(US - 1953)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Written by Howard Sackler. Cast: Frank Silvera, Paul Mazursky, Kenneth Harp, Steve Coit, Virginia Leith. (Unrated, 62 mins)
Almost from the time it was released, Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) disowned his debut feature FEAR AND DESIRE (1953), dismissing it as "amateurish." Rumors persisted for decades that he'd had as many prints of it as possible rounded up and destroyed, but a few managed to survive in private collections, and once the film fell into the public domain, there was little he could do to bury it completely. It was considered a lost film for many years, and was never officially released on home video, though copies could often be found on the bootleg circuit. It's been shown at various film festivals over the years (most notably at Telluride in 1993), and ran on Turner Classic Movies in late 2011, but with Kino's new HD restoration (from a Library of Congress print), Kubrick's feature films are finally represented in their entirety on DVD and Blu-ray.
|Kenneth Harp as Lt. Corby, with|
Frank Silvera and Steve Coit
|Virginia Leith with Silvera|
|Kubrick on the set of FEAR AND DESIRE|
FEAR AND DESIRE won't generate much interest beyond devout Kubrick completists. But if you've got the Kubrick Blu-ray box set from Warner, and the Criterion editions of PATHS OF GLORY and THE KILLING (which features KILLER'S KISS as an extra), then it's definitely worth picking up to have essentially everything (minus a couple of those early industrial shorts) done by arguably cinema's greatest filmmaker. Just know going into FEAR AND DESIRE that everyone has to start somewhere. But even that early on, you can tell the wheels were turning.