Fear and Desire
Fear and Desire (1953)

Legendary director Stanley Kubrick made his feature debut with this allegorical drama about war. Four soldiers whose plane has crashed discover they're behind enemy lines in an unnamed country. Desperate to escape, they decide to build… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: April 1, 1953
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2013
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Critic Score: 83% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Tim Grierson
Village Voice

Treat it like a wobbly, precocious demo from a 24-year-old with mighty aspirations, filled with hints of what he would become, and you'll be properly enthralled.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

Kubrick does show some brash invention and a yearning to experiment with angles.

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Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

For all its heavy-handed gloom and stylistic unevenness, Fear and Desire has a certain fierceness that's hard to shake.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

If Fear and Desire is uneven and sometimes reveals an experimental rather than a polished exterior, its over-all effect is entirely worthy of the sincere effort put into it.

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Henry Northmore
The List

It's an unconventional but compelling film as four soldiers find themselves trapped behind enemy lines during an unspecified war.

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Fernando F. Croce

Kubrick's lugubrious, arresting, disavowed feature debut

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

A dismal expression of a lousy script... every bit the work of a young kid with lots of ideas and no clue what to do with them.

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Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Although some visuals are striking chiaroscuro, the film still comes across as tyro self-conscious, a belaboring of theme by one not yet sure of his art.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Its sole distinction is that it's a Kubrick film.

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More reviews for Fear and Desire

Flixster Audience Score: 37% Flixster User Reviews
Jonathan Hutchings
Kubrick's first (and little seen) feature is clunky and mishandled. It's fair to see that he loathed this film and did his best to keep it out of… More
Ben Pieper
"It's better to roll up your life into one night and one man and one gun." - Sgt. Mac (Frank Silvera) in Fear and Desire Stanley Kubrick… More
Devon Bott
Stanley Kubrick's first feature film is also his least seen, mainly because until Kubrick's death, the film had been locked away in the vaults at his… More
Walter M.
In Fear and Desire," four soldiers are shot down behind enemy lines and crash land in an unnamed war. Lieutenant Corby(Kenneth Harp) proposes building a… More
Michael Gildea
I saw this ten years ago and I remember not being impressed. You could easily tell it was Kubrick's first film, but his technique was poking out. I was… More
Dillon Lupky
Somewhat confusing and emotionally distant, the only truly unique or interesting thing about this film is that it was Stanley Kubrick's first (and probably… More