Three partially written screenplays with were written by the great Stanley Kubrick have been unearthed.
The scripts, which all focus on themes of jealousy, adultery and marriage, are dated from between 1954 and 1956 at a time it was rumoured that Kubrick and his second wife, Ruth Sobotka, were having marital issues.
Kubrick, revered by many as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, only directed 13 feature films and three short documentaries over the course of his career. From Day of the Fight in 1951 to Eyes Wide Shut in 1999, Kubrick earned a total of 13 nominations for Academy Awards and claimed victory in ‘Best Special Visual Effects’ for 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Now though, a series of newly unearthed Kubrick material has been transferred to the Kubrick archive at the University of the Arts London. Of the uncovered screenplays, a film working under the title of Married Man was found with 35 pages of typed script with accompanying handwritten annotations.
The second script, under the working title The Perfect Marriage, was found with a series of Kubrick’s handwritten notes alongside seven pages of scenes. The third, a project Kubrick was working on called Jealousy, was found with 13 pages of typed and handwritten words which supposedly tells the tale of resentment between a married couple.
“There’s masses of new material we didn’t know he’d done,” Nathan Abrams, a professor of film studies at Bangor University and Kubrick expert,” told The Guardian.” It was all previously sitting in his house, now transferred by his estate. These are projects that Kubrick wanted to do but didn’t do. I have not come across references to these in anything I’ve read previously.”
Abrams continued: “The 1950s is probably the least understood period of Kubrick’s career. This shows that he’s working on far more than we previously knew. He’s quite productive. He’s trying his hand at being a writer. But, after Killer’s Kiss, his 1955 film, they were never based on original material. They were always developed with someone from something.”
“Sobotka, who he was married to when he’s developing these screenplays, had a very formative influence on him. But we don’t know so much about it or her. Things weren’t going well with her in Los Angeles. He went off to Germany to make Paths of Glory in 1957, and met one of its actresses, Christiane, who became his third and final wife.”
Abrams added: “By his own confession, Kubrick wasn’t a writer. There’s a reason he worked with other writers on his films. In terms of literary merit, not high. Kubrick is a filmmaker. So it’s what he would have done with it that counts.
“Kirk Douglas once said: ‘Stanley… has always functioned better if he got a good writer and worked with him as an editor… I have a copy of the terrible Paths of Glory that he wrote to make it more commercial. If we had shot that script, Stanley might still be living in an apartment in Brooklyn instead of in a castle in England…’.”