5 Fun Facts About Stanley Kubrick
List by Aaron Haughton
A lot of information is out there in circulation when it comes to fun facts about my-way-or-the-highway director Stanley Kubrick. Most of what's out there seems to be overshadowed by the moon landing conspiracy, the creation of a new lens, or by stories of how he treated his actors, most of which are fairly well known by most, if not all, Kubrick fans.
So, I went scouring the net for some facts that were either brand spanking new to me or had, for one reason or another, slipped through the cracks of my awareness. The good news — as if it weren't painfully obvious enough — is that I found five fun ones that seem to be more lesser known. Take a gander at the dirt I dredged up, and be sure to let us know if we missed your favorite lesser known Kubrick factoid below!
- Wait, no Oscar?!
It's easy to envision that someone as beloved and respected as Kubrick would have Oscars galore; however, over the course of his illustrious 48 years in the director's chair, he never once received an Oscar for his skills as a helmer of cinematic vision. While he was nominated for several awards, the only Oscar he ever received was for the visual effects in 2001: A Space Odyssey. This puts him alongside greats like Federico Fellini and Alfred Hitchcock, who also never received any Academy recognition for their iconic work.
As if that weren't odd enough, only one actor who worked with Kubrick ever won an award for their performance in his film. That actor is Peter Ustinov, and he won his award for his performance as Batiatus in Spartacus. The only other actor to receive a nomination for their Stanley Kubrick performance was Peter Sellers for Dr. Strangelove, and he was beat by Rex Harrison for his performance in My Fair Lady.
- He was fired by Brando.
One-Eyed Jacks was the only film that Marlon Brando ever directed, but it was original slated to be a Stanley Kubrick project with Sam Peckinpah penning the script — now, that's a collaboration I very much wish I could see. Even though Kubrick had signed a contract to direct the film for Paramount Pictures, both he and Peckinpah would be fired by Brando during the pre-production phase.
- He turned down The Beatles.
That's right, Kubrick shutdown The Beatles! When the the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was first auctioned off to United Artists, Kubrick was approached by The Beatles to direct a film adaptation based on the books, which they would also star in. Kubrick had mixed feelings about producing a film based on a very popular book and sent The Beatles packing, which will always leave us wondering which Beatle would play which hobbit. Kubrick wasn't alone in his assessment either. Reportedly, Tolkien himself was also against any involvement with The Beatles.
- He holds a world record.
It's no secret that Kubrick was a meticulous director who always opted to take a much time as he needed to get the perfect shot and the scene just right. With this in mind, it may come as no surprise to find that Kubrick holds a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for the production of Eyes Wide Shut, which still to this day is the longest continuous film shoot, spanning 15 months. No production schedule since Kubrick's last film in 1999 has even come close to this lengthy shoot. Part of the gargantuan production time included Tom Cruise walking through a door for a total of 97 takes before he got it right, and Kubrick devoting three weeks to shoot a 13-minute scene with Cruise and Sydney Pollack. In addition to the record the Eyes Wide Shut shoot has, The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey also had shoots that are still famous for their extensiveness.
- He's edited film on both boat and train.
Kubrick had a fear of flying — which spurned from a fear of air traffic controllers, not pilots — and was facing a deadline for his epic 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was set to for a U.S. premiere. Since flying was out of the question, Kubrick opted to sail the Queen Elizabeth, going so far as to bring an editing table with him so he could put the final touches on the film. After an east coast premiere, he boarded a train cross-country to Los Angeles, editing table in tow, as he made cuts and further edits to the film during the trip.
Welp, that's our list! What did you think? Did we leave off a quietier fact about Kubrick? Was all this info previously known? We want to know. Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below, and as always, remember to viddy well!