Stanley Kubrick was born in New York, and was considered intelligent despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a
change of scenery would produce better academic performance, Kubrick's father Jack (a physician) sent him in 1940 to Pasadena, California, to stay with his uncle Martin Perveler. Returning to the Bronx in 1941 for his
last year of grammar school, there seemed to be little change in his attitude or his results. Hoping to find something to interest his son, Jack introduced Stanley to Chess, with the desired result. Kubrick took to the
game passionately, and quickly became a skilled player. Chess would become an important device for Kubrick in later years, often as tool for for dealing with recalcitrant actors, but also as an artistic motif in his
films. Jack Kubrick's decision to give his son a camera for his thirteenth birthday would be an even wiser move: Kubrick became an avid photographer, and would often make trips around New York taking photographs which
he would develop in a friend's darkroom. After selling an unsolicited photograph to Look Magazine, Kubrick began to associate with their staff photographers, and at the age of seventeen was offered a job as an
apprentice photographer. In the next few years, Kubrick had regular assignments for "Look", and would become a voracious movie-goer. Together with friend Alexander Singer, Kubrick planned a move into making
movies, and in 1950 sank his savings into making the documentary Day of the Fight (1951). This was followed by several short commissioned documentaries (Flying Padre (1951), and Seafarers, The (1952)), but by attracting
investors and hustling chess games in Central Park, Kubrick was able to make Fear and Desire (1953) in California. Filming this movie was not a happy experience; Kubrick's marriage to high school sweetheart Toba Metz
did not survive the shooting. Despite mixed reviews for the film itself, Kubrick received good notices for his obvious directorial talents. Kubrick's next two films Killer's Kiss (1955) and Killing, The (1956) brought
him to the attention of Hollywood, and in 1957 directed Kirk Douglas in Paths of Glory (1957). Douglas later called upon Kubrick to take over the production of Spartacus (1960), by some accounts hoping that Kubrick
would be daunted by the scale of the project and would thus be accommodating. This was not the case, however: Kubrick took charge of the project, imposing his ideas and standards on the film. Many crewmembers were upset
by his style: cinematographer Russell Metty complained to producers that Kubrick was taking over his job. Kubrick's response was to tell him to sit there and do nothing. Metty complied, and ironically was awarded the
Academy Award for his cinematography. Kubrick's next project was to direct Marlon Brando in One-Eyed Jacks (1961), but negotiations broke down and Brando himself ended up directing the film himself. Disenchanted with
Hollywood and after another failed marriage, Kubrick moved permanently to England, from where he would make all of his subsequent films. Despite having obtained a pilot's license, Kubrick is rumored to be afraid of
flying. Kubrick's first UK film was Lolita (1962), which was carefully constructed and guided so as to not offend the censorship boards which at the time had the power to severely damage the commercial success of a
film. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) was a big risk for Kubrick; before this, "nuclear" was not considered a subject for comedy. Originally written as a drama,
Kubrick decided that too many of the ideas he had written were just too funny to be taken seriously. The film's critical and commercial success allowed Kubrick the financial and artistic freedom to work on any project
he desired. Around this time, Kubrick's focus diversified and he would always have several projects in various stages of development: "Blue Moon" (a story about Hollywood's first pornographic feature film),
"Napoleon" (an epic historical biography, abandoned after studio losses on similar projects), "Wartime Lies" (a drama set in post-WWII Europe, ultimately abandoned following the advent of Schindler's
List (1993)), and "Rhapsody" (later realized as Eyes Wide Shut (1999)). The next film completed was a collaboration with sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is hailed by many as the
best ever made; an instant cult favorite, it has set the standard and tone for many science fiction films that followed. Kubrick followed this with Clockwork Orange, A (1971), which rivaled Lolita (1962) for the
controversy it generated - this time not for only for its portrayal of sex, but also of violence. Barry Lyndon (1975) would prove a turning point in both his professional and private lives. His unrelenting demands of
commitment and perfection of cast and crew had by now become legendary. Actors would be required to perform dozens of takes with no breaks. Filming a story in Ireland involving military, Kubrick received reports that
the IRA had declared him a possible target. Production was promptly
moved out of the country, and Kubrick's desire for privacy and security have resulted in him being considered a recluse ever since. Having turned down directing a sequel to Exorcist, The (1973), Kubrick made his own
horror film: Shining, The (1980). Again, rumors circulated of demands made upon actors and crew. Stephen King (whose novel the film was based upon) reportedly didn't like Kubrick's adaptation (indeed, he would later
write his own screenplay which was filmed as "Shining, The" (1997) (mini).) Kubrick's subsequent work has been well spaced: it was seven years before Full Metal Jacket (1987) was released. By this time,
Kubrick was married with children and had extensively remodeled his house. Seen by one critic as the dark side to the humanist story of Platoon (1986), Full Metal Jacket (1987) continued Kubrick's legacy of solid
critical acclaim, and profit at the box office. The 1990s has seen Kubrick starts collaboration with Brian Aldiss on A.I. (????), and begin filming his final film Eyes Wide Shut (1999) with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
under unprecedented security and privacy.
Christiane Kubrick (1958 - 7 March 1999) (his death)
Ruth Sobotka (1954 - 1957) (divorced)
'Toba Metz' (28 May 1948 - 1951) (divorced)
all of Kubrick's films contain a narration at some point (2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) contains narration in the screenplay and The Shining (1980) has some sparse title cards).
Most often adapted his films from novels Killer's Kiss (1955), and 0045758.
Often features shots down the length of tall, parallel walls, e.g. the head in Full Metal Jacket (1987), the maze and hotel coridors in
Shining, The (1980) and the computer room in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
His films have a common theme of dehumanization.
Symmetric image composition and long ``zooming out'' and/or ``zooming in'' sequences [zoom].
Constructs three-way conflicts [three-way].
Extreme close-ups of intensely emotional faces [faces].
: often uses the number 114 in serial numbers, eg. - It's the name of the decoder in Dr. Strangelove - It's the Jupiter explorer's "licence plate number" in 2001 - Alex is given "Serum 114" when
he undergoes the Ludovico treatment
Bathroom: All of Kubrick's films feature a scene that takes place in a bathroom
Known for his exorbitant shooting ratio and endless takes, he reportedly exposed an
incredible 1.3 million feet of film while shooting Shining, The (1980), the release print of which runs for 142 minutes. Thus, he used less than 1% of the exposed film stock, making his shooting ratio an indulgent 102:1
when a ratio of 5 or 10:1 is considered the norm.
Beginning Voice-over - Paths of Glory, A Clockwork Orange, and Dr Strangelove all begin with a voice over, and The Killing features narration.
his wives in his movies. His first wife, Toba Etta Metz Kubrick, was the dialogue director for Stanley's first feature film Fear And Desire (1953). His second wife, Ruth Sobotka Kubrick, was in Killer's Kiss (1955) as a
ballet dancer named Iris in a short sequence for which she also did the choreography. Kubrick's third, and final, wife, Christiane Harlan Kubrick, appeared (as Susanne Christian) in Paths Of Glory (1957) before she
married him as the only female character (a German singing girl) in the movie. She also did the now-infamous paintings and sculptures for A Clockwork Orange (1971) and some more paintings for Eyes Wide Shut (1999). In
addition, her brother, Jan, was Stanley's assistant for A Clockwork Orange (1971) and the executive producer for all of Kubrick's films starting with Barry Lyndon (1975) and going through The Shining (1980), Full Metal
Jacket (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999).
Almost always uses previously composed music (such as The Blue Danube in 2001 and Beethoven's 9th Symphony for A Clockwork Orange) for his films rather than commissioning
an original score to be written.
Almost always shot his films in the standard 1.33:1 ratio. The exceptions were: Spartacus, in Panavision, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, in Cinerama. Much of his films consist of
wide-angle shots that give the impression of a wide-screen movie, wide up-and-down as well as wide sideways. From the Killing onward, his films looked increasingly odder, bigger, and more properly viewed from the rows
closer to the screen.
His films often story tell about the dark side of human nature.
Died 666 days before 1 January 2001.
Father-in-law of Philip Hobbs (II)
Father of 'Anya Kubrick'
Stepfather of Katharina Kubrick
Brother-in-law of Jan Harlan
Father-in-law of 'Philip Hobbs'
He wanted to make a film based on Umberto Eco's novel "Foucault's Pendulum" which appeared in 1988. Unfortunately, Eco refused dissatisfied with the filming of his
earlier novel Name der Rose, Der (1986) and also because Kubrick wasn't willing to let him write the screenplay himself.
Planned to direct a film called "I Stole 16 Million Dollars" based on thief
Willie Sutton. It was to be made by Kirk Douglas's production company Bryna Company but Douglas thought the script was "poorly written". Kubrick tried to get Cary Grant interested which must have proven to be
a failure as well. The film ended up never being made.
Wanted to take credit for Dalton Trumbo's screenplay for Spartacus (1960) since Trumbo was blacklisted at the time. Orginally Trumbo was going to use the
alias Sam Jackson but so many people knew about him and his alias that they had to figure something else out. Upset at Kubrick's desire to take credit for someone elses work, Kirk Douglas opted to simply credit Trumbo
himself. This ended the blacklist.
Often used war, or war like, themes. World War I - Paths of Glory (1957), Cold War - Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), Vietnam War -
Full Metal Jacket (1987). 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was also said to exist in a nuclear war era and Clockwork Orange, A (1971) seemed to exist in a post apocalyptic era. Spartacus (1960) also had many war themes to
it. Kubrick's dislike of his early film Fear and Desire (1953) is well known. He went out of his way to buy all the prints of it so no one else could see it.
Received Luchino Visconti Award in Italy in 1988 for contribution to the cinema.
Was to direct One-Eyed Jacks (1961) but replaced by Marlon Brando in pre-production.
Rarely gave interviews. Did however
appear in a documentary made by his daughter Vivian shot during the making of 'Shining, The (1980)'.
Father of Vivian Kubrick
According to Malcolm McDowell, Kubrick listened to air traffic controllers at
Heathrow Airport for long stretches of time, and advised McDowell never to fly.
Refused to talk about his movies on set as he was directing them and never watched them when they were completed.
One of the founders of the Directors Guild of Great Britain.
After reports that "A Clockwork Orange" had inspired real-life gangs of "droogs" in England, and fearing for his safety, Kubrick
personally withdrew the film from distribution in the UK, with a proviso that the film was never to be shown in the UK (his adopted homeland) during his lifetime. Plans are apparently afoot to now have the film released
in the UK, following his death.
Itīs rumoured that prior to his death he was considered a strong candidate for an Honorary Academy Award in 1999 for his lifeīs work. The Oscar went to Elia Kazan.
"I never learned anything at all in school and didn't read a book for pleasure until I was 19 years old."
"A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what's behind the emotion, the
meaning, all that comes later."
"I would not think of quarreling with your interpretation nor offering any other, as I have found it always the best policy to allow the film to speak for itself."
"Anyone who has ever been privileged to direct a film also knows that, although it can be like trying to write 'War and Peace' in a bumper car in an amusement park, when you finally get it right, there are
not many joys in life that can equal the feeling."
Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Director, writer, producer. (b. July 26, 1928, Bronx, N.Y.) Few directors have inspired as much
controversy as this unpredictable artist and innovative craftsman, whose output spans many film genres. The Bronx-born Kubrick first became interested in directing via photography, his teenage hobby. After making a
couple of documentary shorts, he got together financing for a short feature, 1953's Fear and Desire which he wrote, produced, edited, and photographed as well. After Killer's Kiss (1955), Kubrick's first real film of
note was the dark caper picture The Killing (1956). Featuring a quintessential film noir cast (including Sterling Hayden and Elisha Cook, Jr.), this exciting, unusually structured picture was well received by critics.
His next picture was the powerful, antiwar Paths of Glory (1957), a moving, well-written, and beautifully acted film that raised eyebrows. That film's star, Kirk Douglas, was impressed enough by Kubrick to place him in
the director's chair for 1960's literate costume epic Spartacus (which Douglas executiveproduced), replacing Anthony Mann. Director and star clashed mightily during production, and the experience was so unpleasant for
Kubrick that he forsook Hollywood altogether and moved to London, where he has been based ever since. His first project there was an intermittently successful screen version of Nabokov's then-still-red-hot novel Lolita
(1962). Far better was 1964's Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb with its crackerjack cast (Peter Sellers in three roles, an over-the-top George C. Scott, a chilling Sterling Hayden)
and razor-sharp screenplay, which had broad fun with everyone's worst nuclear doomsday fantasies. It earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Direction, and Best Screenplay (by Kubrick, Terry Southern, and Peter
Kubrick spent four years working on what would be, for many, the definitive sci-fi film: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968; nominated for Best Direction and Screenplay, it earned Kubrick a Visual Effects
Oscar). Diffuse and slowly paced, it acquired nearly as many detractors as admirers, and still divides viewers who come upon it today in theaters or on video. Much the same type of reaction was accorded the cynical,
savagely violent A Clockwork Orange (1971), which featured Malcolm McDowell as Alex, a Beethoven-loving thug who leads his vicious pack of "droogs" through a bleak, futuristic London. It also earned Kubrick
nominations for Picture, Director and Screenplay. Kubrick's next film was the considerably gentler and more picturesque (though equally pessimistic) Barry Lyndon (1975), adapted from a novel by 19thcentury writer
William Thackeray. Too slow and deliberate for some viewers, it mesmerized others, and was particularly notable for its visual style, which was an attempt to capture the look of the period by using only natural light;
he even developed, with his longtime cinematographer John Alcott, the ability to shoot by candlelight. Again, it scored nominations for Picture, Director and Screenplay. Around this period Kubrick's reputation as a
relentless, near-obsessive perfectionist began to get a good deal of play in the press; while the number of years between post-1960 projects was something of a tipoff, reports that Lyndon required 300 days just to shoot
sent many reeling. Similar reports came from the set of 1980's The Shining one story had Kubrick asking elderly actor Scatman Crothers for 75 takes of slamming a car door.
While fluid tracking camera movements
have always been a hallmark of Kubrick's visual style, they reached their apotheosis in The Shining wherein the camera glides through the hallways of a deserted resort hotel and later, in the film's terrifying climactic
chase, around the walls of a snowcovered hedge maze. Kubrick's Vietnam war film Full Metal Jacket (1987), is an even more bitter picture than Paths of Glory less a depiction of history than a blatant disavowal of the
human race from an increasingly reclusive artist. In 1993 Kubrick began working in earnest (and under his usual shroud of secrecy) on a futuristic, special effects-oriented story called AI (for artificial intelligence).