Lolita (1962 film)

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Lolita is a 1962 film about a middle-aged college professor who becomes infatuated with a 14-year-old nymphet.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Written by Vladimir Nabokov, based on his novel Lolita.
How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?

Professor Humbert Humbert[edit]

  • [voiceover] Having recently arrived in America where so many Europeans have found a haven before, I decided to spend a peaceful summer in the attractive resort town of Ramsdale, New Hampshire. Some English translations I have made of French poetry had enjoyed some success, and I had been appointed to a lectureship at Beardsley College in the fall. Friends had given me several addresses in Ramsdale where lodgings were available for the summer.
  • [voiceover] What drives me insane is the twofold nature of this nymphet, a veteran nymphet perhaps, this mixture in my Lolita of tender, dreamy childishness and a kind of eerie vulgarity. I know it is madness to keep this journal, but it gives me a strange thrill to do so. And only a loving wife could decipher my microscopic script.
  • [voiceover] The wedding was a quiet affair. And when called upon to enjoy my promotion from lodger to lover, did I experience only bitterness and distaste? No. Mr. Humbert confesses to a certain titillation of his vanity, to some faint tenderness, even to a pattern of remorse, daintily running along the steel of his conspiratorial dagger.
  • [to Charlotte] Even in the most harmonious households such as ours, not all the decisions are taken by the female. Especially when the male partner has fulfilled his obligations beyond the line of duty. When you wanted me to spend one afternoon sun-bathing by the lake, I was glad to become the bronze, glamor boy for your sake, instead of remaining the scholar. Even then, I'd scoot along after you like an obliging little lap dog—oh yes, I'm happy, I'm delighted to be bossed by you, but—every game has its rules.
  • [voiceover] She splashed in the tub, a trustful, clumsy seal. And oh, the logic of passion screamed in my ear. Now is the time, but...what d'ya know, folks? I just couldn't make myself do it! The scream grew more and more remote, and I realized the melancholy fact that neither tomorrow nor Friday nor any other day or night could I make myself put her to death.
  • Charlotte, there's a man on the line who says that you've been hit by a car.
  • [voiceover] You must now forget Ramsdale and push our lot and poor Lolita and poor Humbert, and accompany us to Beardsley College where my lectureship in French poetry is in its second semester. Six months have passed and Lolita is attending an excellent school where it is my hope that she will be persuaded to read other things than comic books and movie romances.
  • [to Lolita] Our little starlet has had enough excitement for one evening...I wouldn't want you to miss any more piano lessons! You know what I'm talking about!
  • [voiceover] The brakes were relined, the waterpipes unclogged, the valves ground. We had promised Beardsley School that we would be back as soon as my Hollywood engagement came to an end. Inventive Humbert was to be, I hinted, chief consultant in the production of a film dealing with existentialism, still a hot thing at the time. I cannot tell you the exact day when I first knew with utter certainty that a strange car was following us. Queer how I misinterpreted the designation of doom.

Dolores 'Lolita' Haze[edit]

  • [to Humbert, about his locked journal] 'Fraid somebody's gonna steal your ideas and sell 'em to Hollywood, huh?
  • [to Humbert] Let go of me! You're hurting my arm! You let me go, you jerk! Let go of me!...You've got a big fat nerve dragging me away like that!...Who the heck do you think you are - not letting me go to my cast party? I wish the police do come in here. You creep!
  • [to Humbert] Listen, I've decided something...I want to leave school...I don't want you to be mad at me anymore. Everything's gonna be great from now on...I hate school and I hate the play. I really do. I never want to go back...Let's leave tomorrow. We can go for a long trip and we'll go wherever I want to, won't we?
  • [in a letter to Humbert] Dear Dad, How's everything? I have gone through much sadness and hardship. I'm married. I'm going to have a baby. I'm going nuts because we don't have enough to pay our debts and get out of here. Please send us a check.
  • [to Humbert] I'm afraid you'll have to excuse my appearance, but you caught me on ironing day. Do come in. Gee, you're looking marvelous...I wrote to you about a week ago. I was beginning to think maybe you were sore or something. I must say, I wouldn't blame you if you were. It's a fine thing me dropping out of sight for so long and then writing you for a handout.

Charlotte Haze[edit]

  • [to Humbert] Oh M'sieur, if what you're needing is peace and quiet, I can assure you you couldn't get more peace anywhere, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.
  • [to Humbert] We can go home now and have a cozy little dinner partout, huh?
  • [to Humbert, about Lolita] It's only natural and healthy that she should take an interest in those fascinating creatures known as the opposite sex.
  • [to Humbert] That miserable little brat. She is becoming impossible. Simply impossible. The idea! The idea of her sneaking back here and spying on us...She's always been a spiteful little pest, since the age of one. Do you know, she kept throwing her toys, her toys out of her crib so that I would have to keep stooping over to pick them up? She has always had some kind of gripe against me. Now, now she sees herself as some kind of a starlet. Well, I see her as a sturdy, healthy, but decidedly homely child. Is it my fault if I feel young? Why should my child resent it? You don't resent it, do you? Do you think I'm just a foolish, romantic American girl?
  • [to Lolita] I forbid you to disturb Professor Humbert again. He is a writer and he is not to be disturbed!
  • [in a note to Humbert] 'This is a confession. I love you. Last Sunday in church, my dear one, when I asked the Lord what to do about it, I was told to act as I am acting now. You see, there is no alternative. I have loved you from the minute I saw you. I am a passionate and lonely woman. And you are the love of my life. Now you know. So you will please at once pack and leave. This is a landlady's order. I am dismissing the lodger. I am kicking you out. Go! Scram! Departez! I shall be back by dinnertime. I do not wish to find you in the house. You see, cherie, if you decided to stay, if I found you at home, which I know I won't, and that's why I'm able to go on like this, the fact of your remaining would only mean one thing. That you ... (He begins to hysterically and uncontrollably burst out laughing with a fiendish sound), that you want me as much as I do you, as a life-long mate. And you are ready to link up your life with mine forever and ever and be a father to my little girl. Goodbye, dear one, pray for me, if you've ever prayed.'
  • [to Humbert, after reading his journal] The Haze woman...the cow...the obnoxious Mama...the brainless baba...Well, the stupid Haze is no longer your dupe....You're a monster. You're a disgusting, despicable, loathsome...fraud. Get out of my way...I'm leaving here today. You can have all of it. But you are never gonna see that miserable brat again!
  • [to her husband Harold's ashes] Harold, look what happened! I was disloyal to you. I couldn't help it, though. Seven years is a very long time. Why did you go and die on me?! I didn't know anything about life. I was very young. If you hadn't died, all this wouldn't have happened. Oh, darling, forgive me. Forgive me. You were the soul of integrity. How did we produce such a little beast? I promise, I promise, I promise you that I'll know better next time. Next time, it's gonna be somebody you'll be very proud of.

Dr. Zempf[edit]

  • Dr. Hombards, would you mind if I am putting to you a blunt qvestion?...We are vundering if anybody instructed Lolita in the vacts of life?...You zee, Lolita is a sweet little child, but the onset of maturity seems to be giving her a certain amount of trouble...Dr. Hombards, to you she's still za liddle girl what is cradled in zee arms. But to dose boys over dare at Beardsley High she is a lovely girl, you know, mit mit mit mit mit de sving, you know, und zat jazz. She has got a curvature zat zat they take a lot of notice of. You and I - vat are we? Vee are the symbols of power sitting in our offices there. We are making za signatures, writing za contracts, the decisions all za time. What if we cast our minds back? Just zink, what were we only yesterday?...I have some other details which I should like to put to you.
  • Dr. Hombards - here, she is defiant...she sighs a gud deal in the class. She sighs, makes the zounds of 'uh-UHHHH!' Chews gum vehemently, alls the time is chewing dis gum, handles books gracefully, that's all right, doesn't really matter. Voice is pleasant. Giggles rathzer often and iz excitable. She giggles at things. A little dreamy. Conzentration is poor. She-she looks at a book for a while and then getza fed up with it. Has private jokes of her own which noone understands so they can't enjoy them mit her. She either has exceptional control or she has no control at all. We cannot decide which. Added to that - just yesterday, uh, Dr. Hombards, wrote a most obscene vord with her lipstick, if you please, on the health pamphlets. And so, in our opinion, she's suffering from acute repression of the libido of zee natural instincts.
  • Vee Amerikans, vee are progressive and modern. Vee believe that it is equally important to prepare the pupils for the mutually satisfactory mating and the successful child rearing - that is vhat we believe...I am suggesting that Dr. Cutler, who is the district psychologist vith the board of education should visit you in the home mit his three-member board of psychologists. And vonce they're in the home, they can investigate thoroughly in the home situation, with all four of them...So they can get straight at the sourze of the repression...I'm afraid that, uh, you may have no choice. Cigarette?
  • Look, Dr. Hombards, I don't wish to take this to a higher level of authority if I can possibly help it - you understand?...So you must help me...Perhaps, I don't know, but perhaps dere is anoder approach dat we can take - something new altogether. Something new. Some new approach. Vat would you say? Do you like that? Some? Yah! Some new era of adjustment zat Lolita could find perhaps partake in the larger share of the extra-curricular school activities...You, Dr. Hombard, zhould devinitely unveto that girl's non-partizipazion in the school play!


  • Jean Farlow: [about Charlotte] She was a wonderful person, Humbert. She was always so gay, wasn't she, John?
  • Jean Farlow: [to Humbert] Try to think of your poor little Lolita, all alone in the world. You must live for her sake.
  • Miss Lebone: [to Humbert] Well I think I ought to tell you that the neighbors are beginning to get a little curious about you and your little girl...You know how people talk.
  • Clare Quilty: [on the phone] Hello. Is this Professor Humbert?...How are you Professor?...I was just wondering if you've been enjoying your stay in our lovely little town...It doesn't matter what my name is. It's really obscure - an unremarkable department, you see, is sorta concerned with the bizarre rumors that have been circulating about you and that lovely, remarkable girl you've been traveling around with...with all this traveling around you do, you don't get much time to see a psychiatrist regularly, is that right?...You are classified in our files, professor, you are classified in our files as a white widowed male. I wonder if you'd be prepared to give our investigator a report, Professor, on your, uh, current sex life, if any...!
  • Dick Schiller: An opportunity for a guy like me to get in on the ground floor where industry's opening up. And if we can scrape together enough money with, with maybe your help, well, we can go. We got a few back debts. We kinda over-extended ourselves. She's sure a swell kid, Professor Haze. She sure is, she's just nuts about dogs and kids. She's gonna make a swell mother too.


Humbert: Quilty, Quilty.
Quilty: Wha? Wha? What's that?
Humbert: Are you Quilty?
Quilty: No, I'm Spartacus. Have you come to free the slaves or somethin'?
Humbert: Are you Quilty?
Quilty: Yeah, I am Quilty. Yes, sure.
Humbert: Shall we have a little chat before we start?

Quilty: [after Humbert ignores his ping pong serve] Roman ping...You're supposed to say Roman pong! OK, you serve. I don't mind. I don't - I just don't mind. Come on... [serves again] Roman ping-pong. Kinda tricky serve to handle, eh Captain? Kind of tricky. One of the champs taught me that. I'm not accusing you, Captain, but it's sort of absurd the way people invade this house without even knocking...They use the telephone..
Humbert: You really don't remember me, do you?
Quilty: Have you ever noticed how the ...different champs use their bats? You know, some of 'em hold it like this and everything.
Humbert: Do you recall a girl called Dolores Haze?
Quilty: I remember the one guy, he didn't have a hand. He had a bat instead of a hand. He's...
Humbert: [Bangs on the table loudly with the paddle] Lolita?!
Quilty: Lo-li-tah. Yeah, yeah. I remember that name, all right. Maybe she made some telephone calls. Who cares?
[Humbert draws a gun]
Quilty: Hey, you're a sort of bad loser, Captain. I never found a guy who pulled a gun on me when he lost a game. Didn't anyone ever tell ya? It's not really who wins, it's how you play, like the champs. Listen, I don't think I want to play anymore. Gee, I'm just dyin' for a drink. I'm just dyin' to have a drinkie.
Humbert: You're dying anyway, Quilty. Quilty, I want you to concentrate - you're going to die. Try to understand what is happening to you.
Quilty: You are either Australian or a German refugee. This is a gentile's house - you'd better run along.
Humbert: Think of what you did, Quilty, and think of what is happening to you now.
Quilty: Hee-hee-hee...gee, that's a - that's a durl-in' little gun you got there. That's a durlin' little thing. How much a guy like you want for a-a durlin' little gun like that?
Humbert: [thrusts out a note for him] Read this.
Quilty: What's this, the deed to the ranch?
Humbert: It's your death sentence. Read it.
Quilty: I can't read, ah, mister. I never did none of that there book learnin', ya know.
Humbert: Read it, Quilty!
Quilty: Mmm? 'Because you took advantage of a sinner. Because you took advantage...Because you took...Because you took advantage of my disadvantage.' Gee, that's a dad-blasted durn good poem you done there. 'When I stood Adam-Naked...' Oh! Adam-Naked, you should be ashamed of yourself, Captain. '...before a Federal Law and all its stinging stars.' Tarnation, you old horned toad, that's a mighty pretty...that's a pretty poem. 'Because you took advantage' - Gee, it's getting a bit repetitious, isn't it - 'Because' - there's another one - 'Because you cheated me. Because you took her at an age, when young lads...'
Humbert: [he snatches the note back] That's enough!
Quilty: Say, what you take it away for, mister? That was getting kind of smutty there! [laughs]
Humbert: Do you have any last words?
Quilty: Listen, Mac. You're drunk, and I'm a sick man. This pistol-packing farce is becoming a sort of nuisance.
Humbert: Do you want to die standing up or sitting down?
Quilty: I wanna die like a champion.
[Humbert fires the gun]
Quilty: Gee, right in the boxing glove. You want to be more careful with that thing. Listen Captain, why don't you stop trifling with life and death? I'm a playwright. You know, I know all about this sort of tragedy and comedy and fantasy and everything. I've got fifty-two successful scenarios to my credit, added to which my father's a policeman. [He turns to the piano] Listen, you look like a music lover to me. Why don't you let, why, why don't you let me play you a little thing I-I wrote last week? [He begins playing Chopin's Grand Polonaise] Nice sort of opening that, eh? We could dream up some lyrics, maybe. You and I dream them up together, you know, share the profits. Do you think that'll make the hit parade? [Singing] Uh, the moon was blue, and so are you and I tonight...she's mine...yours...she's...she's yours tonight...and...and... [runs from the room]
[Humbert chases him and fires again, hitting Quilty in the leg]
Quilty: Gee! Gee, that hurt me, that... You really hurt me. Listen, if you're tryin' to scare me, you did a pretty swell job all right. My leg'll be black and blue tomorrow. You know, this house is roomy and cool. You see how cool it is. I intend moving to England or Florence forever. You can move in. I've got some nice friends, you know, who could come and keep you company here. You could use them as pieces of furniture. This one guy looks just like a bookcase. I could fix it up for you to attend executions, how would you like that? Just you there, nobody else, just watching. Watch! You like watching, Captain? No, cause, not many people know that the, ha-ha, that the chair is painted yellow. You'd be the only guy in the know.
Humbert shoots him again]
Quilty: That hurts!

Charlotte: Yeah, this would be your room. It's what you might call a studio - well, you know, a semi-studio affair ... it's very male - [sigh] - and, uh, quiet. We're really very fortunate here in West Ramsdale. Culturally, we're a very advanced group with lots of good Anglo-Dutch and Anglo-Scotch stock. And, uh, we're very progressive - intellectually.
Humbert: That is immediately apparent!
Charlotte: Oh, I do hope you'll want to address our club. There's a nice view from this window - of the front lawn, and a good place for you to do your writing. [gesturing] Shelves for your books...I am Chairman of the Great Books Committee. As a matter of fact, uh, you know, one of the speakers that I had, um, last season, was, uh, Clare Quilty...The writer, TV, TV play -
Humbert: No, no I wouldn't.
Charlotte: Oh, he's a very stimulating type of man. He gave us a talk on, hmm, uh, Dr. Schweitzer and Doctor Zhivago.

Charlotte: ...The bathroom's back here, right next door. Well, we still have that good old-fashioned quaint plumbing. It should appeal to a European. [She flushes it to demonstrate] WOOSH! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Oh, excuse the soiled sock! I see that you're interested in art. In that case, in that case, you really must see, uh, the collection of reproductions I have in my bedroom. Voila!...Du-fee, and there's my little Van Gock, Monet. Is Mme. Humbert, umm...?
Humbert: There's no Madame. We are divorced... A happy divorce.
Charlotte: When did all this happen?
Humbert: About a year ago, in Paris.
Charlotte: Oh, Paris, France...You know, Monsieur, I really believe that it's only in the romance languages that, uh, one is able to really relate in a mature fashion. In fact, I remember when the late Mr. Haze...yes, he's passed on. But, uh, when we were on our honeymoon abroad, I-I knew that I'd never felt married until I'd had myself addressed as seniora.
Humbert: You're in Spain?
Charlotte: No, Mexico. He was a lovely human being. A man of complete integrity....Those are his ashes. It's very difficult for a woman, an attractive woman alone, you know, ha-ha.

Charlotte: My yellow roses. My - daughter....I could offer you a comfortable home, a sunny garden, a congenial atmosphere, my cherry pies.
[Humbert decides to rent the room]
Charlotte: What was the decisive factor? Uh, my garden?
Humbert: I think it was your cherry pies!

John: [to Humbert, about Charlotte] Mind if I dance with your girl? We could, um, sort of swap partners. [they leave to dance]
Jean: Did you know that you've had the most remarkable effect on her. Did you know that?...she's begun to radiate a certain glow. When you get to know me better, you'll find I'm extremely broad-minded...In fact, John and I, we're both broad-minded.

Charlotte: Oh, hello. Hello, again! Oh, it's certainly been a long time!
Quilty: It certainly has, yes.
Charlotte: Do you know that I've been the local authority on you ever since.
Quilty: Is that so? Well, that's very sweet of you. Thank you so much.
Charlotte: I'll never forget that intellectually stimulating talk that you gave to our club.
Quilty: Yes, a magnificent club. Really magnificent. Tell me one thing - are you a columnist?
Charlotte: No, no. Don't you remember? That afternoon changed my whole life.
Quilty: Oh, well, how about that? [He chuckles]
Charlotte: You remember it. [She whispers in his ear]
Quilty: Did I do that? [She nods] Did I?
Charlotte: And afterwards, you know, I showed you my garden. And I drove you to the airport.
Quilty: Yes, really great fun. Listen, listen, din, din you have a dawda (daughter)? Din you have a dawda with a lovely name? Yeah, a lovely, what was it now, a lovely lyrical lilting name like, uh, uh...
Charlotte: Lo-li-ta.
Quilty: Lo-li-ta, that's right. Lolita. Diminutive of Dolores, the tears and the roses.

Charlotte: I have a proposal. What say you I, uh, teach you some of the new steps, huh?
Humbert: Oh Charlotte, I don't even know the old ones. And you do this so very well, I'd much rather sit down and watch you. Very good.
Charlotte: Oh come on, Humbert. Ah, Humbert Humbert, what a thrillingly different name.
Charlotte: A little more joie de vivre! You know, when you smile like that, you remind me of someone. Oh, ah, a college boy I had, uh, a date with. I went dancing with him. A young, blue-blooded Bostonian. Oh, my very first glamour date. And you know, in certain lights, you remind me of Harold..I adored Harold, I really did. I swore at the time I would never marry again. I don't think I will, but, uh, it wouldn't be fair to his memory, do you think?
Humbert: No, one doesn't always find such loyalty these days.
Charlotte: Shouldn't life be for the living? What think you? You see, I'm a strongly emotional woman. Very strongly emotional. Oh, don't be afraid of hurting me...Take me in your arms! Oh, I can't live in the past, not any more Hum, not any more.
Lolita: Hi!
Charlotte: Darling, did you come back for something?
Lolita: Mona's party turned out to be sorta a drag. So I thought I'd come back and see what you two were doing.
Humbert: We had a wonderful evening. Your mother created a magnificent spread.

Lolita: Did you have a good time dancing with Clare Quilty?
Charlotte: Of course. He's a very erudite gentleman.
Lolita: Yeah, I know. All the girls are crazy about him, too.
Charlotte: That's neither here nor there.
Lolita: Since when?

Lolita: [about a secret she has with her friend Mona] You'll blab.
Humbert: I will never give away any of your secrets.
Lolita: Well, for that, you get a little reward. [She dangles a fried egg above his open mouth] You can have one little bite.

Charlotte: I have a surprise.
Humbert: The Farlows have been arrested?
Charlotte: Mona Farlow is leaving for summer camp tomorrow. Lolita is going with her....isolation from boys would be the best thing for both of the girls this crucial summer.
Humbert: Do you think that the camp is the answer?
Charlotte: Oh, frankly Hum, I do. And it's all arranged. The Farlows and I phoned the camp long distance, and I did all the shopping this ...Is something the matter with your face?
Humbert: Toothache!
Charlotte: Oh, you poor man.

Lolita: Well, I guess I won't be seeing you again, huh?
Humbert: I shall be moving on. I must prepare for my work at Beardsley College in the fall.
Lolita: Then I guess this is goodbye.
Humbert: Yes.
Lolita: [She half-winks at him and races off] Don't forget me.

Charlotte: [Humbert is locked in the bathroom] Dear, the door is locked. Sweetheart, I don't want any secrets between us. It makes me feel insecure.
Humbert: Can't this wait 'til I come out of here?
Charlotte: I suppose. Hum, what do you do in there so long? I want to talk to you.
Humbert: I haven't been here long. In point of fact, I only just came in.
Charlotte: Were there a lot of women in your life before me?
Humbert: I've told you about them already.
Charlotte: Well, you didn't tell me about all of them.
Humbert: Charlotte, if it would make you any happier, I will sit right down and I will make out a complete list of every woman I have ever known. Will that satisfy you?
Charlotte: Ohh, I'm lonesome...I think it's healthy for me to be jealous. It means that I love you. You know how happy I can make you.

Charlotte: Darling, I don't care about any other woman. I know that our love is sacred. The others were profane.
Humbert: Yeah, sacred. That's right. That's what it is, hmmm.
Charlotte: Oh Hum, hum-baby, you know, I love the way you smell. You do arouse the pagan in me. Hum, you just touch me, and I-I go as limp as a noodle. It scares me.
Humbert: Yes, I know the feeling.
Charlotte: Do you believe in God?
Humbert: The question is, 'does God believe in me?'
Charlotte: [pulling out a gun] But if I ever found out that you didn't believe in God, I think I would commit suicide. This is a Sacred Weapon, it's a tragic treasure. Mr. Haze purchased it when he found out he was ill. He wanted to spare me the sight of his suffering. Happily or unhappily, he, he was hospitalized before he could use it. Darling, you know, I have a most ambitious fantasy.
Humbert: What's yours?
Charlotte: I would love to get hold of a real French servant girl, you know...and have her come live in the house...We could put her in Lo's room. I've been meanin' to make a guest room out of that hole, anyway.
Humbert: And where, pray, will you put your daughter, when you get your guest or your maid?
Charlotte: You know, I've decided to send her straight from camp to a good boarding school, you know, with strict religious training, and then on to college. It's going to be you and me, alone forever. [Humbert's face falls] Darling, you've gone away.

Humbert: You know, I've missed you terribly.
Lolita: I haven't missed you. In fact, I've been revoltingly unfaithful to you.
Humbert: Oh.
Lolita: But it doesn't matter a bit, because you've stopped caring anyway.
Humbert: What makes you say I've stopped caring for you?
Lolita: Well, you haven't even kissed me yet, have you?

Quilty: She's a yellow belt. I'm a green belt. That's the way nature made it. What happens is, she throws me all over the place.
Mr. Swine: She throws you all over the place?
Quilty: Yes. What she does, she gets me in a, sort of, thing called a sweeping ankle throw. She sweeps my ankles away from under me. I go down with one helluva bang.
Mr. Swine: Doesn't it hurt?
Quilty: Well, I sort of lay there in pain, but I love it. I really love it. I lay there hovering between consciousness and unconsciousness. It's really the greatest.

Lolita: [entering the hotel room, which has only one bed] Is, uh, this it?
Humbert: You mean, uh...
Lolita: Yeah.
Humbert: Well, yes. You see, I-I-I-I-I, I'm quite sure that they'll manage to find a cot for us. I asked them downstairs in the lobby to find a cot.
Lolita: A cot?
Humbert: Yes.
Lolita: You're crazy.
Humbert: Why, my darling?
Lolita: Because, my darling, when my darling mother finds out, she's going to divorce you and strangle me.
Humbert: Yes, now look, now. I have a great feeling of, um, tenderness for you. While your mother is ill, I'm responsible for your welfare. We're not rich, but while we travel, we should be obliged - we should be thrown a good deal together - two people sharing one room inevitably enter into a kind of, um, how should I say? A kind of, hmm...
Lolita: Aren't you going to go down and see about the cot?

Quilty: Hello, heh-heh, heh-heh. Hello.
Humbert: Oh, you're addressing me?...I thought there was perhaps someone with you.
Quilty: No, I'm not really with someone. I'm with you, heh-heh. I didn't mean that as an insult. What I really meant was that, uh, I'm with the State Police, uh, here, and, uh, when I'm with them, I'm with someone, but right now, I'm on my own. I mean, I'm not with a lot of people, just you. Heh.
Humbert: Well, I wouldn't like to disturb you. I'll leave you alone if you prefer it.
Quilty: No, you don't really have to go at all. I like it, you know, because, uh, I don't know what it is. I sort of get the impression that you want to leave but you don't like to leave because maybe you think I'd think it'd look suspicious, me being a policeman...You don't have to think that, because, uh, I haven't really got a suspicious mind at all. I look suspicious myself. A lot of people think I'm suspicious, especially when I stand around on street corners. One of our own boys picked me up the other week - he thought I was too suspicious standing on a street corner and everything. Tell me something, uhm, I couldn't help noticing when you checked in tonight. It's part of my job - I notice human individuals - and I noticed your face. I said to myself when I saw you - I said, 'That's a guy with the most normal-looking face I ever saw in my life'...It's great to see a normal face, because I'm a normal guy. It would be great for two normal guys like us to get together and talk about world events - you know, in a normal sort of way...May I say one other thing to you? It's really on my mind. I've been thinking about it quite a lot. I noticed when you was checking in, you had a lovely, pretty little girl with you. She was really lovely. As a matter of fact, she wasn't so little, come to think of it. She was fairly tall, what I mean, taller than little, you know what I mean. But, uh, she was really lovely. I wish I had a lovely, pretty tall, lovely little girl like that, I mean...Your daughter? Gee, isn't it great to have a lovely, tall, pretty little, small daughter like that, it's really wonderful. I don't have any children, boys or little tall girls or anything. I'm not even...Heh-heh, may I say something? I thought you was looking a little uneasy at the desk there. Maybe I was thinking that you want to get away from your wife for a little while. I don't blame you. If I was married, I'd take every opportunity to get away from my wife.
Humbert: She had an accident.
Quilty: That's really terrible. I mean, fancy a fella's wife having, a normal guy's wife having an accident like that. What happened to her?
Humbert: She was hit by a car.
Quilty: Gee, no wonder she's not here. Gee, you must feel pretty bad about that. What's happening? Is she coming on later or something?
Humbert: Well, that was the understanding.
Quilty: What? In an ambulance? Heh-heh. Gee, I'm sorry, I shouldn't say that. I get sorta carried away, you know, being so normal and everything. Tell me, umm, when you were standing there at the desk checkin' in with the night manager, Mr. George Swine, who I happen to know as a personal friend of mine, umm, I was wondering if, uh, he fixed you up with, uh, sort of good accommodation here...You're quite sure about that, because, I mean, I could really easily have a word with George Swine. Uh, I mean, he's a really nor-normal nice sorta guy and I've only got to have a normal word in his ear and you'd be surprised what things could happen from a thing like that. I mean, he-he'd probably go and turn some of the troopers out so you could have a lovely room - a bridal suite for you and your lovely little girl.
Humbert: No, please, I don't want you to take any trouble on my account. We're perfectly comfortable.
Quilty: But he should do it. It's his job to fix you up with something nice, I mean, you know, he gets paid for doing that thing and when he sees a guy like you coming in, all normal and everything, with a lovely little girl beside him, he should say to himself, 'Gee, I've got to give that guy a lovely sorta comfortable foamy bed to sleep in.' I mean, you know, I just don't like to hear things like that happening because I could go over and really take a swipe at him for not giving you a lovely, comfortable, sleepy, movie-star bed. You know what I mean, heh, I mean, you know, what has he got ya? On the floor or something?
Humbert: Well, the little girl is probably asleep already - in the bed - and, uh... [laughs] I don't know why we're discussing this because...
Quilty: Listen, why don't you let me have a look at the room - at the accommodation that you have, now, and-and-and- really take it in for a second - and then I could come down and have a word with George Swine? It would be so simple.
Humbert: If you'll excuse me.
Quilty: You're going because you maybe think that, uh, me being a policeman and everything, I think you're sorta suspicious. I-I don't think that at all. I think you're really normal and everything. You don't have to go because of that...You have a most interesting face. Goodnight.

Humbert: Of course I need a shave, because I've not shaved since yesterday morning and I'm a man who (needs) two shaves a day.
Lolita: Hmm. Do you always have to shave twice a day?
Humbert: Yes, of course. All the best people shave twice a day.

Lolita: ...I-I learned some real good games in camp. One in particular-ly was fun.
Humbert: Well, why don't you describe this one in particular-ly - good game?
Lolita: Well, I played it with Charlie...Charlie? He's that guy that you met in the office.
Humbert: You mean that boy...?
Lolita: Mmm, hmm.
Humbert: You and he?
Lolita: Yeah. You sure you can't guess what game I'm talking about?
Humbert: No, I'm not a very good guesser. [She whispers in his ear and then giggles] I don't know what game you played. [She whispers a few more words]
Lolita: You mean you never played that game when you were a kid?
Humbert: Oh, no.
Lolita: [smiling] All righty then...

Lolita: Hey, let's tell mother.
Humbert: Tell mother what?
Lolita: [she smiles knowingly] You know what.
Humbert: No, I don't think that would be very funny.
Lolita: [laughing] I wonder what she'd do? Hmm?

Lolita: Why? What difference does it make? I want to call her.
Humbert: I just don't think it would be a very good idea. That's all.
Lolita: Why can't I call my mother if I want to?
Humbert: Because you can't!
Lolita: Why?
Humbert: Because - [long pause] your mother is dead.
Lolita: [laughs] Come on, now, cut it out! Why can't I call her?
Humbert: Your - mother - is - dead.

Humbert: Try to stop crying. Everything's going to be all right.
Lolita: Nothing will ever be all right.
Humbert: I'm sure that we're gonna be very happy - you and I.
Lolita: But everything is changed all of a sudden. Everything was so, oh, I don't know, normal.
Humbert: Lolita, please, please stop crying. We'll do things, we'll go places.
Lolita: But there's no place to go back to.
Humbert: We'll find a new home.
Lolita: Where?
Humbert: Beardsley. My lectureship. It starts in September. It's in Ohio, you'll like it there.
Lolita: I'll hate it, I know I will.
Humbert: No you won't. It's a wonderful place.
Lolita: But what about all my things back in Ramsdale? And our house?
Humbert: We'll take care of all those things. What things do you want specially?
Lolita: My record player and my records.
Humbert: We'll send for them and, in the meantime, I can buy you new ones... take the place of the old ones. I'll buy you the best hi-fi set that you ever saw and all the new records. There, there.
Lolita: We can't stay in Beardsley forever. Where's that handkerchief? Promise me something? [curling up in his lap] Promise you'll never leave me. I don't want to ever be in one of those horrible places for juvenile delinquents...And anyway, I'd rather be with you. You're a lot better than one of those places. You will promise, won't you?
Humbert: Cross my heart and hope to die. Cross my heart and hope to die. Cross my heart and hope to die.

Humbert: I thought we understood. No dates!
Lolita: What do you mean, no dates?...
Humbert: I don't want you around them. They're nasty-minded boys.
Lolita: Oh, you're a fine one to talk about someone else's mind.
Humbert: Don't avoid the issue. I told you, 'No dates.'
Lolita: It wasn't a date.
Humbert: It was a date.
Lolita: It wasn't a date.
Humbert: It was a date, Lolita.
Lolita: It was not a date.
Humbert: IT WAS A DATE!
Lolita: It wasn't a date.
Humbert: Well, whatever it was that you had yesterday afternoon, I don't want you to have again. While we're on the subject, how did you come to be so late on Saturday afternoon?
Lolita: Saturday I went to my piano lesson.
Humbert: Your piano lesson? I thought that was on Wednesday.
Lolita: No, it's changed to Saturday, remember? Between 2:00 and 4:00, Miss Starch, piano. Ask Michele. She was with me.
Humbert: "Ask Michele," that's what you always say. Well, now for a change, I'm going to ask you something about Michele.
Lolita: You can't have her. She belongs to a Marine.
Humbert: I will ignore that idiotic joke. Why does she [Michelle] give me these searching looks whenever she comes to the house?
Lolita: How should I know?
Humbert: Have you told her anything about us?
Lolita: No. Have you?
Humbert: You've told her nothing -
Lolita: You think I'm crazy?

Lolita: You never let me have any fun.
Humbert: No fun? You have all the fun in the world. We have fun together, don't we? Ay, whenever you want something, I buy it for you automatically. I take you to concerts, to museums, to movies. I do all the housework. Who does the-the tidying up? I do. Who does the cooking? I do. You and I have lots of fun - don't we Lolita?
Lolita: [she smiles] Come here. [He kneels in front of her] Still love me?
Humbert: Completely. You know that.
Lolita: You know what I want more than anything else in the world?
Humbert: What do you want?
Lolita: I want you to be proud of me.
Humbert: I am proud of you, Lolita.
Lolita: No, I mean really proud of me. You see, they want me for the lead in the school play. Isn't that fantastic? And I have to have a letter from you, giving your permission.
Humbert: Who wants you?
Lolita: Well, Edusa Gold, the drama teacher, Clare Quilty, and Vivian Darkbloom.
Humbert: And who might they be?
Lolita: They're the authors. They're here to supervise the production.
Humbert: But you've never acted before.
Lolita: Oh, they say I have a unique and rare talent.
Humbert: And how do they know that?
Lolita: Well, we had readings. I was chosen over thirty other girls.
Humbert: That's the first I've heard about it.
Lolita: I know. I wanted to surprise you.
Humbert: And you suddenly are, overnight, an actress. Well, it's out of the question.
Lolita: Out of the question?
Humbert: I don't want you in that atmosphere.
Lolita: What atmosphere? It's just a school play.
Humbert: I've told you over and over again. I don't want you mixing with those boys. It's just another excuse to make dates with them, and to get together close with them.
Lolita: You don't love me.
Humbert: I do love you.
Lolita: You don't love me.
Humbert: I do love you, Lolita.
Lolita: You're driving me crazy. You won't let me do anything. You just want to keep me locked up with you in this filthy house!...Someday you're going to regret this. You'll be sorry...

Humbert: All right, perhaps I was wrong in the attitude that I took about the school play.
Dr. Zempf: Zat's very big of you to admit that. And whilst you're admitting zat, why don't you alzo loozen up a little bit more in the other two 'd's' yah? The dating and the dance?
Humbert: You think that those are equally important?
Dr. Zempf: Dr. Hombards, I'll tell you about the two things. I feel that you and I should do all in our power to stop that old Dr. Cutler and his quartet of psychologists from fiddling around in the home situation. Zat's what I feel. Don't you agree with me?

Humbert: It's partly my fault, I realize that. It's something that's happened on account of this horrible place. All these people poking their nose into our business. And I never see you anymore what with your soda-fountains and your extra-c...[she pops her gum] STOP DOING THAT! If we could leave this place perhaps. Yes, there's there's nothing to keep us here. We haven't any obligations here...We could just pack up our bags - TONIGHT! We could go now. I could take you for a wonderful trip around the country!...Don't you want to get back to where we were before we came to this horrible place? Don't you want to come away with me?
Humbert: You're not gonna see these filthy boys anymore, I can tell you that.

Lolita: You're gonna get us killed. What's the big fat hurry anyway?
Humbert: [about the car following them] I think he's some kind of a cop.
[Their tire blows out, the other car stops 100 feet behind them]
Humbert: He can't help us if he's stopping way back there like that. He can't be the police because if he were police, they'd just draw up beside us and start writing a ticket...Maybe it's a special kind of police who are just supposed to follow people.
Lolita: Yeah, like the vice squad.

Lolita: Oh, there's no point in going into that! It's all over.
Humbert: Lolita. I have to know.
Lolita: Well, I'm sorry, but I can't tell you.
Humbert: ...If you're a sensible girl, and if you want what I've come to give you, you'll tell me what I want to know.
Lolita: Do you remember Dr. Zempf?...That German psychologist who came to see you at Beardsley.
Humbert: Was it him?
Lolita: Not exactly.
Humbert: I didn't come here to play guessing games. Tell me who it was.
Lolita: Well, give me a chance to explain...Do you remember that car that used to follow us around?...Do you remember mother's old flame at the school dance? No, you probably wouldn't remember him. Do you remember the guy that you talked to at that hotel on the way back from camp? He pretended that he was part of that police convention that was there...And do you remember that guy that called you at the hotel?
Humbert: The night you disappeared? Yes, I remember him very well.
Lolita: And yet you still haven't guessed.
Humbert: I told you that I'm not playing games with you. Tell me who it was.
Lolita: It was Clare Quilty.
Humbert: Who was Clare Quilty?
Lolita: All of them, of course.
Humbert: You mean Dr. Zempf, he was Clare Quilty?
Lolita: Well, congratulations. I don't suppose it ever occurred to you that when you moved into our house, my whole world didn't revolve around you. You see, I'd had a crush on him ever since the times that he used to come and visit mother. He wasn't like you and me. He wasn't a normal person. He was a genius. He had a kind of, uh, beautiful, Japanese, Oriental philosophy of life. You know that hotel that we stopped at on the way back from camp. Well, it was just by accident that he was staying there. But it didn't take him long to figure out what was going on between us. And from that moment on, he was up to every brilliant trick he could think of.
Humbert: And he did all these brilliant tricks for the sheer fun of tormenting me?
Lolita: Well, sometimes he had to. Like the German psychologist bit. He had to trick you into letting me be in his play. Otherwise, how would I ever get to see him?
Humbert: So that's why you wanted to be in the play.
Lolita: That's right.
Humbert: And all those afternoons you were supposed to be practicing the piano, you were actually with this man?
Lolita: Mmm, hmm. I guess he was the only guy I was ever really crazy about.
Humbert: Aren't you forgetting something?
Lolita: Oh, Dick. Dick's very sweet. We're very happy together, but I guess it's just not the same thing.
Humbert: And I? I suppose I never counted, of course.
Lolita: You have no right to say that. After all, the past is the past.
Humbert: What happened to this Oriental-minded genius?
Lolita: Look, don't make fun of me. I don't have to tell you a blasted thing.
Humbert: I am not making fun of you. I am merely trying to find out what happened. When you left the hospital, where did he take you?
Lolita: To New a dude ranch near Santa Fe. The only problem with it was, he had such a bunch of weird friends staying there...painters, nudists, writers, weight lifters. But I figured I could take anything for a couple of weeks because I loved him and he was on his way to Hollywood to write one of those spectaculars, and he promised to get me a studio contract. But it never turned out that way and instead, he wanted me to cooperate with the others making some kind of a, you know, an art movie.
Humbert: An art movie?...And you did it?
Lolita: No, I didn't do it. And so he kicked me out.
Humbert: You could have come back to me.

Humbert: This may be neither here nor there, but I've got to say it. Life is very short. Between here and that old car outside is twenty-five paces. Make them now, right now...Come away with me now, just as you are.
Lolita: Oh, you mean you'll give us the money only if I go to a hotel with you.
Humbert: No, you've got it all wrong. I want you to leave your husband and this awful house. I want you to live with me and die with me, and EVERYTHING with me.
Lolita: You must be crazy!
Humbert: I'm perfectly serious, Lo. I've never been less crazy in all my life. We'll start a-fresh. We can forget everything that has happened.
Lolita: No, it's too late.
Humbert: No, it's not too late...don't tell me that it's too late because it's not too late. If you want time to think it over, that's perfectly all right with me, because I've waited already for three years and I think I could wait for the rest of my life if necessary. You're not giving anything up. There's nothing here to keep you...You're not bound to him in any way, as you are bound to me by everything that we have lived through together - you and I.
Lolita: I'm going to have his baby in three months...I've wrecked too many things in my life. I can't do that to him. He needs me. [Humbert begins crying] Oh, come on, now don't make a scene. Stop crying! He could walk in here at any minute. Will you please stop crying?

Humbert: There are no strings attached. It's only money anyway. It comes from the rent of the house - that's four hundred dollars in cash...I made out a check here for two thousand, five hundred dollars. There's someone in Ramsdale who's prepared to take care of the mortgage of the house. There's the downpayment. That's the payment.
Lolita: You mean we're getting thirteen thousand dollars? Wonderful. Oh, come on now, don't cry. I'm sorry. Try to understand. I'm really sorry that I cheated so much, but I guess that's just the way things are.
Lolita: Hey, well listen, let's keep in touch, huh? I'll write to you when we get to Alaska.


About Lolita[edit]

  • Well, she had to be between 12 and 13 at the beginning, but between 16 and 17 at the end—I mean one girl who could play both parts—and we did look at quite a few young girls, some of them very young indeed. It was amazing how many parents would write in, you know, from Montana and so on, saying: "My daughter really is Lolita!"—that sort of thing. But we looked at them all, and of course, Sue Lyon was just one of them—but the moment we saw her, we through 'My God, if this girl can act—because she had this wonderful, enigmatic, but alive quality of mystery, but was still very expressive. Everything she did, commonplace things, like handling objects or crossing a room, or just talking, were all done in a very engaging way...and, incidentally this is a quality which most great actors have, it's a strange sort of personal unique style that goes into everything they do—like when Albert Finney sits down in a chair and drinks a bottle of beer, and, well, it's just great and you think "God, I wish I could drink a bottle of beer like that," or the way Marlon, you know, pushes his sun-glasses on his forehead and just leaves them there instead of putting them in his pocket...and, well, they all have ways of doing everyday things that are interesting to watch. And she had this, Sue Lyon—but of course, we still didn't know whether she could act. Then we did some scenes, and finally shot a test with Mason, and that was it—she was great.
  • SIR, I must confess I was greatly puzzled and less than amused by the Lolita New York premiere story printed in The Observer (June 17). Michael Davie, who is not a film critic, nevertheless saw fit to write a film review of Lolita four months before the film was to be Press-shown in Britain for its September première. Aside from the professional ethics involved here, his piece was viciously flippant and rude at the expense of Mr. Nabokov, Mr. Mason, Miss Winters, Mr. Sellers, Miss Lyon and myself. An anonymous spectator was quoted as saying, "Well, anyway, no one can say look what they did to Nabokov, the poor slob. The poor slob did it to himself." I suppose it is fortunate that Mr. Nabokov was blissfully unaware of his new status as a poor slob when he said to me after the premiere, "This is a great film. Sue Lyon is marvellous; she is Lolita. There are even some things in it I wish were in the book." Mr. Davie also wrote, "In life Sue Lyon is said to be 16, In the film. she looks older. Mason, in lite, is in his fifties. He, on the other hand. looks younger. At tunes, they look the same age. At one point, she looks older than him." I shall leave it to your readers to ponder that bit of witty prose.
    In fact. Sue was 14 years and 4 months when we began shooting and 14 years and 9 months when we finished. Lolita was 12 years and 8 months when Humbert met her and 17 years plus at the end of the noveL Humbert was 39 when he met Lolita.
    • From a letter by Stanley Kubrick published as "Mr Kubrick on: Lolita and the Press", The Observer (24 June 1962), p. 22
    • A note from the editor (then David Astor) followed the letter rejecting the accusation Michael Davie lacked professional ethics. Davie's article from a week earlier was headlined "Lolita Fiasco".

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