[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kubrick-100_5608.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:This man cares about his work. [[KubrickStare His eyes say so.]]]]

->''"When I made my first film, I think the thing [that] probably helped me the most was that it was such an unusual thing to do in the early 50s for someone to actually go and make a film. People thought it was impossible. It really is terribly easy. All anybody needs is a camera, a tape recorder, and some imagination."''
-->--From an interview with ''East Village Eye'' in 1968

Stanley Kubrick (July 26, 1928 March 7, 1999) was a famous director of important and controversial films. Born to a middle class Jewish family in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, Kubrick was a college dropout [[SelfMadeMan albeit a voracious reader and autodidact]]. From an early age, he was [[TheMovieBuff a cinephile]] who was especially fond of foreign films and arthouse film-makers such as Creator/JosefVonSternberg and especially Creator/MaxOphuls (who he cited as his favorite, and his biggest influence).

The UsefulNotes/FallOfTheStudioSystem began when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an antitrust suit that broke up the monopoly of film distribution formerly held by major studios, and an indirect effect of this was the nurturing of independent theaters, and by extension, independent cinema. Kubrick could make documentary newsreels and find a way to distribute it without having to cross many hurdles, and he quickly taught himself the nuts-and-bolts of film-making without dealing with the studio system, cultivating an independent sensibility that he carried with him to the end of his life. His early films, ''Fear and Desire''[[note]]Which Kubrick has shelved because he was dissatisfied with it[[/note]] and ''Killer's Kiss'' were made entirely on his own, and Kubrick on his first feature served as not only his own director, but his own cinematographer, editor and sound-man, which provided him a thorough technical knowledge of film-making. ''Film/TheKilling'' proved to be his first success, and with that film, produced by associate James B. Harris, Kubrick found a foot in Hollywood, and he attracted the attention of Kirk Douglas who partnered with him to make ''Film/PathsOfGlory'' which became his BreakthroughHit, earning him respect and good notices from America and England. The interim period between that film and ''Film/{{Lolita}}'' (his first film made in self-imposed exile in England) featured a period of striving in the Hollywood system, including an attempt to collaborate with Creator/MarlonBrando on ''One-Eyed Jacks'' and ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'' produced by Kirk Douglas who brought Kubrick in after firing original director Creator/AnthonyMann. Although ''Spartacus'' was a major success, Kubrick felt dissatisfied because the project was clearly Douglas' (and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo's) more than his, he didn't feel personally invested in the subject and was generally too independent-minded to do journeyman work. [[TheDeterminator He resolved to maintain his independence]] against all odds. He went to England to make ''Film/{{Lolita}}'' and never returned to America, citing a fear of flying[[note]]Which biographer Bill Krohn believes [[UnreliableNarrator is a rather convenient excuse]]. He notes that during the making of ''Lolita'', Kubrick shuttled back and forth between England and America to shoot the footage for the exteriors, which he did not delegate to second-unit[[/note]].

In England, Kubrick was able to cultivate [[ShroudedInMyth a sense of mystery and excitement about his work]]. At a remote distance from Hollywood he was able to assert control over all aspects of film-making from pre-production to editing and sound-mixing, from advertising to exhibition[[note]]No [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer seriously]], Kubrick would appoint [[BigBrotherIsWatching staffers to go to different theaters across America]] and England and if he received reports and complaints that a projectionist was screening his film in the wrong aspect-ratio, or if the theatre had bad lighting, [[ControlFreak he would ''personally'' call the projector during the screening and tell the man how to screen it correctly]][[/note]]. He was able to do this thanks to support from excellent producers such as James B. Harris and Jan Harlan (who was also his brother-in-law) and the fact that his films were, relatively speaking, less expensive than other Hollywood super-productions of the time, and that they all made a profit. During this time, Kubrick also became, so to speak, a ReclusiveArtist. He would give interviews as per his convenience and would be inaccessible to journalists and celebrity gossip-columnists and generally interact only with his collaborators and producers. As such a number of legends cropped up about him. People he had worked with have described him as [[NotGoodWithPeople acidic to others but amazingly fond of animals, particularly cats]], and very close to his wife and children. Actors who worked on his films described him as manipulative, distant and aloof. Creator/MalcolmMcDowell thoroughly enjoyed working with him on ''Film/AClockworkOrange'', but was [[WhatHaveYouDoneForMeLately snubbed after shooting was complete]]. Others, such as Ryan O'Neal, Creator/JackNicholson, Creator/TomCruise and Creator/RLeeErmey, however, enjoyed working with him and described him fondly.[[note]]On average, however, his relationships could be defined by the making of ''Film/DrStrangelove''; Actors that did exactly as he said walked away with their paychecks (unless they were named Peter Sellers or R. Lee Ermey, who got to do a surprising amount of {{Improv}}). Slim Pickens [[EnforcedMethodActing was never told he was making a comedy]], implying that his character was the hero of the film, heroically delivering the bomb that ''ends the world''. Pickens was okay with it in the long run, spinning the publicity into a highly successful career. On the other hand, Creator/GeorgeCScott wanted to play General Turgidson as a dignified WellIntentionedExtremist, so Kubrick tricked him by [[FalseReassurance assuring him that]] [[BlatantLies the cameras were off]], and that Kubrick and the rest of the cast and crew are the only ones seeing him. He proceeded to use those takes, leading to Scott swearing to not work with Kubrick again.[[/note]]

Because of his high artistic ambitions (he was obsessed with originality and doing things that had never been done before), his insistence on personally researching each aspect of pre-production (A side-effect of his autodidact origins[[note]]For Film/BarryLyndon, Kubrick would personally scour countless paintings to create reference material for the film's look, costume and production designer, work that other film-makers, including great directors, would properly delegate to others but which he felt he had to do himself[[/note]]) and his insistence on doing a film that interests him thoroughly, his production pace slowed down drastically. He made four films in TheSixties and five films in the next three decades, much of his time spent on pre-production for unmade projects such as a planned {{Biopic}} on UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte, a film on UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust, and a science-fiction project about an Android. The former two he abandoned because he felt he had been beaten to the punch[[note]]By an adaptation of ''Waterloo'' in TheSeventies by Sergei Bondarchuk and ''Film/SchindlersList'' by Spielberg in TheNineties[[/note]]. The latter project was subsequently completed after his death by Creator/StevenSpielberg as ''Film/AIArtificialIntelligence'' as per Kubrick's suggestion.

Yet despite this seeming procrastination, Kubrick was still able to more or less make a film as per he pleased as evidenced by ''Film/AClockworkOrange, Film/BarryLyndon, Film/TheShining, Film/FullMetalJacket'' and much later ''Film/EyesWideShut''. During his lifetime virtually all his films were met with a polarizing reception by critics and the audience but they were all box-office successes. They were shocking and controversial not merely in terms of content but mainly for the really cold, detached and even sardonic tone, that somehow made his films feel more European than American, and certainly like nothing in Hollywood. All his movies were adaptations of literature, both LitFic and genre fiction, but they were all GenreBusting, subversive of Hollywood conventions, featuring AntiHero protagonists, violence and disturbing sexuality. They are celebrated for its visual design, his use of music[[note]]Kubrick generally didn't like original scores, much to the annoyance of composers who worked with him, and he tended to use samples from classical and modernist music and mix them up with other pieces[[/note]], the blazingly original iconography (his background in photography really shows in his work) and the overall bleak view of humanity and institutions made his films ripe for AffectionateParody, PopCulturalOsmosis and cult appeal.

In short, he's a film-maker no one is going to stop talking about any time soon.

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!!'''Filmography:'''

[[index]]
* ''Day Of The Fight'' (1951) -- His first film, a documentary short about a boxing match. Inspired by his boxing pictorials for ''Look'' magazine.
* ''Flying Padre'' (1951) -- Another documentary short, about a priest who flies around his 400-square-mile parish to minister to his parishoners.
* ''Fear And Desire'' (1953) -- His first real film, which he considered his [[invoked]] OldShame. Kubrick and his first wife were the only crew on-set during production. Recently restored and released on video via [=BluRay=]. Incidentally one of the actors is Paul Mazursky who later went on to become an actor-director in his own right.
* ''The Seafarers'' (1953) -- Another documentary short, which Kubrick was commissioned to make by the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seafarers_International_Union_of_North_America Seafarers International Union]] of fishermen and sailors.
* ''Film/KillersKiss'' (1955) -- Kubrick's second wife cameos in this one. Another one Kubrick felt [[OldShame was tyro-work]].
* ''Film/TheKilling'' (1956) -- A FilmNoir, his first commercial success, first collaboration with Creator/SterlingHayden, famous for its non-linear variation on ''Film/TheAsphaltJungle''-style heist movie plot that was highly popular in TheFifties.
* ''Film/PathsOfGlory'' (1957) -- The first of his two films starring Creator/KirkDouglas, he also met Jan Harlan during production[[note]][[note]]Jan's sister Christiane is the woman who appears in the last scene and sings at the end. She and Kubrick married and he settled in England with her and his family, for the rest of his life[[/note]] and his BreakthroughHit. Set in France during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI with a critical look at the military establishment that was quite daring for its time and which led to it being [[BannedInChina banned in France]].
* ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'' (1960) -- The second his films starring Kirk Douglas and the last film he would make in America and Hollywood. Despite Kubrick's dissatisfaction, it's considered a landmark EpicMovie, critical for ending UsefulNotes/TheHollywoodBlacklist and one of the most subversive mainstream blockbusters of that era.
* ''Literature/{{Lolita}}'' (1962) -- Adapted from the [[Literature/{{Lolita}} novel]] by Creator/VladimirNabokov[[note]]Who actually really liked the film and was satisfied with how it turned out. This despite him being cheesed by Kubrick asking him to write a long screenplay and then using little to none of it, albeit providing remuneration.[[/note]] Starring Creator/JamesMason, one of Kubrick's favorite actors[[note]]He appeared in two films by his hero Creator/MaxOphuls[[/note]], Sue Lyon, Shelley Winters and Creator/PeterSellers in the scene-stealing expanded role of Quilty.
* ''Film/DrStrangelove'' (1964) -- A jet-black satire on the UsefulNotes/ColdWar with a screenplay by Terry Southern that ends with [[KillEmAll the whole world dying]] to the strains of Vera Lynn. Starring Creator/PeterSellers in three brilliant and very different roles, but also George C. Scott, Creator/JamesEarlJones, a second appearance by Creator/SterlingHayden and a scene-stealing turn by Slim Pickens.
* ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' (1968) -- A landmark science-fiction with groundbreaking special effects by Douglas Trumbull, co-created with Creator/ArthurCClarke and a film that revolutionized the science-fiction genre, albeit made by a man who generally disliked the genre and wanted to bring it OutOfTheGhetto.
* ''Film/AClockworkOrange'' (1971) -- Adapted from a [[Literature/AClockworkOrange minor novel]] by Anthony Burgess. A major commercial success in its year of release, but extremely controversial for its scenes of violence and rape. The negative publicity was such that Kubrick himself shelved it after it turned out profits, and prevented it from being widely exhibited until his death. Extremely influential for its production design, its costumes[[note]]By Milena Canonero who would win an oscar for her work on Film/BarryLyndon and later work on every one of Creator/WesAnderson's films[[/note]] and unusual use of music.
* ''Film/BarryLyndon'' (1975) -- Adapted from a minor novel by [[Literature/VanityFair W. M. Thackeray]], it's a GenreDeconstruction of period films that shows how oppressive and downright weird European society was. Famously, the first movie in history to shoot a scene entirely lit by candlelight. Unpopular and neglected by the audience, it is the preferred favorite of cinephiles like Creator/MartinScorsese, who consider it his masterpiece.
* ''Film/TheShining'' (1980) -- Radically different from the [[Literature/TheShining novel]], to Creator/StephenKing's distaste. It's now considered a great classic of the genre, provoking a number of [[UsefulNotes/ConspiracyTheories fan explanations]] and much like ''2001'', Kubrick eschewed conventional genre features by bringing in highbrow elements. Features one of Creator/JackNicholson's most famous performances and its extended production, with the gigantic set built in England and his treatment of Shelley Duvall, cementing Kubrick's reputation as a perfectionist.
* ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' (1987) -- [[Film/ApocalypseNow One]] [[Film/{{Platoon}} of the]] most iconic Vietnam War movies, starring Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin and in scene-stealing turns Creator/RLeeErmey as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman and Creator/VincentDOnofrio as Gomer Pyle. Controversial in its year of release for the fact that the film's two halves are entirely different from each other, with most preferring the first half (starring aforementioned scene-stealers).
* ''Film/EyesWideShut'' (1999) -- Starring Creator/TomCruise and Creator/NicoleKidman, it became his last film, completed six days before his death with some sound mixing work still left to be done. Three years in the making, and preceded with incredible publicity and buildup, the film faced a [[BrokenBase mixed]] reception only to receive appreciation [[VindicatedByHistory very recently]].
[[/index]]

You can now vote for your favourite Kubrick film by heading over to the [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/Sandbox/BestFilmStanleyKubrick Best Film Crowner]]!

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!!His movies provide examples of:

* AuteurLicense: Kubrick is admired by film-makers for creating a niche within Hollywood despite the fact that he wasn't prolific, rarely made films with big stars and never made purely commercial films. More importantly he held on to this license right till the end of his career, despite never making a single blockbuster film, though his movies were generally hits. None of his movies faced ExecutiveMeddling and with the chief exception of ''Spartacus'', all of them exist as Kubrick intended. Indeed, while Creator/OrsonWelles codified this idea with ''Citizen Kane'', Kubrick is seen by film-makers as a more successful example of making a ''career'' as an auteur within Hollywood, and was highly respected by the UsefulNotes/NewHollywood generation for the same reason.
* BannedInChina: [[invoked]]
** ''Paths of Glory'' was banned in France until 1970 due to its critical depiction of the French Army.
** It was widely believed that ''Film/AClockworkOrange'' was banned in England. But in truth, after accusations of LifeImitatesArt, the film was withdrawn from distribution in the UK at Kubrick's request. Not that he believed it had actually inspired the crimes but he was worried because his family received threats and saw protests staged outside his home and he was a man who liked his privacy. It remained unavailable in the UK until after Kubrick's death in 1999 and Kubrick and his family moved to a new home in England during the production of ''Film/BarryLyndon'' to avoid any further fallout.
** Certain scenes of ''Film/EyesWideShut'' were blurred out in the USA at the time for being too sexually explicit. In other Western countries people got the uncensored version. There was also censorship in UK owing to the use of a recitation of the Bhagavad Gita (as part of the music by Jocelyn Pook which Kubrick excerpted) during the orgy scene, which Hindu organizations protested as sacrilege and it was removed for the UK release and remains missing in Region 2 releases.
* BigApplesauce: It was his home but aside from ''Killer's Kiss'', none of his films were shot in New York. One of his films which was set in New York -- ''Film/EyesWideShut''-- was shot in London, using sets, second-unit projection and carefully chosen streets.
* BittersweetEnding: He generally favored DownerEnding or GainaxEnding. The only outright happy ending in his films is ''Killer's Kiss'' which contrary to belief was his call and not forced by ExecutiveMeddling. In the case of ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' and ''Film/EyesWideShut'' at least, it's possible to [[spoiler:see the endings of both films as positive, especially the latter where the couple seem to put aside their baggage and re-commit to their relationship, but the tone and approach in both is kind of ambiguous and comic, and left to the audience]].
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Sometimes shown during moments of his stories, particularly ''Barry Lyndon'' and ''A Clockwork Orange''. However, because his films are known for their realism, morality is more portrayed as GrayAndGreyMorality.
* BlackComedy: His stories often include this kind of humour as an integral and natural part of the events. ''Dr. Strangelove'' is built around it. ''A Clockwork Orange'' is mostly this throughout the entire story.
* BrooklynRage: He was a New Yorker but he's famous for his cold, detached way of film-making. So maybe an aversion. It's often surprising to hear Kubrick speak in interviews with a thick Noo Yawk accent.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Kubrick was famous for being eccentric, but the quality and impact of his films, as well as his good relations with Warner Bros. studios and ability to sustain an unusual niche career in the mainstream, [[HiddenDepths speaks for itself]].
* TheCameo: His daughter Vivian plays minor uncredited roles in four of his movies. She also wrote the soundtrack of ''Full Metal Jacket'' under the name of Abigail Mead. His third wife, Christiane Harlan played the German woman who sings at the end of ''Paths of Glory'' and Kubrick himself can be heard as the voice on the radio in ''Full Metal Jacket''.
* CentralTheme: The dark side of human nature, effects of war, dehumanization in order to support the plan, broken systems, corruption.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: During the filming of ''The Shining'', Kubrick didn't expose Danny Lloyd to the disturbing elements of the movie, and severely re-edited the footage shown to Lloyd to cut out anything scary. It got to the point where Lloyd thought he was starring in a boring drama about a family doing nothing in a hotel. A major PetTheDog moment for Kubrick, seeing how it was happening simultaneously with his treatment of Shelley Duvall.
* TheConspiracy: A running motif in his movies is characters undone by fate, institutions, machinations by unknown figures who are mysterious, powerful and whose interests and motives they cannot seem to comprehend, and to whom they will always remain small-fry. Whether it's Alex [=DeLarge=] finally [[spoiler:being cured and engaging in ultra-violence with the support of the dystopian government, Humbert being undone by Quilty and Lolita, Dave Bowman being undone by HAL and then the Monolith, Redmond Barry by society and class]]. Film/EyesWideShut directly uses conspiracy as a major element and its left ambiguous how much of it [[spoiler:is an actual conspiracy and how much of it is just Hartford imagining and projecting his paranoia and sexual frustration externally]].
* ControlFreak: He had a reputation for being a legendary perfectionist in movie history (though reading some of the stories of Creator/CharlieChaplin, Creator/WilliamWyler and Creator/JosefVonSternberg will make you think Kubrick is quite reasonable). He would demand dozens of takes for very minor scenes (which was not very unusual as a production practice when he started making films in TheFifties).
* CreatorThumbprint: [[http://archive.is/cuGEM Bathroom scenes]], often ominous.
* DeadArtistsAreBetter: During his lifetime Kubrick's work had already received recognition for being artistically and intellectually more interesting than your average movie, but nearly all his works were polarizing upon their intitial release. ''Paths Of Glory'' was dismissed because it showed the army as cold and inhuman and didn't glorify the military. ''Lolita'' caused controversy because it was about a middle aged man falling in love with a teenage girl. ''Dr. Strangelove'' upset people because it showed governments as incompetent [[spoiler: and unable to prevent a nuclear war]]. ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' was criticized for being pretentious and incomprehensible. ''A Clockwork Orange'' caused outrage for glorifying rape and violence. ''Barry Lyndon'' was seen as boring and soulless. ''The Shining'' was lamblasted for relying more on creepy atmosphere than actually showing anything happening, not to mention Jack Nicholson's over the top performance. ''Full Metal Jacket'' got mixed reviews because the second half just pads on without the strength of the first half. ''Eyes Wide Shut'' got better reviews, but this had more to do with Kubrick's death before the film came out. A lot of people still felt it was a slow erotic movie that wasn't sexy at all [[spoiler: and just resulted in a ShaggyDogStory with an anticlimax.]] All of his films have been VindicatedByHistory nevertheless, usually within 10 years after their initial release.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Every film up to ''2001'', with the exception of ''Spartacus''. Since Kubrick preferred control and independence he preferred black-and-white which was cheaper than colour at the time[[note]]It only became cheaper and normal in UK and USA by the end of TheSixties[[/note]].
* DoingItForTheArt: [[invoked]] This was the man who converted lenses from NASA to shoot in natural candlelight in ''Film/BarryLyndon'' looking right. Perhaps more impressive was getting an entire fleet of the Spanish army to be extras in ''Film/{{Spartacus}}''. This also extends to actual methods of filming as well, with Kubrick always quick to embrace the next development in film technology. This has led to problems when the time came to archive his original prints and reels since the means for playing them are no longer available due to obsolescence.
* DownerEnding:
** [[spoiler:''Paths of Glory'' ends with the soldiers accused of desertion being shot.]]
** [[spoiler:''Dr. Strangelove'' ends with the entire world succumbing to nuclear war.]]
** [[spoiler:Alex in ''A Clockwork Orange'' is sent back in the streets, despite his criminal record, and now hailed as a victim of the people who tried to cure him from his violent tendencies.]]
* TheFilmOfTheBook. Every Kubrick feature film after the first two was an adaptation of a book or short story. ''2001'' is a partial exception, as the original Arthur C. Clarke story only dealt with Heywood Floyd's trip to the Moon, and the rest of the story was written by Kubrick and Clarke in collaboration.
* GenreRoulette: While many film directors usually work within one identifiable genre Kubrick tried out different kinds of genres all his life: war/anti-war films ("Fear and Desire", "Paths Of Glory", "Full Metal Jacket"), science-fiction ("2001", "A Clockwork Orange"), historical drama ("Spartacus", "Barry Lyndon"), comedy ("Dr. Strangelove"), erotic thriller ("Lolita", "Eyes Wide Shut"), film-noir ("The Killing"), and horror ("The Shining").
* GrayAndGreyMorality: Where his films are mainly portrayed in terms of human morality and nature.
* HobbesWasRight: His work is at times misanthrophic, critical of institutions and governments, and social mores which despite appearing civilized are often poor disguises for appalling violence and cruelty. ''Film/PathsOfGlory'', ''Film/DrStrangelove'' and ''Film/AClockworkOrange'' definitely show Kubrick's hatred for these things as does Film/BarryLyndon and Film/EyesWideShut in a more subtle manner.
* HumansAreFlawed: Kubrick's films show mankind at its weakest and most anti-heroic, especially political and military institutions and organizations. A telling moment in ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' is that one of the first things apeman does with his higher intelligence is bashing the head of his fellow ape-mans in with a huge bone. However the further evolved humans shown to still trying to change for the better.
* KubrickStare: TropeNamer; a lot of his films used it.
* LightIsNotGood: In virtually *any* of Kubrick's movies that are filmed in color, an abundance of fluorescent lighting and polished floors/walls (giving the impression of a WhiteVoidRoom) hint that something ''really, really bad'' is going to happen.
* NoWomansLand: Kubrick has generally been considered a director of men, with very few strong women characters in his movies. The fact that the main exception is the titular ''Film/{{Lolita}}'' is saying something.
** A number of his movies are set during wartime such as ''Film/PathsOfGlory'' and ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' where the main options for women are either sex objects, potential and actual rape victims, [[spoiler:or a child soldier, as in the case of the Sniper at the end of the film]]. Likewise, his dystopian film ''Film/AClockworkOrange'' is set in a future where women are more or less sex objects, and rape is more or less a constant never-ending crime.
** His film, ''Film/BarryLyndon'' was one of the few period films of its time, and times afterwards, that really put across how misohynist and sexist the period setting romanticized in earlier literary adaptations are. A society where the only careers available to women is marriage and children, is not healthy either for women, for children or for their spouses. Depresssingly this seems to have gotten worse in his "contemporary" ''Film/EyesWideShut'' where by the turn of the millennium, women are once again trapped in boring marriages, with careers as prostitutes and DisposableSexWorker, and/or TrophyWife being their primary roles in bourgeois society. Whether this reflects how Kubrick believes society to be, or reflected his own imagination is of course a separate issue.
* OddFriendship: With Creator/StevenSpielberg. They were very different in terms of style but they had a friendship and collaboration, often talking on phone. When Kubrick thought he couldn't deliver on ''Film/AIArtificialIntelligence'', he gave Spielberg his blessing to direct the project. Spielberg stayed true to Kubrick's style for the making of the film.
* ThePerfectionist: In preparation of each new project Kubrick read every possible book about topics concerning the story that he could lay his hands on.
** One has to see this to believe it, because he also categorized the information in files and tried to find answers to really odd problems that seemed trivial to others. Nevertheless the end results were often staggering, with officials [[RiddleForTheAges often wondering how on Earth he was able to get his facts and details so accurately precise.]]
** Quite amusingly, Kubrick denied being perfectionist. Dorian Harewood, who played Eightball from Film/FullMetalJacket, said that in an interview that Kubrick was a perfectionist. Kubrick called Harewood a few days later and denied being considered such. Likewise, Kubrick said that he kept doing multiple takes because he thought his actors, though they got the right idea, weren't happy with their performance.
* PrimaDonnaDirector: The TropeCodifier. After earning his AuteurLicense, every one of his movies were productions which extended for years where he controlled every tiny detail and forced the actors to do over 20 takes ''at minimum''. [[TropesAreNotBad This resulted in great films]]. [[RealityEnsues It also ensured that virtually no actor worked with him twice]].
* ProductionThrowback: Re-insertions of "CRM 114", originally the comunication device onboard the bombers of ''Dr. Strangelove''
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: A prominent use of classical music in all his films from ''2001'' onwards. Most notably he removed Alex North's original composition for ''2001'' during production, neglected to tell North about it, and the composer expectantly discovered the changes when he went for the screening. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_(score)#Reception Alex North was a respected composer certainly and his unused score for ''2001'' is considered pretty good]].
* ReclusiveArtist: To the point that [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Conway one conman]] successfully managed to impersonate him ''in front of an experienced film critic''. It should be noted though that Kubrick was only reclusive in terms of being a public figure and Hollywood celebrity. He was generally accessible to critics who wanted to interview him about his films, such as Michel Ciment of Positif, and he also maintained friendships with producers and directors and kept up to speed with new film-makers. He also sent fan letters to film-makers he admired, [[http://www.cinematheia.com/stanley-kubricks-letter-to-ingmar-bergman-in-1980/ such as this one]] to Creator/IngmarBergman.
* SceneryPorn:
** Kubrick really "composed" his backgrounds. Many rooms and settings have an almost photographic quality to them. They have been carefully constructed, built or put in the frame in a way that they too become interesting to look at. Small significant and symbolic details can be spotted by the observant viewer.
** A scene in or just outside a bathroom. Or both. Involving someone breaking into the bathroom.
** Shots down long paths with parallel walls.
** Later in his career, extensive {{Steadicam}} use. Kubrick was one of the first filmmakers to really embrace the technology. Interestingly, he was also known for personally handling the camera whenever a handheld (shaky) shot was necessary. Examples are ''2001'' (when descending the ramp on the moon), and ''The Killing'', which is notable because it creates a JitterCam effect (meant to portray the chaos after a gunfight) inspired perhaps by a similar sequence in Creator/NicholasRay's ''Film/OnDangerousGround'' made a few years back.
* ShortLivedBigImpact: [[invoked]] He only made thirteen films from 1953 to 1999, yet most of those films are regarded as some of the best ever made. It must be noted that Kubrick deliberately carved himself this niche with Warner Bros. studios. All his films were box-office successes and every film was an event, so each film stood out individually among all other films brought out that year.
* ShroudedInMyth: [[invoked]]
** Due to Kubrick's reluctance to talk about the hidden meanings of his films he's probably one of the most analyzed and discussed film directors of all time. There are still scenes in his work that remain mysterious and are open for interpretation.
** Likewise, Kubrick's refusal to have a public profile means that there are many misconceptions about his style, approach and methods of making films as well as his habits as a working professional in the film industry.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Mostly on the cynical end of the scale. 2001: A Space Odyssey might be his most idealistic film.
* SlidingScaleOfShinyVersusGritty: Many a film student will note that Kubrick was fond of a particular 2-act structure in his films, one with a "shiny" aesthetic half and one with a "gritty" aesthetic half. ''A Clockwork Orange'', for example, begins with a gritty portrayal of gang violence and is followed by a shiny portrayal of the main character's life in prison and going through human experimentation. ''Full Metal Jacket'' opens with a "shiny" first act that ends with a tragic murder, followed by a jarringly LighterAndSofter yet visually "gritty" second act of the main characters' tour in Vietnam.... and so on. Usually, it's the "shiny" part of the movie [[LightIsNotGood where the most unnerving events of the movie take place]].
* SignatureStyle: Mostly on the cynicism side for SlidingScaleOfCynicismVersusIdealism, lots of hallways and tracking shots (he was particularly fond of the Steadicam), almost always an adaption of a book, mentally unstable protagonists, surrealism, classical music ([[SoundtrackDissonance many times used for ironic effect]]), tons of black humor, the Kubrick Stare, at least one scene involving a toilet and above all meticulous attention to detail. And, of course, tons and tons of eerie, artificially polished environments [[LightIsNotGood doused in a wash of fluorescent lighting to convey a sense of unease]].
* SoundtrackDissonance: Kubrick often used well known classical music and pop melodies and put them in an ironic new context. This has led to PopCulturalOsmosis in some cases where one can't hear the original piece without associating it with a Kubrick film instead. Notable example would be ''"Also sprach Zarathustra"'', the main theme to 2001.
* TakeThat: Much of ''Film/DrStrangelove'''s plot was inspired by Kubrick's conversations with the political scientist Thomas Schelling, whose influential book ''Arms and Influence'' took a very different perspective on nuclear weapons and the likelihood of their use by either UsefulNotes/ColdWar power.
* ThrowItIn: [[invoked]] Despite his reputation for being a perfectionist and retaking shots over and over, many of Kubrick's films' most iconic moments were unscripted, including:
** Much of Peter Sellers' dialogue in ''Film/DoctorStrangelove''.
** Much of R. Lee Ermey's dialogue in ''Film/FullMetalJacket''.
** The inclusion of "Singing in the Rain" in ''Film/AClockworkOrange''.
** The inclusion of "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing" in ''Film/EyesWideShut''.
** Jack Nicholson's "Here's Johnny!" line in ''Film/TheShining'' (due to his long residence in the UK, Kubrick [[PopculturalOsmosisFailure had no idea what the line meant]] and had to be talked out of using a different shot).
** [[http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2013/01/09/film-crit-hulk-smash-hulk-vs.-tom-hooper-and-art-of-cinematic-affectation [=FilmCritHulk=]]] argues that this was a much bigger part of Kubrick's MO than is typically acknowledged, and that rather than looking for perfection, the retakes were intended to break actors out of conventional acting to better serve the director's intentions. Indeed this was the reason why directors in the GoldenAge such as Creator/WilliamWyler or Creator/CharlieChaplin used multiple takes, since they had specific intentions and were not usually comfortable with actors trained in multiple styles and approaches, and generally preferred a process to wear their resistance until they got the results they wanted.
* VerbalTic: A lot of the dialog in his movies [[SelfDemonstratingArticle goes... very... slowly...]] sometimes with lots of [[PunctuatedForEmphasis pauses within a line]], or more commonly, characters pausing before EVERY reply, sometimes causing a conversation of four or five lines to take nearly a minute.
* WagTheDirector: [[invoked]]
** In a bit of EarlyInstallmentWeirdness and in a non-hostile manner during the production of ''Spartacus''. Creator/KirkDouglas fired Creator/AnthonyMann and hired Stanley Kubrick, as two of them were very good friends and Kubrick did it as a favor to Douglas. However, though directing the film made Kubrick famous, [[WeUsedToBeFriends they weren't friends by the end]], as Kubrick later claimed that almost everything was really controlled by Douglas, who was also the producer, and the picture really wasn't big enough for both of them. Douglas later went on to describe Kubrick as "a talented shit."
** Kubrick quit the production of Creator/MarlonBrando's vehicle ''One Eyed Jacks'' (1961) after it became clear that Brando wanted to direct the film himself and Kubrick would be the director in name only. Brando was insecure and uncertain and finally did direct the film, and it's considered a pretty good film in its own right, albeit not really having the Kubrickian elements.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: [[invoked]]
** Kubrick's film about UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte. A project he dreamt about making for years and garnered an unbelievable amount of documentation about. But it was thwarted by the movie ''Film/{{Waterloo}}'' (1970), which got such a bad reception that producers weren't willing to invest in another Napoleon movie. ''Film/BarryLyndon'' is set in part of the same time period and is probably the closest he ever got into making it.
** His movie project about the Holocaust, ''Aryan Papers'', which also got scrapped because he saw ''Film/SchindlersList'' and felt he couldn't top it. Not to mention that Kubrick himself found the subject matter to be incredibly depressing.
** ''A.I.'' a science fiction movie he felt was more something for Creator/StevenSpielberg, who eventually made it posthumously for Kubrick: ''Film/AIArtificialIntelligence''.
** According to [[https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/may/30/stanley-kubrick-childrens-film-death-pinocchio-eyes-wide-shut-spartacus this article]], Kubrick was planning on making a ''children's film'' and a film in World War II. Specficially, a film about Pinocchio and one on Monte Cassino, one of the most bitter and bloody battles of the second world war.
** Kubrick had wanted to film Creator/JohnLeCarre's novel ''Literature/APerfectSpy'', and was even willing to work for Creator/TheBBC when they outbid him for the rights, but fearing cost overruns, they turned him down.
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