Lolita – Location Shots 66 and 69, From Westerly, Rhode Island, to Dover, New Hampshire, and Back to Westerly
Go to Table of Contents of the analysis (which has also a statement on purpose and manner of analysis and a disclaimer as to caveat emptor and my knowing anything authoritatively, which I do not, but I do try to not know earnestly, with some discretion, and considerable thought).
Below is shot 66 from Lolita. Shot 65, showing Humbert arriving in the United States by plane, is an aerial of NY. Kubrick cuts then to train 2029 upon which Humbert makes his way from New York to the fictional Ramsdale, New Hampshire, a resort town.
Reelstreets.com conveniently supplies the location of shot 66 as the Westerly station on Railroad Avenue, Westerly, Rhode Island.
The station is located at 14 Railroad Avenue. From Google Maps we’re only able to get a good view of the front.
With shot 67, Kubrick then takes us to a street in Dover, New Hampshire, which I’ve covered in this post, and refers to a beautiful passage from Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey which Nabokov referenced in the book. When I originally wrote this post, Reelstreets misidentified the location as being Marlborough Street in Newport, Rhode Island, and my post on shot 67 goes into the how of proper identification. Reelstreets has since updated to the correct location based on The Movie District website. I checked with The Movie District to see how they had made their identification, and they replied that "Lacy's Dept. Store was the giveway" which is one of the ways I had made the identification.
Shot 68 is a high overview shot of what may be anynortheasterntown USA, I’ve been unable to identify it as yet.
Shot 69 is two parts, as it takes us around a bend, panning to follow a taxicab that presumably carries Humbert.
As it turns out, after taking us to Dover, Kubrick has returned us to the Westerly Station in Westerly, which is briefly glimpsed on the left as shot 69 begins. The cab, as it goes around the bend, is turning off Railroad Avenue onto Canal.
When I had begun looking for locations, shot 69 had as yet been unidentified. I had reasoned there was no hope of my ever finding the location of shot 69, then decided to really pay attention to what is briefly glimpsed of the building on the left, which I’d already taken to be a train depot. Of course! Upon closer examination I realized it had to be the Westerly station. I went back to Google maps, looked around down the street from the station, and as it turns out buildings that enable us to identify the location have been preserved.
From there we crossfade to shot 70, which appears to be the same car used as a cab in shot 69.
It is with the crossfade to shot 71 that we are taken to the house used for the exterior of the Haze household in England, and the cab is different. IMCDB only identifies the first car that we see in Westerly. They are both, it seems, 1955 Chevrolet 210 4 door sedans, but the car in Westerly is a single color, while the car that arrives at the Haze household is two tone and the trim is slightly different that sets off the white flanking.
IMDB gives filming as also having occurred in Newport, Rhode Island, of which I'm already aware from the ferry shot. Old residential sections of both Westerly and Newport, Rhode Island have overhanging trees, sidewalks and houses that are fairly close to the street, neighborhoods such as we see in shot 70. Newport seems fonder of hedges such as we see in shot 70, but perhaps Westerly was fonder of them in the 1960s as well. I would guess that’s a white wood church on that right corner that taxi is approaching. I’ve not been able to identify which street it is.