Stanley Kubrick

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Stanley Kubrick (July 26, 1928 — March 7, 1999) was an American film-maker whose work earned him a reputation as one of the greatest motion-picture directors of all time. Though born in the Bronx, New York, he lived for over half his life in England, making most of his greatest films there regardless of their actual setting. Kubrick made 13 full-length films, including just five in the last three decades of his life, partly due to the extensive research and attention to detail that his projects were known for.

Kubrick actually started out as a photographer and photojournalist. As a teenager he sold a photo to Look magazine and soon after joined their staff. In 1950, he made a short documentary on a boxing match, and thereafter moved into film-making. Kubrick not only directed but also wrote and produced most of his films, which covered a diverse range of genres, from science fiction to war.


See also: Stanley Kubrick/Filmography

Impact on world cinema

A telling example of Kubrick’s impact on world cinema is the following. In 2002, the British film journal Sight & Sound asked 145 film critics and scholars, plus 108 film directors from around the world to each submit a list of ten films deemed worthy of inclusion in an ultimate “best films of all time” list.[1] When the lists were collated and the votes tallied, Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey occupied the sixth place on the critics’ list, while Dr. Strangelove took the fifth place. But even this extraordinary achievement is not the most telling point. What may have never before been pointed out is this: Kubrick was the one director with the greatest variety of films cited in the original hundreds of lists. For example, although Citizen Kane graced the top spot on both critics’ and directors’ lists, taking the over two hundred lists as a whole, Kubrick himself via his other films appeared more often than Kane’s director Orson Welles. Kubrick’s name was “spread thin” because some critics cited 2001, while others cited Dr. Strangelove, or A Clockwork Orange, or Barry Lyndon, or The Shining. In the complete lists published in Sight & Sound, Kubrick had more different individual works cited than any other director's. This can only mean that Stanley Kubrick produced a body of work that, at least according to those participating in the Sight & Sound poll, is second to none.


  1. BFI: 'The Sight & Sound Greatest Films poll'. September 2002. Accessed March 12, 2021.