Letters of Stanley Kubrick

une 5, 1959
To Laurence Olivier

Dear Larry, I am sorry the rushes were late yesterday and I was unable to come by for that drink. I hope that when you see the finished film you will be less disturbed about certain things than are now. In any case, I should like to thank you for the decent way you have behaved about the things with which you were in such disagreement. Good luck and Best Regards, Stanley.

LOLITA, 1962
(with James Mason as Humbert and Sue Lyon as Lolita)

Olivier, who had originally agreed to star as Professor Humbert Humbert if he could co-write the script, pulls out of the entire project.

December 15, 1959
To Stanley Kubrick from Laurence Olivier

Having scrutinised the book curiously and intensely during the last week I do not feel my mind grasping a film conception of the subject and I therefore don’t feel that I can very well bear the onus of the responsibility of partnership in the script of a subject concerning which strong doubts are so uppermost in my mind. These doubts come from a conviction that the chief merit in the book lies in the author’s brilliant original and witty descriptive powers and I can’t see how this particular virtue is photographable. I fear that told in terms of dialogue the subject would be reduced to the level of pornography to which I’m afraid quite a few people already consign it. I could not guarantee to myself that I would be much use in getting it right and therefore cannot feel that I should guarantee to you that I would play the part whatever happened. Full of admiration as I am for the book my faith in it as a film subject is shaky.

MORE….The letters of Stanley Kubrick – Telegraph

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