85 books like Stanley Kubrick

By Vincent Lobrutto,

Here are 85 books that Stanley Kubrick fans have personally recommended if you like Stanley Kubrick. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Stanley Kubrick: American Filmmaker

Robert P. Kolker Author Of Kubrick: An Odyssey

From my list on books about Stanley Kubrick.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kubrick has fascinated me since I watched Paths of Glory at MoMA, one of Stanley’s old haunts, in the early 1960s. I first saw 2001 in London and then once a year after that back home in New York. I taught courses devoted to Kubrick, and when I taught the course online at the University of Virginia, welcomed his brother-in-law, Jan Harlan, to talk to us long distance. With each move, I drew closer and closer to our subject. I visited the Manor at Childwickbury and had lunch with Kubrick’s wife, Christiane. I studied documents in the Kubrick Archive in London. There became a point of recognizing myself in Kubrick himself and his films. A biography was inevitable. 

Robert's book list on books about Stanley Kubrick

Robert P. Kolker Why did Robert love this book?

Until David wrote his book, there hadn’t been a biography of Kubrick in over twenty years. While his book is short, it is very readable, and I found it the most intriguing of the short biographies.

Mikics conducted new interviews and visited Kubrick’s archive in London. His readings of Kubrick’s films are precise and elegant.

By David Mikics,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stanley Kubrick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An engrossing biography of one of the most influential filmmakers in cinematic history

"A cool, cerebral book about a cool, cerebral talent. . . . A brisk study of [Kubrick's] films, with enough of the life tucked in to add context as well as brightness and bite."-Dwight Garner, New York Times

"An engaging and well-researched primer to the work of a cinematic legend."-Library Journal

Kubrick grew up in the Bronx, a doctor's son. From a young age he was consumed by photography, chess, and, above all else, movies. He was a self-taught filmmaker and self-proclaimed outsider, and his films exist…


Book cover of Stanley Kubrick Director: A Visual Analysis

Robert P. Kolker Author Of Kubrick: An Odyssey

From my list on books about Stanley Kubrick.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kubrick has fascinated me since I watched Paths of Glory at MoMA, one of Stanley’s old haunts, in the early 1960s. I first saw 2001 in London and then once a year after that back home in New York. I taught courses devoted to Kubrick, and when I taught the course online at the University of Virginia, welcomed his brother-in-law, Jan Harlan, to talk to us long distance. With each move, I drew closer and closer to our subject. I visited the Manor at Childwickbury and had lunch with Kubrick’s wife, Christiane. I studied documents in the Kubrick Archive in London. There became a point of recognizing myself in Kubrick himself and his films. A biography was inevitable. 

Robert's book list on books about Stanley Kubrick

Robert P. Kolker Why did Robert love this book?

I find in this early book on Kubrick by someone who was his friend an in-depth analysis of the director’s style.

But given that the author also knew Kubrick, we found that it was filled with insight from someone who had visited his house and got to know his family. This, until recently, was incredibly rare in the writing about Kubrick.

By Alexander Walker, Sybil Taylor, Ulrich Ruchti

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stanley Kubrick Director as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An exclusive window on one of the most brilliant-and most secretive-filmmakers in history. No moviemaker has kept his world so tightly sealed against intruders as Stanley Kubrick. While many of his films have turned into modern metaphors-we speak of "a 2001 world" or "a Clockwork Orange society"-the man himself has withdrawn into his own obsessive visions. Few have known him personally; fewer still have gained his confidence and seen him at work. For over thirty years, Alexander Walker, a renowned film historian, has been one such privileged observer. Stanley Kubrick Directs first appeared in 1971, giving readers the most authoritative…


Book cover of Kubrick: The Definitive Edition

Robert P. Kolker Author Of Kubrick: An Odyssey

From my list on books about Stanley Kubrick.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kubrick has fascinated me since I watched Paths of Glory at MoMA, one of Stanley’s old haunts, in the early 1960s. I first saw 2001 in London and then once a year after that back home in New York. I taught courses devoted to Kubrick, and when I taught the course online at the University of Virginia, welcomed his brother-in-law, Jan Harlan, to talk to us long distance. With each move, I drew closer and closer to our subject. I visited the Manor at Childwickbury and had lunch with Kubrick’s wife, Christiane. I studied documents in the Kubrick Archive in London. There became a point of recognizing myself in Kubrick himself and his films. A biography was inevitable. 

Robert's book list on books about Stanley Kubrick

Robert P. Kolker Why did Robert love this book?

Kubrick was notoriously private about his work, but he opened up to the French critic Michel Ciment. Over the years, the two formed a close relationship, and it is clear in this book.

I found it to be full of Kubrick’s clearest thinking about his work and as personal about it as he ever was.

By Michel Ciment, Gilbert Adair (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kubrick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic study of Kubrick--available once again and fully updated

If Stanley Kubrick had made only 2001: A Space Odyssey or Dr. Strangelove, his cinematic legacy would have been assured. But from his first feature film, Fear and Desire, to the posthumously released Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick created an accomplished body of work unique in its scope, diversity, and artistry, and by turns both lauded and controversial.

In this newly revised and definitive edition of his now classic study, film critic Michel Ciment provides an insightful examination of Kubrick's thirteen films-including such favorites as Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, and Full…


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Book cover of The Stanley Kubrick Archives

Robert P. Kolker Author Of Kubrick: An Odyssey

From my list on books about Stanley Kubrick.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kubrick has fascinated me since I watched Paths of Glory at MoMA, one of Stanley’s old haunts, in the early 1960s. I first saw 2001 in London and then once a year after that back home in New York. I taught courses devoted to Kubrick, and when I taught the course online at the University of Virginia, welcomed his brother-in-law, Jan Harlan, to talk to us long distance. With each move, I drew closer and closer to our subject. I visited the Manor at Childwickbury and had lunch with Kubrick’s wife, Christiane. I studied documents in the Kubrick Archive in London. There became a point of recognizing myself in Kubrick himself and his films. A biography was inevitable. 

Robert's book list on books about Stanley Kubrick

Robert P. Kolker Why did Robert love this book?

This is an amazingly illustrated book filled with material that was previously only housed on Kubrick’s estate. The material is now available, but you have to travel to London to see it.

This book provides loads of stills as well as images of material that Kubrick collected over the years in the making of his films. There are many useful essays and other writings that really helped us in our understanding of the director, his life, and his films.

By Alison Castle (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Stanley Kubrick Archives as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1968, when Stanley Kubrick was asked to comment on the metaphysical significance of 2001: A Space Odyssey, he replied: "It's not a message I ever intended to convey in words. 2001 is a nonverbal experience... I tried to create a visual experience, one that directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophic content."

Now available as part of our Bibliotheca Universalis series, The Stanley Kubrick Archives borrows from the director's philosophy. From the opening sequence of Killer's Kiss to the final frames of Eyes Wide Shut, it allows the masterful visuals of Kubrick's films to impress through a…


Book cover of Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light

Nathan Morley Author Of Jack Hawkins: A Biography

From my list on memoirs and biographies from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a passion for cinema, especially gritty British productions of the 1940s and 50s. The voices of Kathleen Harrison, Robert Beatty, Kenneth More, Dirk Bogarde, Jack Warner, and Susan Shaw can be heard nightly radiating from my TV. I’m also a huge fan of radio, in particular classic BBC shows. As a biographer, I’m known for shining a light on personalities of yesteryear – those we might recognize by name and face but know little about. My recent books include biographies on Erich Honecker (OK, he wasn’t a movie star), Jack Hawkins, and David Tomlinson (they were).

Nathan's book list on memoirs and biographies from Hollywood’s Golden Age

Nathan Morley Why did Nathan love this book?

Recently, during a visit to Filmstaden studios near Stockholm (yes, where Ingrid and Ingmar Bergman worked) I was given a copy of this book. It is, without a doubt, the definitive biography of Hitchcock, with a thrilling opening on his life in Britain and formative years. 

By Patrick McGilligan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alfred Hitchcock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fresh and definitive portrait of the Master of Suspense by acclaimed biographer Patrick McGilligan Full of fresh revelations, dark humour and cliff hanging suspense, this new biography of Alfred Hitchcock follows his life from its humble beginnings, as the son of an East End greengrocer, through an extraordinary career in which his films set new standards for cinematic invention, to his death as a Hollywood legend in Beverley Hills. * Gives a uniquely comprehensive and balanced view of Hitchcock's life, uncovering details not just of his work but also his personal life, and with an insight into how they…


Book cover of Show Trial: Hollywood, HUAC , and the Birth of the Blacklist

Brian Neve Author Of Film and Politics in America: A Social Tradition

From my list on Hollywood blacklist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Years ago, as part of my research, I interviewed Elia Kazan and Abraham Polonsky, two key figures in the blacklist story, and two men who were on different sides in terms of how they responded to the postwar Congressional investigations. These personal encounters – in New York and Los Angeles – fed a fascination with the anti-Communist purge in Hollywood, its dramaturgy, and the way filmmakers of that generation were caught up in it in different ways. There are more specialized works but the books recommended provide a substantive introduction to this still globally resonant topic, calling attention to the problematic and still difficult relationships between citizenship and cultural identity.

Brian's book list on Hollywood blacklist

Brian Neve Why did Brian love this book?

Renowned cultural historian Thomas Doherty provides a granular, blow-by-blow retelling of the events that led to the Hollywood blacklist. He places particular emphasis on the hearings as a ‘media-political spectacle,’ seeing it as the first such media event of the postwar era. He reexamines the events through a close and careful reading of press and media responses of the time. Less cinema-centric than other accounts, and less mesmerized by key individuals, Doherty gives us a cool, skeptical perspective on what is often an emotive or partisan discourse. There is much detail on how filmmakers, activists, politicians, newspaper and radio figures acted, and for what reasons, and how and why the post-war hearings played out as they did. The result is a sophisticated cultural history of the blacklist era.

By Thomas Doherty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Show Trial as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1947, the Cold War came to Hollywood. Over nine tumultuous days in October, the House Un-American Activities Committee held a notorious round of hearings into alleged Communist subversion in the movie industry. The blowback was profound: the major studios pledged to never again employ a known Communist or unrepentant fellow traveler. The declaration marked the onset of the blacklist era, a time when political allegiances, real or suspected, determined employment opportunities in the entertainment industry. Hundreds of artists were shown the door-or had it shut in their faces.

In Show Trial, Thomas Doherty takes us behind the scenes at…


Book cover of You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again

Maureen Callahan Author Of American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century

From my list on American pop culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

Maureen Callahan is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning investigative journalist, columnist, and commentator. She has covered everything from pop culture to politics. Her writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, New York, Spin, and the New York Post, where she is Critic-at-Large. She lives in New York. For Shepherd, Callahan has selected her favorite books about American pop culture, which is currently dominated by her favorite subgenre, true crime.

Maureen's book list on American pop culture

Maureen Callahan Why did Maureen love this book?

The New York Times called this memoir “The Hollywood Chainsaw Massacre!” and it still stands as one of the best. Phillips, who died New Year’s Day 2002, was a self-described “nice Jewish girl from Great Neck,” Long Island who loved the movies, movie stars — and books. She was sharp, unsparing, and became the first female producer to win an Oscar for Best Picture. The closest comp title, I think, is The Kid Stays In The Picture by the late Robert Evans, but Phillips does him better in eviscerating no one so much as herself. And this is someone who describes Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood as “very sweet, but . . . smells terrible,” before asking, “Why don’t the English like to bathe?” An observation that could get one canceled today.

By Julia Phillips,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The Hollywood memoir that tells all . . . Sex. Drugs. Greed. Why, it sounds just like a movie.”—The New York Times
 
Every memoir claims to bare it all, but Julia Phillips’s actually does. This is an addictive, gloves-off exposé from the producer of the classic films The Sting, Taxi Driver, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind—and the first woman ever to win an Academy Award for Best Picture—who made her name in Hollywood during the halcyon seventies and the yuppie-infested eighties and lived to tell the tale. Wickedly funny and surprisingly moving, You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This…


Book cover of A Life

Glenn Frankel Author Of Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic

From my list on Hollywood memoirs that tell the truth.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked for 27 years at The Washington Post, where I won a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. But when I returned home in 2006, I wanted to write about my own country, and what could be more American than the movies? They’re a wonderful looking glass into the past, and my books explore the making of an iconic movie and the historical era in which it was created. My recent ones have recounted the making of The Searchers, starring John Wayne, and High Noon, the Gary Cooper classic and its connection to the Hollywood blacklist, a time of vicious conflict eerily similar to our own troubled era.

Glenn's book list on Hollywood memoirs that tell the truth

Glenn Frankel Why did Glenn love this book?

Okay, it’s more of an autobiography than a memoir, but Kazan’s 826-page volcano is the most explosive and mesmerizing show-business book I’ve ever plunged into. From his salad days as a struggling actor with New York’s Group Theatre to his conquest of Broadway as the hottest, most pugnacious stage director of the mid-20th century (Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), to his Oscar-winning films (Streetcar, Gentleman’s Agreement, On the Waterfront), Kazan vividly recounts his triumphs, missteps and misdeeds, his mistreatment of his wife and many lovers, and his betrayal of former friends and comrades, in a voice overflowing with self-laceration and self-justification. With a supporting cast that includes Tennessee Williams, Vivien Leigh, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, and James Dean.

By Elia Kazan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elia Kazan's varied life and career is related here in his autobiography. He reveals his working relationships with his many collabourators, including Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, Clifford Odets, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, James Dean, John Steinbeck and Darryl Zanuck, and describes his directing "style" as he sees it, in terms of position, movement, pace, rhythm and his own limitations. Kazan also retraces his own decision to inform for the House Un-American Activities Committee, illuminating much of what may be obscured in McCarthy literature.


Book cover of The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography

Mike Russell Author Of Nothing Is Strange

From my list on surreal, magical, and mind-expanding stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hello. My name is Mike Russell. I write books (novels, short story collections and novellas) and make visual art (mostly paintings, occasionally sculptures). I love art and books that are surreal and magical because that is the way life seems to me, and I love art and books that are mind-expanding because we need to expand our minds to perceive just how surreal and magical life is. My books have been described as strange fiction, weird fiction, surrealism, magic realism, fantasy fiction… but I just like to call them Strange Books.

Mike's book list on surreal, magical, and mind-expanding stories

Mike Russell Why did Mike love this book?

Discovering the art of Alejandro Jodorowsky helped me to remove limitations from my own art. It was a joy to discover his work and it was a further joy to discover that his life has been just as uncompromising, surreal, and magical as his art. He has hung out with circus people, shamans, great artists (Marcel Marceau, Leonora Carrington, Jean Giraud… the list goes on). His novels, autobiographies, comic books, movies, and pictures are all fantastic. 

By Alexandro Jodorowsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dance of Reality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Not a traditional autobiography composed of a chronological recounting of memories, Dance of Realityrepaints events from Jodorowsky's life from the perspective of an unleashed imagination. Like the psychomagic and metagenealogy therapies he created, this autobiography exposes the mythic models and family templates upon which the events of everyday life are founded. It reveals the development of Jodorowsky's realization that all problems are rooted in the family tree and explains, through vivid examples from his own life, particularly interactions with his father and mother, how the individual's road to true fulfilment means casting off the phantoms projected by parents on their…


Book cover of Mike Nichols: A Life

Annie Korzen Author Of The Book of Annie: Humor, Heart, and Chutzpah from an Accidental Influencer

From my list on laughter and tears.

Why am I passionate about this?

These books are all by or about comic geniuses. I have always expressed myself through humor. I never felt I was pretty, so making people laugh was another way of seducing people. I started out by doing improvisational theater on the streets of New York, went on to have a recurring role on Seinfeld, and performed my solo shows on three continents. One of my greatest thrills has been to share the stage with other storytellers while touring with The Moth. When I used my storytelling skills on TikTok, I was amazed at the response. Eleven million Likes is a lot of love. I hope I deserve it.

Annie's book list on laughter and tears

Annie Korzen Why did Annie love this book?

I love showbiz biographies full of the inside dope on glamorous, brilliant people, because I’ve always wanted to be one of those glamorous, brilliant people. 

Mike Nichols knew everyone important in the arts, ate at the most fabulous restaurants, traveled to the most luxurious locations, and owned several grand homes. And I am pleased to report that he was frequently anxious and depressed. 

I find it very reassuring to learn that someone who has everything I’ve ever dreamed of is no happier than I am. I know that sounds a little mean, but I never claimed to be perfect.

By Mark Harris,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Mike Nichols as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A National Book Critics Circle finalist • One of People's top 10 books of 2021 •An instant New York Times bestseller • Named a best book of the year by NPR and Time

A magnificent biography of one of the most protean creative forces in American entertainment history, a life of dazzling highs and vertiginous plunges—some of the worst largely unknown until now—by the acclaimed author of Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back

Mike Nichols burst onto the scene as a wunderkind: while still in his twenties, he was half of a hit improv duo with Elaine May…


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