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Young Man with Ideas and a Camera
by Thomas M. Pryor

Stanley Kubrick is a young man from the Bronx with a passionate interest in photography and a determination to make a name for himself in the movie world. Those are not entirely unique attributes or ambitions, but Stanley Kubrick is no ordinary tyro. At the age of 22 he can look back on four and a half years as a top-flight magazine still photographer and, since last spring, he has directed, photographed and produced two one-reel films which R.K.O. Pathe News will distribute. Now he is aiming at making a feature-length picture, which he has budgeted at the astonishingly low cost of $50,000.

One of the youngest staff photographers on LOOK Magazine, Stanley broke into the flashbulb profession by selling three picture stories to the magazine, and decided to quit school while in his freshman year at City College. The measure of his ability as a photographer can be judged on the basis of his assignments by LOOK, which ranged from taking pictures of theatrical and political celebrities, to a tour of Portugal, to illustrate a travel story. The magazine also gave him such other choice assignments as covering the circus at its winter headquarters in Sarasota, Fla., and Senator Taft's pre-election barnstorming in Ohio.

Writers who have worked with Stanley remember him warmly as "a funny kid and a wonderful photographer." Stanley Kubrick can say with all honesty that he made a career out of his father's hobby. He was 15 and a student at Taft High School in the Bronx when he started "fooling around" with his father's Graflex camera. One day he took the camera to school and made some pictures of an English teacher, a rara avis, "who read Hamlet and acted out the play for the class." LOOK bought and published Stanley's pictures.

One of his best-remembered camera stories for LOOK was The Day of the Fight, a study of a prizefighter in the last hours before entering the ring. The idea struck him as just fine for a movie and, with the financial and artistic help of friends, Stanley quit his job and made a one-reel actuality move called The Day of the Fight which R.K.O. bought for considerably more than the $5,000 the project cost. The company then gave him an assignment last summer to make a one-reel documentary about the flying priest of the southwest, the Rev. Fred Stadtmueller, who uses a Piper Cub plane to minister spiritually to a flock spread out over vast distances in New Mexico from his parish in the town of Mosquero.

Angel Bait
The Day of the Fight not only impressed the people at R.K.O. Pathe, but it also encouraged Martin Perveler, a Los Angeles druggist and a family friend of the Kubricks, to organize a syndicate to finance Stanley in his first feature-film attempt. Mr. Perveler himself put up most of the $50,000, Stanley says.

If you think Stanley is nervous about the prospect of starting filming on his picture, as yet untitled in March, then you are sadly mistaken. With the collaboration of a friend, a 21-year-old poet name Howard Sackler, Stanley has developed a story about four soldiers in a battle who are trapped behind enemy lines. He describes his drama as a "study of four men and their search for the meaning of life and the individual's responsibility to the group."

Stanley says he has figured out every camera angle and that after he finds the proper location "in some wooded area of southern California" shooting should run smoothly and be concluded in fifteen to twenty-one days. He will bring four professional "but not known name actors" out to the coast from Broadway, and, because Stanley himself is not yet a member of the movie camera men's union, he will engage a professional cinematographer. The one requirement is that the cameraman must agree in advance to follow the blueprint laid out by Stanley, who will direct and produce the film.

An adventuresome young man? Yes. But one who apparently knows his way around.

The New York Times, January 14, 1951

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