Stanley Kubrick, Peter Sellers, and Shelley Winters on the set of Lolita.

The role of Peter Sellers as Quilty, and his disgusted recurrence throughout the film, seems unique. I don’t recall any other instance in movies of such an elaborate combination of the comic-grotesque. Was this treatment derivative of something you had seen or read?Stanley Kubrick: Well, that aspect of the picture interests me very much. I’ve always thought, for example, that Kafka could be very funny, or actually is funny—I mean like a comic nightmare, and I think that Sellers in the murder scene, and in fact in the whole characterization, is like something out of a bad dream, but a funny one. I’m very pleased with the way that came off and I think it opens up an avenue, as far as I’m concerned, of telling certain types of stories in ways which haven’t yet been explored in movies.

Stanley Kubrick, Peter Sellers, and Shelley Winters on the set of Lolita.

The role of Peter Sellers as Quilty, and his disgusted recurrence throughout the film, seems unique. I don’t recall any other instance in movies of such an elaborate combination of the comic-grotesque. Was this treatment derivative of something you had seen or read?
Stanley Kubrick: Well, that aspect of the picture interests me very much. I’ve always thought, for example, that Kafka could be very funny, or actually is funny—I mean like a comic nightmare, and I think that Sellers in the murder scene, and in fact in the whole characterization, is like something out of a bad dream, but a funny one. I’m very pleased with the way that came off and I think it opens up an avenue, as far as I’m concerned, of telling certain types of stories in ways which haven’t yet been explored in movies.

"The lasting and ultimately most important reputation of a film is not based on reviews, but on what, if anything, people say about it over the years, and on how much affection for it they have."

Stanley Kubrick (July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999)

Lolita // dir. Stanley Kubrick

Lolita // dir. Stanley Kubrick