Thanks to the novel and the film, the name "Lolita" has become a common term applied to sexually precocious young women.
Vladimir Nabokov recorded excerpts from Lolita
for a spoken word recording released in 1959.
In 1962, Sue Lyon had a hit single with "Yah Yah Lolita," a version of Bob Harris' "Theme From Lolita
" that combined a Latin instrumental with her repeated "Yah yahs."
In the original Beach Party
(1963), Frankie Avalon thinks Annette Funicello has a crush on older college professor Robert Cummings. Funicello's character is named Dolores, which is Lolita's given name.
The descriptions of filmmaking and filmmakers in Nabokov's 1969 novel Ada
were largely inspired by his experiences writing the adaptation of Lolita
in Hollywood. One sequence in the book was inspired by Marilyn Monroe's romance with co-star Yves Montand, which the Nabokovs witnessed at a Hollywood party.
A musical version of the book, Lolita, My Love
, opened for a pre-Broadway tryout in Philadelphia in 1971. John Barry and Alan Jay Lerner wrote the songs, with Humbert Humbert's numbers in the style of Henry Higgins' songs in My Fair Lady
. The producers tried unsuccessfully to cast Richard Burton in the lead, but he was not available. Instead the role went to British actor John Neville (best known as "The Well-Manicured Man" on The X-Files
). Leonard Frey played Clare Quilty, while Dorothy Loudon won the best notices for her performance as Charlotte Haze. Denise Nickerson played the title role. The show closed out of town at a loss of $900,000, but a bootleg recording of one of the Boston performances is now a collector's edition. Shirley Bassey recorded the song "Going, Going, Gone" and Robert Goulet recorded "The Broken-Promise Land of Fifteen." In later years, critics have suggested that the show was far from an unqualified disaster.
Vladimir Nabokov published his screenplay in 1974 as Lolita: A Screenplay
Award-winning playwright Edward Albee wrote a dramatic adaptation of Lolita
that debuted on Broadway in 1981. Donald Sutherland played Humbert, with Clive Revill as Quilty, Shirley Stoler (of The Honeymoon Killers
, 1970) as Charlotte and Blanche Baker, whose mother Carroll had done her own bit for underaged sexuality in Elia Kazan's 1956 Baby Doll
, played the title role. As "A Certain Gentleman" Ian Richardson narrated by reading portions from the original novel. The critics savaged the production, and it closed after 12 performances.
In 1988, the Modern Library named Lolita
the fourth greatest English-language novel of the 20th century, behind Ulysses
, The Great Gatsby
and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The 1989 adult film Behind You All the Way
is a soft-core remake of Lolita
became an opera in 1992, when a version by Soviet composer R. Schedrin debuted in Sweden. He took the opera to Russia in 2006.
Director Adrian Lyne remade Lolita
in 1997 with Jeremy Irons as Humbert, Frank Langella as Quilty, Melanie Griffith as Charlotte and Dominique Swain in the title role. The producers took pains to promote the film not as a remake of Kubrick's version, but as a return to the original novel. Although made at a time of greater on-screen permissiveness, a lawyer was on the set during the filming of the love scenes to make sure nothing was shot that could have led to prosecution; this was partly due to more stringent laws about child pornography. Even so, producers could not find distribution in the U.S. and the film premiered on the Showtime cable network. Lolita
received mixed reviews, with many critics complaining that in attempting to be literally true to the novel, the filmmakers had lost its spirit.
Steve Martin's 1998 short story collection Pure Drivel
includes the story "Lolita at Fifty," suggesting what the character might have been like as a middle-aged woman.
Pia Pera retold the story from the girl's viewpoint in Lo's Diary
, a 2002 novel that reveals Lolita to be a sadistic user.
Russian director Victor Sobchak wrote a dramatic adaptation of Lolita
set in modern day England. It debuted there in 2003.
first appeared in print in the U.S. the Cincinnati Public Library refused to buy it, and the town of Lolita, TX, almost changed its name to Jackson.
by Frank Miller