Twelve years ago today, the famed film director Stanley Kubrick died at his home in the English countryside. He purchased the 18-bedroom Childwickbury Manor (above) in 1978 and, thanks partly to a fear of flying, used the house as both home and production headquarters for his final four films: The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Barry Lyndon, and Eyes Wide Shut. Primarily built in the 18th century, the sprawling estate and its many outbuildings were chock full of Kubrick's personal archives at the time of his death, including an entire library stocked with research for an never-produced biography of Napoleon. Among the piles of research materials were reams of photos, all commissioned by Kubrick in the hunt for the perfect location. In honor of Kubrick's obsessive pursuit of perfection, here are a few of the real-life locales that passed muster.
? The Skybreak House, in Radlett, Hertfordshire, England, was designed in 1965 by the now-defunct architecture firm Team 4, which counted contemporary stars Norman Foster and Richard Rodgers among its principals. In Kubrick's Clockwork Orange, the glass-walled great room is the site of the infamous home invasion scene.
? The controversial 1962 adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita featured Hilfield Castle in Hertfordshire, as the home of the unscrupulous filmmaker Clare Quilty, played by Peter Sellers. The film opens and closes with scenes in this 1803 mansion not far from Kubrick's future home.
? Kubrick's final film, Eyes Wide Shut, is set amid the decadence and deceit of upper-crust New York society, but the filming took place exclusively in the director's adopted homeland, from the "Greenwich Village" street scenes to the "Long Island" estate of the masked orgy. Perhaps most startling in its opulence is the home of wealthy friend-turned-antagonist Victor Ziegler, for the film's purposes a grand Manhattan townhouse. Filming actually took place at Luton Hoo, a grand country home in Bedfordshire that has been recently converted into a lavish hotel, with the iconic staircase as its centerpiece.