Theatrical release: May 23, 1980.
Filmed at EMI Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, England, and at the
Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon.
The shoot lasted from May 1978 through April 1979.
Estimated budget: $10-15 million.
Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick clashed over the production of THE
SHINING. One surreal anecdote records a telephone call from Kubrick
to King in the wee hours of the morning in which the director asked
the author, "Do you believe in God?" Upon answering yes,
Kubrick responded, "I thought so," and hung up. For years
King railed against the film but said he came to appreciate the
psychological style of horror that Kubrick was mining. A television
miniseries based on the novel follows the original story much more
faithfully--the screenplay for the miniseries was written by King
The topiary from the book was too difficult to reproduce, so the
hedge maze was created in its place.
The ominous snow was actually a mixture of Styrofoam and salt.
The use of the Steadicam, invented by camera operator Garrett Brown,
was revolutionary in its ability to get moving shots never before
Cowriters Kubrick and Diane Johnson read works by Sigmund Freud and
Bruno Bettelheim to prepare for the psychological nature of THE
Of horror films, Kubrick said, "I think the unconscious appeal
of a ghost story, for instance, lies in its promise of immortality.
If you can be frightened by a ghost story, then you must accept the
probability that supernatural beings exist. If they do, then there
is more than just oblivion waiting beyond the grave."
The interior of the Overlook Hotel was actually a huge set built in
a British studio.
Philip Stone also appeared in Kubrick's BARRY LYNDON and A CLOCKWORK
ORANGE; Joe Turkel also appeared in Kubrick's THE KILLING and PATHS
The film was originally shown with a final hospital scene, but
Kubrick quickly edited it out five days after the release, sending
editors on bicycles to the theaters to cut the scene.
The Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon, served as the Overlook
in exterior shots.
In the book, room 217 holds some evil secrets; the room number was
changed to 237 for the movie because there is no room 237 at the
Timberline Lodge--and the owners felt that no one again would have
ever stayed in room 217 after they'd seen the movie.
The book that Wendy Torrance is reading in the beginning of the film
is J.D. Salinger's THE CATCHER IN THE RYE--which deals with mental
instability and the urge to save a child.
The documentary MAKING "THE SHINING" was directed by
Vivian Kubrick--Stanley Kubrick's daughter--who, among other things,
followed around Jack Nicholson as he prepared for the "Here's
Johnny!" scene and interviewed the actors.
In the film Dick Halloran (Scatman Crothers) describes the shining
as the special ability to see the past and the future.
Shelley Duvall described her time making the picture as
"tumultuous"; she was in and out of ill health, partially
because of the stress of the role and being away from home for so
long. Despite several flare-ups with Kubrick, she was wholly
satisfied with the final film, and she said she learned more from
Kubrick during this shoot than she learned in all her other films.
About his detail and technical proficiency Kubrick has said, "Eisenstein
does it with cuts. Max Ophuls does it with fluid movements. Chaplin
is all content and little form. Nobody could have shot a film in a
more pedestrian way than Chaplin. Nobody could have paid less
attention to story than Eisenstein. ALEXANDER NEVSKY is, after all,
a pretty dopey story. POTEMKIN is built around a heavy propaganda
story. But both are great filmmakers."
When Jack Torrance finds a job as a caretaker for
an old abandoned hotel during the winter, he thinks of it as the
perfect place to focus on his writing. Even his son's misgivings
about the move don't deter him. But soon after the Torrances arrive,
strange things start happening...and it looks as if the spooky hotel
has a plan of its own for Jack and his family.
"Well, you can rest assured, Mr. Ullman,
that's not going to happen with me."--Jack Torrance (Jack
Nicholson) to Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) when told about a
previous caretaker who killed his entire family with an ax, then put
a shotgun in his own mouth
"Redrum! Redrum!"--Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd)
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
"You've always been the caretaker here, Mr.
Torrance."--Delbert Grady (Philip Stone) to Jack
"Heeeeere's Johnny!"--Jack (ad-libbed)
"Forever, and ever, and ever..."--Grady's daughters (Lisa
and Louise Burns) to Danny
"I'm not gonna hurt you. Wendy, darling, light of my life, I'm
not gonna hurt you. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said,
I'm not gonna hurt you. I'm just gonna bash your brains
in."--Jack to Wendy (Shelley Duvall)
"...The atmosphere of the hotel is properly
menacing and glamorous..."
Opening with spectacular aerial shots of a
beautiful, mountainous landscape, Stanley Kubrick's horror classic
THE SHINING, based on Stephen King's best-selling novel, sucks the
viewer into his frightening tale with quiet, relaxing visuals--but
the ominous soundtrack warns that all is not right at the gorgeous
Overlook Hotel. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson at his eyebrow-raising
best), a Vermont schoolteacher, accepts a job as the winter
caretaker of the glorious early-20th-century resort that operates
only in warm weather because the snowy roads deny access in the
colder months. Jack brings his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), with
him, as well as his young son, Danny (Danny Lloyd)--who brings with
him a little boy named Tony who lives in his mouth. As the Torrances
settle in for the long, lonely months ahead, strange, unexplainable
things start occurring in the hotel--and in every scene Jack seems
to be growing a little more evil and dangerous....
With superb camerawork (the Steadicam follows the evil through
narrow hallways and ornate rooms), extraordinary sound detail (the
scene in which Danny rides his Big Wheel across the Overlook's
hardwood and carpeted floors is an aural classic), and a terrifying
score (based on the work of Béla Bartók), THE SHINING is an
unforgettable masterpiece, a psychological supernatural thriller
featuring outstanding performances from Nicholson and Duvall--and a
cast of dead twin girls and suicidal ax-murdering ghosts, among
other bloodcurdling figures.
"...Spellbinding....Nicholson's Jack is one
of his most vibrant characterizations, furiously alive in every
frame and fueled by an explosive anger..."
Full Frame -
Single Side - Dual Layer
Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
Additional Release Material:
1. Original Theatrical Trailer
1. THE MAKING OF THE SHINING - Vivian Kubrick - Director