Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick

Updated Feb 06, 2020 at 03:37AM EST by Y F.

Added Jun 03, 2015 at 01:50AM EDT by Dr. Strangelove.

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Stanley Kubrick was a film maker and director most well known for movies such as: Dr Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Full Metal Jacket. He was born on the 26th of July, 1928 in New York City and subsequently passed away in March 7th, 1999. Kubrick over the latter period of the 20th century has been regarded as an auteur genius for numerous reasons such as his striking portrayals of the human psyche in movies such as Full Metal Jacket and A Clockwork Orange, The depiction of Man and Space in 2001: A Space Odyssey and his use of horrific imagery in The Shining.

black and white portrait of Stanley Kubrick in a dutch angle, one of his favorite camera setups to use in confusing scenes

However Kubrick has also garnered much controversy regarding his cinematography due to the taboo subjects raised in multiple of his movies and his own perfectionism which contributed to often enraged and physically hurt actors.

Notable Films

Day of the Fight

Day of the Fight was the first film produced by Kubrick after finding out producing an adaption of Homer's The Iliad would be too costly for a director fresh out of film college. Therefore we set out to into the film world producing a low budget documentary film about Irish-American boxer Walter Cartier. In the documentary Kubrick films Cartier preparing for his match against fellow boxer Bobby James and filming the fight later that day.

Dr Strangelove

Dr Strangelove (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb), was the second film directed by Kubrick to star Peter Sellers (known for The Lady Killers and The Pink Panther) after the two had worked previously on the controversial black comedy Lolita. Dr Strangelove was a satirical black comedy based on the cold war novel Red Alert where the premise is that America accidentally attacks Russia with nuclear weapons and the fallout of that situation.

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Kubrick after commenting on the absurdity of the cold war wished to create a film based on the cold war hypothetical of Mutually Assured Destruction. However he later found that doing such a movie straight would be unbelievable and hence sought to create "an outrageous black comedy" with Seller's playing three roles in the movie.

When released, the film received mixed reviews mostly sighting the jokes aimed at the US Department of Defence as poor taste. However at the turn of the century, most critics now rate Dr Strangelove as once of the greatest black comedies of all time with the movie having a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and being one of the top 3 American Film Institute comedies of all time.

2001: A Space Odyssey

After Dr Strangelove, Kubrick spent the next 5 years working on what is now regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time; 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick in collaboration with science fiction author Arthur C Clark, penned a script which would revolve around the birth of intelligence for mankind and mankind subsequently trying to find and understand the benefactors of this intelligence within our universe. The story's themes and concepts have been likened to those discussed by Nietzsche in Also Spoke Zarathustra and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Anepicdrama of adventure and exploration 200kaspace odyssey UBRICK PRODUCTION

When released, similar to Dr Strangelove, it received mixed reviews due to its slow pacing and long run time. However in the years after its release, it has became one of the most influential movies of all time with directors such as Spielberg stating that it was "the big bang of his film making generation". Due to the film's scope and its accurate depictions of space with its disturbing atmosphere, this movie has fell into popular culture and influenced many areas of both cinema and technology. Most notable influences being: Due to the nature of the character Hal 9000, most commercial computer speech programs have female voices as default due to the robotic male voices being seen a sinister due to Hal 9000 and Apple's iPod and iPad designs were inspired by 2001.

A Clockwork Orange

After 2001, Kubrick on the suggestion that he read the Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange became enthused with the idea of adapting it to film. After reading the US version of the book and consulting Burgess while writing the script, Kubrick contacted the actor Malcolm McDowell who had previously starred in the movie "If" in which pupils of an English boarding school insight a bloody coup. Due to his deeply psychological and psychotic portrayal of the lead character of "If", Kubrick asked McDowell to lead his film as the sadistic and psychotic anti-hero Alex.

Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are r---, ultra-violence and Beethoven. STANLEY KUBRICKS

The movie upon its release became one of the most controversial films of all time, with scenes of graphic violence, sexual assault and torture. It was subsequently banned from being viewed in the United Kingdom (until 1999) due to both Kubrick withholding its release and its slight connection to a number of youth crimes. However its comments on the human psyche, behavioural modification by the state, delinquency and morality have placed it among the upper echelons of depictions of dystopia along side 1984 and Brave New World.

The film's style has also inspired numerous homages for instance; the uniforms of David Bowie's band "The spiders from Mars" were based on the outfits of Alex's droogs.

The Shining

After the failure of Kubrick's movie Barry Lyndon, Kubrick sought to adapt a horror novel into film which would give him the artistic freedom that his previous films had done. After rejecting a large number of novels, he found himself engrossed by Stephen King's novel The Shining.


With the script set, Kubrick then decided to cast Jack Nicholson as the lead due to his previous role as the lead for One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. After production, stories of Kubrick's methods came under a great amount of scrutiny due to reports that he had taken 148 takes of one scene, completely rewrote multiple scripts before they were to be shot and had Shelley Duvall repeat multiple takes up to 100 times to stress and aggravate her to make her performance more believable coupled with constant verbal abuse.

The initial reception of the movie was low key, partly due to the view that it was a poor adaptation of King's novel and that Shelley Duvall's performance was very poor (earning her a Razzie nomination). However over the years, the film has been looked on rather favourably to the point of it being hailed a masterpiece. This is partly due to the film and novel being separated as two distinctive entities and its horrific and expressive visuals being hailed as a milestone in the horror genre.

Full Metal Jacket

Kubrick After becoming interested in novels dealing with the Vietnam War, he decided that his next film would be based on the novel The Short-Timers by Gustav Hasford which Kubrick stated as being "brutally honest". After the script was complete, Kubrick then cast Matthew Modine as the lead, R. Lee Ermey as Hartman and Vincent D'Onofrio as Private Lawrence (Pyle).


When released, the film received critical acclaim due to its excellent casting (R. Lee Ermey receiving high praise) and its excellent first act. The combination of its sterile visuals in the first act with its commentary on army conditioning and the effect this has on the characters of the film received high praise. A famous incident regarding Full Metal Jacket, came in the form of a live argument between film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel where the former gave the film a mixed review (2/4 stars) and the latter giving the film praise who then proceeded to taunt Ebert over his opinion.

Precious Bodily Fluids

Precious Bodily Fluids refers to a quote in the film Dr Strangelove when the character Jack T. Ripper reveals to the character Mandrake that his reasoning for declaring war on the USSR was due to his theory that fluoridation of water was a communist conspiracy to meddle with our Precious Bodily Fluids.

Due to the comedic nature of the quote and its joke towards conspiracy theories, the quote Precious Bodily Fluids has been used to make light of conspiracy theories and make fun of outlandish ones much in the same way as Jet Fuel can't melt Steel Beams.

The Dawn of Man

The Dawn of Man refers to a scene in the first act of 2001: A Space Odyssey where the prehistoric humans encounter the alien Monolith.

Given that this scene is meant to show humanity getting its first glimpse of intelligence and the surreal sequence accompanying the monolith, this scene has enter popular culture due to the multiple parodies of this one scene.

Hal 9000

Hal 9000 refers to the antagonist of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hal has entered popular culture due to the cold and disturbing actions he carries out in the movie coupled with his role as the sentient computer overlooking the protagonists.

Hal's quotes in the movie have be parodied and quoted due to the film's strong fan base and Hal being one of the most recognisable antagonists in film. His quotes and the character himself have been referenced in multiple TV shows and have been paid homage to by Microsoft and Apple's computer speech systems with the phase "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that" being the answer to the phase "Open the pod bay doors". Hal has also been the inspiration for a number of other machine antagonists such as GLADos in Portal and Auto in WALL-E.

However the character has also had the negative effect of making computers with male characteristics appear sinister in the public eye. Hence most computer companies before the 21st century preferred using female generated voices for their systems to avoid the comparison.

Clockwork Orange Parodies/homages

Due to the controversial nature of the movie and its place as a cult classic, many areas of the movie have been referenced and many homages to its style and characters can be found in multiple areas of Music, TV and Films.

Use of Music

The use of Beethoven's 9th, "The Thieving Magpie" by Rossini and "Singing in the Rain" in Clockwork Orange has been referenced and paid homage to multiple times since the film was released.

Such homages to the musical style of the film have been used in episodes of South Park, the show Hannibal, the film Reservoir Dogs and The Simpsons.

The Ludovico Technique

One scene of the movie has the character Alex strapped to a chair with his eye lids forcibly opened while watching violence with numerous experiments taking place to condition him against violence.

The Ludovico Technique has since been paid homage to due to its disturbing and dramatised representation of mental conditioning (McDowell's choreas were scratched during the filming of the scene), Subsequent tributes to this scene include the film South Park: The Movie and The Simpsons.

Here's Johnny!

Here's Johnny! Refers to a memorable quote from the film The Shining where the main character played by Jack Nicholson axes a door while shouting the aforementioned line.

Due to fans of the movie and this line being the most recognisable of the movie, Here's Johnny! has entered pop culture history as one of the quintessential movie lines of all time along side "Rosebud" from Citizen Kane and "Groovy" from Evil Dead 2.

What The Fuck Is That!

What The Fuck Is That! is a memorable quote from the movie Full Metal Jacket, in which Hartman lambastes Private Lawrence (Pyle) for sneaking a jam doughnut into the training camp. The phase has since became a common forum tool and a fan favourite among soundboard users.

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