the bathroom operates as a weapon storage rooms, in addition to where Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) is keeping the people hostage. Despite the entire film revolving around crime, the actual demonstrations of such acts take place in and around the bathroom. Kubrick’s obsession with using bathrooms as key locations is seen to have begun with Spartacus (1960). This was the film that led to Kubrick withdrawing from Hollywood for good, and moving to and continuing his career in England, where he had complete creative control over all his films. Spartacus was the first film to contain several scenes taking place in bathrooms, and regarding the plotline, it is within a bathroom where the men’s treacherous nature is brought out into the open. In the primary bathroom scene of the film, the Roman general is shown to have the same animal-like urges as the soldiers he commands.
This is much further exploited in Lolita (1962), not only does the tour of the house end in the bathroom, as also seen in The Shining (1980), but it is in the bathroom that Humbert Humbert’s (James Mason) feelings towards Delores ‘Lolita’ Haze (Sue Lyon), and his distaste of his wife, Charlotte Haze (Shelly Winters) are emphasised. As ‘along with the privacy usually linked with bathrooms comes associations of hiddenness and filth’. (White in Kolker, 2006), the bathroom in Lolita is the setting for the private obscenities of male desire. Humbert hides away in the bathroom to write in his diary about his forbidden love, and by the end of this scene, Charlotte has not only found out the truth about Humbert and Lolita’s relationship but is killed in an accident when she runs away distraught. Humbert is next seen lounging in the bathtub, before friends arrive to off their condolences him over the death of his wife. However, despite having experienced this tragedy, Humbert is pictured as being very calm about the situation, whereas in comparison, his friends are obviously more upset about Charlottes passing. Additionally, the shower curtain is placed between Humbert and the other characters all the while he is lying about his true emotional state, which acts as a physical representation of a veil for his emotions. This allows for the conclusion to be made that bathrooms are settings in which the negative traits of humanity can flourish, shown on the screen as Humbert in a dominant position, completely exposed in the bath, whilst friends and strangers come and go. One such stranger reminds him of his step-daughter, Lolita, which sparks Humbert’s plan to take her away and begin a relationship. The scene in which Humbert tells Lolita of her mother’s death takes place with Humbert placed in front of an open bathroom door, suggesting that the effects of the bathroom’s negative space are infiltrating this new room. The shot has been constructed to place both Lolita and Humbert into the bathroom without them being in the room itself, allowing for Humbert’s negative traits to take over Lolita. Lastly, the bathroom is the place in which Humbert begins to lose all control. He witnesses Lolita chatting to a stranger by the car in the gas station while he is in the bathroom, which consequently kickstarts his obsessive and paranoid journey, with the film concluding with him not only losing Lolita, but murdering Quilty (Peter Sellers). Humbert’s journey to this desperate ending is escalated with each bathroom scene, as each new bathroom further brings forth his animalistic nature.
Additionally, the two main bathroom scenes within Dr. Strangelove (1964) are used to cement the future of the world. During the first one, near the beginning of the film, General Turgidson (George Scott) is interrupted whilst he is in the bathroom by his secretary, who informs him he is needed. As he is not on screen, the tone of his voice implies that his personal time has been disrupted by this news, something he deems less important in that moment. Later, General Ripper is the only person who knows the code which can end the strike and prevent nuclear war, however, he enters his bathroom and commits suicide by shooting himself. This enables the understanding that the world was destroyed because one man went to into the bathroom. Also insinuating that even military men with the power over life and death retreat into the safety of the bathroom to get away from their troubles. This is not the first time that Kubrick uses a bathroom to suggest a breakdown in communication. Such a theme can also be found in 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 2001, when Dr. Floyd