Because Danny Lloyd was so young, and since it was his first acting job, Stanley Kubrick was highly protective of the child. During the shooting of the movie, Lloyd was under the impression that the film he was making was a drama, not a horror movie. In fact, when Wendy carries Danny away while shouting at Jack in the Colorado Lounge, she is actually carrying a life-size dummy, so Lloyd would not have to be in the scene. He only realized the truth several years later, when he was shown a heavily edited version of the film. He did not see the uncut version of the film until he was seventeen, eleven years after he had made it.
For the scene in which Jack breaks down the bathroom door, the Props Department built a door that could be easily broken. However, Jack Nicholson had worked as a volunteer fire marshal and tore it apart far too easily. The Props Department were then forced to build a stronger door.
To get Jack Nicholson in the right agitated mood, he was only fed cheese sandwiches for two weeks, which he hates.
Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall have expressed open resentment against the reception of this film, feeling that critics and audiences credited Stanley Kubrick solely for the film's success without considering the efforts of the actors, crew, or the strength of Stephen King's underlying material. Nicholson and Duvall have said that the film was one of the hardest of their careers; in fact, Nicholson considers Duvall's performance the most difficult role he's ever seen an actress take on. Duvall also considers her performance the hardest of her life.
The idea for Danny Lloyd to move his finger when he was talking as Tony was his own. He did it spontaneously during his very first audition.
Shelley Duvall suffered from nervous exhaustion throughout filming, including physical illness and hair loss.
According to Shelley Duvall, the infamous "Here's Johnny!" scene took three days to film and the use of sixty doors.
The throwing around of the tennis ball inside the Overlook Hotel was Jack Nicholson's idea. The script originally only specified that, "Jack is not working".
There were so many changes to the script during shooting that Jack Nicholson claimed he stopped reading it. He would read only the new pages that were given to him each day.
Anjelica Huston lived with Jack Nicholson during the time of the shooting. She recalled that, due to the long hours on the set, and Stanley Kubrick's trademark style of repetitive takes, Nicholson would often return from a day's shooting, walk straight to the bed, collapse onto it, and would immediately fall asleep.
Jack Nicholson suggested Scatman Crothers for the film. Crothers had a tough time on this movie, with Stanley Kubrick making him do over one hundred takes for one scene. Crothers' next film was Bronco Billy (1980), directed by Clint Eastwood, who was famous for generally only going with one take. Crothers broke down in tears of gratitude on his first scene in the film when he realized he wouldn't have to do endless take after take again.
Tony Burton, who had a brief role as Larry Durkin the garage owner, arrived on-set one day carrying a chess set in hopes of getting in a game with someone during a break from filming. Stanley Kubrick, an avid chess player who had, in his youth, played for money, noticed the chess set. Despite production being behind schedule, Kubrick proceeded to call off filming for the day and engage in a set of games with Burton. Burton only managed to win one game, but nevertheless Kubrick thanked him, since it had been some time that he'd played against a challenging opponent.
Stanley Kubrick, known for his compulsiveness and numerous retakes, got the difficult shot of blood pouring from the elevators in only three takes. This would be remarkable if it weren't for the fact that the shot took nine days to set up. Every time the doors opened and the blood poured out, Kubrick would say, "It doesn't look like blood." In the end, the shot took approximately a year to get right.
All of the interior rooms of the Overlook Hotel were filmed at Elstree Studios in England, including the Colorado Lounge, where Jack does his typing. Because of the intense heat generated from the lighting used to recreate window sunlight (the room took seven hundred thousand watts of light per window to make it look like a snowy day outside), the lounge set caught fire. Fortunately all of the scenes had been completed there, so the set was rebuilt with a higher ceiling, and the same area was eventually used by Steven Spielberg as the snake-filled Well of the Souls tomb in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
Despite Stanley Kubrick's fierce demands on everyone, Jack Nicholson admitted to having a good working relationship with him. It was with Shelley Duvall that he was a completely different director. He allegedly picked on her more than anyone else, as seen in the documentaries Making 'The Shining' (1980) and Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001). He would really lose his temper with her, even going so far as to say that she was wasting the time of everyone on the set. She later reflected that he was probably pushing her to her limits to get the best out of her, and that she wouldn't trade the experience for anything, but it was not something she ever wished to repeat.
Stephen King was quite disappointed in the final film. While admitting that Stanley Kubrick's visuals were stunning, he said that was surface and not substance. He often described the film as "A fancy car without an engine."
The "snowy" maze near the conclusion of the movie consisted of nine hundred tons of salt and crushed Styrofoam.
After Barry Lyndon (1975), Stanley Kubrick started researching his next project by reading a lot of recent books. His secretary could hear him throwing rejected books at the wall in his office. One day, he started reading Stephen King's novel and, after a few hours, when his secretary hadn't heard the familiar sound of a book hitting the wall, she knew he had found his next project.
Stanley Kubrick had envisioned Shelley Duvall as his more timid, dependent version of Wendy Torrance from the very beginning. However, Jack Nicholson after reading the novel, wanted Jessica Lange for the role of Wendy, and even recommended her to Kubrick, as he felt she fit Stephen King's version of the character. After explaining the changes he had made, Kubrick convinced him that Duvall was the correct choice, as she best suited the emotionally fragile Wendy he had in mind. Many years later, Nicholson told Empire magazine he thought Duvall was fantastic and called her work in the film, "the toughest job that any actor that I've seen had".
Stanley Kubrick considered Robert De Niro and Robin Williams for the role of Jack Torrance, but decided against them. Kubrick did not think De Niro would suit the role after watching his performance in Taxi Driver (1976), as he deemed De Niro not psychotic enough for the role. He did not think Williams would suit the role after watching his performance on Mork & Mindy (1978), as he deemed him too psychotic for the role. According to Stephen King, Kubrick also briefly considered Harrison Ford.
Prior to hiring Diane Johnson as his writing partner, Stanley Kubrick rejected a screenplay written by Stephen King. King's script was a much more literal adaptation of the novel, a much more traditional horror film, than the film Kubrick would ultimately make. He was considering hiring Johnson because he admired her novel "The Shadow Knows", but when he found out she was a Doctor of Gothic Studies, he became convinced she was the person for the job.
Stanley Kubrick originally wanted Slim Pickens to play the part of Hallorann, but Pickens wanted nothing to do with Kubrick, following his experiences working with him on Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).
Jack Nicholson claimed that the scene where Jack snaps at Wendy for interrupting his writing was the most difficult for him, as he was a writer himself and had gotten into similar arguments with his girlfriend. Being a method actor, he drew on his memories of those arguments and added the line "Or if you come in here and you DON'T hear me typing, if I'm in here that means I'm working!"
As he lived in England, Stanley Kubrick was not at all familiar with the "Heeeeere's Johnny" line (from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962)) that Jack Nicholson improvised. He very nearly didn't use it.
There was no air conditioning on the sets, meaning it would often become very hot. The hedge maze set was stifling. Actor, actress, and crew would often strip off as much of the heavy clothing they were wearing as quickly as they could once a shot was finished.
On the DVD commentary track for Making 'The Shining' (1980), Vivian Kubrick reveals that Shelley Duvall received "no sympathy at all" from anyone on the set. This was apparently Stanley Kubrick's tactic in making her feel utterly hopeless. This is most evident in the documentary when he tells Vivian, "Don't sympathize with Shelley." Kubrick then goes on to tell Duvall, "It doesn't help you."
The Shining was eventually re-adapted as a 1997 miniseries that followed Stephen King's book more closely, because of his dissatisfaction with Stanley Kubrick's adaptation. However, Kubrick owned the rights to the 1980 adaptation, so in order for King to get the right to re-adapt his own book into the miniseries, Kubrick required that he sign a legally-binding contract that forced King to no longer be able to bring up frequent public criticism of Kubrick's film, save for the sole commentary that he was disappointed with Jack Nicholson's portrayal of Jack Torrance, as though he had been insane before his arrival at the Overlook Hotel.
Neither Lia Beldam (young woman in bath) nor Billie Gibson (old woman in bath) appeared in another movie before or after this one.
Despite his reported abuse of Shelley Duvall on-set, Stanley Kubrick spoke very highly of her ability in interviews, and found himself quite impressed by her performance in the finished film.
When Steadicam inventor and operator Garrett Brown was hired to work on the picture, he was assured that there was no way the shoot would run over six months, as he had to be back in the United States in six months time to shoot Rocky II (1979). Six months into the shoot, less than half the film had been shot, and for several months, Brown worked one week in London on this movie, and one week in Philadelphia on Rocky II (1979), commuting by Concorde every Sunday.
The only shot in the film not achieved in-camera was the slow zoom in on the model of the maze, with the tiny figures of Danny and Wendy walking around at the center. To achieve this shot, a model of the maze was shot from six feet above. Then the small central section of the maze was built to scale next to an apartment complex. Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd then walked about in the central section while the camera crew filmed it from the roof of the apartment building. The two shots were then simply composited together.
The first of Stephen King's books to be banned from school libraries because of the theme of wicked parents.
The shot of the tennis ball rolling into Danny's toys took fifty takes to get right.
Stanley Kubrick wanted to shoot the film in script order. This meant having all the relevant sets standing by at all times. In order to achieve this, every soundstage at Elstree Studios was used, with all the sets built, pre-lit and ready to go during the entire shoot at the studios.
Stephen King did not know that "murder" spelled backwards was "redrum" until he actually typed it. He loved the various connotations of the word. Red Rum was a famous racehorse in the 1970s.
Much like the casting of the character Jack, Stephen King also disliked the casting of Shelley Duvall as Wendy. King said that he envisioned Wendy as being a blond former cheerleader type who never had to deal with any true problems in her life, making her experience in the Overlook all the more terrifying. He felt that Duvall was too emotionally vulnerable and appeared to have gone through a lot in her life, basically the exact opposite of how he pictured the character.
Garrett Brown accomplished many of the ultra-low tracking corridor sequences from a wheelchair, on which his invention was mounted. Grips would either pull backward or push forward the wheelchair, depending on the requirement of the shot.
The color red is visible, either overtly or subtly, in nearly every shot of the film. This is presumably because Colorado was so named because it is the Spanish word for "red".
There is a great deal of confusion regarding this film and the number of retakes of certain scenes. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the scene where Wendy is backing up the stairs swinging the baseball bat was shot one hundred twenty-seven times, which is a record for the most takes of a single scene. However, both Steadicam Operator Garrett Brown and Assistant Editor Gordon Stainforth say this is inaccurate. The scene was shot about thirty-five to forty-five times.
According to Stephen King, the title is inspired by the refrain in the The Plastic Ono Band's song, "Instant Karma" (by John Lennon), which features the chorus: "We all shine on".
Stephen King tried to talk Stanley Kubrick out of casting Jack Nicholson in the lead, suggesting, instead, either Michael Moriarty or Jon Voight. King had felt that watching either of these normal-looking men gradually descend into madness, would have immensely improved the dramatic thrust of the storyline.
One of Stanley Kubrick's favorite films was Eraserhead (1977), directed by David Lynch. Kubrick cited the film as a creative influence during the making of this movie, and screened it to put the cast and crew in the mood he wanted to achieve for the film.
Stanley Kubrick decided that having the hedge animals come alive (as they do in the book) was unworkable, due to restrictions in special effects, so he opted for a hedge maze instead.
Outtakes of the shots of the Volkswagen Beetle travelling towards the Overlook Hotel at the start of the film were "plundered" by Ridley Scott (with Stanley Kubrick's permission) when he was forced to add the "happy ending" to the original release of Blade Runner (1982). Of course, none of the shots used in Blade Runner (1982) were ones that included the car.
Saul Bass reportedly produced around three hundred versions of the film's poster before Stanley Kubrick was satisfied.
Stephen King got the idea for the book while his family were staying at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. They were the last guests before it shut down for the winter. He saw a group of nuns leaving the hotel, and it got him thinking that the place had suddenly become godless. The King family stayed in Room 217, the haunted room in the novel, but Room 237 in the film. A fire hose also resembled a snake (which doesn't appear in the movie, but does in The Shining (1997) television miniseries), and King had already been playing around with a story idea about a boy with ESP, so he combined the two plotlines.
According to Vivian Kubrick in her "making of", Stanley Kubrick's secretary spent weeks, if not months, typing dozens of pages "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" for the scene where Wendy discovers those pages that Jack has been typing.
To construct the interiors of the Overlook Hotel, Stanley Kubrick and Production Designer Roy Walker purposely set out to make it look like an amalgamation of bits and pieces of real hotels, rather than giving it one single design aesthetic. Kubrick had sent many photographers around the country photographing hotel rooms and picking his favorite. For example, the red men's bathroom was modelled on a men's room in the Biltmore Hotel in Arizona, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Colorado lounge was modelled on the lounge of the Ahwanee Hotel in the Yosemite Valley. Indeed, the chandeliers, windows and fireplace are nearly identical, so much so that people entering the Ahwahnee Hotel often ask if it's "the Shining hotel".
Stephen King was first approached by Stanley Kubrick about making this movie via an early morning phone call (England is five hours ahead of Maine in time zones). King, suffering from a hangover, shaving, and at first thinking one of his kids was injured, was shocked when his wife told him Kubrick was really on the phone. King recalled that the first thing Kubrick did was to immediately start talking about how optimistic ghost stories are, because they suggest that humans survive death. "What about Hell?" King asked. Kubrick paused for several moments before finally replying, "I don't believe in Hell?" King replied stating that there are people who believe in Hell, and that they fear it more than death itself. This was tremendously effective in helping Kubrick understand the feel of the story.
During an interview for Britain's The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003), Shelley Duvall revealed that due to her role requiring her to be in an almost constant state of hysteria, she eventually ran out of tears from crying so hard. To overcome this, she kept bottles of water with her at all times on-set to remain hydrated.
During the scene where Wendy brings Jack breakfast in bed, it can be seen in the reflection of the mirror that Jack's t-shirt says "Stovington" on it. While not mentioned in the film, this is the name of the school that Jack used to teach at in the novel.
Upon seeing the movie, Stephen King reportedly said "I think he set out to make a film that hurts people."
The Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Oregon, was used for the front exterior, but all of the interiors, as well as the back of the hotel, were specially built at Elstree Studios in London, England. Legend says that the management of the Timberline requested that Stanley Kubrick not use 217 for a room number (as specified in the book), fearing that nobody would want to stay in that room ever again. Kubrick changed the script to use the nonexistent room number 237.
The scene of Hallorann approaching the hotel in the snow-cat was shot in real snow approaching the real Timberline hotel in Oregon.
During filming, Stanley Kubrick made the cast watch Eraserhead (1977), Rosemary's Baby (1968), and The Exorcist (1973) to put them in the right frame of mind.
According to Variety Magazine, the film took almost two hundred days to shoot. However, according to Assistant Editor Gordon Stainforth, it took much more, nearly a year. The film was originally supposed to take seventeen weeks, but it ultimately took fifty-one. Because the film ran so long, Reds (1981) and Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) were delayed, as they were waiting to shoot in Elstree Studios.
Jack tells Lloyd in the bar that Danny once messed around with his work papers. This mirrors an event in Stephen King's life, when his son once started playing around with his writing notes. He felt like killing him.
During the making of the movie, Stanley Kubrick would occasionally call Stephen King at 3:00 a.m. and ask him questions like "Do you believe in God?" Steven Spielberg had heard this story, and asked Kubrick if it was true. Kubrick denied that it happened.
Stanley Kubrick's perfectionism extended to insisting that the cast members be on-set to be measured for the lighting of the scene, something that is normally done with stand-ins. Jack Nicholson claimed that Kubrick was the only director he ever worked with who required the actual cast members to pose for the lighting, which required that they arrive on-set several hours earlier than usual.
Stephen King was disappointed in this film. In an interview in the June 1986 issue of American Film, he said "It's like a great big beautiful Cadillac with no motor inside, you can sit in it and you can enjoy the smell of the leather upholstery, the only thing you can't do is drive it anywhere. So I would do everything different. The real problem is that Kubrick set out to make a horror picture with no apparent understanding of the genre. Everything about it screams that from beginning to end, from plot decisions to the final scene." In particular, King disliked the casting of Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance. This was because he felt that in the novel, it was pivotal that Jack is initially a good man who is slowly overcome by the forces of evil, and who is fighting a losing battle against alcoholism. King was of the opinion that, due to the casting of Nicholson, who was well known for playing unstable characters, Jack in the film is very much on the edge when the story begins, and the character does not possess the inner goodness so vital to Jack of the novel. King wanted to cast someone who could play the character as more genial in the early stages. Apparently, he was very keen on Jon Voight. He was also hugely disappointed that the themes of the evils of alcoholism, and the disintegration of the family unit were relatively unimportant in the film, due to his own battle with alcoholism, and because of this personal investment in that aspect of the novel, he was largely disheartened by the film.
Most of the elaborate urban legends and conspiracy theories surrounding this film (ranging from it serving as a Holocaust metaphor to a confession that Kubrick helped fake the moon landings) were refuted by Stanley Kubrick during his lifetime or later by the surviving cast and crew. For example, the famous "impossible corridors" are a result of set logistics, Kubrick wanted to shoot Danny on his big wheel in unbroken takes, so the hallways had to connect, and the only way the crew could construct them to fit Kubrick's vision, meant mirroring the set to fit available soundstage space. The shadow of the helicopter in the opening shot was the result of a framing error.
Music would often be played on-set to help Danny Lloyd get into the right spirit for each scene.
To achieve the smoothness of the opening shots, Cameraman Greg MacGillivray secured a wide angle Arriflex camera to the front of a helicopter, then balanced the blades to remove any vibrations. Even the shot where the camera comes down behind the car, passes it out, and goes over the edge, is done via the helicopter.
The scrapbook that Jack finds in the novel makes a brief appearance next to his typewriter when Jack tells Wendy never to bother him while he's working.
Scatman Crothers was friends with Jack Nicholson, and when he heard about the role of Dick Hallorann, he asked Nicholson to talk to Stanley Kubrick about casting him.
The "Making-of" documentary shot by Vivian Kubrick shows that the hedge maze set, while nowhere nearly as large as the maze in the film (which was mostly a matte painting), was still large and complex enough to require a detailed map. In the commentary for her documentary, she notes that many crew members really got lost in the maze, dryly noting that it now reminds her of the lost backstage scene in This Is Spinal Tap (1984).
Despite receiving generally unfavorable reviews upon its initial release, the film is now regarded as one of the best horror movies ever made. In 2001, it was ranked twenty-ninth on AFI's '100 Years...100 Thrills' list. In 2003, Jack Torrance was named the twenty-fifth greatest villain on the AFI's '100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains' list. The film was named the scariest film of all time by Channel 4 in 2003, and Total Film had it as the fifth greatest horror film in 2004. Bravo TV placed it sixth on their list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments in 2004. In addition, film critics Kim Newman and Jonathan Romney placed it in their all-time top ten lists for the 2002 Sight and Sound poll.
The famous opening scene was shot in Glacier National Park in Montana just north of St. Mary's Lake. The road seen in the scene, Going-to-the-Sun Road, does actually close down during winter and is only negotiable by snowcat. Kubrick initially sent a second unit to the Rockies in Colorado, but they reported back that the area wasn't very interesting. When Stanley Kubrick saw the footage they had shot, he was furious, and fired the entire unit. He then sent Greg MacGillivray, a noted helicopter cameraman, to Montana and it was McGillivray who shot the scene.
In the British television ad for the film, Jack can be seen tearing through the second door panel, a shot that was never used in the final cut.
Although a key point in the novel, the hotel boiler is only mentioned once in the film.
One of the shots in the part where Jack is bouncing a ball against a wall took several days to film. This was because the shot entailed the ball bouncing from the wall onto the camera lens as it filmed. As Stanley Kubrick was so determined to get this precise shot, the camera kept rolling while the ball was continually hit against the wall in the hope of it bouncing back and hitting the lens. It took everyone on the entire unit having a go at it in between other shots before the shot was finally achieved after several days.
Despite the critical success of the film, it was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Actress for Shelley Duvall and Worst Director for Stanley Kubrick. It "lost" both awards.
The maze was constructed on an airfield near Elstree Studios, by weaving branches to chicken wire mounted on empty plywood boxes. The maze was shot using an extremely short lens (a 9.8 mm, which gives a horizontal viewing angle of ninety degrees) which was kept dead level at all times, to make the hedges seem much bigger and more imposing than they were in reality.
The role of Lloyd the Bartender was originally to have been played by Harry Dean Stanton, who was unable to take the role due to his commitment to Alien (1979).
Along with Bound for Glory (1976), Marathon Man (1976), and Rocky (1976), this was one of the first films to use the recently developed Steadicam.
Delbert Grady, the waiter and butler from 1921, spills Advocaat (a yellow liqueur) on Jack in the Gold Room, one of multiple instances where the color yellow gradually becomes more symbolically prevalent as the film moves closer to Jack's madness and the Overlook Hotel's resurrection.
This film was shot in the same film studio that was used for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980). In fact, much of the same fake snow used for this film was used for the Hoth scenes. Stephen King visited the set of both films, and met Director Irvin Kershner. This later became the basis for part of his book "It". Kershner had been nicknamed "Kersh", and was directing the first Star Wars film to feature Yoda. In the Stephen King book "It", there is a character named Mrs. Kersh, who is said to sound like Yoda when she talks. As well as countless other mentions of Star Wars in various King books.
Danny Torrance's imaginary friend, Tony, isn't given much of an explanation in the 1980 film, however, in the book, Tony is actually Danny's adult self speaking to him from the future (in the book, Danny's middle name is Anthony, or "Tony" for short). Furthermore, in the book, Tony is a benevolent imaginary friend who acts as a sort of conscience, as well as a sixth sense, and a companion for Danny since he doesn't have many friends at school. Tony is also fully visible to Danny as a person. In the film, Tony is invisible, and is only a high-pitched voice, which speaks to Danny's parents through Danny himself. In the film, Tony also appears almost evil, or a sign that Danny is mentally disturbed, often making Danny pass out or scaring his mother, showing him graphic images and eventually full-on possessing Danny and making him write "REDRUM" on the hotel wall with Wendy Torrance's lipstick.
Approximately four thousand people auditioned for the role of Danny Torrance over a six-month period. The interviews were carried out in Chicago, Denver, and Cincinnati by Stanley Kubrick's assistant Leon Vitali, and his wife, Kersti Vitali. Aspiring actors were asked to send in photographs of themselves, and from the photographs, a list was made of the boys who looked right, who were then called in to interview. Vitali would then have the boys do some minor improvisation on-camera, and Kubrick would review the footage, gradually narrowing the list down.
James Mason can be seen visiting the set of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980) in Making 'The Shining' (1980). Stanley Kubrick did not usually allow visitors to his set, but made an exception for Mason, who had memorably played Humbert Humbert in Lolita (1962).
Stanley Kubrick's first choice to play Danny Torrance was Cary Guffey, the young boy from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Guffey's parents apparently turned down the offer, due to the film's subject matter.
Since Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall spoke in thick New Jersey and Texas accents respectively, Kubrick wanted the actor playing Danny to be from the Midwest as a compromise between the two, settling on Illinois born Danny Lloyd.
Jack Nicholson and Joe Turkel rehearsed the "Gold Room" scene for six weeks. Turkel said it was his favorite scene in the film.
The MPAA did not allow blood to be shown in any trailers that would be seen by all ages. Kubrick persuaded them that the blood was rusty water and got the trailer passed.
John Williams was initially set to provide the score, until Stanley Kubrick decided to go with a selection of music from different composers.
The 1921 photograph prop still survives, intact, and can be seen in Stanley Kubrick exhibitions. It is possible to notice, on a close inspection, how Jack Nicholson's airbrushed head was pasted on the photo, as it sticks out a bit.
The eerie "music for strings" section of the soundtrack was previously used in two Doctor Who (1963) serials in 1967.
The magazine that Jack reads in the lobby and tosses back onto the chair when arising to greet Stuart Ullman is the January 1978 issue of "Playgirl".
Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind wrote and performed a full electronic score for the film, but Stanley Kubrick discarded most of it and used a soundtrack of mostly classical music. Only the adaptation of the "Dies Irae" ("Day of Wrath") melody (from the traditional requiem mass) during the opening credits, the music during the family's drive to the hotel, and a few other brief moments (such as Halloran's plane trip) survive in the final version. Wendy Carlos once noted that she'd like to see the original score released on CD, but there were too many legal snags at the time. As of 2005, Carlos' score for the film has been remastered, and is a part of "Rediscovering Lost Scores Volumes 1 and 2".
Stephen King said Kubrick's version of Wendy Torrance is one of the most misogynistic characters ever to be put to film. He said "She's just there to scream and be stupid."
Philip Stone recalled of his scene with Jack Nicholson, "We shot it 50 or 60 times, I should think - always in one take. Then Jack Nicholson, Stanley and I would sit down and look at each take on a video. Jack would say, 'That was pretty good, wasn't it, Stanley?' And Stanley would say, 'Yes it was. Now let's do it again'."
The movie's line "Here's Johnny!" was voted as the #68 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100), and as the #36 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere magazine in 2007.
Chevy Chase, Martin Sheen, Leslie Nielsen, and Christopher Reeve were considered for the role of Jack Torrence.
The two Ray Noble and His Orchestra songs used were not actually from the 1920s: "Midnight, the Stars and You" (played in the ballroom) was recorded February 16, 1934, and "It's All Forgotten Now" (heard faintly when Grady is talking to Jack in the bathroom) was recorded July 11, 1934.
Stanley Kubrick also made casting decisions for dubbing actors in other countries. In Spain, actor and actress Joaquín Hinojosa and Verónica Forqué did the voices of Jack and Wendy Torrence, respectively. Both had little experience in dubbing. In Spain, this dubbing is considered one of the worst dubbings ever made, due to that casting choice.
In the novel and the miniseries, Jack was a teacher at a prep school, but lost his job after hitting a student. He managed to get a few stories published in local magazines.
Danny is one of several characters in Stephen King novels with mental powers. Others can be found in Carrie, Firestarter, and Doctor Sleep.
Knowing of his interest in the paranormal, Warner Brothers president John Calley sent Stanley Kubrick a galley copy of "The Shining" novel.
The most accurate model of the famous maze prop that Jack looks over in the lobby was made by Adam Savage (MythBusters (2003)).
The film shows an upbeat relationship between Stuart Ullman and Jack Torrance, in contrast to the novel, which describes it as being very stilted and sour. Torrance views Ullman as a pompous official, and Ullman tells Torrance he is not fit for the caretaker position, due to his history of abuse. He only gives Torrance the job because his own employer is Torrance's old friend Al Shockley, who overrides Ullman's refusal. Later, Torrance phones Ullman in retaliation, and threatens to write a book detailing the hotel's sordid past. Ullman attempts to fire him, but Shockley intervenes and saves Torrance's job after admonishing him over the phone.
Conspiracy theorists point to several symbols in the film as "evidence" that Stanley Kubrick was involved in "faking" the footage of the moon landing; there are several symbols of "11" throughout the film, the pattern of the hotel carpet in which Danny is playing (in his Apollo 11 sweater) is the exact shape of the lunar launch pad, the pages of Jack's novel reads "All work and no play make Jack a dull boy." The "All" could be interpreted as "A11" or Apollo 11. The large Native American wall tapestry (against which Jack is throwing the ball) resemble rockets. The Apollo 11 vehicle that landed on the moon was called the Eagle; Jack's typewriter is an Adler which is the German word for eagle, there are several wooden eagles in the hotel manager's office, the manager has a U.S. flag on his desk and is wearing red, white & blue colors (some interpret this to mean that he represents the government with whom Jack has entered into a contract).
Danny's Shining is more powerful than Dick's in the novel. Danny can get information about someone just by touching them (even though his predictions are sometimes wrong), but Dick believed everyone has a bit of Shining in them. Danny's Shining can increase and decrease in frequency, but he doesn't like reading people's most private thoughts. The Shining can be suppressed by an injection.
Filmmakers tend to strictly follow what is known as the 180 degree rule when filming two characters in a scene. The first shot of a scene typically establishes each character as being on either the left or right hand side of the screen. Although the camera may change angles many times over the course of a scene, it never moves more than 180 degrees from its original position. Keeping it less than that keeps the characters on their established sides of the screen, while going over causes the characters to reverse position, disorienting the viewer. Kubrick breaks this rule during Jack's meeting with Grady in the men's room, visually hinting to the viewer that Jack is becoming more like Grady.
The ghost of an injured guest says "Great party, isn't it?" In the book, the ghost of Horace Derwent, the late owner of the Overlook Hotel, says this to Wendy and Danny.
The original theatrical aspect ratio for this movie is 1.85:1, however the film was shot using the entire film frame (1.37:1 or 4x3 as is known in current technical set-ups). The film has been known to be shown full screen on VHS, LaserDisc, television, and more in the 1.37:1 or 4x3 aspect ratio, revealing more picture information on the top and bottom of the screen. For many years with 4x3 televisions, Kubrick much preferred the movie be shown this way, to avoid any cropping at the sides of the image, and as most of his photography was centered and vertical, it also added to the effect on smaller television screens. However, this movie has always been intended as a 1.85:1 presentation, despite many conflicting opinions and viewpoints to the contrary. Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket (1987) was also shot this way, and while Eyes Wide Shut (1999) was believed to have been shot in 1.37:1, this was proven incorrect by examining the 35mm prints of the film, where hard mattes and camera equipment were present outside the 1.85:1 safe zone. The 1.85:1 versions are the director's intended versions, and are now available on Blu-ray, digital platforms, and DVD.
According to Vivian Kubrick in her commentary on Making "The Shining" (1980), Margaret Adams (listed in the credits as the director's secretary, and also the Production Manager on Eyes Wide Shut (1999)) was the person who typed up all the hundreds of various "Dull Little Boy" pages that are used in this movie. It apparently took her a few months.
The film was released in the United States on Scatman Crothers' seventieth birthday.
When Jack uses an axe to break through the bathroom door, he shouts "Here's Johnny". This was a reference to the catchphrase of talk show host Johnny Carson, which had been ad-libbed by Jack Nicholson. However, an alternative explanation is that it is a reference to an incident that occurred in the 1960s, when Johnny Cash used a fire axe to break a connecting "doorway" between two motel rooms that he and his band members were using while on tour, and then broke through one of the doors from the corridor, to make it look as if a thief had broken in and trashed the rooms.
When Danny goes to explore Room 237 (Room 217) in the novel, there's also a scary fire hose outside that menaces Danny like a snake. It's not in the film, but it is in the 1997 miniseries.
Although she was already transitioning, Wendy Carlos was credited as Walter Carlos on Kubrick's previous film, A Clockwork Orange. For this film, she is credited by her female name, having already gone public with her transition.
Room 237 (217 in the novel) continues a theme in Stephen King novels of rooms with numbers having significance.
Danny Lloyd grew up to be a professor of biology at a community college in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Denver media was used twice in the film. While driving up to Sidewinder in a blinding snowstorm, Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) is listening to AM disc jockeys Hal Moore and Charley Martin. Denver's KHOW was top 40 pop music at that time, and Hal and Charley were actually morning drive-time DJs. They used elements of their show in a scripted segment for the audio. Also, the television in the Overlook Hotel was able to pick up Denver's channel 9. On-air talent Bertha Lynn and Bill Custer taped a scripted segment for use on the Overlook's television. The weather report that Dick Hallorann watched in Miami featured Glen Rinker, who was a well-known Florida news anchor at the time.
The outtakes link between this movie and Blade Runner (1982) was not the only element that connected the two. Joe Turkel, who played Lloyd (the bartender who serves Jack), also played Dr. Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner (1982).
Wendy, at the breakfast scene in the beginning of the film, is reading "The Catcher In The Rye" by J.D. Salinger.
Was selected for preservation in the National Film Registy, by the Library of Congress in 2018 for being culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.
The miniseries and the novel goes into more detail about Jack Torrance's relationship with his father than the film does. In fact, it doesn't even come up.
Shelley Duvall is the only actor or actress who played a member of the Torrance family, whose character name is not the same as his or her real-life name. Jack Nicholson played a character named Jack, and Danny Lloyd played a character named Danny.
In the bar scene where Jack has some bourbon, the dialogue includes: "I like you Lloyd. You were always the best goddamn bartender from Timbuktu, to Portland, Maine, or Portland, Oregon for that matter." This is taken directly from the novel, and coincidentally a reference to their host city of Portland, Oregon, where they filmed the exterior scenes of the hotel, which was the Timberline Lodge on nearby Mt. Hood.
During the ballroom sequence, none of the extras were actually talking, Kubrick told them through a megaphone to just mouth the words and not nod their heads.
Jack Nicholson and Scatman Crothers appeared in The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), The Fortune (1975), and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).
Shelley Duvall appeared in two movies in 1980, this movie and Popeye (1980). One was a huge hit, and wound up being one of the most critically acclaimed horror movies ever made, and one was a disappointment, a minor hit which almost permanently derailed the careers of Robert Altman and Robin Williams.
This was the first horror film starring Jack Nicholson since Roger Corman's The Terror (1963).
Bill Watson was the caretaker at the Overlook Hotel the rest of the year in the novel. There is a "Bill" in Ullman's office at the start of the film, so that's probably him.
The infamous line "Here's Johnny" was originally removed in the Spanish dubbed voice-over, since then Johnny Carson and The Johnny Carson Show (1955) were totally unknown in Spain. It was changed to "Aquí está Jack" ("Here's Jack") to make the scene easier to understand, with Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) referring himself.
At 00:52 minutes when Wendy and Danny are watching television if you look closely you will see the T.V. isn't plugged in.
The title theme is an expanded version of a specific excerpt in the "A Clockwork Orange" main theme.
Shirley Jackson was a favorite author of Stephen King's and his "The Shining" book was definitely influenced by "The Haunting"; another epic book about paranormal people blessed with ESP exploring a haunted house; a house which in both books has a definite living entity of itself.
Peter Straub says The Shining "is obviously a masterpiece, probably the best supernatural novel in a hundred years."
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
The two tracked vehicles in the movie are the Activ Fischer VW Powered 4 Speed Snow-Trak (referred to, and labelled on the vehicle as a "SnowCat") and a Thiokol Imp SnowCat (this is the vehicle in which Wendy and Danny escape).
In the novel, Dick Hallorann's grandmother (and her great-grandmother) also had the Shining, and they carried on conversations mentally. Hallorann was sexually abused by his grandfather when he was five, who used to call Hallorann Dickie-Bird. He also burned Hallorann with a cigarette or bit him, but said nothing would happen if Dick told his parents because of their inheritance. He later died of a stroke, but he came back to haunt Dick, like Mrs. Massey came back to haunt Danny. Dick was quite a ladies' man.
Longtime Denver-area television newscaster Bertha Lynn appeared in this movie, and the 1997 miniseries, in scenes where weather updates are broadcast on television.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film, for a television commercial in 2010 for Premier Inn hotels (UK), British comedian Lenny Henry reenacted Jack Nicholson's "Heeere's Johnny" scene ("Heeere's Lenny") in which he demolished a hotel bathroom door with an axe. The commercial was later banned due to complaints.
The Donner Party is a true story. It's what Donner Pass on Interstate 80 in Northern California is named for.
Billie Gibson, the old woman in the tub, is often confused with Ann Gibson, Mel Gibson's late mother.
Danny was five in the novel, and eight by the time of the sequel, Doctor Sleep. In the film, he sucks his thumb, and in the sequel, he still does. Also Abra, another girl with the Shining does it too, as a security blanket.
In the novel, at the Overlook Hotel, Danny and Wendy used to visit a picnic spot near the hotel before they got snowed in. Jack was always too busy with his play.
Wendy smokes Virginia Slims Full Flavor 120s in the scene where she and the Doctor are discussing Danny.
In an edition of Radio Times for Andrew Collins Film of the Week, he reviewed The Shining (1980). An extract read, "In 1997 King adapted his novel into a TV miniseries. It was rubbish. The original film is the best".
Barry Nelson, the interviewer at the start of the movie, was the first to play James Bond. Climax!: Casino Royale (1954) also starred Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre. Lorre and Jack Nicholson were both in The Raven (1963).
When Ullman and Bill Watson approach Jack in the lobby on Closing Day, Jack is reading a January 1978 issue of Playgirl Magazine.
The woman in room 237 was the first, last and only role for the actresses who portrayed her in both this film and the television remake.
A prominent piece of music used in the film composed by Krzysztof Penderecki - Utrenja Ewangelia, is also partly used by Disney in one of their rides at Disney world in Florida. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride which is based at Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM), has a section where you progress from the rear of the show building to the main ride/drop section. Once your vehicle has travelled through the 5th Dimension section and enters the final lift shaft, that is when the music can be heard.
In the book and the 1997 miniseries, Jack is writing a play, but it's not known if that's what he came to the Overlook Hotel to write in the film.
In the bar scene where Jack has some bourbon, the dialogue includes: "I like you Lloyd.... you were always the best goddamn bartender from Timbuktu, to Portland, Maine... or Portland, Oregon for that matter..." This is a subtle reference to their host city of Portland,OR where they filmed the exterior scenes of the hotel which was actually the Timberline Lodge on nearby Mt. Hood.
There is a character named Richard Haloran (slightly different spelling) in the film Dementia 13 (1963), about an axe murderer. It was produced by Roger Corman, who directed several of Jack Nicholson's early films.
Jack was supposed to mow the lawns (and trim the topiary in the novel) as part of his job.
In the novel and the film, people are still checking out of the Overlook Hotel when the Torrances arrive.
Stanley Kubrick was involved in the casting of the german dubbing of the movie. He has chosen Jörg Pleva for Jack Nicholsons part. Kubrick previously gave Pleva the lead dubbing roles for Redmond Barry (Barry Lyndon) and Alexander DeLarge (A Clockwork Orange). "The Shining" was Plevas last dubbing work in a movie. Ironically Joachim Kerzel, who later became Jack Nicholsons standard dubbing voice actor in germany did the voice of the character Stuart Ullman in "The Shining". It is also notable, that the line "Here's Johnny" was altered in the german version to "Hier ist Jackie!" - "Here's Jackie!", referencing the character's name of Jack Torrance. This was obviously done because germans at that time weren't familiar with the Johnny Carson show.
In a shot of the kitchen in the Torrance's Boulder apartment, Ivory and Joy dishwashing liquid are seen on a shelf.
In the book The Day of the Triffids, Bill Masen walks into a hotel shouting "Anybody here?" like Dick Hallorann in this film.
The back-and-forth camera movement where Jack is breaking through the bathroom door mimicks the pan-and-scan technique, used when widescreen formats are shown on a narrower screen, such as an older tube TV.
British TV station Carlton Television broadcast the uncut 146 minute version twice in the 1990's.
A lot of the incidental music is very similar to that used in 2001: a space odyssey. Specifically, the star gate segment.
Scatman Crothers would go on to be the voice of Autobot Jazz in the popular cartoon series The Transformers (1984).
Steven Spielberg visited Elstree Studios to prepare to film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), and got to meet Stanley Kubrick, leading to a twenty year friendship between the two. In addition to taking over A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) after Kubrick's death, Spielberg went on to cast Wolf Kahler (from Barry Lyndon (1975)) in Raiders, and Philip Stone in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). He also makes reference to this film in Jurassic Park (1993) and Ready Player One (2018).
Vivian Kubrick: In the party scene. She wore a black dress and sat on the right side of the sofa closest to the bar.
Stanley Kubrick: [Bathrooms] Jack speaks to the ghost of Delbert Grady in the men's room. Later, Jack makes out with the woman in the restroom of room 237. And at the end, Wendy hides from Jack in a bathroom.
Stanley Kubrick: [Unhappy Marriage] Jack frequently gets mercilessly angry at Wendy, eventually to the brink of psychotic rage.