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. Actors Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd then walked about in the central section whilst the camera crew filmed it from the roof of the apartment building. The two shots were then simply composited together.
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.
At the time of release, it was the policy of the MPAA to not allow the portrayal of blood in trailers that would be approved for all audiences. Bizarrely, the trailer consists entirely of the shot of blood pouring out of the elevator. Stanley Kubrick had convinced the board the blood flooding out of the elevator was actually rusty water.
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.
Both 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. Both 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.
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.
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 the director 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 700,000 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 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, the author of the book on which the movie was based, 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."
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.".
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 both Robert De Niro and Robin Williams for the role of Jack Torrance but decided against both of 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.
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 The Shining and screened Eraserhead to put the cast and crew in the mood he wanted to achieve for the film.
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!"
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 127 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 35-45 times.
The scene where Wendy is running and sees a room where a man in a bear costume is having sex with the former hotel manager was never explained in the movie, leaving the audience very confused as to why it was there. In the book, during a year at the hotel the manager had a secret homosexual affair with a party guest dressed in a dog costume, which is the closest explanation.
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.
Jack Nicholson suggested Scatman Crothers for the film. Crothers had a tough time on "The Shining" with Stanley Kubrick making him do over 100 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.
There was no air conditioning on the sets, meaning it would often become very hot. The hedge maze set was stifling; actors 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.
Outtakes of the shots of the Volkswagen Beetle traveling 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).
Stephen King was first approached by Stanley Kubrick about making a film version of The Shining 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.
When Steadicam inventor/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 The Shining, one week in Philadelphia on Rocky, commuting by Concorde every Sunday.
Stephen King got the idea for The Shining 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 film but does in The Shining (1997) TV mini-series), and King had already been playing around with a story idea about a boy with ESP, so he combined the two plotlines.
Prior to hiring Diane Johnson as his writing partner, director/producer Stanley Kubrick rejected a screenplay written by Stephen King himself. 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.
Steadicam operator 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
To construct the interiors of the Overlook Hotel, Stanley Kubrick and his 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 ethic. Kubrick had sent many photographers around the country photographing hotel rooms and picking his favorite. For example, the red men's bathroom was modeled on a men's room in the Biltmore Hotel in Arizona designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Colorado lounge was modeled 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".
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 Stephen King novel.
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.
The Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon was used for the front exterior, but all 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.
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.
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.
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 sound stage space. The shadow of the helicopter in the opening shot was the result of a framing error.
Stanley Kubrick's perfectionism extended to insisting that the actors 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 hours earlier than usual.
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.
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.
According to Variety magazine, the film took almost 200 days to shoot. However, according to assistant editor Gordon Stainforth, it took much more, nearly a year. The film was originally supposed to take 17 weeks, but it ultimately took 51. Because the film ran so long, Warren Beatty's Reds (1981) and Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) were both delayed as they were both waiting to shoot in Elstree Studios.
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.
Despite receiving generally unfavorable reviews upon its initial release, the film is today regarded as one of the best horror movies ever made. In 2001, it was ranked 29th on AFI's '100 Years...100 Thrills' list. In 2003, Jack Torrance was named the 25th 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 5th greatest horror film in 2004. Bravo TV placed it 6th on their list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments in 2005. In addition, film critics Kim Newman and Jonathan Romney both placed it in their all-time top ten lists for the 2002 Sight and Sound poll.
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 making-of documentary shot by Vivian Kubrick shows that the hedge maze set, while nowhere near 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).
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.
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.
This film was shot in the same film studio that was used for Star Wars: Episode V - 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.
The Shining was eventually re-made 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.
Delbert Grady, the waiter/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.
Approximately 5000 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.
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.
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 9.8mm, which gives a horizontal viewing angle of 90 degrees) which was kept dead level at all times, to make the hedges seem much bigger and more imposing than they were in reality.
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.
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 first got the idea for Doctor Sleep in 1998 at a book signing when somebody asked him what happened to Danny. This was a question King had often asked himself as well as what would have happened to Jack Torrance had he found AA. King started thinking about how old Danny was and where was Wendy now and decided to find the answers with a sequel. But it was a tall order. He considered Doctor Sleep the true history of the Torrance family.
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.
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 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, says this to Wendy and Danny. The miniseries returns the line to Derwent. He reappears in Doctor Sleep and says the exact same thing and kills a member of The True Knot, a group of psychic vampires.
When Jack uses an axe to break through the bathroom door, he shouts "Here's Johnny". This is probably a reference to the catchphrase of chat-show host Johnny Carson. 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.
Conspiriologists point to Danny's "Apollo 11" jumper as "evidence" that Stanley Kubrick was involved in faking the footage of the Moon Landing, as well as pointing out that the carpet of the Overlook Hotel "looks like interlocking Moon Lander Modules".
The film's aspect ratio has always been 1.35:1 full screen, if filmed or viewed in 1.85:1 wide-screen the viewer will only see empty space and/or in some cases set pieces and props that would never be allowed in the shot, it was never specified why Stanley Kubrick filmed in full screen but some theories range from an artistic reason; by cramming as much of the action in the center of the frame as possible to give a "claustrophobic" feeling and add to the tension,to a personal belief that the film would just be cropped anyway into 1.35:1 for broadcast on television and any important imagery or scenery would be lost forever after the theatrical release anyway,(home video was not widely available at the time and even after it became popular it wasn't until the advent of DVD format where films preserved in their original aspect ratio) this is why the back of the DVD release says "full aspect ratio of the original camera negative,as Stanley Kubrick intended." as opposed to "This film has been modified from its original version, it has been formatted to fit your TV" it has never been formatted or modified at all.
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.
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.
Shelley Duvall is the only actor/actress playing a member of the Torrance family whose character name is not the same as his/her real life name - Jack Nicholson plays a character named Jack and Danny Lloyd plays a character named Danny.
Stanley Kubrick also made casting decisions for dubbing actors in other countries. In Spain actors Joaquín Hinojosa and Verónica Forqué did the voices of Jack and Wendy Torrence. Both actors had little experience in dubbing. In Spain, this dubbing is consider one of the worst dubbing ever made, due to that casting choice.
The outtakes link between this movie and Blade Runner (1982) was not the only element that connected the two. Actor Joe Turkel who plays Lloyd (the bartender who serves Jack), also played Dr. Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner (1982). Outtakes aside, Turkel is the only other common cast/crew link between both films.
Denver media was used twice in the film. While driving up to Sidewinder in a blinding snowstorm, 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 TV in the Overlook lodge was able to pick up Denver's channel 9. Actual on-air talent Bertha Lynn and Bill Custer taped a scripted segment for use on the Overlook's TV. The weather report that Halloran watched in Miami featured Glen Rinker, who was a well-known Florida news anchor at the time.
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.
Shelley Duvall appeared in two movies this year, " The Shining", and "Popeye". One was a huge hit and wound up being one of the most critically acclaimed horror movies ever made. And one was a huge dissapointment-a legendary bomb-which almost permanently derailed the careers of both Robert Altman and Robin Williams.
For a TV 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.
The two tracked vehicles in the movie are the Activ Fischer VW Powered 4 Speed Snow-Trak (referred to and labeled on the vehicle as a "SnowCat") and a Thiokol Imp Snow-Cat (this is the vehicle Wendy and Danny escape in).
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 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,OR where they filmed the exterior scenes of the hotel which was actually the Timberline Lodge on nearby Mt. Hood.
In the novel, Jack used to look in the window of a bar near his home and get tempted but drinking never made the thirst go away for him or Danny in the book sequel Doctor Sleep; this scene was recreated in the miniseries.
Longtime Denver-area television newscaster Bertha Lynn appears in both the movie version of The Shining (1980) and the miniseries The Shining (1997) in scenes where weather updates are broadcast on television.
According to Vivian Kubrick (Stanley's daughter) in her commentary to The Making Of The Shining, Margaret Adams (listed in the credits as the director's secretary, and also the Production Manager on Eyes Wide Shut) was the person who typed up all the hundreds of various "Dull Little Boy" pages that are used in The Shining. It apparently took her months.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
When first released, the film had an alternate ending: after the shot of Jack's body, the film dissolves to a scene of policemen outside the hotel. It then cuts to a scene in a hospital, where Wendy is resting in a bed and Danny is playing in a waiting room. Ullman arrives and tells her that they have been unable to locate her husband's body anywhere on the property. On his way out, Ullman gives Danny a ball - the same one that mysteriously rolled into a hallway earlier in the film, before Danny was attacked in room 237. Ullman laughs and walks away and the film dissolves to the move through the corridors towards the photo. Stanley Kubrick had the scene removed a week after the film was released.
Stanley Kubrick originally wanted approximately 70 takes of the scene where Halloran (Scatman Crothers) gets killed by Jack Torrance, but Jack Nicholson talked Kubrick into going easy on the 69-year-old Crothers and stopping after 40. At one point during the filming, Crothers became so exasperated with Kubrick's notorious, compulsive style of excessive retakes that he broke down and cried, asking "What do you want, Mr. Kubrick?".
For the scenes when Jack can be heard typing but what he is typing is off screen, Stanley Kubrick recorded the sound of a typist actually typing the words "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". Some people argue that each key on a typewriter sounds slightly different, and Kubrick wanted to ensure authenticity, so he insisted that the actual words be typed.
The 1921 photograph at the end of the film was a genuine 1920s photo, with Jack Nicholson's head airbrushed onto the body of another man. Stanley Kubrick originally planned to use extras and shoot the photo himself, but he realized he couldn't make it look any better than the real thing.
In Stanley Kubrick's original treatment, the resolution was completely different. Originally, instead of being confronted in her room by an axe wielding Jack after he is freed from the storage room by Grady, Wendy goes outside her room to see if Jack has indeed made his escape. He then jumps out and surprises her, chokes her and smashes her head into the wall. Wendy then takes her knife and stabs him in the stomach, fatally wounding him. As she attempts to crawl away, however, Jack remains alive, crawling in pursuit, in an ensuing struggle, she finally manages to kill him, only to hear the sound of a snow-cat arrive outside. She then attempts to locate Danny, only to find he is not where she left him. Dick Halloran then arrives at the door, only to encounter Grady. They have a brief conversation about "some business" Halloran has to finish, to which he then gets hold of an ax, and then manically pursues Danny, much like Jack does in the final film. However, with the knowledge that they both share the same telepathic gift, Danny uses this to his advantage, throwing Halloran into confusion. Then, just as it seems Halloran is about to murder the child, Wendy locates both of them, and goes berserk, violently stabbing Halloran to death. She then retrieves Danny, the two of them then bolt outside into the snow-cat and drive off. The camera would then focus on a scrapbook of the Hotel's history that Jack looked at early in the film, a mysterious hand comes in from off screen and takes it, followed the sound of receding footsteps. The film would then end.
The book that Jack was writing contained the one sentence ("All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy") repeated over and over. Stanley Kubrick had each page individually typed and can be seen doing so in Making 'The Shining' (1980). For the Italian version of the film, Kubrick used the phrase "Il mattino ha l' oro in bocca" ("He who wakes up early meets a golden day"). For the German version, it was "Was Du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf Morgen" ("Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today"). For the Spanish version, it was "No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano" ("Rising early will not make dawn sooner."). For the French version, it was "Un 'Tiens' vaut mieux que deux 'Tu l'auras'" ("A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush").
Stephen King was reportedly 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.
Steven Spielberg praised the scene in which Wendy finds Jack's "novel" and is confronted by him, as a great example of counter-intuitive direction by Stanley Kubrick. Spielberg noted that the obvious way of playing the scene would be to have Jack suddenly appear over Wendy's shoulder while she and the audience is preoccupied with the manuscript. Instead, Kubrick abruptly cuts away from Wendy to a shot from behind the pillar that tracks over to a distant view of Wendy from behind, thus preparing the audience for Jack's entrance into the frame and eliminating any shock of his appearance. Spielberg noted that Kubrick's unusual way of filming and editing the scene had two benefits: 1. It allowed the remainder of the sequence to maintain tension without a moment of relief that would follow from a "shock" and 2. By avoiding a surprise at that moment, Kubrick saved the biggest scare in the film for Hallorann's murder, in which Jack's sudden appearance does come as a shock.
In the novel, Wendy is first attacked by Jack with a roque mallet; in the movie, she serves the first blow to Jack with a baseball bat. Even more ironically, he never strikes her at all throughout the entire film; he becomes violent and homicidal with only one other character.
Alcohol consumption was a federal crime between 1919 and 1933. The year Jack appears to have photographed for the last scene (1921), and the year President Warren G. Harding (in the book) ordered a case of Coors Beer from the bar (1922) would have occurred during Prohibition.
In the novel, the Overlook burned to the ground because of the boiler that Jack Torrance neglected to dump, but in the film it's still standing by the end and Jack freezes to death in a hedge maze instead of going up with the hotel. The novel's ending was restored in the miniseries.
Early in the film, Danny leaves a doll lying around in the lobby of the hotel. It is black and wearing a red sweater. Later in the film, Dick Halloran is killed in the exact spot where the doll was lying.
Jack Nicholson plays a character named Jack, who, in the bar scene drinks Jack Daniels. The character's son is named Danny - played by an actor named Danny (Lloyd). And the name of the bartender who serves Jack the Jack Daniels is named - Lloyd.
This is the very first film of Stanley Kubrick's to include the use of a steadicam. He found the current camera's on set to be almost obsolete for the type of shots he wanted to achieve during filming. He wanted a free and full range of view, but wanted the shots to be smooth and precise. When a colleague suggested that he use a then still newly developed piece of technology Kubrick was hesistant. Kubrick shot with a steadicam for many days before eventually allowing it's usage in the film. It's usage can been seen in the film during such scenes as when the camera is following Danny on his tricycle through the halls of the Overlook Hotel and when he and Jack are running through the Hedge maze near the end of the film. The Shining is also one of the first dozen films to use a steadicam.
The main character/antagonist in this film is named "Jack Torrance." In 2007, a man came forward to police that he suspected his stepfather, Jack Tarrence, to be the infamous, and as of 2016, unidentified Zodiac Killer that terrorized the Bay Area in the 60s and 70s. DNA evidence on Tarrence's belongings has been deemed inconclusive.