Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita is one of those literary tour-de-forces that are easily described as "unfilmable." The Russian author's brazen prose is dense and magical, and his subject is a complex, comic, heartbreaking examination of one of society's greatest taboos. That anyone would attempt to make a movie of Lolita is stunning, and yet there are two movies based on this oft-banned literary work, and — even more stunning — they are both excellent and incredibly different.
The more recent Lolita, theatrically released in 1997, stars Jeremy Irons as Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged English professor of literature just arrived in the United States for a teaching post at a New England college. He takes a room in the house of Charlotte Haze (Melanie Griffith), despite of his dislike for the overbearing widow and the unkempt trappings of her home. In fact, Humbert takes the room simply because of Lolita (Dominique Swain), Charlotte's 14-year-old daughter.
Haunted by a tragic pubescent love affair, Humbert becomes obsessed with this awkward, flirtatious nymphette — fully aware that it will lead to his destruction. Lolita encourages his attentions, at first simply as an experiment with her newfound sense of sexual power, and later as a helpless act of both dependence and control.
- Actors: Jeremy Irons, Dominique Swain, Melanie Griffith, Frank Langella, Suzanne Shepherd
- Directors: Adrian Lyne
- Writers: Stephen Schiff, Vladimir Nabokov
- Producers: Joel B. Michaels, Mario Kassar
- Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
- Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
- Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Lions Gate
- DVD Release Date: October 12, 1999
- Run Time: 137 minutes