflicts with the images which purport to represent a narrative stance of "real truth".


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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lolita See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$62,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,492, 26 July 1998

Gross USA:

$1,071,255

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,071,255
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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