[[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."
-->-- '''Kubrick in an interview with East Village Eye in 1968'''

'''Stanley Kubrick''' (July 26, 1928 -- March 7, 1999) was a controversial director. [[TropesAreNotBad In a good way]]. His films spanned nearly every genre he could get his hands on -- but start in the wrong place.

Originally a New York photographer, Mr. Kubrick wormed his way into film making with little difficulty. He made documentaries, which provided him the technical skill for turning stills into real movies. He never left England during his last forty years due to a [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes fear of flying]].

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. However, he treated pretty much all of the actors in his movies like crap. Some liked him anyway: Creator/MalcolmMcDowell thoroughly enjoyed working with him on ''Film/AClockworkOrange'', but was [[WhatHaveYouDoneForMeLately snubbed after shooting was complete]]. Equally abrasive individuals such as Creator/JackNicholson and Creator/RLeeErmey, however, remained friends with Kubrick until his death.

On average, however, his relationships could be defined by the making of ''Film/DoctorStrangelove''; 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.

[[OddFriendship He also had a long-time friendship with]] Creator/StevenSpielberg, and in spite of their radically different styles, the two would often have extended talks on the art of filmmaking and other subjects. Because of the England-Los Angeles time difference he would often call the latter up in the middle of the night, and the two would have conversations over the phone for ''hours''. He dismissed Spielberg's ''Film/SchindlersList'' for having a happy ending, but possibly he was miffed because he was planning to make his own film about the Holocaust and Spielberg beat him to it. After Kubrick's death Spielberg finished the last movie project that he had been working on as a token to him (although Kubrick had already pretty much given the reins of that project to Spielberg prior to his death), resulting in ''Film/AIArtificialIntelligence''.

Because of his tendency for blazingly original iconography (his background in photography really shows in his work), his films are ripe for AffectionateParody. Because his films include some of the bleakest and harshest ever made, it is completely impossible to do a cruel one.

Amazingly enough Kubrick is also a prime example of DeadArtistsAreBetter. During his lifetime virtually all his films were met with a polarizing reception by critics and the audience. Several were banned or criticized for being controversial. Others baffled audiences because they were so unusual within the genre they were presented in. Many viewers felt his work was too cold and calculated, with cynical BlackComedy and a general distrust of humanity and its institutions. As a result a lot of Kubrick's films only received their quality reputations after a some time had gone by. All of them have been VindicatedByHistory as masterpieces at this point, especially after his death in 1999.

Oh--and many a ConspiracyTheorist has attributed the "faked" footage of the MoonLandingHoax to Kubrick. Understandable: considering the often-praised realism of ''2001'', he was basically the only filmmaker at the time who ''could'' have pulled it off. [[note]] [[FridgeBrilliance This would seem to be a motivation for Kubrick's]] {{Deconstruction}} of the "Illuminati" conspiracy theory in ''Film/EyesWideShut''. [[/note]]

'''Famous Films:'''

* ''Day Of The Fight'' (1951) - his first film, a short about a boxing match. Inspired by his boxing pictorials for ''Look'' magazine.
* ''Fear And Desire'' (1953) - his first real film, which he considered his OldShame. Kubrick and his first wife were the only crew on-set during production. Recently restored and released on video via [=BluRay=].
* ''Film/KillersKiss'' (1955)[[/index]] - Kubrick's second wife cameos in this one. Another one Kubrick felt [[OldShame was too bad to be bothered with]].
* ''Film/TheKilling'' (1956)[[/index]] - the archetypal FilmNoir, famous for its Non-Linear Plot.
* ''Film/PathsOfGlory'' (1957) [[/index]]- the first of two anti-war films starring Creator/KirkDouglas. Set in WWI. The woman who would later become Kubrick's third wife (who would stay with him until his death) appears in this film. Also very underrated, Kirk Douglas once said "There's a picture that will always be good, years from now. I don't have to wait 50 years to know that; I know it now.". In 1959!
* ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'' (1960) - the second of two anti-war films starring Kirk Douglas. Set in Rome. Not really a Kubrick movie; he came in at the last minute as a favor to Mr. Douglas.
* ''Literature/{{Lolita}}'' (1962)- [[/index]][[FilmOfTheBook Adaptation of the novel]]. Theoretically starred James Mason. ''Really'' starred Creator/PeterSellers.
* ''Film/DrStrangelove'' (1964)[[/index]] - A comedy that ends with [[KillEmAll the whole world dying]]. Starred Creator/PeterSellers in three brilliant and very different roles. Also features Sterling Hayden, AntiHero from ''The Killing''.
* ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' (1968) - An episodic film that is probably about the evolution of man. Starred special effects wizard Douglas Trumbull and was stolen (just as Lolita was stolen by Peter Sellers) by a computer named HAL.
* ''Film/AClockworkOrange'' (1971) - A bit of the old ultraviolence. Words can not describe how controversial this was when first released. Kubrick even had it banned ''himself'' in his home country until his death.
* ''Film/BarryLyndon'' (1975)[[/index]] - Just about the most detailed and beautiful period piece in movie history. Creator/MartinScorsese's personal favourite.
* ''Film/TheShining'' (1980) - Lost what made the book great, it is a great horror movie in its own right. This movie cemented Kubrick's reputation as a perfectionist.
* ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' (1987)[[/index]] - War movie set in Vietnam. Starred Matthew Modine as Private Joker, really starred RLeeErmey as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman.
* ''Film/EyesWideShut'' (1999)[[/index]] - Starring Creator/TomCruise and Creator/NicoleKidman. Has a [[BrokenBase mixed]] reputation, but it's [[VindicatedByHistory not as divisive as it once was]].

!!His movies provide examples of:

* AmbiguousDisorder: Its is now widely suspected that he may have had UsefulNotes/AspergerSyndrome or High-Functioning Autism.
* BannedInChina:
** ''Paths of Glory'' was banned in France until 1970 due to its critical and [[HollywoodHistory inaccurate]] depiction of the French Army.
** Mixed with CreatorBacklash after accusations of LifeImitatesArt: ''Film/AClockworkOrange'' was withdrawn from distribution in the UK at Kubrick's request - he did not believe it had actually inspired the crimes blamed on it, but his family received threats and saw protests staged outside their home. It remained unavailable in the UK until after Kubrick's death in 1999.
** 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 and wondered what the hell was the fuss about?
* BigApplesauce: Despite being his home, only two of his films were set there, namely ''Film/{{Lolita}}'' and ''Film/EyesWideShut''- and the latter wasn't even filmed there!.
* BittersweetEnding: This is as happy as his films get.
** Kubrick was forced to shoot a happy ending for ''Killer's Kiss'' due to ExecutiveMeddling.
* 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 ungodly eccentric, but the quality and impact of his films speak for themselves.
* 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.
* TheChessmaster: Both literally and figuratively. He once attempted to assert himself over an uncooperative Creator/GeorgeCScott by challenging him to a chess game. Scott unwisely accepted. He also tended to see his actors and staff as pieces to be placed in his compositions.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: During the filming of ''The Shining'', Kubrick didn't expose Danny Lloyd to the disturbing elements of the movie, and severely re-edited it 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: Kubrick's entire filmography shows a huge distrust of humanity and institutions, like the government, the army, the police,...
* ControlFreak: One of the most insane perfectionists in movie history, sometimes requiring dozens of takes for very minor scenes. Very few actors got to ad-lib a single word in his movies, but the exceptions are remarkable, see ThrowItIn below.
* CreatorThumbprint: [[http://kubrickfilms.tripod.com/id35.html 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''.
* DoingItForTheArt: 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. "Dr. Strangelove" ends with the entire world being succombed into nuclear war. 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.]]
* EnforcedMethodActing: Invoked in many of his films.
* ExecutiveMeddling:
** ''Film/AClockworkOrange'' suffered this. It was banned in some places because censors were afraid it would incite violence. Some claim it did.
** ''Film/BarryLyndon'' almost got this when executives wanted to film to be "zanier" with more slapstick comedy and songs. Kubrick sent back with an [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome awesome]] response about how William Makepeace Thackeray (upon whose book the film is based) was known for his wit and satire but not for his zaniness, pratfalls, or musical numbers.
* 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.
* HobbesWasRight: His work evokes extreme distrust of humanity and the lengths people will go through to control, hurt and kill each other as part of the grander scheme of the system. ''Film/PathsOfGlory'', ''Film/DrStrangelove'' and ''Film/AClockworkOrange'' definitely show Kubrick's hatred for these things. ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' is a bit more fodder for polarizing discussion. On the one hand it shows how the army dehumanizes its soldiers, but at the same time Kubrick doesn't seem really sure if it ever could/would or should be another way?
* HumansAreBastards: Kubrick's films show mankind at its worst, especially political and military institutions and organisations. A telling moment in ''Film/TwoThousandAndOneASpaceOdyssey'' is that one of the first things apeman does with his higher intelligence is bashing the head of his fellow apemans in with a huge bone.
* InsufferableGenius: Despite his perfectionist tendencies, Kubrick did not actually have much in common with this trope. He did poorly in school and even stated that his IQ was below average. On the other hand: if something interested him he wanted to know ''everything'' about the subject matter and you better take that literally. Every other book written about the topic, until the tiniest detail, was scrutinized by him.
* KubrickStare: TropeNamer; a lot of his films used it.
* OddFriendship: Kubrick and Spielberg were polar opposites as far as film styles go. They had a close friendship and Kubrick handpicked Spielberg to direct [[Film/AIArtificialIntelligence his final 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 often wondering how on Earth he was able to get his facts and details so accurately precise? Quite amusingly, Kubrick denied being considered such.
* PetTheDog: Several. Especially during the filming of ''Film/TheShining''.
** Since the movie was Danny Lloyd's first acting job and that he was very young, Kubrick was genuinely concerned and highly protective of the child. Kubrick treated Danny's scenes like a little game, and kept him from discovering the true nature of the film. During the filming, Lloyd was under the impression that Kubrick was making a drama. He only realized the truth several years later, when he was shown a heavily edited version of the film. He did not see the uncut version of the film until he was 17 - eleven years after he had made it.
** Despite his reported abuse of Shelley Duvall on set, Kubrick spoke very highly of her ability in multiple interviews and found himself quite impressed by her performance in the finished film.
* '''PrimaDonnaDirector''': TropeCodifier. After earning his AuteurLicense, every 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]].
* ProductionThrowback: Re-insertions of "CRM 114", originally the comunication device onboard the bombers of ''Dr. Strangelove''
* ProperlyParanoid: Kubrick's work shows a deep paranoia and fear of humanity and how it is forced to function within certain systems.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: A prominent use of classical music from ''2001'' onwards.
* ReclusiveArtist: After he went to the UK, helped by his fear of flying.
* 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) in a ''black and white'' movie, in '''1956'''.
* ShroudedInMyth: 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.
* SignatureStyle: Very far 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, 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.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: Kubrick was an avid chess player, and it forced him to be slow, methodical and deliberate with his actions, as seen in his movies.
* 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.
* TheSpartanWay: Curiously and disconcertingly applied to filming up to Jerkass levels. Kubrick was a hardened and noted perfectionist, and the lengths he went to get the results he wanted were extreme. Jack Nicholson in particular swore off working with him after ''Film/TheShining'' because of the way he treated the cast and crew.
* ThrowItIn: 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''.
** 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).
* 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:
** 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, and though directing the film made Kubrick famous, he later claimed that almost everything was really controlled by Kirk Douglas, who was also the producer. The two of them were very good friends and Kubrick did it as a favor to Douglas.
*** Although [[WeUsedToBeFriends they weren't friends by the end,]] as both tried to control the film creatively, 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.
* WorthyOpponent: In chess, according to Creator/GeorgeCScott. It's why he still respected him after what Kubrick did to him in ''Strangelove''.