A bona fide classic right here, I tell you h'what, and easily another one of my favorite movies. Sure, Kubrick needed to break the souls of everybody working on it, but their therapists needed the work anyway.
That's odd. Usually, the blood gets off at the second floor.
- Stanley Kubrick chose this particular book to adapt out of a huge pile of random books. According to his secretary, he'd read a few pages of a book, and if he didn't like it, he'd throw it against the wall. This would happen every few minutes, but the book-throwing ceased once he started reading The Shining.
- Stephen King has said that Kubrick would call him at 3 a.m. and ask him about his beliefs ("Do you believe in God" and all that), probably to more effectively understand the underlying themes and subtexts of the novel. This was all despite King telling him that it really was just a bunch of ghosts in a hotel.
- Jack Nicholson was always the first choice to play Jack Torrance. For Kubrick, anyway; King had some opinions of his own (more on that later). Robert De Niro was considered, but Kubrick didn't think he was crazy enough after watching him in Taxi Driver. Robin Williams was also considered, but Kubrick though he was too crazy after watching him in Mork and Mindy.
- The iconic "river of blood" shot was filmed on a miniature set and took over a year to film. Kubrick was never satisfied with the takes and test footage he was getting and had the effects team redo it over an over again until he thought it looked like real blood. Later on, Kubrick wanted to use the shot for the teaser trailer, but the MPAA wouldn't allow such a huge amount of blood in an approved for all audiences trailer. He convinced them it was rusty water.
- The Overlook Hotel in the novel was inspired by the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, but the movie's Overlook was based off of the Timberline Lodge in Oregon, where some of the exteriors were shot. The most significant difference between the hotels is the addition of a hedge maze in the Kubrick film. Instead of a maze, the novel features hedge animals that move in to attack the characters whenever no one is looking at them. Kubrick felt special effects at the time were not able to realistically portray these scenes, however, so out with the Weeping Hedges, in with the maze.
- Also in the movie but not in the novel: the Grady twins, the river of blood, and Jack's "novel".
- The lighting needed to fill the lounge set with sunlight actually lit it on fire late into production. After the movie wrapped, it was converted and used as the Well of Souls in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Jack Nicholson's experience as a volunteer fire marshal made short work of the fake bathroom door made for the axe scene, so they had to build a much stronger one for every following take. And of course...
...that was improvised.
Also, here's a clip of him getting himself psyched for the scene.
Isn't that just utterly wonderful?
- Kubrick is notorious for his sanity-pushing relations with his actors, and this film is no different. Jack Nicholson collapsed onto his bed and instantly fell asleep every night after a day of filming.Poor Shelly Duvall was once forced to do 123 takes of a single scene, and if co-screenwriter Diane Johnson is to be believed, many of her lines were cut because Kubrick was unsatisfied with her performance. Getting it even worst was Scatman Crothers who had to do 120 takes of a shot was simply the camera slowly zooming in on his face, and he had to do 40 takes of the shot where Nicholson swings the axe at his chest. It would have been 70 takes if Nicholson didn't convince Kubrick to ease up a bit. It got so stressful that Crothers actually broke down and cried. It was witnessing this misery that made Nicholson vow to never work with Kubrick again.
- Kubrick wasn't hard on everybody, though. He didn't want to mess up or scare child actor Danny Lloyd, so he took special precautions to make sure he never felt frightened or troubled while making the movie. He didn't even know what he was suppose to be staring at when his tricycle turned that fateful corner; Kubrick combined two separate shots of the hallway.
Lloyd didn't even know he was in a horror movie until he watched it several years later.
- Stephen King cameos as the party conductor in the scene where the ghosts are having a ball.
- Like most of Kubrick's works, The Shining has inspired deeper analysis and ridiculously detailed examinations of their hidden meanings. In recent years, especially, the movie has entertained examination by conspiracy theorists who believe that something much, much deeper is buried within the layers of the film. The theories that have developed range from the possibly feasible (the movie is a condemnation of the genocide of Native American life and culture) to the sort-of-bonkers (the movie is Kubrick confessing to his hand in faking the moon landing).
- But one thing that's been discovered by all these theorists is most certainly true: the Overlook's layout is impossible. The window in the main office, lounge, and apartment should be facing a wall and couldn't possibly be letting in sunlight, the hallways cross each other over when they shouldn't, the way to get into the golden ballroom changes between scenes, and there's doors to rooms that can't fit in that space, never mind next to each other. Not only that, but objects will move and be in different spots between takes. And we're not just talking about little things, like pens or cigarettes; furniture will be in different positions without the characters noticing. Jack's typewriter even changes models. It has been confirmed by the filmmakers that all of this is an intentional play to subtly make the audience uneasy. Without even realizing it, the hotel is subtly messing with your head.
- In every scene where Jack interacts with a ghost face-to-face, there is a mirror present. Make of that what you will.
- Depending on what language you are watching the movie in, the phrase repeated thousands of times in Jack's novel will be different.
- Stephen King has made it clear that he is not view this adaptation in the most favorable light. He feels it isn't straight-up scary enough, he hates this movie's version of Wendy Torrance, it constantly deviates from his novel in general, and it reworks the central dynamic of Jack's character to a degree his doesn't like. Essentially, Jack Torrance was written as a sane man who loses his sanity because his inability to fight the demons who haunt him, both external and internal (he has substance abuse problems, much like King had at the time). Kubrick's Jack is a lot less so: he's an already unstable guy who's trying to keep hold of what sanity he has left.
- This is the best scene in the whole movie:
Gawd, I love this movie.
Anyway, have an Jacksicle.