Stanley Kubrick is a fantastic filmmaker who’s brought many brilliant films to screens all over the world. In this article, we list what we believe to be the best Stanley Kubrick movies.

Kubrick has produced screen magic with The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange, among many others. His cinematic canon is wide and deep and we believe this list demonstrates that.

So whether you’re doing research on him, or ready to sit down and watch one of these movies tonight, this list of the top Stanley Kubrick films will be just what you need!

It should be noted that we’ve included the films in rough ranking order. But with a filmmaker like Stanley Kubrick, the work is so good that it’s really hard to form an exact order.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in and list the best Stanley Kubrick films!

The Best Stanley Kubrick Movies

Let’s start off with an absolute cinema classic, The Shining.

The Shining (1980)

All work and no play makes Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson-the caretaker of an isolated resort-go way off the deep end, terrorizing his young son and wife (Shelley Duvall).

Nicholson plays Jack Torrance, who’s come to the elegant, isolated Overlook Hotel as an off-season caretaker. Torrance has never been there before-or has he? The answer lies in a ghostly time warp of madness and murder.

A married couple with a small son is employed to look after a resort hotel high in the Colorado mountains. As a result, they are the sole occupants during the long winter.

The hotel manager warns them not to accept the job because of a tragedy that occurred during the winter of 1970. Based on the book by Stephen King.

The Shining
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd (Actors)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director) - Stanley Kubrick (Writer) - Stanley Kubrick (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Director Stanley Kubrick rips the skin from the face of war to expose the dehumanizing effect of the military on the people fed to its emotional meat grinder in Full Metal Jacket.

Through the eyes of an 18-year-old recruit–from his first days in the seeming hell of Marine Corps boot camp as his superiors try to strip of him his individuality and re-create him as a Marine, to the hell of the 1968 Tet offensive, Kubrick reveals the damage done to the collective human soul by the inhumanity of war. Based on the novel The Short-Timers by Gustav Hasford.

Stanley Kubrick’s 1987, penultimate film seemed to a lot of people to be contrived and out of touch with the ’80s vogue for such intensely realistic portrayals of the Vietnam War as Platoon and The Deer Hunter.

Certainly, Kubrick gave audiences plenty of reason to wonder why he made the film at all: essentially a two-part drama that begins on a Parris Island boot camp for rookie Marines and abruptly switches to Vietnam (actually shot on sound stages and locations near London), Full Metal Jacket comes across as a series of self-contained chapters in a story whose logical and thematic development is oblique at best.

Then again, much the same was said about Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, a masterwork both enthralled with and satiric about the future’s role in the unfinished business of human evolution. In a way, Full Metal Jacket is the wholly grim counterpart of 2001.

While the latter is a truly 1960s film, both wide-eyed and wary, about the intertwining of progress and isolation (ending in our redemption, finally, by death), Full Metal Jacket is a cynical, Reagan-era view of the 1960s’ hunger for experience and consciousness that fulfilled itself in violence.

Lee Ermey made film history as the Marine drill instructor whose ritualized debasement of men in the name of tribal uniformity creates its darkest angel in a murderous half-wit (Vincent D’Onofrio).

Matthew Modine gives a smart and savvy performance as Private Joker, the clowning, military journalist who yearns to get away from the propaganda machine and know firsthand the horrific revelation of the front line.

In Full Metal Jacket, depravity and fulfillment go hand in hand, and it’s no wonder Kubrick kept his steely distance from the material to make the point. –Tom Keogh

Full Metal Jacket
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  • Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio (Actors)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director) - Stanley Kubrick (Writer) - Stanley Kubrick (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)



Who Is Stanley Kubrick?

Stanley Kubrick is a director, producer, and writer. He was born in the Bronx on July 26th, 1928 to parents who were both Jewish immigrants from Russia.

Kubrick started his career as a photographer for Look magazine before directing his first film Fear and Desire in 1953.

His next film was Killer’s Kiss in 1955 which he also produced and wrote the script with no formal training or education.

Kubrick is one of the most famous and influential directors in film history. He has a number of critically acclaimed films, including Spartacus (1960), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), and The Shining (1980).



A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Stanley Kubrick’s striking visual interpretation of Anthony Burgess’s famous novel is a masterpiece.

Malcolm McDowell delivers a clever, tongue-in-cheek performance as Alex, the leader of a quartet of droogs, a vicious group of young hoodlums who spend their nights stealing cars, fighting rival gangs, breaking into people’s homes, and raping women.

While other directors would simply exploit the violent elements of such a film without subtext, Kubrick maintains Burgess’s dark, satirical social commentary.

We watch Alex transform from a free-roaming miscreant into a convict used in a government experiment that attempts to reform criminals through an unorthodox new medical treatment.

The catch, of course, is that this therapy may be nothing better than a quick cure-all for a society plagued by rampant crime.

A Clockwork Orange works on many levels–visual, social, political, and sexual–and is one of the few films that hold up under repeated viewings.

Kubrick not only presents colorfully arresting images, but he also stylizes the film by utilizing classical music (and Wendy Carlos’s electronic classical work) to underscore the violent scenes, which even today are disturbing in their display of sheer nihilism.

Ironically, many fans of the film have missed that point, sadly being entertained by its brutality rather than being repulsed by it. –Bryan Reesman

A Clockwork Orange
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  • Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Adrienne Corri (Actors)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director) - Stanley Kubrick (Writer) - Stanley Kubrick (Producer)
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  • English (Subtitle)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Stanley Kubrick’s dazzling, 1969 Academy achievement is a compelling drama of man vs. machine, a stunning meld of music and motion.

Kubrick (who co-wrote the screenplay with Arthur C. Clarke) first visits our prehistoric ape-ancestry past, then leaps millennia (via one of the most mind-blowing jump cuts ever) into colonized space, and ultimately whisks astronaut Bowman (Keir Dullea) into uncharted space, perhaps even into immortality.

To many, HAL is the most human character of the story. Yet, even as Kubrick once again displays an inherent weakness in man, 2001 could be described as hopeful.

Man may yet to evolve into something greater. In the meantime, beware of dependence on technological perfection.

In the film, man’s accomplishments are demonstrated via a single cut: primitive apes accidentally discover the first tools (aided by the appearance of an unexplained monolith), and in the next frame we’re in the future of space exploration.

A story about space exploration, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY explores the theme of a man’s correspondent relationship with the wonders and dangers of technology, a subject that could hardly be more relevant today.

In a somewhat ironic parallel, Kubrick almost seems to have made the film solely to display what sorts of innovative special effects could be created through technological advances.


For all the technological achievements that have been made, the characters that populate 2001 barely seem to understand what they’ve created. They are slaves to the machines more than they are their masters.

2001: A Space Odyssey
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  • Douglas Rain, Frank Miller, Keir Dullea (Actors)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director) - Stanley Kubrick (Writer) - Stanley Kubrick (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)



Stanley Kubrick – Themes and Style

His films were known for having an artistic edge with a focus on visual storytelling, which made them stand out from other filmmakers at the time.

Kubrick has long been lauded for his thoughtful and meticulous directing style.

His dedication to detail, desire to create a cinematic experience that feels utterly unique, and subtle but powerful themes have all contributed to the recognition he’s received in the history of film.

Kubrick’s films have been critically acclaimed for their extraordinary attention to tone and feel, use of wide angles, deep focus photography, and long takes that last up to a minute.



Barry Lyndon (1975)

Stanley Kubrick bent the conventions of the historical drama to his own will in this dazzling vision of brutal aristocracy, adapted from a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray.

In picaresque detail, Barry Lyndon chronicles the adventures of an incorrigible trickster (Ryan O’Neal) whose opportunism takes him from an Irish farm to the battlefields of the Seven Years’ War and the parlors of high society.

For the most sumptuously crafted film of his career, Kubrick recreated the decadent surfaces and intricate social codes of the period, evoking the light and texture of eighteenth-century painting with the help of pioneering cinematographic techniques and lavish costume and production design, all of which earned Academy Awards.

The result is a masterpiece a sardonic, devastating portrait of a vanishing world whose opulence conceals the moral vacancy at its heart.

Barry Lyndon
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  • Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee (Actors)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director) - Stanley Kubrick (Writer) - Stanley Kubrick (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Stanley Kubrick s painfully funny take on Cold War anxiety is without a doubt one of the fiercest satires of human folly ever to come out of Hollywood.

The matchless shapeshifter Peter Sellers (The Pink Panther) plays three wildly different roles: Air Force Captain Lionel Mandrake, timidly trying to stop a nuclear attack on the USSR ordered by an unbalanced general (The Killing’s Sterling Hayden)

The ineffectual and perpetually dumbfounded President Merkin Muffley, who must deliver the very bad news to the Soviet premier; and the titular Strangelove himself, a wheelchair-bound presidential adviser with a Nazi past.

Finding improbable hilarity in nearly every unimaginable scenario, Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a genuinely subversive masterpiece that officially announced Kubrick as an unparalleled stylist and pitch-black ironist.

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden (Actors)
  • Kubrick,Stanley (Director) - Stanley Kubrick (Writer) - Stanley Kubrick (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)



What Is Stanley Kubrick Known For?

• Creating films that seem so incredibly different to other filmmakers.

• Breaking many of the rules (at the time) of cinema in making 2001: A Space Odyssey.

• His movies are known for their dark and twisted themes that captivate audiences.

• An obsession with his vision and determination to make films his way that made him hard to work with.

• Removed his own film, A Clockwork Orange, from being screened in the UK.



Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Stanley Kubrick’s daring last film is a bracing psychosexual journey, a riveting suspense tale, and a career milestone for stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Cruise plays a doctor who plunges into an erotic foray that threatens his marriage – and may ensnare him in a murder mystery – after his wife’s (Kidman) admission of sexual longings.

As the story sweeps from doubt and fear to self-discovery and reconciliation, Kubrick orchestrates it with masterful flourishes.

Graceful tracking shots, rich colors, startling images: bravura traits that make Kubrick a filmmaker for the ages are here to keep everyone’s eyes wide open.

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman star as a married couple entangled in an intricate web of jealousy and sexual obsession in Stanley Kubrick’s final cinematic offering.

At a Christmas party hosted by wealthy, unconventional Victor Ziegler (Sydney Pollack), provocative advances and innocent flirtations arouse suspicion as high-society physician Dr. William Harford (Cruise) and his sexy wife, Alice (Kidman) watch each other from a distance.

Alone later, this seemingly perfect couple confront their intimate sexual fantasies–which don’t include each other.

Caught between reality and illusion, jealousy and obsession, William struggles with his inner urges.

Will he act on his erotic fantasies or keep them hidden deep inside? Sometimes a man can see more clearly with his Eyes Wide Shut.

Eyes Wide Shut
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack (Actors)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director) - Stanley Kubrick (Writer) - Stanley Kubrick (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

The Killing (1956)

Stanley Kubrick’s account of an ambitious racetrack robbery is one of Hollywood’s tautest, twistiest noirs.

Aided by a radically time-shuffling narrative, razor-sharp dialogue from pulp novelist Jim Thompson, and a phenomenal cast of character actors, including Sterling Hayden (Dr. Strangelove), Coleen Gray (Red River), Timothy Carey (Paths of Glory), and Elisha Cook Jr. (The Maltese Falcon), The Killing is both a jaunty thriller and a cold-blooded punch to the gut.

And with its precise tracking shots and gratifying sense of irony, it’s Kubrick to the core.

The Killing
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  • Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Elisha Cook Jr. (Actors)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director) - Lionel White (Writer) - Alexander Singer (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Paths of Glory (1957)

Stanley Kubrick had already made his talent known with the outstanding racetrack heist thriller The Killing, but it was the 1957 antiwar masterpiece Paths of Glory that catapulted Kubrick to international acclaim.

Based on the novel by Humphrey Cobb, developed by Kubrick, and starring Kirk Douglas, it would become one of the most powerful films about the wasteful insanity of warfare.

In one of his finest roles, Douglas plays Colonel Dax, commander of a battle-worn regiment of the French army along the western front during World War I.

Held in their trenches under the threat of German artillery, the regiment is ordered on a suicidal mission to capture an enemy stronghold.

When the mission inevitably fails, French generals order the selection of three soldiers to be tried and executed on the charge of cowardice.

Dax is appointed as a defense attorney for the chosen scapegoats, and what follows is a travesty of justice that has remained relevant and powerful for decades.

In the wake of some of the most authentic and devastating battle sequences ever filmed, Kubrick brilliantly explores the political machinations and selfish personal ambitions that result in battlefield slaughter and senseless executions.

The film is unflinching in its condemnation of war and the self-indulgence of military leaders who orchestrate the deaths of thousands from the comfort of their luxurious headquarters.

For many years, Paths of Glory was banned in France as a slanderous attack on French honor, but it’s clear that Kubrick’s intense drama is aimed at all nations and all men.

Though it touches on themes of courage and loyalty in the context of warfare, the film is specifically about the historical realities of World War I, but its impact and artistic achievement remain timeless and universal. –Jeff Shannon

A pivotal work by Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange), PATHS OF GLORY is among the most powerful antiwar films ever made.

A fiery Kirk Douglas (Ace in the Hole, Spartacus) stars as a French colonel serving in World War I who goes head-to-head with the army’s ruthless top brass when his men are accused of cowardice after being unable to carry out an impossible mission.

This haunting, exquisitely photographed dissection of the military machine in all its absurdity and capacity for dehumanization (a theme Kubrick would continue to explore throughout his career) is assembled with its legendary director’s customary precision, from its tense trench warfare sequences to its gripping courtroom climax to its ravaging final scene.

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Lolita (1962)

When director Stanley Kubrick released his film adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel about a hopelessly pathetic middle-aged professor’s sexual obsession with his 12-year-old stepdaughter, the ads read, “How did they ever make a film of Lolita?”

The answer is “they” didn’t. As he did with his “adaptations” of Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange, and, especially, The Shining, Kubrick used the source material and, simply put, made another Stanley Kubrick movie–even though Nabokov himself wrote the screenplay.

The chilly director nullifies Humbert Humbert’s (James Mason’s) overwhelming passion and desire, and instead transforms the story, like many of his films, into that of a man trapped and ruined by social codes and by his own obsessions.

Kubrick doesn’t play this as tragedy, however, but rather as both a black-as-coffee screwball comedy and a meandering, episodic road movie.

The early scenes between Humbert, Lolita (a too-old but suitably teasing Lyons), and her loud, garish mother (Shelley Winters in one of her funniest performances) play like a wonderful farce.

When Humbert finally fulfills his desires and captures Lolita, the pair hit the road and Kubrick drags in Peter Sellers.

As the pedophilic writer Clare Quilty–Humbert’s playful doppelgänger and biggest threat–Sellers dons a series of disguises with plans of stealing Lolita away from her captor.

It’s here more than anywhere that Kubrick comes closest to the novel. He extends Nabokov’s idea of the games and puzzles played between reader and writer, Quilty and Humbert, Lolita and Humbert, etc., to those between filmmaker and audience: the road eventually goes nowhere and Humbert’s reality is exposed as mad delusion.

Perhaps not a Kubrick masterpiece, or the provocative film many wanted, Lolita still remains playfully fascinating and one of Kubrick’s strongest, funniest character studies. –Dave McCoy

According to a Warner Home Video technician involved in the production of The Stanley Kubrick Collection, Kubrick authorized all aspects of the Collection, from the use of Digital Component Video (or “D-1”) masters originally approved in 1989 to the use of minimalist screen menus, chapter stops, and (in the case of 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining on DVD) supplementary materials.

Full-screen presentation of The Shining and Full Metal Jacket was also approved by Kubrick, who recomposed his original framing, reportedly believing that those films looked best on video in the full-screen format. (In fact, the original theatrical aspect ratio of The Shining was 1.66:1, meaning that a relatively small portion of the image is lost.)

Kubrick also chose mono over the stereo, believing that inconsistencies in theatrical sound systems resulted in the loss of control over theatrical presentation.

In every respect, the Warner spokesman said, the films in the Collection remain as Kubrick approved them.

Any future attempt to remaster or alter them would have to be approved by an appointee of the Kubrick estate.

Stanley Kubrick directs an all-star cast in Vladimir Nabakov’s screenplay of his own once-shocking, now-classic novel, Lolita.

When worldly, middle-aged professor Humbert Humbert (James Mason) rents a room from widowed Charlotte Haze (Shelly Winters), he quickly becomes obsessed with her young daughter, Lolita (Sue Lyon). Humbert goes so far as to marry Charlotte to be close to her daughter, but when Charlotte discovers her husband’s secret lust, the knowledge leads to her death.

Now free to pursue his obsession with his willing, under-aged stepdaughter, Humbert seduces Lolita, unable to control a lust that will destroy him.

Lolita (1962)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • James Mason, Shelley Winters, Peter Sellers (Actors)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director) - Vladimir Nabakov (Writer) - James B. Harris (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Spartacus (1960)

Spartacus, the genre-defining epic from director Stanley Kubrick, is the legendary tale of a bold gladiator (Kirk Douglas) who led a triumphant Roman slave revolt.

Newly restored from large format 35MM original film elements, the action-packed spectacle won four Academy Awards including Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.

Featuring a cast of screen legends such as Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, Jean Simmons, John Gavin, and Tony Curtis, this uncut and fully restored masterpiece is an inspirational true account of man’s eternal struggle for freedom.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons (Actors)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director) - Dalton Trumbo (Writer) - Edward Lewis (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Killer’s Kiss (1955)

Stanley Kubrick’s second feature film, Killer’s Kiss, made the world take notice.

The young moviemaker won acclaim for this dazzling film noir about a struggling New York boxer (Jamie Smith) whose life is imperiled when he protects a nightclub dancer (Irene Kane) from her gangster boss (Frank Silvera).

“Using his camera as a sandpaper block, Kubrick has stripped away the veneer from the prizefight and dancehall worlds,” the New York Mirror proclaimed.

Killer’s Kiss not only lends considerable insight into future Kubrick classics such as The Killing and Full Metal Jacket, but it is also a remarkable film in its own right: the boxing match may be the most vicious this side of Raging Bull, and the famed final battle remains an action tour-de-force.

“An ambitious photographer…challenges the movie capital with Killer’s Kiss,” the New York Daily News enthused.

“The suspenseful venture augurs well for young Stanley Kubrick!”

Stanley Kubrick wrote the story and produced, edited, shot, and directed his second feature like a one-man studio, and his developing cinematic intelligence turns an otherwise unremarkable story into a memorable if slight film, a hint at masterpieces to come.

Jamie Smith is a washed-up prizefighter who rushes to the rescue of his platinum blonde dime-a-dancer neighbor (Irene Kane) when she’s attacked by her dapper hoodlum boss (Frank Silvera).

Smith and Kane fall in love, but their plans to leave gritty New York for a simpler life in Seattle are jeopardized when jealous Silvera sends his thugs to lean on Smith.

Mistaken identities and an overzealous beating lead to murder, kidnapping, and a desperate confrontation between Smith and Silvera in an eerie warehouse full of mannequins.

Disembodied heads, swinging hands, and the blank stares of rows of lifeless dummies become a cold counterpoint to the sweaty, almost primal fight as Silvera wields an ax and Smith counters with a pike like gladiators in an abstract arena.

The gray cityscape of New York (shot on location) turns into stark black and white and the city looms over the characters as the tension tightens.

Kubrick’s sophisticated use of sound and austere visual style creates a hyper-realistic atmosphere, which he would put to even better use in his follow-up film, the heist classic The Killing. –Sean Axmaker

Killer's Kiss
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith (Actors)
  • Kubrick,Stanley (Director) - Stanley Kubrick (Writer) - Stanley Kubrick (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Day of the Fight (1951)

Day Of The Fight (1951) Based on Kubrick’s pictorial for Look Magazine (January 18, 1949) entitled “Prizefighter,” “Day Of The Fight” tells of a day in the life of a middleweight Irish boxer named Walter Cartier, particularly the day of his bout with black middleweight Bobby James.

This 16-minute short opens with a short (about 4 minutes) study of boxing’s history, narrated by veteran newscaster Douglas Edwards in a no-nonsense, noir tone of voice. After this, we follow Walter (and his twin brother Vincent) through his day as he prepares for his 10:00 P.M. bout.

After eating breakfast, going to early mass, and eating lunch, he starts arranging his things for the fight at 4:00 P.M. By 8:00, he is waiting in his dressing room, where he undergoes a mental transformation, turning into the fighting machine the crowd clamors for.

At 10:00, he faces James, and soon, he comes out victorious in a short match which was filmed live on April 17th, 1950. Audio/Visual: sound, B&W Language: English Keywords: Stanley Kubrick; Short; Documentary; Sport; Boxing

The Seafarers (1953)

“In 1951 a twenty-one-year-old New Yorker, Stanley Kubrick, would begin his film career by directing and filming the black and white RKO newsreels ‘Day of The Flight’ and ‘The Flying Padre’.

These short films brought the aspiring director little notoriety, but they did prove essential to developing his technique and financed his first feature-length film, the ill-fated ‘Fear and Desire’ in 1953.

That same year, Kubrick was commissioned by Seafarers International Union to film a documentary extolling the benefits of membership to the Seafarers Union.

The film was shot in color and was Kubrick’s first deviation from black and white film.

Kubrick provided his own sound and camera equipment and was able to utilize the ‘Seafarers Log’ editorial staff as his crew.

The film design was to showcase the Seafarers Union of service to its members, but its goal was to recruit young men into a life at sea by explaining the benefits and job security of being part of a union of seafarers.

In the decades that followed, aspiring directors would hone their technique in specialized film schools, but for the young Kubrick, the short documentaries he made were his film school.

Although the film is an oddity and a departure from what students expect from Stanley Kubrick, it is indeed an essential part of Kubrick’s acumen.

Just four years later, upon viewing ‘Paths of Glory’, titan auteur Orson Welles would refer to Stanley Kubrick as a ‘giant’ amongst his contemporaries.”

The Seafarers
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  • Don Hollenbeck (Actor)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director) - Will Chasen (Writer) - Lester Cooper (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Fear and Desire (1953)

From the director of such classic masterworks as Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Full Metal Jacket.

Independently financed with contributions from Stanley Kubrick’s family and friends in an era when an “independent cinema” was still far from the norm, Fear and Desire first saw release in 1953 at the Guild Theater in New York, thanks to the enterprising distributor Joseph Burstyn.

Now, with this new restoration carried out in 2012 by The Library of Congress, a film that for decades has remained nearly impossible to see will, at last, appear in a proper release in the United Kingdom. Kubrick’s debut feature tells the story of a war waged (in the present in the future) between two forces.

In the midst of the conflict, a plane carrying four soldiers crashes behind enemy lines. From here out, it is killed or be killed: a female hostage is taken on account of being a potential informer; an enemy general and his aide are discovered during a scouting mission…

What lies in store for this ragtag group of killers, between their perilous landing in the forest, and the final raft-float downstream… all this constitutes the tale of Kubrick’s precocious entry into feature filmmaking.

Bringing into focus for the first time the same thematic concerns that would obsess the director in such masterworks as Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, and Full Metal Jacket, Fear and Desire marks the outset of the dazzling career and near-complete artistic freedom which to this day remains unparalleled in the annals of Hollywood history.

The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Stanley Kubrick’s Fear and Desire in its gorgeous new restoration on both Blu-ray and DVD.

Fear and Desire
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  • Paul Mazursky, Virginia Leith, Frank Silvera (Actors)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director) - Howard Sackler (Writer) - Stanley Kubrick (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Flying Padre (1951)

Flying Padre is a 1951 short subject black-and-white documentary film. It is the second film directed by Stanley Kubrick.

The film is nine minutes long and was completed shortly after Kubrick had completed his first film for RKO, the short subject Day of the Fight (1951). The studio offered him a follow-up project for their Screenliner series.

The subject of Flying Padre is a Catholic priest in rural New Mexico, Reverend Fred Stadtmueller.

Known to his parishioners as the “Flying Padre”, his 4,000-square mile parish is so large, he uses a Piper Cub aircraft (named the Spirit of St. Joseph) to travel from one isolated settlement to another.

The film shows two days in his daily life, with the Reverend providing spiritual guidance, saying a Funeral Mass, and other glimpses of his life such as his breakfast routine at the parish house.

His days include a funeral service for a ranch hand and counseling of two young parishioners who have been quarreling.

In the climax of the film. the “Flying Padre” also operated as an impromptu air ambulance by flying a sick child and his mother to the hospital.

After Kubrick sold his first short film, the self-financed Day of the Fight, to RKO in 1951 for $4,000 (pocketing a $100 profit), the company advanced the 23-year-old filmmaker money to make a follow-up project, a documentary short for their Pathe Screenliner series which specialized in short human-interest documentaries.

He originally wanted to call the film Sky Pilot, but the studio did not like the name.

In an interview in 1969, Kubrick referred to Flying Padre as “silly”.

Flying Padre, however, was an important landmark in his budding career as a filmmaker. “It was at this point that I formally quit my job at Look to work full time on filmmaking,” Kubrick stated in an interview.”

Fear And Desire (Miedo Y Deseo) (1953) (Bonus: Flying Padre + Day Of The Fight + The Seafarers) (Formato Blu-Ray) (Import) (Non Us Format) (Region 2)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Director)
  • Castilian, Portuguese (Subtitles)
  • Spanish (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

The Best Stanley Kubrick Movies – Wrapping Up

So there you have it. The top Stanley Kubrick films. As you can see, he’s been responsible for some classics of cinema history and it’s clear to see why he’s considered one of the all-time greats.

If you’re sitting down to watch one of these tonight, we envy you. You’re in for a real treat!

We hope this list of the best Stanley Kubrick movies has been helpful. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments section.

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