Stanley Kubrick Lost Film Finally Found

Acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was responsible for three shorts and thirteen features throughout his lifetime.

Of those thirteen features, five have emerged as true cornerstones of cinema – “2001,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Full Metal Jacket” and “The Shining”. Another five aren’t as unanimously praised but are generally considered classics in their own right – “Barry Lyndon,” “Paths of Glory,” “Spartacus,” “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Lolita”.

The remaining three however, his low-budget first three films which were released in the mid-50’s, are generally not widely known outside of Kubrick fans and cinemaphile circles. While “The Killing” and “Killer’s Kiss” are easy to obtain on Amazon and the like, his first feature-length effort “Fear and Desire” has proven a collector’s item which most have only been able to see through dodgy online copies or very low quality VHS copies of copies. Until now that is.

George Eastman House ran a special screening of the film in Los Angeles recently from an original “not necessarily complete” negative. The company inherited a collapsing distributor’s film library recently, including that partial negative which came from a Puerto Rican film lab’s storage vault which had been shut down years ago.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company is now talking about a “major restoration effort” on the film which would see a high-quality DVD release of the title sometime down the road.

It’s generally thought that negative is the only official copy in existence. The film itself earned a reputation as being a work Kubrick himself was not a fan of at all, and purportedly tried to remove the film from circulation however he could.