Lolita tells the story of a European French literature professor Humbert Humbert who comes to the United States to teach at a New Hampshire college. The story takes place in the year of 1947. Professor Humbert is seeking lodging and happens upon the home of a widow named Charlotte Haze who has a room for rent. Humbert takes the room after he sees Charlotte’s beautiful and adolescent daughter Dolores whose nickname is Lo.
Humbert is immediately attracted to Lo because since boyhood he has been infatuated with young girls that he calls “nymphets.” Humbert is so taken by Lo that he romances and marries Charlotte so he can be near Dolores. It takes awhile but eventually Charlotte catches on to Humbert and after she reads his secret diary she learns about his obsession with her daughter whom he has nicknamed Lolita.
Their marriage comes to a traumatic and dramatic conclusion when Charlotte runs out of the house to mail some letters she has written about Humbert and is hit by a car and killed. Humbert is not sadden by his wife’s death and sees it as a chance to be close to his dear Lolita and begins a sexual relationship with young Lolita. They travel the country and stay at various hotels along the way. They settle in a college town called Beasley and Humbert takes a teaching job there. Soon, Lolita becomes disinterested with Humbert and wants to be free from him. Their relationship becomes very tense and Lolita soon starts up a relationship with another man who is a playwright named Clare Quilty. Eventually, Lolita runs away with Quilty and Humbert goes on a desperate search for Lolita but never finds her. Several years later, Humbert is contacted by Lolita who needs money. Humbert, Lolita and Quilty’s lives all end in tragedy.
This version is a remake of the 1962 classic that starred James Mason, Sue Lyon, Shelly Winters and Peter Sellers. The 1997 version stars Jeremy Irons, Dominique Swain, Melanie Griffith and Frank Langella and was directed by Adrian Lyne.