Johns Hopkins University Press
  • “A Monstrously Difficult Subject”: Stanley Kubrick’s Aryan Papers (1991–1993)

While Stanley Kubrick long sought to make a film about World War II and the Holocaust, he never succeeded. He came very close in his attempt to adapt Louis Begley’s Wartime Lies as Aryan Papers between 1991 and 1993. Combining the latest insights in the emerging field of Kubrick Studies, specifically into Kubrick’s Jewishness, with the newly available archival material deposited in the Stanley Kubrick Archive at the University of Arts London, this article explores the pre-production of Aryan Papers before considering why it was never realized and then tentatively suggesting, in the absence of any shot footage, how it may have looked.

Stanley Kubrick was obsessed with all things German. Whether this was because he was a Jew growing up in the post-Holocaust era or because of his marriage to Christiane Harlan, the niece of the director of the notoriously antisemitic Jud Süß (dir. Veit Harlan, 1940), or both, we cannot precisely know. But Harlan’s family background had a major influence on Kubrick. Her uncle had been a Nazi filmmaker—Kubrick watched all his films and even met him. Her parents were cultured performers. Born in New York in 1928, Kubrick grew up as Hitler rose to power in Germany and as the war raged in Europe. An awareness of the war was something he was familiar with: fifteen years old in 1943, he was surely alert to Allied advances, German defeats, and the fate of the Jews. The radio in his home gave constant updates, and war remained a topic of conversation in his family. “I’ve never seen a history of Nazi Germany I didn’t like,” he said.1

Kubrick’s preproduction research was legendary and exhaustive. Over previous films, he had mastered a diverse range of topics including nuclear disarmament, the space race, Napoleon, and the Vietnam War, and his research for Aryan Papers was no different. Kubrick’s interest in history, as well as where we were headed as a species, is firmly grounded in his approach to filmmaking as a New York Jewish Intellectual, as discussed by Nathan Abrams.2 In some ways, Kubrick’s research for his Holocaust film was more intense and lasted longer because he took such a personal interest in the topic and had been considering making a movie on the topic for such a long [End Page 79] time. Kubrick ordered and watched videotapes of documentaries on the Second World War, the Nazis, and antisemitism, as well as copies of news-reel and archive footage from the 1930s and 1940s. Feature films of Polish, Czech, Danish, German, Russian, and American origin with subject matter largely oriented around the Second World War and its consequences on the everyday life of places occupied by the Third Reich.3 His personal library contained hundreds of books on the topic.

But this research failed to translate into a concrete project. For decades, Kubrick struggled to make a film about the Second World War and, more specifically, the Holocaust. It has even been suggested that his interest was sparked as early as his time between 1945 and 1950 as a rookie photographer for Look magazine when “Henry Koerner’s eyewitness account of the persecution of the Jews, the horror of the concentration camps, and the devastation of the bombed-out cities more than likely had sown the first seeds of a film project” about the Holocaust.4 Such a topic, however, understandably presented obvious logistical problems but also clashed with Kubrick’s long-held refusal to confront Jewish issues directly and head-on. How would a director who famously wrote the Jewish characters out of his screenplays only to reinsert them in a subtextual fashion tackle a film specifically about the persecution and extermination of Jews? Indeed, he had talked about the problems involved in it with many of the writers he had worked with on his other films: Diane Johnson, Michael Herr, David Cornwell (John Le Carré), and Riccardo Aragno, but he failed to find a way to channel everything he had read and studied into a single story. Kubrick told Michael Herr that Raul Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews (1961) was “monumental” and “that, probably, what he most wanted to make was a film about the Holocaust, but good luck in getting all that into a two- hour movie.”5 He approached various individuals, like Isaac Bashevis Singer, but to no avail. His search intensified following The Shining (1980) and Full Metal Jacket (1987) when his interests included such topics relating to the Second World War as Josef Goebbels’s propaganda machine, the film industry in Germany during the Third Reich, the brilliance of the British codebreakers, intrigue within the British Intelligence Service, and the Holocaust. After years of looking for a suitable story to adapt, the search ended on January 3, 1991, when, through Michael Herr, Elisabeth Sifton at Knopf sent Kubrick the bound galleys of Louis Begley’s Wartime Lies five months before its release. Begley’s semi-autobiographical story of the struggle for survival of a young Jewish boy and his aunt in Nazi-occupied Poland struck Kubrick as the ideal story and starting point for his Holocaust project.6

By July 1991, Kubrick began assembling the necessary components to pitch Wartime Lies as his next project and to obtain the necessary backing. He asked Warner Brothers, the studio that had been financing his films since A Clockwork Orange (1971), to option the rights (which they still own today) and set about working on the screenplay by himself. He tasked the host of readers he employed with undertaking “Polish research.”7 Kubrick kept his preparations secret and confined to his inner circle (even his readers did [End Page 80] not know who they were working for), which included his brother-in-law Jan Harlan and his son-in-law, Philip Hobbs, as co-producers; his assistant, Tony Frewin; Roy Walker, who was hired as production designer; and Terry Semel and Eric Senat at Warner Bros. To them, he added Chris Brook as director of photography and Barbara Baum as costume designer. Work on the screenplay, locations, casting, and extensive preproduction was proceeding smoothly towards a Fall 1993 start date for the shooting until November 1993, when the project, now entitled, Aryan Papers, was abruptly put on indefinite hold, and then, on November 15, it was officially announced that A.I. Artificial Intelligence was set to be Kubrick’s next project.

Kubrick, however, was consistently unable to confront the Holocaust directly, and this project was no different, as he could not bring himself to complete his Holocaust film. It was, in his words, “a monstrously difficult subject,” which had depressed him too deeply.8 Whether this was because it made him confront his own status as a Jew, the darkness in his wife’s family’s history, or the logistical issues, Aryan Papers would have been Kubrick’s only film to feature more than one explicitly Jewish character for which there was no precedence — or because Warner Brothers, his backers, asked him not to, we will ultimately never know. In exploring Kubrick’s attempt to adapt Wartime Lies, this article will draw upon the latest insights in the emerging field of Kubrick Studies. Specifically, it will utilize, but also add to, the growing work on Kubrick’s Jewishness, as well as the “new historical turn,” which is based on exploiting material now deposited in the Stanley Kubrick Archive (SKA) at the University of Arts London.9

Why Wartime Lies?

Louis Begley’s semi-autobiographical novel was based on his own life story. Born Ludwik Begleiter in 1933 in Styrj, Poland, Begley survived the Holocaust before emigrating to the United States in 1947. After attending prestigious private schools and Harvard College, as well as serving in the military and being stationed for some time in Goppingen, he studied at Harvard Law School. By the time he published Wartime Lies, he had a career as a brilliant lawyer specializing in international joint ventures and was a partner in the prestigious firm of Debevoise & Plimpton in New York.

Wartime Lies follows a young boy named Maciek, the son of a fully assimilated respectable Jewish doctor in the Polish town of T, as he grows up in a Jewish family in Nazi-occupied Poland. Maciek, along with his beautiful aunt Tania, assumes a Catholic identity to obtain their “Aryan papers”— forged identity documents that Jews hiding in Nazi-occupied Europe had to obtain to prove their non-Jewish origins—to evade Nazi persecution by hiding in plain sight. Maciek conceals his circumcised penis—lest he fails the “trouser test”—and even considers a skin graft, while Tania pretends to be a prostitute. Maciek takes communion and studies scripture with a pastor, while Tania leads a group huddled in a cellar singing Polish hymns to [End Page 81] the Virgin. Understandably frightened, and enduring hardship, they travel from city to city to avoid being caught and eventually come to work as black marketeers in a remote peasant village. They survive owing to a combination of chutzpah, sheer luck, and a gift for deceit, pretense, and mimicry. Lying is so key to his survival that Maciek loses his sense of self, which is a core theme of the novel itself.

The novel’s first-person, intimate, and contemplative tone presented a possible way to make a two-hour Holocaust film, and, as a piece of fiction, it offered more possibilities than a factual account. It also appealed on other levels. As Marat Grinberg has written, “Begley’s prose is devoid of any pathos in presenting the picture of the mundane hell of survival, interspersed with ruminations on Dante’s Inferno.”10 Kubrick was also attracted to its notion of the fallibility and perishability of memory and its characters as “adepts of fraudulence,” in the words of Frederic Raphael, who collaborated on Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999).11 Raphael added: “Its routines of evasive deception must have appealed to Stanley; he maintained his unique standing in the movies by the creation of an elusive persona who no one, not even studio heads, cared (or, finally, dared) to challenge.”12 Given that the story was mostly about Jews masquerading as gentiles, these elements of disguise and concealment offered Kubrick a way to avoid having to deal with Jewishness explicitly—something he successfully achieved over his entire career, Eyes Wide Shut notwithstanding. Kubrick deliberately and systematically erased overt Jewishness from his source material. He repeatedly removed Jewish characters from his screenplays, including The Killing (1956), Paths of Glory (1957), Spartacus (1960), Lolita (1962), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), and Full Metal Jacket (1987).

Religion, specifically Catholicism, had also featured in Kubrick’s work from his photography and earliest documentaries through to Full Metal Jacket. The Stanley Kubrick Archive contains a series of reviews of Wartime Lies that Kubrick read and annotated. They also provide some insight into what appealed to him about the novel and how he was thinking of adapting it. In a June 1991 review by Janet Malcolm in the New York Review of Books, for example, he highlighted the following sentence, “What happens to a child’s soul when he lives his childhood in constant fear for his life and witnesses atrocities that no child should know of, no less witness?”13 Further highlighting revealed a fascination with the character and temperament of Tania who acts as a surrogate mother to Maciek whose Oedipal wishes appear to have been fulfilled as a result. Kubrick was well-read in the work of Sigmund Freud, whose many themes and motifs had been included in his previous films, and, as Geoffrey Cocks points out, Begley drew “extensively on Freud to describe the heavily charged Oedipal scenario of a young boy living alone and being protected by his audacious and courageous aunt Tania, who had always been his surrogate mother, replacing the real mother who had died giving him birth.”14 As with both sides of Kubrick’s family—the Kubricks and the Pervelers—Maciek’s family are prosperous and distinguished assimilated Jews; Maciek is the son of a doctor and hails from [End Page 82] Galicia just like Kubrick’s father and his relatives. Finally, the horror of the Holocaust as refracted through the prism of the fairy tale story of survival also appealed to Kubrick.

Story Development

Kubrick commenced work on the development of a film treatment, working on the screenplay alone, something he had done on only three previous occasions for his projects—Napoleon, A Clockwork Orange, and Barry Lyndon. In his pre-release copy of the novel, he annotated the margins, scribbling down his initial ideas wondering whether to narrate the movie from the perspective of Tania or Maciek. His notes contained more than just questions about the narrative, dates, and possible endings but also included considerations of characters, casting, props, and costumes. Kubrick’s notes reveal that he aimed to depict the nine key characters as they appear in a “pampered comfortable childhood sequence” before attempting to “show the mild bureaucracy leading to murder.”15 At this stage, as he wrote down, he was not sure whether to show “immediate random cruelty and killings” or to build suspense by showing how “relatively peaceful” some places were in the first days of occupation. By August 20, 1991, he had completed the first draft. Others soon followed, aided by correspondence with Louis Begley in September 1991 to confirm story points and areas of historical accuracy.16 Significantly, Kubrick never communicated with Begley directly, leaving this task up to Jan Harlan. On a fax from Begley to Harlan, dated August 31, 1991, Kubrick wrote: “Does the book read as if the story is told by a 9-year-old, or by a grown Maciek? The film will have to have a more objective reality.”17 Begley answers the question by writing back, “Maciek’s understanding of the actions of grownups is limited. The lack of an omniscient narrator leads to a sort of child’s logic.”18 By February 1992, Kubrick’s breakdown of the novel led him to conclude that he could not tell the story purely from Maciek’s viewpoint. He wanted to include more dramatic elements, revealing events that Maciek had not witnessed firsthand, including some sexual material.19 By June 1992, Kubrick had developed a 126-page draft treatment, including some camera annotations scribbled in the margins, as he began to think about turning the screenplay into a film.20

Kubrick did not stray far from the novel’s structure, sticking closely to what he would have described as Begley’s “beats,” meaning the rhythm of the text. But, as he had done with all his adaptations from The Killing onward, Kubrick removed many of the novel’s scant specific references to Judaism, and in only a few cases added to them. Significantly, Tania joins the partisans, telling them, “I have never particularly thought of myself as a Jew, but now I know I am. Hitler taught me that. I’m tired of running like a frightened animal. I want to join you.”21 In becoming a resistance fighter and participating in undercover missions during which she exposes a Nazi collaborator, Tania defies the stereotypical image of the Jewish victim. In [End Page 83] later treatments, however, these elements were pruned. Kubrick’s October 5, 1992, 126-page treatment included 208 scenes, one of which was an epilogue in which Maciek and Tania are rescued by Jewish partisans and, in what appears to be a strongly Zionist ending, make Aliyah.22 “Their ordeal finally ended in 1948 when they reached the new state of Israel [ . . . ] They were then free to pick up the pieces of their lives. The End,” Kubrick wrote.23

By April 14, 1993, the length of the draft remained the same but now contained 256 scenes. Kubrick had penned the following prologue:

The Final Solution, Hitler’s plan to systematically kill Europe’s ten million Jews, was initiated in the summer of 1941.

Though it was given the highest priority there were still many practical problems to solve in order to find the shortest way to kill so many people.

But the ingenuity and resourcefulness of German bureaucracy were put to work and factory-efficient death camps were built where thousands of Jews would arrive on a train in the morning and be gassed and cremated by afternoon; their clothes and belongings sorted, their hair shorn, their gold teeth pulled, and the killing mess washed away not to alarm the next arrivals.

When the war ended six million Jews had been killed.

The outside world did remarkably little about this, the Allies even refusing to bomb the few railway lines the Germans depended on to maintain the flow of victims to the death camps.

Thus it was left to every Jew to survive as best as they could.24

This version ends in 1945 with an epilogue in a forest somewhere in Poland. The reference to Israel has been dropped. With every new draft, Kubrick never departed or differed significantly from Begley’s book, other than suggesting that events were not to be narrated in the first-person voice of Maciek. Kubrick, though, did give more presence to the character of Tania, who, at times, developed into a more dominant character than Maciek, possibly because of the need of the lead actor to bear the weight of the acting in the film.


Kubrick was committed to authenticity as befitting a director who had meticulously recreated the interior of a B-52 bomber in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), the view of Earth from outer space in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), eighteenth-century interiors and exteriors in Barry Lyndon (1975), and the bombed-out city of Hue (in then-South Vietnam) in Full Metal Jacket (1987). Ever since the 1950s, especially with his film noir, Killer’s Kiss (1955), Kubrick expressed a desire for cinematic realism. And when it came to the war genre, Kubrick was convinced that the movies never really treated war with genuine realism. By contrast, his war (and other) movies were praised for their authenticity. While he favored [End Page 84] voiceover narration, little dialogue, and a documentary-visual style combined with maps, his approach was flexible enough to abandon documentary for the dramatic (and even melodramatic at times) and the artistic in his depiction of history.

Realism and authenticity guided Kubrick’s thinking when engaged in the pre-production for Aryan Papers and would have been at the movie’s core, especially in the need to get the details right. Kubrick, for example, insisted on original uniforms that were almost impossible to obtain at times, at least not in the quantity he required, but which were sourced in London, Vienna, Munich, and Berlin. His Production Manager, Philip Hobbs, was tasked with finding 1,000 Mauser rifles, as well as Schmeisser submachine guns, MG 34s and MG 42s, and numerous Soviet, German, and Polish artillery. Such particulars were important to his vision of representing war and history with realism and authenticity. Among the many books he read on the subject were two editions of George Markham’s Guns of the Reich: Firearms of the German Forces, 1939–1945 published in 1989 and 1991 respectively.

The desire for realism guided his search for suitable and authentic locations. Despite having reproduced the war-torn South Vietnamese city of Hue in a disused London gasworks, complete with transplanting palm trees for Full Metal Jacket, Kubrick never considered making his Holocaust film in England. Why not is a question that has yet to be fully answered, but surely one of the reasons for this was the lack of authentic locations required in Britain, hence why continental Europe was more desirable than British cities. A second reason was that Kubrick required Maciek’s role for a longer period than was allowed for child actors by unions in the United Kingdom. Together, these considerations necessitated a search for locations in continental Europe, so Kubrick instructed Philip Hobbs to gather research on film studios in the Netherlands.25 So important was the project to him, that Kubrick even took the unusual step of leaving England—something he rarely did—with Jan Harlan and his erstwhile assistant, Leon Vitali, to look at the Dutch locations himself. Harlan was later sent to scout locations in Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia, where hundreds of photographs of locations were taken because Kubrick wanted a central-European look for his Holocaust film—something that was unattainable in the UK. Kubrick also sent his assistants around continental Europe to take photos of the towns and villages described in the book and studied the style and architecture of buildings and interiors of the period with his art director, Roy Walker. In Berlin, Austria, and Potsdam, for example, hundreds of photographs of locations were taken.26 Given that in the years after World War II and during his planning for the film, European cities would have been completely rebuilt, Kubrick had to discover places whose architecture remained intact.

Following Spielberg’s decision to shoot Schindler’s List (1993) in Central and Eastern Europe, Kubrick dispatched Harlan and Hobbs to scout for locations and studios in the region directly inspired by the younger director’s decision. They concentrated their efforts in the cities of Brno and Bratislava, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia respectively, with Kubrick flip-flopping [End Page 85] between the two locations.27 This was where the scenes that take place in Maciek and Tania’s hometown—now renamed Nikolaev in Kubrick’s script rather than “T” as in Begley’s novel—were to be shot. Eventually, Kubrick settled on the cities of Brno, Bratislava, and Prague, and negotiations on locations, film permits, and technical requirements commenced with the relevant Czech and Slovak authorities and companies. Harlan arranged deals with local authorities to be able to undertake location shooting, including an extensive and costly deal with the Brno city council to close the center for one weekend and recreate Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Nazi flags were to be placed on buildings and authentic 1940s trams were to be borrowed from a local museum. Indoor scenes were to be shot in a film studio in Bratislava.28


As the locations were being finalized and Kubrick was working on the script, he was also in the process of casting. Understanding why Kubrick cast for certain roles is a black hole in studies of his films. He left few casting notes and was not always forthcoming in interviews about his reasoning. Consequently, in their absence, scholars, critics, and fans fill the gaps with their own speculations. However, on a sticky note on a folder labelled “Jewish Partisan Woman,” Kubrick wrote, “Top actors for every part.”29 Along these lines, Kubrick’s initial thoughts about who should play the lead role of Tania contained a mixture of well-known Hollywood, British, and Eastern European actors. But early in the process, his preference for the lead was either Uma Thurman or Julia Roberts.30 By December 1992, however, Kubrick changed his mind and approached the lesser-known Dutch actress Johanna Ter Steege.31 Born in May 1961, she had featured in various movies but was most familiar to audiences for her role in George Sluzier’s 1988 film The Vanishing. Kubrick watched all her films several times and perhaps was drawn to what Janet Maslin described as “a radiant and compelling figure” whose “unaffected loveliness” and “captivating warmth” was captured by Ter Steege in The Vanishing.32 “He was convinced that he had found an actress whose performance would catapult a new star to the forefront of international stardom and give this dark and serious film the needed ‘gloss’,” Jan Harlan said of Ter Steege.33

For the role of her nephew, Maciek, Kubrick wanted Joseph Mazzello. Born in September 1983, in Rhinebeck, and raised in Hyde Park, New York, he had first appeared in a small role in Presumed Innocent, in 1990, starring Harrison Ford. He then went on to appear in Radio Flyer, Jersey Girl, and the TV film Desperate Choices: To Save My Child in 1992. But his big breakthrough was his casting as Tim Murphy in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993). Mazzello had the Spielberg imprimatur, and having met and auditioned Mazzello, Kubrick was convinced he was “perfect for the role as well as polite, intelligent, and calm, which were three indispensable qualities in his opinion,” his right-hand man, Emilio D’Alessandro, recalled.34 The consideration [End Page 86] here seemed to be less about performance than about the character of the child actor with whom he was required to work.

In terms of the other roles, there is less information. Kubrick had Heritage Films in Warsaw send him screen tests they had done for Schindler’s List. He considered casting Armin Mueller-Stahl as a German officer, even though he was too old to play the part. Steven Berkoff, the Jewish actor who had appeared in A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon, says he was offered a role, but which role exactly is not known. Undoubtedly, Kubrick would have hired locals as extras.

It is significant how few of these choices were Jewish. But then Kubrick had never cast for an explicitly Jewish role up to this point in his career, possibly because of commercial considerations. More than just an intellectual, Kubrick wanted his material to be mainstream. A serious filmmaker, as well as a businessman and later a producer, he felt constrained by the need to make a commercial return on his films. His initial desire for a big-name and non-Jewish star for Aryan Papers may well have been the result of profit imperatives guided by his backers at Warner Bros., as it was not imperative for a Holocaust movie.

“Holocaust, The Movie”

What would this film have looked like and what sort of detail about the genocide would it have contained? Was Aryan Papers going to be about the Nazi extermination of the Jews? Looking at the source text and draft screenplays, we can draw several conclusions. There is what one might describe as an element of typical Kubrick avoidance, as well as something resonant, in taking the story of a Jew passing as a gentile, thus avoiding direct treatment of Jewishness and Judaism. In terms of the mechanics of the extermination, the film was to feature epic scenes of the Jewish ghettos in Warsaw being cleared, with Kubrick using aerial filming, as well as a mass shooting with graphic scenes of mass rape. “They raped them publicly, singly, in groups, on the ground, leaning them against broken walls of houses. Some women were made to kneel, soldiers holding them from the back by the hair, their gaping mouths entered by penis after penis.”35

A Kubrick screenplay, however, only tells us so much. One of the reasons for this is that it was typically changed during shooting, owing to rehearsals, improvisations, and other factors unaccounted for in the pre-production process. It is by no means a blueprint and typically did not contain much information on cinematography (although, as noted above, the treatment dated June 12, 1992, did include some scribbled camera annotations36), and, most importantly, music was essential to Kubrick’s aesthetic, particularly his use of preexisting rather than new compositions. There was the consideration of voiceover narration, as had been featured in many of Kubrick’s films, as well as newsreels, and maps to depict the Anschluss and German advance into Sudetenland and Poland. [End Page 87]

To gain further insight, we can also look to the past for clues, and these are presented by Kubrick’s proposed but never realized Napoleon project. Kubrick explained to Joseph Gelmis in 1970 how he planned to return to the use of a narrator, and even animation or charts, to illustrate and explain the battle tactics and campaigns for his abortive Napoleon script for the film that was to follow 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 but was shelved soon after.37 He had, by that point, directed two war movies—Paths of Glory and Spartacus— both historical films that respected realism but also manifested his elision of direct Jewish references. The latter was noted, in 1960, for its brutality, and many scenes were cut in the original release version only to be restored in 1991. Kubrick had also rejected earlier offers to direct a Spanish Civil War epic, a biography of Simón Bolívar, and a biopic of the life of Oliver Cromwell.38 In rejecting them, he had written to MGM’s Ron Lubin that “representing a broad panorama of history has always proved to be the undoing of film makers.”39 He recommended that such a movie must have voiceover narration, little dialogue, and a “documentary visual style.”40 He added that “costume war scenes tend to look like so many extras thoughtlessly dressed on a beautiful hill [ . . . ] the thing that usually makes movie battles idiotic is that the terrain is senseless. Almost all battles are shaped and finally decided by the terrain itself.”41 Narration, little dialogue, documentary visual style, and terrain were all central concerns for Kubrick’s vision of the Holocaust in Aryan Papers.

Kubrick’s notes on the Napoleon screenplay offer further hints. The massacre of 3,000 captured Turkish soldiers at Jaffa on March 7, 1799, caught Kubrick’s attention when he read it in Felix Markham’s 1963 biography of the emperor, Napoleon. He noted that this event seemed like a “good scene,” and wondered how a mass shooting of this kind could have been managed from a purely logistical point of view.42 In subsequent conversations with Markham, Kubrick grilled the historian about the size of the task involved in killing three thousand men: “How do you suppose he did it? I mean, was it done methodically, or was it just ‘run amok,’ or [ . . . ] how was it done?”43 In addition to the mechanics, Kubrick wanted to know if the soldiers knew they were going to be shot and requested from Markham “a lot of details.”44 Kubrick displayed a morbid fascination with the technicalities, and a version of this event found its way into his Napoleon, which, according to Eva-Marie Magel, “provide[d] a very explicit, indeed cynical picture” in keeping with Kubrick’s approach of juxtaposing extreme violence with “macabre, cool, almost playful elements of comedy.”45 Although this screenplay was written some two decades before Aryan Papers, the discussion and interest in the logistics of mass killing provide some insight into how Kubrick would have approached this in his own Holocaust film.

We can also look at his completed films. This is illustrated in Full Metal Jacket where production designer Anton Furst recalled:

We saw about 6,000 photographs of the Vietnam War. We took what we thought were the most powerful images with the most impact. For instance, when the squad went into the burned-out city of Hue, we had every building [End Page 88] on fire. That was probably an exaggeration. We had seen some shots where it looked like everything was on fire. We weren’t going for complete historical accuracy. So we built sculptural images and lit that whole section of the film with available light and fire. We didn’t want blue skies. If the sun came out, Stanley didn’t shoot. It was supposed to be the image of hell.46

Despite the extent of the research to recreate an authentic Vietnam, realism was subsumed by the need to produce a heightened image of spectacle as a key component of Kubrick’s realist photographic aesthetic. As Jan Harlan said of Aryan Papers, “Stanley was not interested in a documentary. He wanted a dramatic and artistic depiction of the lowest point in human history.”47 But at the same time, he described Kubrick’s screenplay thus: “It is not a drama that is over-the-top and has lots of action. It is a very silent film, a very serious film. The tension is in this horrendous, low valley of humanity that existed because of the Nazis.”48

That Kubrick admired the sixteen-hour German television serial about a small town during the Third Reich, Heimat, which aired in 1984, is telling, and may have guided his thinking about cinematography.49 Jan Harlan recalled how Kubrick was impressed by how the story had been told and how its director, Edgar Reitz, had convincingly conveyed the mise en scene without special effects.50 Heimat provided a model for a cost-effective yet credible recreation of history so key to Kubrick’s historical realist vision. Kubrick kept a still image taken from Heimat that he especially liked: an image of a coffin standing in the street in the rain. What was appealing about this image is not known, but it is a ghostly, spectral, and haunting black and white image, suggesting more than it reveals: the loneliness of extermination; the Jews on their own, unprotected, dead in the rain, un-mourned, and unwanted. As photographer Diane Arbus, who took a rookie Kubrick under her wing, said, “a photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells the less you know.”51 We can hear an echo of this in Kubrick’s explanation, “I think for a movie or play to say anything really truthful about life, it has to do so very obliquely, so as to avoid all pat conclusions and neatly tied up ideas.”52 On the recommendation of Reitz, Kubrick hired Heimat’s designer and set dresser, Fritz Bauer, who would have achieved this blend of the realist with the dramatic.

Kubrick was also a fan of director Krzysztof Kieślowski’s ten-part series for Polish Television on the Ten Commandments, released in 1988 and 1989. Each episode is based on one of the Ten Commandments; Dekalog wove narratives of loss, blunders, missteps, human frailty, and missed opportunities in its moody and melancholic reflections. Each episode of the Dekalog is tightly framed, and, while there is much dialogue, it is pointed and poignant, spoken without melodrama, understated, as is the complex morality that undergirds each of the episodes. Kieślowski’s visual style and use of color relieved the potential claustrophobia of the films, which take place in and around a huge apartment block in Warsaw. Kubrick recognized the emotion latent in the Dekalog and wrote a preface to the published screenplay by Kieślowski and his coauthor, Krzysztof Piesiewicz: [End Page 89]

Figure 1. A ghostly, spectral, and haunting black and white image taken from Heimat (Edgar Reitz, 1984) that Kubrick kept.
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Figure 1.

A ghostly, spectral, and haunting black and white image taken from Heimat (Edgar Reitz, 1984) that Kubrick kept.

I am always reluctant to single out some particular feature of the work of a major filmmaker because it tends inevitably to simplify and reduce the work. But in this book of screenplays by Krzysztof Kieslowski and his co-author, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, it should not be out of place to observe that they have the very rare ability to dramatize their ideas rather than just talking about them. By making their points through the dramatic action of the story they gain the added power of allowing the audience to discover what’s really going on rather than being told. They do this with such dazzling skill, you never see the ideas coming and don’t realize until much later how profoundly they have reached your heart.53

It was a rare occasion that Kubrick undertook such writing outside of his films, and he did it at precisely the same time as he was embarking on Aryan Papers, suggesting Kieslowski’s conciseness and concentrated, implied emotion was a key cinematic influence on Kubrick.

These two series pointed to the minimalist, almost journalistic, Kafka-esque style that had guided Kubrick’s other movies, most explicitly The Shining (1980). Kubrick was especially attracted to what he called Kafka’s “almost journalistic” accounts of the grotesque inherence of horror in the [End Page 90] quotidian, and like Kafka’s works, his films consistently combined irony, the absurd, the uncanny, elements of surrealism, and black humor that undercut his simultaneous insistence on realism—all consistent features of Kubrick’s cinema and central to the works of Kafka.54

Here we must also remember Kubrick’s beginnings as a photographer because a photographic aesthetic permeated his work. As Djana Metlić has pointed out, his “cinematic style was undoubtedly shaped during the years he spent as a staff photographer at Look.”55 And Pratap Rughani argues that the Stanley Kubrick Archive demonstrates Kubrick’s interest in how the Vietnam War was culturally processed not only in photography but also news and documentary footage, including the 1980 CBS TV mini-series A Rumor of War.56 Photographer Philip Jones Griffiths’s 1971 Vietnam Inc. was an important source for Kubrick. Kubrick even cut eighty-five pages out of Vietnam Inc. as a reference for source imagery, just as he did with the artwork featured in Barry Lyndon. The pages focused on the soldiers when not in battle, on women and children around the US presence, and, above all, the impact of the war on civilian life and the extent of Vietnamese casualties.

No doubt Aryan Papers would have drawn heavily on wartime and documentary footage, striving for realism. Indeed, as noted above, Kubrick’s October 1922 treatment contained the word “stock,” indicating that he intended to use documentary stock footage sequences throughout the movie.57 As Marat Grinberg has written, “The treatments reveal his deep engagement with the history and dilemmas of representing the Holocaust on screen, such as the inclusion and purpose of documentary footage of the atrocities, an issue central to A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket, which Kubrick might have learned from Sam Fuller’s Verboten! (1959).”58 Yet, at the same time, Kubrick was, in general, ambiguous about cinematic “realism,” which was never as important for Kubrick as the perfect image. Jack Nicholson reports that Kubrick told him, “In movies you don’t try and photograph the reality [. . .] you try and photograph the photograph of the reality.”59 He told Mathew Modine while filming Full Metal Jacket, “real is good; interesting is better.”60 After all, in his early career as a photojournalist, his job was to make the real interesting, to turn what there is in the world into something unusual within the photographic frame. And although he admired the style and methodology of the Hollywood studios, none of Kubrick’s films fits comfortably into the confines of the conventional style of Hollywood realism with its transparent editing; its eye-level, rarely moving camera; its neutral color palette; and its dependence on over-the-shoulder cutting for simple dialogue scenes.

Thus, as Grinberg, one of the few scholars to have considered the aesthetic of Aryan Papers, points out,

In preparation for Aryan Papers, Kubrick was poring over, cutting from books, and copying hundreds and hundreds of reproductions of photos dealing with the Holocaust and pre-war life. The entire film was meant to have the look of a photograph, the defining art of the twentieth century, of which he was a supreme practitioner and the primary means by which we [End Page 91] have come to view the Holocaust. Like Full Metal Jacket, which presented “Vietnam, the movie” by replicating much of the Vietnam-era photography and film journalist footage, Aryan Papers would have been “Holocaust, the movie.”61

Grinberg shows that while realism and authenticity would have underpinned the mise en scene in terms of style and aesthetic, in Aryan Papers, Kubrick would have photographed the photograph of the reality to produce something interesting, something better than just real. It is significant, then, in this respect that Kubrick was planning to shoot over the winter months, as the lack of sunlight would have had a significant impact on the look of the film, giving it a darker and colder feel, more in keeping with the black and white photography of Holocaust-era film and still pictures. Yet, Kubrick was not going to shoot the film in black and white.62

Reasons for Failure

The main reason cited for the failure of Aryan Papers was the prospect of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List looming on the horizon. As Kubrick was dithering over the preproduction minutiae of the screenplay, locations, casting, and even when and where to shoot his film, Schindler’s List went into production on March 1, 1993, in Krakow, Poland. By November, influenced by the enormous amount of publicity ahead of Schindler’s List’s release in the United States later that month, Kubrick decided to suspend work on the project indefinitely. “We were still shuffling index cards,” Kubrick’s assistant Tony Frewin told Vice.63 Kubrick, who had seen Oliver Stone’s Platoon (1986) come out just before Full Metal Jacket, was concerned about having his Holocaust picture and Spielberg’s being released so close together. Kubrick and Warner Bros. decided that it was a poor business decision to follow Schindler’s List with a similar topic. Jan Harlan feels it was Terry Semel, then co-chief of Warner Bros. who, aware of the problems of preproduction, suggested that Kubrick abandon Aryan Papers. Kubrick was also under pressure from Warner Bros. to be more commercially viable.64 For his part, super-agent Michael Ovitz claims credit: “I knew there was room for only one Holocaust film; two would dilute the box office and spark unfortunate comparisons [and] ‘The Aryan Papers’ wasn’t as good—or as commercial— as ‘Schindler’s List.’ It had no complex protagonist, no Oskar Schindler, for an audience to engage with. And because Stanley took longer than Steven in development, plus forty weeks or more to shoot (roughly twice the norm), he’d be in theaters second, putting him at a major disadvantage.”65 Ovitz claims he told Kubrick that Aryan Papers was also simultaneously too like Schindler’s List and too derivative of Sophie’s Choice, the acclaimed Holocaust film directed by Alan J. Pakula, released in 1982. “It’s just not Kubrick to be unoriginal,” Ovitz has written.66 “Oh, not another Jewish movie about the Holocaust,” he thought.67 [End Page 92]

Although Frederic Raphael claims in his controversial memoir Eyes Wide Open that Kubrick dismissed Schindler’s List by saying it was about “success,” while the Holocaust is about “six million people who get killed,” Kubrick took Spielberg’s film seriously.68 According to his brother-in-law, Jan Harlan, Kubrick thought it was “a tremendous achievement”; “leave it to Steven to make such a dark story palatable,” he is reported to have said.69 Kubrick closely monitored the film’s rollout in the United States where it was doing well.70 When Schindler’s List arrived in the UK in February 1994, he sent Emilio D’Alessandro to count how many people were queuing to see it on the opening weekend before the box office statistics were released: “When I told Stanley what I’d seen, I thought he would be happy to learn that a film dealing with such a delicate subject was so successful. He seemed to be pleased for Steven, but he didn’t ask me as many questions as usual. He didn’t get angry like he had done when Platoon had compromised the release of Full Metal Jacket.”71

There seems to be more at play than simply the competition that Schindler’s List offered, however. As D’Alessandro pointed out, “he hadn’t even started filming Aryan Papers, so it wouldn’t have come out for two or three years. There was no way that Schindler’s List could have been a real problem. Nevertheless, I continued to see a new look of perplexity on his face.”72 It became apparent that Kubrick was having doubts and his indecision was holding up the entire production.73 “Stanley faltered,” D’Alessandro recalled, “Something strange was happening. It was almost as if he didn’t want to start work on the film. I don’t know what it was: perhaps the story, or the fact that he would have to move to [continental] Europe for some of the scenes. Anyway, it was clear that he was not happy about something.”74

We can only speculate as to the state of Kubrick’s mind when he decided to abandon the project, but those close to him do give us an insight (however uncritical it may be). Jan Harlan believes that Kubrick “may have been secretly thankful [ . . . ] as he had found the topic increasingly difficult to face.”75 His widow, Christiane recalled how he became ill as he read up on the detail and studied the photographs.76 “He was also in a state of depression, because he realized it was an impossible film. It’s impossible to direct the Holocaust unless it’s a documentary. If you show the atrocities as they actually happened, it would entail the total destruction of the actors. Stanley said he could not instruct actors how to liquidate others and could not explain the motives for the killing. ‘I will die from this,’ he said, ‘and the actors will die, too, not to mention the audience.’”77 Christiane added, “he felt it just couldn’t be told. ‘If I really want to show what I’ve read and know happened.’ And he read everything. ‘How can I even film it? How can you even pretend it?’ He became very depressed during the preparations and I was very glad when he gave up on it because it was really taking its toll.”78 Kubrick, Christiane says, simply could not bring himself to depict the horrors of the Holocaust on film. “The reason Stanley gave up on it,” Christiane Kubrick said, “is because Steven’s film is about Jews who lived, and just a few. If you tell the whole truth in the film, which is the only way you could [End Page 93] honor all these dead people, and be respectful enough, you would have to tell the whole truth.”79 And that, she concluded, would be “absolutely unsurvivable.”80 She continued to say:

Like most Jewish families, Stanley’s family came from all over that part of the continent. His mother came from Kiev, his father from today’s Romania. There were also relatives from Poland. When Stanley was a young man he would very much have wanted to see all these countries, which was then impossible. The reason he did not do the Holocaust film was quite different. He wanted to be totally informed. Of course, he was informed, most Jews know the story. He had thought about it for a long time. Stanley had had many experiences of anti-Semitism as a journalist in America. He was beaten up as a child. All the typical things—Christian and Jewish gangs. And he feared anti-Semitism. Even professionally. And when he came to the Holocaust story, there was a moment when he realised he could not imagine it at all. He was too frightened, too horrified. And then you have to show it on the screen. And this is why he said he could not make it. He was too scared.81

There was something more to the picture; Kubrick realized that the story was untellable, especially if he wanted to maintain his commitment to historical veracity, authenticity, and realism. As Schindler’s List was “a hard act to follow,” she said, it offered Kubrick a “way out” of a project that was too painful and which, even after the extreme violence of A Clockwork Orange and A Full Metal Jacket, was even too overwhelming, too “monstrous,” for him.

But maybe there was something Christiane failed to understand, despite being the person who came to know Kubrick best throughout their four-decade relationship, and that was how Kubrick’s Jewishness held him back from confronting the very thing he had been contemplating for so long. Conscious avoidance seems to be at work here. Kubrick chose a story in which Jews hide behind Gentile identities. Wartime Lies described how a young Polish Jewish boy avoided extermination by masquerading as a Catholic, just as Redmond O’ Barry passes using faked identity papers in Barry Lyndon. And, as Marat Grinberg has argued, successive iterations of the screenplay progressively diluted its Jewishness, almost entirely scrubbing it away by the final draft. Maybe Kubrick did not make his Holocaust film because direct references to Jews were necessary, something he purposely evaded throughout his filmmaking career. As Jan Harlan said, “If Kubrick was ever afraid of anything, it was to be carried away by those emotions. Maybe deep down that’s why he took so long in his decision to make the film.”82

That Kubrick habitually wrote Jewish characters out of his films was in part due—as he himself indicated—to his desire to appeal to movie audiences, the majority of which were non-Jewish, not to mention his own universalizing modernism. It also almost certainly had to do with his ambivalence and conflict over his own background, both familial and cultural, just like Kafka. Kubrick it seems could not bring himself to insert the word “Jew” in his films. The only certain instance emerges in the epithet “kike” in Full [End Page 94] Metal Jacket. There is a story his daughter Vivian tells. She first chose “Moses Lumpkin” for her screen name as the composer for that film. It “horrified” Kubrick possibly because it sounded “too Jewish.”83

Kubrick’s failure to make a film explicitly about the Holocaust resembled the response of many American Jewish intellectuals of the forties and fifties who did not explicitly address the Holocaust in their work. This silence, or absence, signified a response nevertheless. The impact of the Holocaust registered and is apparent in his films nonetheless. Topics such as Jewish identity, antisemitism, the ability to pass, social ostracism, power and its abuses, the nature of evil, violence, and genocide are approached obliquely, often via analogies and metaphors, if not outright misdirection, sometimes by overt, albeit brief, moments, but which are the very same issues raised by Jewish history, in particular the Shoah.


Kubrick never entirely gave up on his Holocaust film. When, on November 18, 1993, Jan Harlan wrote to Tamara Holoubkova, his contact in Bratislava, to explain there had been a change of plan. “The film will still be made but at this stage I can’t say where and when,” he said.84 Kubrick then got in touch with the Holocaust historian, Raul Hilberg, saying that Spielberg had not made the right film. He even invited Hilberg to his home at Childwickbury but Hilberg declined, saying that he did not have the time. Kubrick suggested Hilberg read the novels of John Dos Passos to see how characters could disappear in the middle of a film and be replaced by other characters, implying that he imagined Aryan Papers as a variation on Dos Passos’s novel U. S. A. (1938), which fused fiction with documentary genres and cinema with literature by making the hybrid text function like a newsreel. But Hilberg thought this would be too “panoramic” and reminiscent of the flawed 1978 television miniseries Holocaust.85 Subsequently, Hilberg thought that a film simply called Auschwitz and chronicling the mass destruction would be compelling. Hilberg almost called him “to remind him we were mortal,” but did not because by that point Kubrick had moved on to Traumnovelle (a.k.a Eyes Wide Shut).86 In December 1993, Kubrick sent a Christmas card to Barbara Baum, optimistically writing, “I will keep you informed. All this work will not have been in vain.”87 In response to a letter of March 28, 1994, Jan Harlan wrote to Lynn H. Cox, saying, “at present the film has been postponed until Mr. K completes the film he is presented.”88 Kubrick, however, realized (as would happen with A.I., which he eventually passed on to Steven Spielberg) that he was not the director capable of realising Aryan Papers and drew up a list of those who he thought could.89 [End Page 95]

Nathan Abrams

Nathan Abrams is a Professor in Film at Bangor University and the lead director for the Centre for Film, Television, and Screen Studies. He co-convenes the British Jewish Contemporary Cultures network. He co-founded Jewish Film and New Media: An International Journal, and his most recent books are New Wave, New Hollywood: Reassessment, Recovery, and Legacy (with Greg Frame, Bloomsbury Academic, 2021), The Bloomsbury Companion to Stanley Kubrick (with I.Q. Hunter, Bloomsbury Academic, 2021), Eyes Wide Shut: Stanley Kubrick and the Making of His Final Film (with Robert Kolker, Oxford University Press, 2019), Stanley Kubrick: New York Jewish Intellectual (Rutgers University Press, 2018), Hidden in Plain Sight: Jews and Jewishness in British Film, Television, and Popular Culture (Northwestern University Press, 2016), and The New Jew in Film: Exploring Jewishness and Judaism in Contemporary Cinema (IB Tauris; Rutgers University Press, 2012). In addition to having edited books on Alien (with Greg Frame; forthcoming from Oxford University Press) and Eyes Wide Shut (with Georgina Orgill, forthcoming from Liverpool University Press), he is currently writing a biography of the legendary film director Stanley Kubrick with Robert Kolker to be published by Faber & Faber in 2024.


I would like to thank Phyllis Lassner, Victoria Aarons, Robert P. Kolker, and Rich Brownstein, as well as the two anonymous peer reviewers, for their very helpful feedback on earlier drafts of this article.

1. Stanley Kubrick, quoted in Anthony Frewin, “Writers, Writing, Reading,” in The Stanley Kubrick Archives, ed. Alison Castle (Cologne: Taschen, 2005), 518.

2. Nathan Abrams, Stanley Kubrick: New York Jewish Intellectual (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2018).

3. Video Cassette Research, SK/18/2/3/5, The Stanley Kubrick Archive, University of the Arts, London (hereafter “SKA”).

4. Petrus Schaesberg, “Stanley Kubrick: Inventor of Facts,” in Rainer Crone, ed., Stanley Kubrick: Drama & Shadows (London: Phaidon Press, 2005), 244.

5. Michael Herr, Kubrick (New York: Grove, 2000), 7– 8, 10; emphasis in original.

6. Jan Harlan, “From Wartime Lies to ‘Aryan Papers,’” in Alison Castle, ed., The Stanley Kubrick Archives (Cologne: Taschen, 2005), 512.

7. Anthony Frewin, Empyrean Films, April 29, 1991, SK/1/2/3/2/85, SKA.

8. Stanley Kubrick, quoted in Michael Ovitz, Who Is Michael Ovitz? (New York: Portfolio, 2018), no pp.

9. See, for example, James Fenwick, Stanley Kubrick Produces (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2020), 179–81, 183–90, 196, 198–99; Marat Grinberg, “Kubrick and Jewishness,” in Nathan Abrams and I.Q. Hunter, eds, The Bloomsbury Companion to Stanley Kubrick (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021), 208–10.

10. See Grinberg, “Kubrick and Jewishness,” 208–10.

11. Frederic Raphael, Eyes Wide Open: A Memoir of Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut (London: Orion, 1999), 108.

12. Raphael, Eyes Wide Open, 106.

13. Janet Malcolm, “A Matter of Life and Death,” New York Review of Books, June 13, 1991, available at: Accessed October 11, 2021.

14. Geoffrey Cocks, The Wolf at the Door: Stanley Kubrick, History, and the Holocaust (New York: Peter Lang, 2004), 156.

15. Stanley Kubrick, Aryan Papers, SK/18/2/1/3-5, SKA.

16. Jan Harlan, correspondence with Louis Begley, August 31 - September 19, 1991, Aryan Papers Box 2, uncatalogued material, SKA.

17. Stanley Kubrick, written on a fax from Louis Begley to Jan Harlan, August 31, 1991, Aryan Papers Box 2, uncatalogued material, SKA.

18. Louis Begley, fax to Jan Harlan, August 31, 1991, Aryan Papers Box 2, uncatalogued material, SKA.

19. Stanley Kubrick, Aryan Papers breakdown, February 4, 1992, Wartime Lies Box 4, uncatalogued material, SKA.

20. Stanley Kubrick, Aryan Papers draft treatment, June 12, 1992, SK/18/2/1/6, SKA.

21. Stanley Kubrick, “Wartime Lies,” 1991, SK/18/2/1, SKA.

22. Stanley Kubrick, Aryan Papers draft treatment, October 5, 1992, SK/18/2/1/7, SKA.

23. Stanley Kubrick, “WL Notes Book 1,” July 26, 1991—October 12, 1991, SK/18/2/1/2, SKA; Ronny Loewy, “‘That Was about Success, Wasn’t It?’” Kinematograph 20 (Frankfurt am Main: Deutsche Filmmuseum, 2004), 224–226.

24. Stanley Kubrick, “Aryan Papers’ treatment with scene list and shooting plan,” October 5, 1992–October 7, 1992, SK/18/2/1/10, SKA; Stanley Kubrick, “Final Treatment,” April 14, 1993, SK/18/2/1/12, SKA.

25. Philip Hobbs, Fax to Amsterdam Studio, September 5, 1991, Aryan Papers Box 1, uncatalogued material, SKA.

26. “5 Vienna Area & Krems,” SK/18/2/2/1/5, SKA.

27. Loewy, “‘That Was about Success, Wasn’t It?’” 227; Jan Harlan, Letter to Rick Senat, May 22, 1993, SK/18/2/5/3/4, SKA.

28. Jan Harlan, Letter to Rick Senat, May 22, 1993, SK/18/2/5/3/4, SKA; Jilly Nissler, Fax to Jan Harlan, April 8, 1993, SK/18/2/5/3/4, SKA; “Essential Steps,” n.d., SK/18/2/5/3/4, SKA; Jan Harlan, Letter to S.J. Berwin & Co., May 20, 1993, SK/18/2/5/3/4, SKA. An alternative production schedule was proposed, with a start date of January 3, running for 21 weeks until May 28. See Shooting schedule, Aryan Papers Box 1, uncatalogued material, SKA.

29. Reviews, Aryan Papers, uncatalogued material, SKA.

30. Aryan Papers Production Plan, uncatalogued material, SKA; Stanley Kubrick, “WL Notes Book 1,” July 26, 1991–October 12, 1991, SK/18/2/1/2; Loewy, “‘That Was about Success, Wasn’t It?’” 224.

31. Stanley Kubrick, Letter to Jeff Berg, December 4, 1992, SK/18/2/4/2, SKA.

32. Janet Maslin, “Review/Film; The Americanization of a Mystery,” The New York Times, February 5, 1993, C3; idem., “Review/Film; How Evil Can One Person Be?,” The New York Times, January 25, 1991, C 8.

33. Geoffrey Macnab, “Kubrick’s lost movie: Now we can see it . . . ” The Independent (London), January 27, 2009, Accessed October 8, 2021.

34. Emilio D’Alessandro, Stanley Kubrick and Me (New York: Arcade Publishing, 2016), 251.

35. Stanley Kubrick, Aryan Papers Box 1, uncatalogued material, SKA.

36. Stanley Kubrick, Aryan Papers draft treatment, June 12, 1992, SK/18/2/1/6, SKA.

37. Joseph Gelmis, “The Film Director as Superstar: Stanley Kubrick,” in Gene D. Phillips, ed., Stanley Kubrick: Interviews (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001), 80–104.

38. Stanley Kubrick, Letter to Irving Allen, April 13, 1964, SK/11/9/100, SKA.

39. Stanley Kubrick, Letter to Ron Lubin August 18, 1964, SK/11/9/100, SKA.

40. Ibid.

41. Ibid.

42. Stanley Kubrick and Felix Markham, “Napoleon Dialogues,” in Alison Castle, ed., Stanley Kubrick’s “Napoleon”: The Greatest Movie Never Made (Cologne: Taschen, 2009), 112–113.

43. Kubrick and Markham, “Napoleon Dialogues,” 112–113.

44. Ibid., 112–113.

45. Eva-Marie Magel, “Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Napoleon,” in Castle, ed., Stanley Kubrick’s “Napoleon, 34.

46. Lynn Geller, “Interview: Anton Furst,” BOMB 31 (Spring 1990), April 1, 1990, Accessed October 11, 2021.

47. Macnab, “Kubrick’s lost movie: Now we can see it . . . ”

48. Ibid.

49. Jan Harlan, “An Interview with Stanley Kubrick’s Producer and In-House German Jan Harlan,” 023c, February 23, 2015, Accessed October 8, 2021.

50. Nick Wrigley, “Stanley Kubrick, cinephile,” November 22, 2019, Accessed October 8, 2021.

51. This is a widely circulated phrase.

52. Abrams, Stanley Kubrick, 16.

53. Stanley Kubrick, “Foreword,” in Krzysztof Kieslowski, Decalogue: The Ten Commandments, trans. Phil Cavendish and Susannah Bluh (London: Faber & Faber, 1991), vii.

54. Geoffrey Cocks, “Stanley Kubrick’s Magic Mountain: Fiction as History in The Shining,” Central European History 55:4 (December 2022).

55. Dijana Metlić, “Stanley Kubrick: How Photography Shaped Film ‘Reality,’” in Dijana Metlić and Mia Cuk, eds, Interdisciplinary Companion to Photography (Novi Sad: Academy of Arts, 2019), 120–135.

56. Pratap Rughani, “Kubrick’s Lens: Dispatches from the Edge,” in Tatjana Ljujić, Peter Krämer, and Richard Daniels, eds, Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives (London: Black Dog, 2015), 310–325.

57. Stanley Kubrick, Aryan Papers draft treatment, October 5, 1992, SK/18/2/1/7, SKA.

58. Grinberg, “Kubrick and Jewishness,” 208.

59. Jack Nicholson, quoted in ibid.

60. Matthew Modine, Full Metal Jacket Diary (New York: Rugged Land Books, 2005), no pp.

61. Grinberg, “Kubrick and Jewishness,” 209.

62. Jan Harlan, personal communication, October 8, 2021.

63. Anon., “The Lost Projects of Stanley Kubrick: Part 2 — Viddy Well,” Accessed October 11, 2021.

64. Loewy, “‘That Was about Success, Wasn’t It?’” 227–30.

65. Ovitz, Who Is Michael Ovitz?, no pp.

66. Ibid., no pp.

67. D’Alessandro, Stanley and Me, 251.

68. Raphael, Eyes Wide Open, 105.

69. Jan Harlan, email to author, May 31, 2022.

70. Raphael, Eyes Wide Open, 105.

71. D’Alessandro, Stanley and Me, 251.

72. Ibid., 251.

73. Jan Harlan, Note to Stanley Kubrick, May 30, 1993, SK/18/2/5/3/4, SKA.

74. D’Alessandro, Stanley and Me, 251.

75. Harlan, “From Wartime Lies to ‘Aryan Papers,’” 512.

76. Christiane Kubrick in conversation with Tom Happold, Aug 11, 2010, Accessed October 11, 202.

77. Christiane Kubrick, quoted in Dalia Karpel, “The real Stanley Kubrick,”, November 3, 2005, Accessed October 8, 2021.

78. Christiane Kubrick, quoted in A Life in Pictures (dir. Jan Harlan, 2001).

79. Kubrick, quoted in A Life in Pictures.

80. Ibid.

81. Ibid.

82. Harlan, in Freer, “Strangelove,” 49; Marat Grinberg, “Jewish Perspectives on Kubrick,” Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, July 14, 2016.

83. LoBrutto, Kubrick, 481.

84. Jan Harlan, Letter to Tamara Holoubkova, November 18, 1993, Wartime Lies Box 4, uncatalogued material, SKA.

85. Cocks, The Wolf at the Door, 157.

86. Ibid., 157.

87. Loewy, “‘That Was about Success, Wasn’t It?’” 231.

88. Jan Harlan, Letter to Lynn H. Cox, March 28, 1994, uncatalogued material, SKA.

89. Aryan Papers Production Plan, uncatalogued material, SKA.