Directed by Stanley Kubrick • 1953 • United States
Starring Frank Silvera, Kenneth Harp, Paul Mazursky
Virtually unseen for decades after its theatrical premiere in 1953, FEAR AND DESIRE was the ambitious first feature by legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. An existential war film often compared with the director’s later masterpieces PATHS OF GLORY and FULL METAL JACKET, FEAR AND DESIRE follows a squad of soldiers who have crash-landed behind enemy lines and must work their way downriver to rejoin their unit. Before making their escape, the soldiers determine the location of an enemy base and formulate a plot to assassinate its commanding officer. Though Kubrick expressed dissatisfaction with the film and attempted to destroy all copies of it, FEAR AND DESIRE thankfully survives as a fascinating first glimpse of a master in the making.