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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Stanley Kubrick

08 March 2013 | Features, People Lists | by David Zou

stanley kubrick

As one of the most beloved American director, Stanley Kubrick made films that have been worshiped and studied by generations of cinephiles. Through all his classics, we knew he’s a perfectionist at work. But what about life(yes, he did have life)? How much do you know Kubrick as a person? Here’s 10 insights that reveal the other side of Kubrick.


1. Kubrick rarely gave interviews. He did, however, appear in a documentary made by his daughter Vivian Kubrick shot during the making of The Shining (1980). According to Vivian, he was planning on doing a few formal TV interviews once Eyes Wide Shut (1999) was released, but died before he could.


2. He had a well-known fear of flying, but he had to fly quite often early in his career. Because of his hysteria on planes, he simply tried to lessen the amount of times he flew. According to Malcolm McDowell, Kubrick listened to air traffic controllers at Heathrow Airport for long stretches of time, and he advised McDowell never to fly.


3. His dislike of his early film Fear and Desire (1953) is well known. He went out of his way to buy all the prints of it so no one else could see it.

fear and desire


4. Kubrick’s favorite pastime was chess and he was said to be a master at it. Many crew members and actors found themselves on the losing end of chess matches with him.

kubrick chess


5. People would come to his door looking for him, and as few people knew what he looked like, he would tell them that “Stanley Kubrick wasn’t home.”


6. According to his close friend Michael Herr, he watched The Godfather (1972) over ten times and said it was probably the greatest film ever made.

The Godfather


7. He considered Elia Kazan the best American director of all time. His list of favorite directors included at various times Federico Fellini, David Lean, Ingmar Bergman, Vittorio De Sica, François Truffaut, and Max Ophüls.

Elia Kazan


8. According to a biography, Kubrick’s wife finally convinced him once to take what she considered a long-overdue vacation. While vacationing, she noticed he was taking copious notes about something. When asked what he was writing, she discovered he was jotting some ideas down about a film project!


9. Was an avid feline lover, once having 16 of them at one point. He would often let his cats lay around his editing room after filming completed as his way of making up for time he lost with them while he was working.

kubrick cat


10. Claims that his IQ is below average.

source: imdb


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  • Steven Flores

    Did you know one of Kubrick’s all-time favorite films is White Men Can’t Jump?

    • Mark Harding

      Eraserhead was also a favorite of his.

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