10 Not So Obvious Messages With Deeper Meanings In Stanley Kubrick's Films

Come and explore the secrets and subliminal messages you may have missed in Kubrick's movies.

Warner Bros.

Stanley Kubrick is a name that is synonymous with modern day cinema, through his 13 timeless films made between 1953-1999. Widely touted as the greatest director of all time and directing masterpieces across many genres, Kubrick was a perfectionist in the true sense of the word, being notoriously laborious and masterfully meticulous to a degree that many would consider crazy. The truth was Kubrick was undoubtedly on that fine line where many great artists find themselves: the line between genius and insanity.

With an IQ stated to be 200 and always under strict control to take full command of every aspect of filmmaking, some interesting and often strange things would develop from that fine mind into the eye of the camera lens and projected onto the big screen... things that are not initially apparent. As Kubrick spent longer and longer perfecting the art of film-making, it was no secret that he would litter his movies with 'secret' subliminal messages, surprises and symbolism.

Kubrick enriched his work with subtext, profoundly but subtly, usually through visualisation, the use of objects and clever use of the camera. Here is a list of 10 not so obvious things in Kubrick's films that allude to a deeper meaning.

10. Eyes Wide Open

Warner Bros.

Kubrick's controversial final film, Eyes Wide Shut, is a good place to start when discussing the deeper meanings in his work. The film is sexually provocative throughout, but there's more than meets the eye than titillation (though there's plenty of that on display too in this psycho-sexual journey).

William Harford, played by Tom Cruise, is invited to a secret party, or ritual, which strangely enough was filmed in Mentmore Towers, a mansion owned by the Rothschilds. Like ourselves watching the scene, Tom's character feels out of place with the masqueraded party members and explicit orgy taking place before his eyes, and when caught out and exposed in front of the shrouded crowd, the party is stopped. He is thrown out but not before a woman is taken off screen by man in a plague doctor's mask, indicating her death; a sacrifice for his intrusion.

A week before Eyes Wide Shut was released in cinemas, Kubrick died and twenty minutes of film was quickly cut and never released. This alone has left conspiracy nuts pondering whether Kubrick was killed for exposing Illuminati’s ritual parties. The term Eyes Wide Shut has deep rooted meanings in secret societies. Ultimately, it's hard to decipher whether Stanley was trying to expose the audience into thinking about their own sexuality and getting worked up over an orgy scene, or whether he was truly trying to invite us into a world into which we, and himself, are not welcome and paid the ultimate price for it. Who knows?


Hi, I'm 27 and a consumer and creator of the arts. I'm predominately a creative writer and have sold around seven hundred copies of my my horror novel 'Phantasmagoria' and short stories. I have a fascination for music, from ABBA to Zeppelin and everything in-between and I'd consider myself a film fanatic and more than casual reader. I love to write songs, play the guitar and eat curries that make a vindaloo taste like an ice cream (slight exaggeration there). I'm inspired by rock, pop, the gothic, strange, beautiful and quirky.