Nuclear fear tempted Stanley Kubrick towards moving to Australia, reveals researcher
Stanley Kubrick was so terrified about the threat of nuclear war in the Sixties that he planned to move with his family to Australia, including setting up bank accounts, booking tickets and considering film projects, according to a researcher.
The famously reclusive director, whose films included 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, apparently abandoned the plan when he discovered he would have to share a lavatory on the sea voyage.
The plan emerged in documents uncovered by Professor Mick Broderick, of Murdoch University, Perth, who has written a book about Dr Strangelove, Kubrick's bleak Cold War satire in which a crazed US general orders a nuclear strike on Soviet Russia.
Broderick said Kubrick sought a move to Perth, Western Australia, as he believed it was unlikely to be attacked by Moscow or affected by fallout.
According to Prof Broderick, the director, who was born in the US, but lived much of his life in Britain, appears to have hatched his plan while assessing the threat of a nuclear holocaust for Dr Strangelove, which was released in 1964.
Kubrick went so far as to book his passage to Australia in 1962 and transferred funds from his British bank into Australian accounts. He also met officials at Australia House in London to discuss obtaining visas.
"Famous for not flying, Stanley had bought tickets for the ocean liner," Broderick said. "But when he found out he would have to share a bathroom, the trip was off. The idea of spending months at sea sharing toilet space with complete strangers was intolerable. He would much rather face thermonuclear war."
Katharina Kubrick, the filmmaker's daughter, attended the launch of Broderick's book Reconstructing Strangelove and confirmed that her father was terrified of the threat of nuclear war. "Dad always hoped the film [Dr Strangelove] would never end up a documentary," she said.
- The Telegraph, London