The Shining (1980)

R   |    |  Drama, Horror


The Shining (1980) Poster

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

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  • Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980)
  • Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980)
  • Stanley Kubrick in The Shining (1980)
  • Stanley Kubrick in The Shining (1980)
  • Shelley Duvall in The Shining (1980)
  • Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980)

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29 June 2003 | unbreakablepabs
A truly brilliant and scary film from Stanley Kubrick.
I can't praise this film long enough!

The Shining is, without doubt, one of Stanley Kubrick's undisputed masterpieces and a true classic in horror cinema. It is a film that, over the course of the years, has managed to scare the living hell out of its audiences (and still does). The film is an adaptation of Stepehen King's original novel, written in the late '70s, and although the film is not very loyal to the book, it still stands as a thing of its own.

Right from the beginning, as we contemplate the car going to the hotel from those stunning aerial shots, deeply inside us we know that something in the film, somehow, sometime is going to go wrong. As we obtain that severe warning, an almost inaudible voice gently whispers to us 'sit tight', a sense of unexpectedness invades us all, and it is that very same feeling that makes our hair stand on end throughout out the entire movie.



The plot is simple: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in up in the secluded mountains of Colorado. Jack, being a family man, takes his wife (Shelley Duvall) and son (Danny Lloyd) to the hotel to keep him company throughout the long, isolated nights. During their stay, strange things occur when Jack's son Danny sees gruesome images powered by a force called 'the shining' and Jack is heavily affected by this. Along with writer's block and the demons of the hotel haunting him, Jack has a complete mental breakdown and the situation takes a sinister turn for the worse.

The film, unlike many horror-oriented films nowadays, doesn't only rely on stomach-churning and gory images (which it does contain, anyway) but on the incredibly scary music based on the works of Béla Bartók and on the excellent cinematography (the Steadicam is superbly used, giving us a sense of ever-following evil), as well. The terrifying mood and atmosphere of the film is carefully and masterfully woven by Kubrick, who clearly knows how to really make a horror movie.

Jack Nicholson's powerful performance as the mad father and husband is as over the top as it is brilliant. Shelley Duvall, who plays the worrying wife who tries to help her son, is also a stand out; she shows a kind of trembling fear in many scenes and is able to display weakness and vulnerability in a very convincing way. Undoubtedly, The Shining is full of memorable moments (the elevator scene or the 'Heeeeeere's Johnny' one-liner for instance) and, simply put, it's flawlessly brilliant.

Stanley Kubrick's direction is pure excellence, giving the whole film a cold and atmospheric look, thus creating an unbearable sense of paranoia and terror. There are moments of sheer brilliance and exquisite perfection in this film; the horrifying maze chase is a perfect example. Every single shot is masterfully created and there are some genuinely scary scenes which will make you sit on the edge of your seat.

The Shining is, in my opinion, a special landmark in horror cinema which will always be regarded as one of the scariest movies in film history. Since I saw it last year, when I was 13, I have rarely been able to have a bath in my bathtub.Just in case, ya know. Overall, The Shining is incomparably the scariest film I've ever seen in my whole life (and I can tell you I've seen a great deal of horror films).

It is an unforgettable, chilling, majestic and truly, profoundly scary film crafted by an eccentric genius who wants to show that the impossible can be done. The Shining is a sublime, hauntingly intriguing and endlessly watchable film that shows Kubrick at his best.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Music would often be played on-set to help Danny Lloyd get into the right spirit for each scene.


Quotes

Jack Torrance: Hi, I've got an appointment with Mr. Ullman. My name is Jack Torrance.


Goofs

When Jack is using the ax to break through the door, he only breaks through one of the recessed panels and says, "Here's Johnny". But when he hears the snowmobile and turns, and the shot changes, two of the panels are gone without him using the ax on them.


Crazy Credits

The party music plays over the closing credits. After it ends, we hear the Overlook Hotel ghosts applaud. They then talk amongst themselves until their voices fade away.


Alternate Versions

When released theatrically in the United States, the film ran approx. 146 minutes. However, as explained above, three weeks into its release, Kubrick cut the 2 minute coda from the end of the film, reducing its length to 144 minutes. After meeting with poor reviews and erratic box office, Kubrick decided to further edit the film for its theatrical release outside the US. He cut approximately 31 minutes of footage, reducing the length to 113 minutes. The 144 minute 'US version' is often erroneously called the director's cut when in fact director Kubrick regards both the 119 minute version and the 144 minute version as director's cuts. Nevertheless, the longer version is the version now most commonly available. The following is a list of all the scenes or parts of scenes not present in the shorter 'European version':

  • After the first scene with Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and Danny (Danny Lloyd), the film cuts back to Jack (Jack Nicholson) at the Overlook, where his interview with Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) continues. Jack is introduced to Bill Watson (Barry Dennen), and Ullman tells Watson that Jack used to work as a schoolteacher. Jack says he became a writer because he needed a change in his life. Ullman then explains that the Overlook is closed every winter from the end of October to the following May, because it would be too expensive to keep the roads open, and he points out that the site was chosen specifically for its seclusion.
  • When Danny first 'sees' the Grady twins in his bathroom at home, he blacks out. When he awakes, he is being examined by a doctor (Anne Jackson). This entire examination scene, and the subsequent conversations were all cut. Danny says that before his black-out he was talking to Tony, "the little boy who lives inside my mouth". Wendy and the Doctor then talk in private, and Wendy mentions an incident in which Jack dislocated Danny's shoulder in a drunken fit of temper, at which time he swore never to touch alcohol again. That was five months ago, and since then, he has kept his word.
  • During their tour of the Overlook, Jack and Wendy are brought into the Colorado Lounge, and Wendy asks if the Indian designs are authentic. Ullman explains that they are based on ancient Navajo and Apache motifs. He then mentions the prestigious history of the hotel, saying it was a stopping place for the jet set, for four presidents, movie stars and "all the best people".
  • The beginning of the scene where Ullman shows Jack and Wendy the hotel grounds has been cut. He points out "our famous hedge maze" and warns them not to go in unless they have an hour or so to spare.
  • Prior to the introduction of Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers), Ullman shows off The Gold Room and explains that all liquor is removed during the winter so as to reduce insurance costs. Hallorann is then introduced, and the secretary Susie (Alison Coleridge) appears, having found Danny outside the games room. Ullman then leaves with Jack, and Hallorann takes Wendy around the kitchen.
  • Some of Danny's conversation with Hallorann has been cut. Danny asks Hallorann if he is scared of the Overlook, and Hallorann replies that he isn't, but that "some places are like people, some shine and some don't. I guess you could say the Overlook Hotel here has something about it that's like shining."
  • The first few shots of Wendy wheeling the breakfast tray through the corridors have been cut.
  • The end of the scene where Wendy brings Jack his breakfast has been cut. He comments that he has never been as happy or as comfortable anywhere as he is in the Overlook and Wendy reveals that she thought the place was scary when they first arrived. Jack replies that he fell in love with it straight away and he felt as if he had been there before.
  • The scene of Jack throwing the ball against the wall is shorter.
  • After Wendy and Danny explore the maze, a sequence has been cut showing Wendy working in the kitchen while a TV announcer talks of a search in the mountains for a missing woman, and a snow-storm that is predicted to be moving in on Colorado.
  • Following the scene in which Jack loses his temper with Wendy for interrupting him, the title THURSDAY was deleted.
  • After the scene in which Danny is confronted by the Grady twins in the corridor, and they invite him to play with them, a scene has been cut in which Wendy and Danny are watching TV. Danny asks if he can go to his room to get his toy fire-engine and Wendy tells him to be quiet because Jack is sleeping.
  • Some dialogue has been cut from the first conversation between Jack and Lloyd (Joe Turkel). Jack toasts, "Here's to five miserable months on the wagon and all the irreparable harm that it's caused me". Lloyd then asks him how things are, and Jack comments that they could be a whole lot better, that he is having trouble with his wife. Lloyd comments, "Women! Can't live with 'em. Can't live without 'em", and Jack wholeheartedly agrees.
  • After he has returned from examining Room 237, Jack's conversation with Wendy is slightly shorter.
  • After the scene between Jack and Grady (Philip Stone), a sequence has been cut in which Wendy is seen crying and talking to herself, musing about the possibility of getting down the mountain in the Sno-cat, and of calling the Forest Rangers. She then hears Danny calling out "red rum" over and over, but when she tries to talk to him, she is only 'answered' by Tony, who tells her that Danny can't hear her.
  • A scene has been cut in which Hallorann tries to get through to the Overlook by calling the Ranger station. They tell him that they've tried to get through several times but there has been no answer, and they offer to try again later.
  • Prior to the shot of Hallorann's plane, the title 8AM has been deleted.
  • On the plane, Hallorann asks a stewardess what time they are due to land in Denver and she tells him at 8.20. Jack is then seen typing in the lounge of the Overlook. Hallorann's plane lands at the airport and he calls Larry Durkin (Tony Burton), a garage owner, to rent a Sno-cat so as to get up to the Overlook. Durkin says the mountain roads are completely blocked off, and Hallorann explains that the people looking after the hotel turned out to be "completely unreliable assholes". Hallorann estimates that it will take him five hours to drive from the airport to collect the cat, and Larry says the Sno-cat will be waiting for him when he arrives.
  • The beginning of the scene in which Wendy finds Jack's type-written pages has been cut. She and Danny are watching television and she looks at her watch, telling Danny that she is going to talk to his father for a few minutes and that he should stay there. She picks up the baseball bat before leaving.
  • In the final scene, when Jack is pursuing Danny through the maze and Wendy is being confronted by some of the Overlook spooks, a short scene where she encounters a group of skeletons sitting at a table with a champagne bottle and glasses has been cut.


Soundtracks

The Shining (Main Title)
Written by
Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind
Performed by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind
Based on "Dream of a Witches' Sabbath" from Symphonie fantastique by Hector Berlioz and traditional requiem "Dies Irae"

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Horror

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