The Shining (film)

The Shining (film)
The Shining

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Produced by Stanley Kubrick
Jan Harlan
Martin Richards
Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick
Diane Johnson
Based on The Shining by
Stephen King
Starring Jack Nicholson
Shelley Duvall
Danny Lloyd
Scatman Crothers
Music by Wendy Carlos
Rachel Elkind
Cinematography John Alcott
Editing by Ray Lovejoy
Studio Producers Circle
Perrigrine Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) May 23, 1980 (1980-05-23)
Running time 144 minutes (US cut)
119 minutes (International cut)
146 minutes (Original cut)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22 million
Box office $44,017,374 (USA)

The Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. A writer, Jack Torrance, takes a job as an off-season caretaker at an isolated hotel. His young son possesses psychic abilities and is able to see things from the past and future, such as the ghosts who inhabit the hotel. Soon after settling in, the family is trapped in the hotel by a snowstorm, and Jack gradually becomes influenced by a supernatural presence; he descends into madness and attempts to murder his wife and son.

Unlike previous Kubrick films, which developed an audience gradually by building on word-of-mouth, The Shining was released as a mass-market film, opening at first in just two cities on Memorial Day, then nationwide a month later.[1] Although initial response to the film was mixed, later critical assessment was more favorable and it is now viewed as a classic of the horror genre. Film director Martin Scorsese, writing in The Daily Beast, ranked it as one of the 11 scariest horror movies of all time.[2] Film critics, film students, and Kubrick's producer, Jan Harlan, have all remarked on the enormous influence the film has had on popular culture.[3][4][5]

The initial European release of The Shining was 20 minutes shorter than the American version, and removed most scenes taking place in the world outside the hotel.



Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) arrives at the Overlook Hotel to interview for the position of winter caretaker, with the aim of using the hotel's solitude to work on his writing. The hotel itself is built on the site of an Indian burial ground and becomes completely snowed in during the long winters. Manager Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) warns him that a previous caretaker got cabin fever and killed his family and himself. Jack’s son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), has ESP and has had a terrifying premonition about the hotel. Jack's wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), tells a visiting doctor that Danny has an imaginary friend called Tony and that Jack has given up drinking because he had hurt Danny's arm after a binge.

The family arrives at the hotel on closing day and is given a tour. The African-American chef Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) surprises Danny by telepathically offering him ice cream. He explains to Danny that his grandmother and he shared this telepathic ability, which he calls "shining." Danny asks if there is anything to be afraid of in the hotel, particularly Room 237. Hallorann tells Danny that the hotel itself has a "shine" to it along with many memories, not all of which are good. He tells Danny to stay out of Room 237.

A month passes; while Jack's writing project goes nowhere, Danny and Wendy explore the hotel's hedge maze. Wendy becomes concerned about the phone lines being out due to the heavy snowfall and Danny has more frightening visions. Jack becomes frustrated, starts acting strangely, and becomes prone to violent outbursts. Danny’s curiosity about Room 237 gets the better of him when he sees the room's door open. Later, Danny shows up injured and visibly traumatized, causing Wendy to accuse Jack of abusing Danny. Jack wanders into the hotel’s Gold Room where he meets a ghostly bartender named Lloyd (Joe Turkel) who serves him bourbon on the rocks. Jack complains to the bartender about his marriage to Wendy. Wendy later tells Jack that Danny told her a "crazy woman in one of the rooms" was responsible for his injuries. Jack investigates Room 237 where he encounters the ghost of a dead woman, but tells Wendy he saw nothing. Wendy and Jack argue about whether Danny should be removed from the hotel and Jack returns to the Gold Room, now filled with ghosts having a costume party. Here, he meets who he believes is the ghost of the previous caretaker, Grady (Philip Stone), who tells Jack that he must "correct" his wife and child.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Hallorann has a premonition that something is wrong at the hotel and takes a flight back to Colorado to investigate. Danny starts calling out "redrum" frantically and goes into a trance, now referring to himself as "Tony." While searching for Jack, Wendy discovers his typewriter; he has been typing endless pages of manuscript repeating "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" formatted in various styles. She is confronted by Jack, who threatens her before she knocks him unconscious with a baseball bat. She manages to drag him into the kitchen and lock him in the pantry, but this does not solve her larger problem; she and Danny are trapped at the hotel since Jack has sabotaged the hotel's two-way radio and snowcat. Later, Jack converses through the pantry door with Grady, who then unlocks the door, releasing him.

Danny writes "REDЯUM" in lipstick on the bathroom door. When Wendy sees this in the bedroom mirror, the letters spell out "MURDER".[6] Jack begins to chop through the door leading to his family's living quarters with a fire axe. Wendy frantically sends Danny out through the bathroom window, but cannot get through it herself. Jack then starts chopping through the bathroom door as Wendy screams in horror; he leers through the hole he has made, shouting "Here's Johnny!", but backs off after Wendy slashes his hand with a butcher knife. Hearing the engine of the snowcat Hallorann has borrowed to get up the mountain, Jack leaves the room. He kills Hallorann in the lobby and pursues Danny into the hedge maze. Wendy runs through the hotel looking for Danny, encountering several ghosts and a huge cascade of blood. Meanwhile, Danny walks backwards in his own tracks and leaps behind a corner, covering his tracks with snow to mislead Jack, who has been following his footprints. Wendy and Danny escape in Hallorann's snowcat, while Jack freezes to death in the hedge maze.

The final shot of the film shows a 1921 photograph of a smiling Jack Torrance in front of a crowd of revelers, as the song "Midnight, the Stars, and You"[7] plays in the background.


Cast notes

In the shorter European cut of the film, all of the scenes involving Anne Jackson and Tony Burton are cut (although their names still appear in the credits). Barry Dennen is onscreen in both versions of the film, albeit to a limited degree (and with no dialogue) in the shorter cut.

The actresses who played the Grady daughters, Lisa and Louise Burns, are identical twins; however, the characters in the book and film script are merely sisters, not twins. In the film's dialogue, Mr. Ullmann identifies them as "about eight or ten". Nonetheless, they are frequently referred to in discussions about the film as "the Grady twins".

The resemblance in the staging of the Grady girls and the famous "Twins" photograph by Diane Arbus has been noted both by Arbus' biographer, Patricia Bosworth,[8] and by numerous Kubrick critics.[9] Although Kubrick both met Arbus personally and studied photography under her during his youthful days as photographer for Look magazine, Kubrick's widow says he did not deliberately model the Grady girls on Arbus' famous photograph, in spite of widespread attention to the resemblance.[10]


In 1975, Kubrick directed Barry Lyndon, a highly visual period film about an Irish man who attempts to make his way into the English aristocracy. Despite its technical achievement, the film was not a box office success in the United States and was derided by critics for being too long and too slow. Kubrick, disappointed with Barry Lyndon's lack of success, realized he needed to make a film that would be commercially viable as well as artistically fulfilling.

The Overlook Hotel (Timberline Lodge).

The Shining was shot on soundstages at EMI Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, Britain. The set for the Overlook Hotel was then the largest ever built, including a full re-creation of the exterior of the hotel. A few exterior shots by a second-unit crew were done at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon. These shots are notable because of the absence of the hedge maze, a nonexistent feature at the actual hotel. Some of the interiors are based on those of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. The Timberline Lodge requested Kubrick change the number of the sinister Room 217 of King's novel to 237, so customers would not avoid the real Room 217.

This film was among the first half-dozen to use the then-revolutionary Steadicam (after the 1976 films Bound for Glory, Marathon Man and Rocky), and was Kubrick's first use of it.[11] This is a stabilizing mount for a movie camera, which mechanically separates the operator's movement from the camera's, allowing smooth tracking shots while the operator is moving over an uneven surface. It essentially combines the stabilized steady footage of a regular mount with the fluidity and flexibility of a handheld camera. The inventor of the Steadicam, Garrett Brown, was heavily involved with the production. Brown published an article in American Cinematographer about his experience,[12] and contributed to the audio commentary on the 2007 DVD release of The Shining. Brown describes his excitement taking his first tour of the sets which offered "further possibilities for the Steadicam". This tour convinced Brown to become personally involved with the production. Kubrick was not "just talking of stunt shots and staircases". Rather he would use the Steadicam "as it was intended to be used - as a tool which can help get the lens where it's wanted in space and time without the classic limitations of the dolly and crane." Kubrick himself aided in modifying the Steadicam's video transmission technology. Brown states his own abilities to operate the Steadicam were refined by working on Kubrick's film. On this film, Brown developed a two-handed technique which enabled him to maintain the camera at one height while panning and tilting the camera. In addition to tracking shots from behind, the Steadicam enabled shooting in constricted rooms without flying out walls, or backing the camera into doors. Brown notes that

"One of the most talked-about shots in the picture is the eerie tracking sequence which follows Danny as he pedals at high speed through corridor after corridor on his plastic "Big Wheel". The soundtrack explodes with noise when the wheel is on wooden flooring and is abruptly silent as it crosses over carpet. We needed to have the lens just a few inches from the floor and to travel rapidly just behind or ahead of the bike."

This required the Steadicam to be on a special mount modeled on a wheelchair in which the operator sat while pulling a platform with the sound man. Brown also discusses how the scenes in the hedge maze were shot with a Steadicam.

The Shining had a prolonged and arduous production period, often with very long workdays. Principal photography took over a year to complete, due to Kubrick's highly methodical nature. Actress Shelley Duvall did not get along well with Kubrick, frequently arguing with him on set about lines in the script, her acting techniques and numerous other things. Duvall eventually became so overwhelmed by the stress of her role that she became physically ill for months. At one point she was under so much stress that her hair began to fall out. The shooting script was being changed constantly, sometimes several times a day, adding more stress. Jack Nicholson eventually became so frustrated with the ever-changing script that he would throw away the copies that the production team would give to him to memorize, knowing that it was just going to change anyway. He learned most of his lines just minutes before filming them. Nicholson was living in London with his then-girlfriend Anjelica Huston and her younger sister, Allegra, who testified to his long shooting days.[13]

Nicholson was Kubrick's first choice for the role of Jack Torrance; other actors considered were Robert De Niro (who claims the film gave him nightmares for a month),[14] Robin Williams and Harrison Ford, all of whom met with Stephen King's disapproval.[15]

The opening panorama shots (outtakes of which were used by Ridley Scott for the closing moments of the original cut of the film Blade Runner) and scenes of the Volkswagen Beetle on the road to the hotel were filmed from a helicopter in Glacier National Park in Montana on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

For international versions of the film, Kubrick shot different takes of Wendy reading the typewriter pages in different languages. For each language, a suitable idiom was used: German (Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf morgen—"Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today"), Italian (Il mattino ha l’oro in bocca – "The morning has gold in its mouth"), French (Un «Tiens» vaut mieux que deux «Tu l'auras» – "One 'here you go' is worth more than two 'you'll have its'", the equivalent of "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"), Spanish (No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano – "No matter how early you get up, you can't make the sun rise any sooner"). These alternate shots were not included with the DVD release, where only the English phrase "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" was used.

The door that Jack chops through with the axe near the end of the film was a real door. Kubrick had originally shot the scene with a fake door, but Nicholson, who had worked as a volunteer fire marshal, tore it down too quickly. Jack's line, "Heeeere's Johnny!", is taken from Ed McMahon's famous introduction to The Tonight Show, starring Johnny Carson, and was improvised by Nicholson. Kubrick, who had lived in England for some time, was unaware of the significance of the line, and nearly used a different take.[16] Carson later used the Nicholson clip to open his 1980 Anniversary Show on NBC.

Music and soundtrack

The film features a brief electronic score by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind, including one major theme in addition to a main title based on Hector Berlioz' interpretation of the "Dies Irae", used in his "Symphonie Fantastique", as well as pieces of modernist music. The soundtrack LP was taken off the market due to licensing issues and has never appeared as a legitimate compact disc release. For the film itself, pieces were overdubbed on top of one another.[17]

Carlos and Elkind had composed a great deal of music for the film, however, Kubrick decided to go with classical music from other sources, as he had done on previous occasions. Some of Carlos' unused music appears on her album Rediscovering Lost Scores, Vol. 2.

The stylistically modernist art-music chosen by Kubrick is similar to the repertoire he first explored in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Although the repertoire was selected by Kubrick, the process of matching passages of music to motion picture was left almost entirely at the discretion of music editor Gordon Stainforth, whose work on this film is notable for the attention to fine details and remarkably precise synchronization without excessive splicing.[18]

The non-original music on the soundtrack is as follows:

  1. Lontano by György Ligeti, Ernest Bour conducting Sinfonie Orchester des Südwestfunks (Wergo Records)
  2. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta by Béla Bartók, Herbert von Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon)
  3. Utrenja — excerpts from the Ewangelia and Kanon Paschy movements by Krzysztof Penderecki Andrzej Markowski conducting Symphony Orchestra of the National Philharmonic, Warsaw (Polskie Nagrania Records)
  4. The Awakening of Jacob (Als Jakob erwachte...), De Natura Sonoris No. 1 (the latter not on the soundtrack album, Cracow Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Henryk Czyż) and De Natura Sonoris 2, by Krzysztof Penderecki (National Philharmonic, Warsaw, conducted by Andrzej Markowski, Polskie Nagrania Records)
  5. Home by Henry Hall and the Gleneagles Hotel Band (Columbia Records)
  6. It's All Forgotten Now performed by Ray Noble and His Orchestra, with Al Bowlly (not on the soundtrack album)
  7. Masquerade by Jack Hylton and His Orchestra (not on the soundtrack album)
  8. Kanon (for string orchestra) by Krzysztof Penderecki (not on the soundtrack album)
  9. Polymorphia (for string orchestra) by Krzysztof Penderecki, performed by Cracow Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Henryk Czyż (not on the soundtrack album)
  10. Midnight, the Stars and You by Jimmy Campbell, Reginald Connelly and Harry Woods, performed by Ray Noble and His Orchestra, with Al Bowlly (not on the soundtrack album)

Post-release edit and European version

After its premiere and a week into the general run (with a running time of 146 minutes), Kubrick cut a scene at the end that took place in a hospital. The scene shows Wendy in a bed talking with Mr. Ullman who explains that Jack's body could not be found; he then gives Danny a yellow tennis ball, presumably the same one that lured Danny into Room 237. This scene was subsequently physically cut out of prints by projectionists and sent back to the studio by order of Warner Bros., the film's distributor. This cut the film's running time to 142 minutes. As noted by Roger Ebert:

If Jack did indeed freeze to death in the labyrinth, of course his body was found—and sooner rather than later, since Dick Hallorann alerted the forest rangers to serious trouble at the hotel. If Jack's body was not found, what happened to it? Was it never there? Was it absorbed into the past and does that explain Jack's presence in that final photograph of a group of hotel party-goers in 1921? Did Jack's violent pursuit of his wife and child exist entirely in Wendy's imagination, or Danny's, or theirs?... Kubrick was wise to remove that epilogue. It pulled one rug too many out from under the story. At some level, it is necessary for us to believe the three members of the Torrance family are actually residents in the hotel during that winter, whatever happens or whatever they think happens.

For its release in Europe, Kubrick cut 24 minutes from the film.[19][20] The excised scenes made reference to the outside world, and to Danny's imaginary friend, Tony.

DVD versions and Vivian Kubrick's Making The Shining documentary

The US region 1 DVD of the film is the longer (144 minute) edit of the film. The European (including UK) region 2 DVD is the shorter (119 minute) version. On British television, the short version played on Channel 4 once and on Sky Movies numerous times in the mid-nineties. All other screenings, before and since these, have been on either ITV or ITV4 and have been the longer US edit. The German DVD shows the short version, as seen in german tv screenings.

According to Kubrick's last will, DVD releases show the film in open matte (i.e., with more picture content visible than in movie theaters). The scene when Wendy discovers her husband's work (consisting only of a simple proverb: "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" repeatedly typed on numerous pages) was shot with different proverbs in at least five languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian and German). Nevertheless, most DVD releases show the English version, disregarding the dub language.

DVDs in both regions contain a candid fly-on-the-wall 33-minute documentary made by Stanley Kubrick's daughter Vivian (who was 17 when she filmed it) entitled Making The Shining, originally shown on British television in 1980. She also provided an audio commentary track about her documentary for its DVD release. It appears even on pre-2007 editions of The Shining on DVD, although most DVDs of Kubrick films before then were devoid of documentaries or audio commentaries. It has some candid interviews and very private moments caught on set, such as arguments with cast and director, moments of a no-nonsense Kubrick directing his actors, Scatman Crothers being overwhelmed with emotion during his interview, Shelley Duvall collapsing of exhaustion on the set and a very playful Jack Nicholson enjoying playing up to the behind-the-scenes camera.


Initial reception

The film had a slow start at the box office, but gained momentum, eventually doing well commercially and making Warner Bros. a profit. It opened at first to mixed reviews. For example, Variety was critical, saying "With everything to work with, [...] Kubrick has teamed with jumpy Jack Nicholson to destroy all that was so terrifying about Stephen King's bestseller."[21] It was the only one of Kubrick's last nine films to get no nominations at all from either the Oscars or Golden Globes, but was nominated for a pair of Razzie Awards, including Worst Director and Worst Actress (Duvall),[22] in the very first year that award was given. (At that time, the Raspberries were voted on by a tiny handful of friends of Raspberry founder John Wilson. This was long before the voting body expanded to a large international committee that included reputable film critics and industry professionals.)[23][24][25][26]

Later reception

As with most Kubrick films, more recent analyses have treated the film more favorably. A common initial criticism was the slow pacing which was highly atypical of horror films of the time; viewers subsequently decided this actually contributes to the film's hypnotic quality.[27] Film website Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles reviews from a wide range of critics, gives the film a score of 88% "Certified Fresh".[28]

Roger Ebert's initial review of the film was unfavorable,[29] but he later re-evaluated it and in 2006, The Shining made it into Ebert's series of "Great Movie" reviews, saying "Stanley Kubrick's cold and frightening The Shining challenges us to decide: Who is the reliable observer? Whose idea of events can we trust?" [...] "It is this elusive open-endedness that makes Kubrick's film so strangely disturbing."[30]

Analysis of change in perception

Jonathan Romney, writing about the film in 1999, discussed the originally lukewarm perception of the film and its gradual acceptance as a masterpiece: "The final scene alone demonstrates what a rich source of perplexity The Shining offers. At first sight this is an extremely simple, even static film. [..] Kubrick had put so much effort into his film, building vast sets at Elstree, mak­ing a 17-week shoot stretch to 46, and what was the result? A silly scare story – something that, it was remarked at the time, Roger Corman could have turned around in a fortnight. But look beyond the simplicity and the Overlook reveals itself as a palace of paradox...." Romney says "The dominating presence of the Overlook Hotel – designed by Roy Walker as a composite of American hotels visited in the course of research – is an extraor­dinary vindication of the value of mise en scène. It's a real, complex space that we don't just see but come to virtually inhabit. The confinement is palpable: hor­ror cinema is an art of claustrophobia, making us loath to stay in the cinema but unable to leave. Yet it's combined with a sort of agoraphobia – we are as frightened of the hotel's cavernous vastness as of its corridors' enclosure. [...] The film sets up a complex dynamic between simple domesticity and magnificent grandeur, between the supernatural and the mundane in which the viewer is disoriented by the combination of spaciousness and confinement, and an uncertainty as to just what is real or not."[31]

Response by Stephen King

Stephen King has been quoted as saying that although Kubrick made a film with memorable imagery, it was not a good adaptation of his novel[32] and is the only adaptation of his novels that he could "remember hating".[33] Notably, before this King often said he did not care about the film adaptations of his novels.[34]

King thought that his novel's important themes, such as the disintegration of the family and the dangers of alcoholism, were ignored. King has admitted he was suffering from alcoholism at the time he wrote the novel, and as such there was an element of autobiography in the story. King especially viewed the casting of Nicholson as a mistake and as being too early a tip-off to the audience that the character Jack would eventually go mad (due to Nicholson's identification with the character of McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). King had suggested that a more “everyman”-like actor such as Jon Voight or Michael Moriarty play the role, so that Jack's subsequent descent into madness would be more unnerving.[34]

At other times, King suggested that he disliked the downplaying of the supernatural element of the film, which he felt took the "bite" out of the story and made Jack a less sympathetic character. According to King, he viewed Jack as being victimized by the genuinely external supernatural forces haunting the hotel, whereas Kubrick's take viewed the haunting and its resulting malignancy as coming from within Jack himself.[35]

King's oft-cited remark about Kubrick being a man who “thinks too much and feels too little” has frequently been quoted as disparaging Kubrick's overly clinical and detached approach to directing actors, but in context it is really a reference to Kubrick's ambivalent skepticism about the reality of the supernatural which emerged in pre-production conversations between King and Kubrick. The full context of King's well-known quote is

Parts of the film are chilling, charged with a relentlessly claustrophobic terror, but others fall flat. Not that religion has to be involved in horror, but a visceral skeptic such as Kubrick just couldn't grasp the sheer inhuman evil of The Overlook Hotel. So he looked, instead, for evil in the characters and made the film into a domestic tragedy with only vaguely supernatural overtones. That was the basic flaw: because he couldn't believe, he couldn't make the film believable to others. What's basically wrong with Kubrick's version of The Shining is that it's a film by a man who thinks too much and feels too little; and that's why, for all its virtuoso effects, it never gets you by the throat and hangs on the way real horror should.[36]

Mark Browning, a critic of King's work, observed that King's novels frequently contain a narrative closure that completes the story, which Kubrick's film lacks.[37] Browning has in fact argued that King has exactly the opposite problem of which he accused Kubrick. King, he believes, "feels too much and thinks too little."

King was disappointed by Kubrick's decision to not film at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, which inspired the story (a decision Kubrick made because the hotel did not have sufficient snow or electric power). However, King's animosity toward Kubrick's adaptation has dulled over time. During an interview segment on the Bravo channel, King admitted that the first time he watched Kubrick's adaptation, he found it to be "dreadfully unsettling." King supervised a television adaptation of his original novel in 1997, filmed at the actual Stanley Hotel in Colorado.

Establishment as classic

Horror film critic Peter Bracke reviewing the Blu-ray release in Hi-Def Digest writes

..just as the ghostly apparitions of the film's fictional Overlook Hotel would play tricks on the mind of poor Jack Torrance, so too has the passage of time changed the perception of The Shining itself. Many of the same reviewers who lambasted the film for "not being scary" enough back in 1980 now rank it among the most effective horror films ever made, while audiences who hated the film back then now vividly recall being "terrified" by the experience. The Shining has somehow risen from the ashes of its own bad press to redefine itself not only as a seminal work of the genre, but perhaps the most stately, artful horror ever made.

Indeed, The Shining has become widely regarded as one of the greatest films of the horror genre and a staple of pop culture. Like many Kubrick films, it has been described as "seminal".[38][39] In 2001, the film was ranked 29th on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills list and Jack Torrance was named the 25th greatest villain on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains list in 2003. In 2005, the quote "Here's Johnny!" was ranked 68 on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes list. It was named the all-time scariest film by Channel 4,[40] Total Film labeled it the 5th greatest horror film,[41] and Bravo TV named one of the film's scenes 6th on their list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments. In addition, film critics Kim Newman[42] and Jonathan Romney[43] both placed it in their top ten lists for the 2002 Sight and Sound poll. Director Martin Scorsese placed The Shining on his list of the 11 scariest horror films of all time.[44] Even mathematicians at London's King's College used statistical modeling in a study commissioned by Sky Movies to conclude that The Shining was the "perfect scary movie" due to a proper balance of various ingredients including shock value, suspense, size of the cast [45][46]

Awards and nominations

Award Subject Nominee Result
Razzie Award Worst Actress Shelley Duvall Nominated
Worst Director Stanley Kubrick
Saturn Award Best Director
Best Supporting Actor Scatman Crothers Won
Best Horror Film The Shining Nominated
Best Music Wendy Carlos
Rachel Elkind
American Film Institute Lists
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills - #29
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains:
    • Jack Torrance - #25 Villain
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
    • "Here's Johnny!" - #68
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) - Nominated[47]

Social interpretations of the film

The film's famous sequence where Jack sticks his face through the broken door. This echoes scenes in both D.W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms and the Swedish horror film The Phantom Carriage.[48][49]

Film critic Jonathan Romney writes that the film has been interpreted in many different ways; as being about the crisis in masculinity, sexism, corporate America, and racism: "It's tempting to read The Shining as an Oedipal struggle not just between generations but between Jack's culture of the written word and Danny's culture of images...." Romney writes, "Jack also uses the written word to more mundane purpose – to sign his 'contract' with the Overlook. 'I gave my word,' [..] which we take to mean 'gave his soul' in the [..] Faustian sense. But maybe he means it more literally – by the end [..] he has renounced language entirely, pursuing Danny through the maze with an inarticulate animal roar. What he has entered into is a conventional business deal that places commercial obligation [..] over the unspoken contract of com­passion and empathy that he seems to have neglected to sign with his family."[28]

Native Americans

Among interpreters who see the film reflecting more subtly the social concerns that animate other Kubrick films, one of the earliest and most well-known viewpoints was discussed in an essay by ABC reporter Bill Blakemore entitled "The Family of Man" first published in the San Francisco Chronicle in July 1987.[50][51] He believes that indirect references to the American slaughter of Native Americans pervade the film as exemplified by the Indian logos on the baking powder in the kitchen and Indian artwork that appears throughout the hotel, though no Native Americans are ever seen. Stuart Ullman tells Wendy that when building the hotel a few Indian attacks had to be fended off since it was constructed on an Indian burial ground.

Blakemore's general argument is that the film as a whole is a metaphor for the genocide of Native Americans. He notes that when Jack kills Hallorann, the dead body is seen lying on a rug with an Indian motif. The blood in the elevator shafts is, for Blakemore, the blood of the Indians in the burial ground on which the hotel was built. As such, the fact that the date of the final photograph is July 4 is meant to be deeply ironic. Blakemore writes,

As with some of his other movies, Kubrick ends The Shining with a powerful visual puzzle that forces the audience to leave the theater asking, "What was that all about?" The Shining ends with an extremely long camera shot moving down a hallway in the Overlook, reaching eventually the central photo among 21 photos on the wall. The caption reads: "Overlook Hotel-July 4th Ball-1921." The answer to this puzzle, is that most Americans overlook the fact that July Fourth was no ball, nor any kind of Independence day, for native Americans; that the weak American villain of the film is the re-embodiment of the American men who massacred the Indians in earlier years; that Kubrick is examining and reflecting on a problem that cuts through the decades and centuries.

Blakemore also sees this film as similar to other Kubrick films where evil forces get weak men to do their bidding.

Film writer John Capo sees the film as an allegory of American imperialism. This is exemplified by many clues; the closing photo of Jack in the past at a 4th of July party, or Jack's earlier citation of the Rudyard Kipling poem "The White Man's Burden".[52] The poem has been interpreted as rationalizing the European colonization of non-white people, while Jack's line has been interpreted as referring to alcoholism, from which he suffers.

Geoffrey Cocks and Kubrick's concern with the Holocaust

Film historian Geoffrey Cocks has extended Blakemore's idea that the film has a subtext about Native Americans to arguing that the film indirectly reflects Stanley Kubrick's concerns about the Holocaust. (Kubrick wanted his entire life to make a film dealing directly with that subject, but could never quite get the handle on it that satisfied him.) Cocks is a cultural historian best known for describing the impact of the Holocaust on subsequent Western culture. Cocks, writing in his book The Wolf at the Door: Stanley Kubrick, History and the Holocaust, proposed a controversial theory that all of Kubrick's work is informed by the Holocaust; there is, he says, a strong (though hidden) holocaust subtext in The Shining. This, Cocks believes, is why Kubrick's screenplay goes to emotional extremes, omitting much of the novel's supernaturalism and making the character of Wendy much more hysteria-prone.[53] Cocks places Kubrick's vision of a haunted hotel in line with a long literary tradition of hotels in which sinister events occur, from Stephen Crane's short story The Blue Hotel (which Kubrick admired) to the Swiss Berghof in Thomas Mann's novel The Magic Mountain,[54] about a snowbound sanatorium high in the Swiss Alps in which the protagonist witnesses a series of events which are a microcosm of the decline of Western culture. In keeping with this tradition, Kubrick's film focuses on domesticity and the Torrances' attempt to use this imposing building as a home which Jack Torrance describes as "homey".

Cocks claims that Kubrick has elaborately coded many of his historical concerns into the film with manipulations of numbers and colors and his choice of musical numbers, many of which are post-war compositions influenced by the horrors of World War II. Of particular note is Kubrick's use of Penderecki's The Awakening of Jacob[55] to accompany Jack Torrance's dream of killing his family and Danny's vision of past carnage in the hotel, a piece of music originally associated with the horrors of the Holocaust. As such, Kubrick's pessimistic ending in contrast to Stephen King's optimistic one is in keeping with the motifs that Kubrick wove into the story.

Cocks' work has been anthologized and discussed in other works on Stanley Kubrick films, but sometimes with skepticism. In particular, Julian Rice writing in the opening chapter of his book Kubrick's Hope believes Cocks' views are excessively speculative and contain too many strained "critical leaps" of faith. Rice holds that we cannot really replicate or corroborate what went on in Kubrick's mind beyond a broad vision of the nature of good and evil (which included concern about the Holocaust), but Kubrick's art is not governed by this one single obsession.[56] Diane Johnson, co-screenwriter for The Shining, commented on Cocks' observations and holds that preoccupation with the Jewish Holocaust on Kubrick's part could very likely have motivated his decision to place the hotel on a Native American burial ground, although Kubrick never directly mentioned it to her.[57]

Literary allusions

Fairy tales

Geoffrey Cocks notes that the film contains many allusions to fairy tales, both Hansel and Gretel and the story of the big bad wolf,[58] with Jack Torrance identified as the wolf which Bruno Bettelheim identifies as standing for "all the asocial unconscious devouring powers" that must be overcome by a child's ego.

Origin of proverb

The saying "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" appeared first in James Howell's Proverbs in English, Italian, French and Spanish (1659).[59]

Ambiguities in the film

Screenwriter Todd Alcott has noted

Much has been written, some of it quite intelligent, about the spatial anomalies and inconsistencies in The Shining: there are rooms with windows that should not be there and doors that couldn’t possibly lead to anywhere, rooms appear to be in one place in one scene and another place in another, wall fixtures and furniture pieces appear and disappear from scene to scene, props move from one room to another, and the layout of the Overlook makes no physical sense.[60]

Roger Ebert notes that the film does not really have a "reliable observer", with the possible exception of Dick Hallorann. Ebert believes various events call into question the reliability of Jack, Wendy, and Danny at various points.[61] This leads Ebert to conclude that

Kubrick is telling a story with ghosts (the two girls, the former caretaker and a bartender), but it isn't a "ghost story," because the ghosts may not be present in any sense at all except as visions experienced by Jack or Danny.

Ebert ultimately concludes that "The movie is not about ghosts but about madness and the energies". Likewise, film critic James Berardinelli (who is generally much less impressed with the film than Ebert), notes that "King would have us believe that the hotel is haunted. Kubrick is less definitive in the interpretations he offers." He dubs the film a failure as a ghost story, but brilliant as a study of "madness and the unreliable narrator."[62]

Ghosts or cabin fever?

In some sequences, there is a question of whether or not there are ghosts present. In the scenes where Jack sees ghosts he is always facing a mirror, or in the case of his storeroom conversation with Grady, a reflective, highly polished door. Film reviewer James Berardinelli notes "It has been pointed out that there's a mirror in every scene in which Jack sees a ghost, causing us to wonder whether the spirits are reflections of a tortured psyche."[63] Writing in Hollywood's Stephen King, Tony Magistrale writes

Kubrick's reliance on mirrors as visual aids for underscoring the thematic meaning of this film portrays visually the internal transformations and oppositions that are occurring to Jack Torrance psychologically. Through...these devices, Kubrick dramatizes the hotel's methodical assault on Torrance's identity, its ability to stimulate the myriad of self-doubts and anxieties by creating opportunities to warp Torrance's perspective on himself and [his family]. Furthermore the fact that Jack looks into a mirror whenever he "speaks" to the hotel means, to some extent, that Kubrick implicates him directly into the hotel's "consciousness," because Jack is, in effect, talking to himself.[64]

On the other hand, no mirrors appear in Danny's or Wendy's visions.

Ghosts are the implied explanation for Jack's escape from the locked storeroom. Kubrick scholar Michel Ciment has written

It seemed to strike an extraordinary balance between the psychological and the supernatural in such a way as to lead you to think that the supernatural would eventually be explained by the psychological: 'Jack must be imagining these things because he's crazy.' This allowed you to suspend your doubt of the supernatural until you were so thoroughly into the story that you could accept it almost without noticing...It's not until Grady, the ghost of the former caretaker who axed to death his family, slides open the bolt of the larder door, allowing Jack to escape, that you are left with no other explanation but the supernatural.[65]

The two Gradys

Jack and "Delbert" Grady.

Early in the film, Stuart Ullman tells Jack of a previous caretaker, Charles Grady, who, in 1970, succumbed to cabin fever, murdered his family and then killed himself. Later, Jack meets a ghostly butler named Grady. Jack says he knows about the murders, claiming to recognize Grady from pictures; however, the butler introduces himself as Delbert Grady.

Gordon Dahlquist of The Kubrick FAQ argues that the name change "deliberately mirrors Jack Torrance being both the husband of Wendy/father of Danny and the mysterious man in the July Fourth photo. It is to say he is two people: the man with choice in a perilous situation and the man who has 'always' been at the Overlook. It's a mistake to see the final photo as evidence that the events of the film are predetermined: Jack has any number of moments where he can act other than the way he does, and that his (poor) choices are fueled by weakness and fear perhaps merely speaks all the more to the questions about the personal and the political that The Shining brings up. In the same way Charles had a chance – once more, perhaps – to not take on Delbert's legacy, so Jack may have had a chance to escape his role as 'caretaker' to the interests of the powerful. It's the tragic course of this story that he chooses not to."[66] Dahlquist's argument is that Delbert Grady, the 1920s butler, and Charles Grady, the 1970s caretaker, rather than being either two different people or the same are two 'manifestations' of a similar entity; a part permanently at the hotel (Delbert) and the part which is given the choice of whether to join the legacy of the hotel's murderous past (Charles), just as the man in the photo is not exactly Jack Torrance, but nor is he someone entirely different. Jack in the photo has 'always' been at the Overlook, Jack the caretaker chooses to become part of the hotel. The film's assistant editor Gordon Stainforth has commented on this issue, attempting to steer a course between the continuity-error explanation on one side and the hidden-meaning explanation on the other; "I don't think we'll ever quite unravel this. Was his full name Charles Delbert Grady? Perhaps Charles was a sort of nickname? Perhaps Ullman got the name wrong? But I also think that Stanley did NOT want the whole story to fit together too neatly, so [it is] absolutely correct, I think, to say that 'the sum of what we learn refuses to add up neatly'"[66]

The photograph

The photograph, captioned Overlook Hotel, July 4th Ball, 1921. A young Jack stands smiling in the bottom center.

At the end of the film, the camera zooms slowly towards a wall in the Overlook and a 1921 photograph, revealed to include Jack Torrance seen at the middle of a 1921 party. In an interview with Michel Ciment, Kubrick overtly declared that Jack was a reincarnation of an earlier official at the hotel.[67] Still, this has not stopped interpreters from developing alternative readings, such as that Jack has been "absorbed" into the Overlook hotel. Film critic Jonathan Romney, while acknowledging the absorption theory, wrote "As the ghostly butler Grady (Philip Stone) tells him during their chilling confrontation in the men's toilet, 'You're the caretaker, sir. You've always been the caretaker.' Perhaps in some earlier incarnation Jack really was around in 1921, and it's his present-day self that is the shadow, the phantom photographic copy. But if his picture has been there all along, why has no one noticed it? After all, it's right at the center of the central picture on the wall, and the Torrances have had a painfully drawn-out winter of mind-numbing leisure in which to inspect every corner of the place. Is it just that, like Poe's purloined letter, the thing in plain sight is the last thing you see? When you do see it, the effect is so unsettling because you realise the unthinkable was there under your nose – overlooked – the whole time."[31]

Comparison with the novel

The film differs from the novel significantly with regard to characterization and motivation of action. The most obvious differences are those regarding the personality of Jack Torrance (the source of much of author Stephen King’s dissatisfaction with the film).[68][69][70]

Jack Torrance

The novel presents Jack as a character who resents authority, and is initially well-intentioned but struggling with his use of alcohol. In spite of his good intentions, he becomes gradually overwhelmed by the evil forces in the hotel, though near the end of the novel helps Wendy and Danny escape during a moment of recovered sanity.[71] The film's Jack is established as somewhat sinister (and irritated with his family) much earlier in the story and his final redemption never occurs. Furthermore, Jack actually kills Dick Hallorann in the film, but kills no one in the novel. King attempted to talk Stanley Kubrick out of casting Jack Nicholson even before filming began, on the grounds that the whole theme of an everyman's slow descent into madness would be undercut by casting Nicholson, who had starred in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest a few years before. He suggested Jon Voight among others for the role.[72][73][74] Stephen King has openly stated on the DVD commentary of the 1997 mini-series of The Shining that the character of Jack Torrance was partially autobiographical, as he was struggling with both alcoholism and unprovoked rage toward his family at the time of writing.[75]

Tony Magistrale wrote about Kubrick's version of Jack Torrance in Hollywood's Stephen King:

Kubrick's version of Torrance is much closer to the tyrannical Hal (from Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey) and Alex (from Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange) than he is to King's more conflicted, more sympathetically human characterization.[76]

Jack's twin demons in the novel are alcoholism and authority issues, but his demons in the film seem to be alcohol and severe writer's block, though some authority issues on his part are implied indirectly.[77] In both versions, Jack hears the voices of previous tenants of the hotel, but only in the novel does Jack also hear the heavy-handed voice of his father.[78] Similarly, though the film downplays the novel's theme of Jack's authority issues, it illustrates Jack's struggle with writer's block (something not depicted in the novel).[79] In both the novel and film, Jack's encounter with the ghostly bartender is pivotal to Jack's deterioration. However, in early parts of the story, references to Jack's drinking stay understated in the film while forcefully asserted in the novel.

Kubrick's co-screenwriter Diane Johnson believes that in King's novel, Jack's discovery of the scrapbook of clippings in the boiler room of the hotel which gives him new ideas for a novel catalyzes his possession by the ghosts of the hotel. Jack is no longer a blocked writer, but now filled with energy. In her contribution to the screenplay, she wrote an adaptation of this scene, which to her regret Kubrick later excised, as she felt this left the father's change less motivated.[80]

Wendy Torrance and Stuart Ullmann

The downplaying of the theme of Jack's issues with authority allows the film to alter the characters of Ullmann and Wendy. In the novel, Jack's authority issues are triggered by the fact that his interviewer, Ullmann, is highly authoritarian, a kind of snobbish martinet. The film's Ullmann is far more humane and concerned about Jack's well-being, as well as smooth and self-assured. In Stanley Kubrick and the Art of Adaptation, author Greg Jenkins writes "A toadish figure in the book, Ullman has been utterly reinvented for the film; he now radiates charm, grace and gentility."[81] Only in the novel does Ullmann state that he disapproves of hiring Jack but higher authorities have asked that Jack be hired.[82] Especially notable is the film's omission of Ullmann mentioning that both the previous caretaker, Grady (who killed his family), and Jack are alcoholics. In the novel, Ullmann discusses Grady's history in an almost threatening way, whereas his description is filled with more concern in the film.[83] In particular, the film includes no sign at all that Ullmann even knows about Jack's drinking problem. Ullmann's despotic nature in the novel is one of the first steps in Jack's deterioration, whereas in the film, Ullmann serves largely in the role of expositor.

Wendy's concern about Danny triggers Jack's authority issues in the novel,[84] while in the film he mainly finds her concern irritating and hysterical.[85] Wendy Torrance in the film is relatively meek, submissive, passive and mousy. This is shown by the way she defends Jack even in his absence to the doctor examining Danny. In the novel, she is a more self-reliant and independent personality who is tied to Jack in part by her poor relationship with her parents.[86] In the novel she never displays hysteria or collapses the way she does in the film. Writing in Hollywood's Stephen King, author Tony Magistrale writes about the mini-series remake:

De Mornay restores much of the steely resilience found in the protagonist of King's novel and this is particularly noteworthy when compared to Shelley Duvall's exaggerated portrayal of Wendy as Olive Oyl revisited: A simpering fatality of forces beyond her capacity to understand, much less surmount.[87]

Co-screenwriter Diane Johnson stated that in her contributions to the script, Wendy had more dialogue, and that Kubrick cut many of her lines, possibly due to his dissatisfaction with actress Shelley Duvall's delivery. Johnson believes the earlier draft of the script portrayed Wendy as a more-rounded character.[88]

Danny Torrance

Danny Torrance is considerably more open about his supernatural abilities in the novel, discussing them with strangers such as his doctor.[89] In the film, he is quite secretive about them even with Dick Halloran who shares these abilities. (The same is true of Dick Halloran who in his (book) journey back to the Overlook talks with others with the "shining" ability while in the film he lies about his reason for returning to the Overlook.) Danny in the novel is generally portrayed as unusually intelligent across the board.[90] In the film, he is more ordinary, though with a preternatural gift. In the novel, Danny is much more bonded to his father than in the film; the film's conclusion is, however, in keeping with the novel's conclusion where Danny virtually saves the soul of his father. Although Danny has supernatural powers in both versions, the novel makes it clear that his apparent imaginary friend "Tony" really is a projection of hidden parts of his own psyche, though heavily amplified by Danny's psychic "shining" abilities. At the end it is revealed that Danny Torrance's middle name is "Anthony".[91] In the film, the status of Tony (real or imaginary) is not clarified. Only in the film does Danny describe Tony as "the little boy who lives in my mouth."

Family dynamics

Stephen King provides the reader with a great deal of information about the stress in the Torrance family early in the story,[92] including revelations of Jack's physical abuse of Danny and Wendy's fear of Danny's mysterious spells. Kubrick tones down the early family tension and reveals family disharmony much more gradually than does King.
In the film, Danny has a stronger emotional bond with Wendy than with Jack, which fuels Jack's rather paranoid notion that the two are conspiring against him.

Motivation of ghosts

In the novel, the ghosts seek to possess Jack Torrance to get him to kill Danny; if Danny dies in the Overlook, his "shining" ability will be absorbed along with all the other awful energies that are manifest there; the hotel itself is a sentient entity[93] and so would become far more powerful and able to extend its powers beyond the confines of its grounds.[94] In the film, the motive of the ghosts is more ambiguous but seems to be to "reclaim" Jack (even though Grady expresses an interest in Danny's "shining" ability), who is apparently a reincarnation of a previous caretaker of the hotel, as suggested by the 1920s photograph of Jack at the end of the film and Jack's repeated claims to have "not just a deja vu".[95] Thus, in the film, Jack has been the focus of the ghosts' attention all along rather than Danny.[96] This plot difference re-contextualizes the line "You've always been the caretaker," which in the novel is a lie told by the ghosts of the hotel to bolster Jack's ego,[97] but may in some sense be literally true in the film.

Plot differences

Because of the limitations of special effects at the time, the living topiary animals of the novel were omitted and a hedge maze was added,[98][99] acting as a final trap for Jack Torrance as well as a refuge for Danny.

As noted earlier, Jack kills Hallorann in the film but not the novel. In the novel Jack recovers his sanity and goodwill through the intervention of Danny (this does not occur in the film). In the novel, the Overlook Hotel is completely destroyed by a fire caused by an exploding boiler, while the film ends with the hotel still standing. More broadly, the defective boiler is a major element of the novel's subplot, entirely missing from the film version. In the novel, Jack's final act is to enable Wendy and Danny to escape the hotel before it explodes, killing him.

In the film, the hotel possibly derives its malevolent energy from being built on an Indian burial ground, while in the novel, the reason for the hotel's manifestation of evil is possibly explained by a theme present in King's previous novel Salem's Lot as well as Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House: a physical place may absorb the evils that transpire there and manifest them as a vaguely sentient malevolence.[100] In the novel, Jack does a great deal of investigation of the hotel's past through a scrapbook, a subplot almost omitted from the film aside from two touches: a brief appearance of the scrapbook beside the typewriter, and Jack's statement to the ghost of Grady that he knows his face from an old newspaper article describing the latter's horrific acts.

More trivial differences include Jack's choice of weapon (a roque mallet in the novel, an axe in the film), the number of the advisably avoided Room (217 in the novel and 237 in the film), and the nature of Danny's injury before the action of the story (a broken arm in the novel and a dislocated shoulder in the film).

Some of the film's most famous iconic scenes, such as the ghost girls in the hallway[101] and the torrent of blood from the elevators,[102] are unique to the film. The most notable of these would be the typewritten pages Wendy discovers on Jack's desk.[103] Similarly, many of the most memorable lines of dialogue ("Words of wisdom" and "Here's Johnny!") are heard in the film only.

Film adaptation commentary

Although Stephen King fans were critical of the novel's adaptation on the grounds that Kubrick altered and reduced the novel's themes, a defense of Kubrick's approach was published by Steve Biodrowski, a former editor of the print magazine Cinefantastique.[104] His review of the film is one of the few to go into detailed comparison with the novel. Biodrowski states,

Widely reviled by Stephen King fans for abandoning much of the book (King himself said his feelings balanced out to zero), Stanley Kubrick’s film version, upon re-examination, reveals that he took the same course he had often used in the past when adapting novels to the screen (such as Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita): he stripped away the back story and exposition, distilling the results down to the basic narrative line, with the characters thus rendered in a more archetypal form. The result ...[is] a brilliant, ambitious attempt to shoot a horror film without the Gothic trappings of shadows and cobwebs so often associated with the genre.

In popular culture

References in the form of both parodies and homages to The Shining are prominent in U.S. popular culture, particularly in films, TV shows and music.[105][106][107][108] Images and scenes frequently referenced are: the two girls in the hallway,[109] the use of the word "Redrum",[110] the blood spilling out of the opening elevator doors[111] and Jack Torrance's sticking his head through the axe-hewn hole in the bathroom door, leeringly saying, "Here's Johnny."[112]

The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror V" contains the story "The Shinning", a parody of The Shining. In addition, Sherri and Terri, the twins in Bart's 4th grade class, are visually similar to the Grady girls.[113][114] Family Guy parodies The Shining in the episode "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater" in which Stewie walks down a hallway and sees the two girls beckoning him to play, to whom he sarcastically responds, "All work and no play make Stewie a dull boy" just before blowing them away with a bazooka. The girls make their second Family Guy appearance in the opening sequence for the episode "PTV", where Stewie runs them over with his tricycle in an homage to The Naked Gun. In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Stop, Look and Ed", Eddy tells Rolf "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!". Rolf responds with "Who is this Jack? I know no Jack". "Here's Johnny!" was parodied by British comedian Lenny Henry in a controversial advertisement for Premier Inn.[115] Both the tricycle scene where Danny Torrance sees the two Grady girls at the end of the hallway and the "Here's Johnny" scene are seen playing on the drive-in theatre screen of a small town in the movie Twister just before a major tornado rips through the town.[116] In an episode of the Australian sketch comedy show Double Take the "Here's Johnny!" scene was parodied with former Prime Minister John Howard chopping into the bathroom of Kirribili Lodge where then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tells him that he "doesn't" live there anymore and demands his keys.[117] "Here's Johnny" was also parodied in the X-Men animated series in the episode "The Juggernaut Returns." As the Juggernaut smashes through the front doors of Xavier's school, he shouts "Here's Juggy!"[118]

The plot of The Shining is referenced in the short music video of "The Kill" by 30 Seconds to Mars.[119] Scenes parodying much of the film also appear in the Slipknot music video "Spit It Out". Alice in Chains' video for "Your Decision" has a few momentary allusions to the film, as well as to Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. The Dead Celebrity Status video for "We Fall, We Fall" contains elements of the film. Kate Bush's well-known 1982 album The Dreaming contains the song "Get Out of My House," inspired primarily by the novel.[120] as was Black Sabbath's song "The Shining". The song "Last Time Forever" by Squeeze contains sound clips of Jack saying "the momentary loss of muscular coordination" and of Wendy screaming as Jack hacks through the bathroom door.[121] Sound clips of Ullmann warning Jack about cabin fever with Jack's reassurances appear in Swedish goth band Katatonia's song "Endtime" on the album Brave Murder Day.[122]

The lead characters in the mother-daughter drama Gilmore Girls (2000–2007) are enormous movie buffs; five episodes reference The Shining. The most well-known of these contains Lorelai's line "Well, we like our Internet slow, okay? We can turn it on, walk around, dance, make a sandwich. With DSL, there's no dancing, no walking, and we'd starve. It'd be all work and no play. Have you not seen The Shining, Mom?"[123]

Three episodes of Rei Hiroe's 2006 "Black Lagoon" (both the anime and the manga from which it is adapted) have two young twins named Hansel and Gretel who are child serial-killers-for-hire. Several other characters compare them to the Grady girls in The Shining. In one chapter of the manga (though not the anime) Gretel sings "Midnight, the Stars and You", the song in the closing credits of The Shining.[124]

The axe used in the film is now at Planet Hollywood in Beverly Hills, CA.[125]

Gothic director Tim Burton (who credits Kubrick as an influence) modeled the characters of Tweedledee and Tweedledum on the Grady girls in his version of Alice in Wonderland (like so many viewers of the film, Burton identifies the girls as twins in spite of Ullmann's dialogue to the contrary).[126]


  1. ^ LoBrutto, Vincent. Stanley Kubrick: A Biography, p. 449
  2. ^ Martin Scorsese (2009-10-28). "11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  3. ^ "Kubrick #3 – The Shining (1980) « The Hollywood Projects". 2010-07-26. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  4. ^ "Brent Wiese". Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  5. ^ My Movie Mundo (2010-02-28). "Jan Harlan (producer) – The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, etc". My Movie Mundo. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  6. ^ In both forwards and backwards orientations, two of the six letters are displayed backwards, the middle DR for REDRUM and the final ER for MURDER.
  7. ^ The song lyrics are "Midnight, with the Stars and You" – although the song title is merely, "Midnight, the Stars and You". The song was actually written in the 1930s.
  8. ^ Bosworth, Patricia (255). Diane Arbus: a biography. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0393312070, 9780393312072. 
  9. ^ including Webster, Patrick (2010). Love and Death in Kubrick:A Critical Study of the Films from Lolita Through Eyes Wide Shut. McFarland. p. 115. ISBN 0786459166, 9780786459162.  and Kolker, Robert (2011). A Cinema of Loneliness: Penn, Stone, Kubrick, Scorsese, Spielberg, Altman. Oxford University Press. p. 178. ISBN 0199738882, 9780199738885.  and several others.
  10. ^ Webster, p. 115
  11. ^ Serena Ferrara, Steadicam: Techniques and Aesthetics (Oxford: Focal Press, 2000), 26-31.
  12. ^ Brown, G. (1980) The Steadicam and The Shining. American Cinematographer, August, 61 (8), pp. 786–9, 826–7, 850–4. Reproduced at [] without issue date or pages given
  13. ^ Huston, Allegra. Love Child, a Memoir of Family Lost and Found. Simon & Schuster (2009) p. 214
  14. ^ Robert De Niro (speaking about which films scared him), B105 FM interview on September 20, 2007
  15. ^ Stephen King, B105 FM on November 21, 2007
  16. ^ Jack Nicholson in interview with Michel Ciment in Kubrick: The Definitive Edition" p. 198
  17. ^ "The Shining (1980)—Soundtracks". 
  18. ^ "Barham, Jeremy. "Incorporating Monsters: Music as Context, Character and Construction in Kubrick's ''The Shining''." London: Equinox Press. ISBN 978-1-84553-202-4.". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  19. ^ A detailed shot-by-shot account of the differences is in Monthly Film Bulletin - Nov 1980 - Vol. 47 No. 562
  20. ^, The Shining (1980) – Alternate versions
  21. ^ The Shining—Excerpt from Variety.
  22. ^ Tom O'Neil (2008-02-01). "Quelle horreur! 'The Shining' was not only snubbed, it was Razzed!". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  23. ^ Lindrea, Victoria (February 25, 2007). "Blowing raspberries at Tinseltown". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 2009-05-04.
  24. ^ Larsen, Peter (January 20, 2005). "The Morning Read - So bad, they're almost good - A love of movies lies behind the Razzies". The Orange County Register: p. 1.
  25. ^ Germain, David (Associated Press) (February 26, 2005). "25 Years of Razzing Hollywood's Stinkers". South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sun-Sentinel Company): p. 7D.
  26. ^ Marder, Jenny (February 26, 2005). "Razzin' The Dregs of Hollywood Dreck - Film: Cerritos' John Wilson Marks His Golden Raspberry Awards' 25th Year With A Guide To Cinematic Slumming". Long Beach Press-Telegram: p. A1.
  27. ^ Some of the original criticisms are mentioned in a recent review of the Blu-Ray release at
  28. ^ a b "''The Shining'' reviews at". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  29. ^ Ebert published no print review of the film, but did review it on his TV show.
  30. ^ "Great Movies: The Shining". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  31. ^ a b "". 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  32. ^ Kubrick FAQ—The Shining, May 5, 2008
  33. ^ "Writing Rapture: The WD Interview", Writer's Digest, May/June 2009
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^ Stephen King (interviewee), Laurent Bouzerau (writer, director, producer) (2011) (in English). A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King (Television production). Turner Classic Movies. Event occurs at 00:45 min. 
  36. ^ "Quoted in". 2008-03-01. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  37. ^ Stephen King on the big screen by Mark Browning p. 239
  38. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  39. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  40. ^ "100 Greatest Scary Moments: Channel 4 Film". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  41. ^ Jamie Graham (2005-10-10). "Total Film—Shock Horror!". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  42. ^ Kim Newman's choices in the Sound and Sound Top Ten poll 2002
  43. ^ Jonathan Romney's choices in the Sound and Sound Top Ten poll 2002
  44. ^ Scorsese, Martin (October 28, 2009). "11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 15, 2009. 
  45. ^ BBC News "Shining named perfect scary movie"
  46. ^ King's College News "Mathematicians declare The Shining perfect scary movie"
  47. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) Ballot
  48. ^ "Den svenska filmens Guldålder" (in Swedish) Thorellifilm
  49. ^ Original Scene from "The Phantom Carriage" on YouTube
  50. ^ Blakemore's essay has gone on to be discussed in several books on Kubrick particularly Julien Rice's Kubrick's Hope as well as a study of Stephen King films Stephen King on the Big Screen by Mark Browning. It is also assigned in many college film courses, and discussed ubiquitously on the Internet
  51. ^ Blakemore is best-known as a spearhead for global warming issues and having been ABC News' Vatican Correspondent since 1970.
  52. ^ Capo, John (2004-09-27). "". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  53. ^ See Cocks p.174
  54. ^ See Cocks, p. 201
  55. ^ See Cocks Chapter 11
  56. ^ Rice, Julian (2008). Kubrick's Hope: Discovering Optimism from 2001 to Eyes Wide Shut. Scarecrow Press, pp.11-13
  57. ^ Essay by Diane Johnson entitled Writing The Shining in book Depth of Field: Stanley Kubrick, Film, and the Uses of History edited by Geoffrey Cocks, James Diedrick, and Glenn Perusek p. 59
  58. ^ See Cocks p. 174
  59. ^ "James Howell Quotes". Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  60. ^ Todd Alcott (November 29, 2010). "Todd Alcott:What Does the Protagonist Want?". Todd Alcott. Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  61. ^ Roger Ebert (June 18, 2006). "The Shining (1980)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  62. ^ James Berardinelli (February 18, 2009). "The Shining (1980)". Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  63. ^ "Reelviews Movie Reviews". Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  64. ^ Hollywood's Stephen King by Tony Magistrale Palgrave Macmillan 2003 pp.95-96
  65. ^ Kubrick by Michel Ciment, 1983, Holt Reinhart Winston
  66. ^ a b "". 1921-07-04. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  67. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  68. ^ Movie Junk Archive: Stephen King's The Shining
  69. ^ The Shining FAQ, Visual Memory website.
  70. ^ TV Guide, April 26 – May 2, 1997
  71. ^ See Chapter 55 "That Which Was Forgotten"
  72. ^ King discusses this in an interview he gave at the time of the TV remake of The Shining in the New York Daily News"The Shining By the Book". 
  73. ^ The Shining (1980)—Trivia
  74. ^ Creepshows: The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Guide By Stephen Jones Published by Watson-Guptill, 2002 p. 20
  75. ^ DVD of The Shining TV mini-series directed by Mick Garris Studio: Warner Home Video DVD Release Date: January 7, 2003
  76. ^ p. 100 of Hollywood's Stephen King By Tony Magistrale Published by Macmillan, 2003
  77. ^ See p. 101 of Tony Magistrale's Hollywood's Stephen King
  78. ^ See Chapter 26, "Dreamland"
  79. ^ The obvious example is the notorious discovery by Wendy of Jack's "novel" in the typewriter. This iconic scene in the film does not appear in the novel.
  80. ^ Johnson's essay in Cocks, Diedrick, Perusek Depth of Field p. 58
  81. ^ p. 74 of Stanley Kubrick and the Art of Adaptation: Three Novels, Three Films by Greg Jenkins, published by McFarland, 1997
  82. ^ Jack's disdain for Ullmann is the main subject of Chapter 1 of the novel, setting up Jack's authority issues.
  83. ^ The film's Ullmann makes pointed but helpful remarks in the job interview such as "That's very good Jack, because, uh, for some people, solitude and isolation can, of itself become a problem."
  84. ^ A typical encounter can be found in Chapter 20, "Talking with Mr. Ullmann."
  85. ^ An example is the way he echoes back her line "I think we should take Danny to a doctor."
  86. ^ Wendy's troubled relationship with her mother is discussed first in Chapter 5, "Phone Booth," and in more depth in Chapter 6, "Night Thoughts."
  87. ^ Magistrale, p. 202.
  88. ^ Diane Johnson's essay "Writing The Shining" in anthology "Depth of Field" by Cocks, Diedrick, and Perusek, p. 56
  89. ^ See Chapter 17 "The Doctor's Office" and chapter 20 "Talking with Mr. Ullmann"
  90. ^ See Chapter 16 "Danny"
  91. ^ Tony's real identity is revealed in Chapter 54.
  92. ^ See Chapter 6 "Night Thoughts"
  93. ^ Cinema of the occult: new age, satanism, Wicca, and spiritualism in film By Carrol Lee Fry p. 230. The hotel itself is also clearly established as sentient in a board game based on the novel.
  94. ^ The motivation laid out overtly in Chapter 55, "That Which was Forgotten."
  95. ^ Among many other places, this is suggested in The Modern Weird Tale by S.T. Joshi, p. 72.
  96. ^ The simplest explanation for the photograph as stated by Kubrick in an interview with Michel Ciment is that Jack is the reincarnation of a prior hotel guest, although it has been suggested by Roger Ebert that upon death Jack was sucked into a time warp into the past.
  97. ^ See again Chapter 55, "That Which Was Forgotten."
  98. ^ "Stanley Kubrick's The Shining". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  99. ^ "Stanley Kubrick's – The Shining – By Harlan Kennedy". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  100. ^ Cinema of the occult: new age, satanism, Wicca, and spiritualism in film, by Carrol Lee Fry, notes similarities to both the Jackson story and Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher (p. 230).
  101. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  102. ^[dead link]
  103. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  104. ^ "The Shining (1980) Review". Hollywood Gothique. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  105. ^ "'Secret Window' achieves horror with suspense, silence". Western Herald. 2004-03-15. Retrieved 2007-05-21. ""The Shining" has cemented a spot in horror pop culture." 
  106. ^ Simon Hill. "The Shining Review". Celluloid Dreams. Retrieved 2007-05-21. "This film has embedded itself in popular culture..." 
  107. ^ Mark Blackwell (2005-11-24). "Deep End: Christiane Kubrick". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2007-05-21. "Images from his films have made an indelible impression on popular culture. Think of [...] Jack Nicholson sticking his head through the door saying 'Here's Johnny' in The Shining." 
  108. ^ "Shining tops screen horrors". BBC News. 2003-10-27. Retrieved 2007-05-21. "The scene in The Shining has become one of cinema's iconic images..." 
  109. ^ See the Family Guy episodes and Verizon advertisements
  110. ^ Parodied in the film UHF.
  111. ^ "Stephen Chow's "Kungfu Hustle" salutes to Kubrick's "The Shining" (in Chinese)". 2004-12-12. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  112. ^ This scene is parodied in the "Flood" episode of British TV sitcom The Young Ones by Alexei Sayle, in a Boondocks episode, "Stinkmeaner Strikes Back," and an episode of Samurai Jack.
  113. ^ The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy by Gary Westfahl states, "While the scope of reference to fantastic fiction in The Simpsons is vast, there are two masters of the genre whose impact on The Simpson supersedes that of all others: Stanley Kubrick and Edgar Allan Poe." p. 1232
  114. ^ "The Family Dynamic". Entertainment Weekly. 2003-01-29.,,417748_2,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-03.
  115. ^ "Premier Inn 'horror' ad banned from children's network, 24 March 2010". BBC News. 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  116. ^ JANET MASLIN (May 10, 1996). "FILM REVIEW;Dorothy and Toto Had It Easier". New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  117. ^ "Most Iconic Horror Scenes of All Time". 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  118. ^ Writers: Stan Lee (creator), Julianne Klemm (6 May 1995) (in English). X Men (TV Series 1992–1997) (Television production). Production Co:Genesis Entertainment, Graz Entertainment, Marvel Enterprises. Event occurs at 3minutes 26 seconds. Retrieved 3/24/2011. ""Here's Juggy"" 
  119. ^ 30 Seconds To Mars A Beautiful Lie CD/DVD Making of The Kill music videoJared Leto & Matt Wachter talk about the song's meaning
  120. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  121. ^ now to post a comment! (2010-08-24). "Video of song". Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  122. ^ "Katatonia - Brave Murder Day". Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  123. ^ Quoted in Calvin, Ritch (2008). Gilmore girls and the politics of identity: Essays on Family and Feminism in the Television Series. McFarland. p. 229. ISBN 978-0786437276. 
  124. ^ In the manga, Hansel and Gretel appear in the anthology Volume 3, which encompasses the newspaper serial episodes "Bloodsport Fairy Tale", parts 3-5 and the entirety of "Goat, Jihad". Hansel and Gretel appear in "Bloodsport Fairy Tale"
  125. ^ "Planet Hollywood (Beverly Hills)". 1995-09-17. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  126. ^ Geoff Boucher (Feb. 10, 2010). "Tim Burton took a ‘Shining’ to Tweedledee and Tweedledum". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2011.  Director Tim Burton erroneously refers to the Grady girls as twins.

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