A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.
Robert De Niro,
Haunted by a persistent writer's block, the aspiring author and recovering alcoholic, Jack Torrance, drags his wife, Wendy, and his gifted son, Danny, up snow-capped Colorado's secluded Overlook Hotel after taking up a job as an off-season caretaker. As the cavernous hotel shuts down for the season, the manager gives Jack a grand tour, and the facility's chef, the ageing Mr Hallorann, has a fascinating chat with Danny about a rare psychic gift called "The Shining", making sure to warn him about the hotel's abandoned rooms, and, in particular, the off-limits Room 237. However, instead of overcoming the dismal creative rut, little by little, Jack starts losing his mind, trapped in an unforgiving environment of seemingly endless snowstorms, and a gargantuan silent prison riddled with strange occurrences and eerie visions. Now, the incessant voices inside Jack's head demand sacrifice. Is Jack capable of murder?Written by
James Brolin and Harrison Ford were considered for the role of Jack Torrance. Harrison Ford was probably not the right type though; his closest Shining type role would have been 1986s The Mosquito Coast, also about an obsessed man terrorizing his family; but that was not very well received. Brolin on the other hand might have been too on the nose, having just completed The Amityville Horror a year earlier which had almost exactly the same plotline; a man, George Lutz; is disturbed by ghosts in his house of another man who killed his family; and is almost moved to do the same. Brolin was definitely scary enough; and could have probably done a more convincing arc from normal guy to psycho than Jack Nicholson did, and probably would have pleased some skeptics of the film like Stephen King. But if Brolin was cast, all people would see is the plot similarities between Amityville and the Shining; everyone would have dismissed Shining as a ripoff, and the striking originality of The Shining and it's artistry would be lost. What's ingenious about casting Nicholson is it's taking typecasting and turning it on it's head: In One Who Flew Over The Cukoos Nest, Nicholson played Randle (Pat) Murphy, a lovable, heroic psycho who is terrorized by a female villainous woman, Nurse Ratchett. In Shining he's still a psycho, but instead of being lovable and heroic, he is evil; a symbol of mankind's neverending depravity itself; and instead of being terrorized by a woman like he is in Cukoo's nest he is instead terrorizing his wife. And unlike in Cukoo's nest, where he is trying to escape his home; a mental institution; in the Shining he loves his home, the Overlook Hotel; and desperately wants to stay there; even Wendy desperately asks him to leave. See more »
When Jack calls Wendy after his interview, there is a woman behind him, in a chair, reading a magazine. Her body is turned completely to the right, with her head up. The scene cuts to Wendy saying, "Sounds like you got the job." When it cuts back to Jack, the woman is turned completely left with her head down. See more »
Hi, I've got an appointment with Mr. Ullman. My name is Jack Torrance.
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After the 146 minute version of the film was met with poor reviews and weak box office in the US, Stanley Kubrick re-edited the film for European release, removing 24 minutes of footage. Included in the removed footage were the entire performances of Anne Jackson as the Doctor and Tony Burton as Larry. However, both Jackson and Burton's names were still listed in the opening credits despite them no longer appearing in the film. See more »
The opening Warner Bros. logo was originally a red background with a black television-shaped box in the center, with three white lines meant to represent a "W." For later releases, this was replaced with the traditional Warner Bros. shield. See more »
When this film first came out in 1980, I remember going to see it on opening night. The sheer terror that I experienced in viewing "The Shining" was enough to make me go to bed with the lights turned ON every night for an entire summer. This movie just scared the life out of me, which is what still happens every time I rent the video for a re-watch. I have seen The Shining at least six or seven times, and I still believe it to be simultaneously and paradoxically one of the most frightening and yet funniest films I've ever seen. Frightening because of the extraordinarily effective use of long shots to create feelings of isolation, convex lens shots to enhance surrealism, and meticulously scored music to bring tension levels to virtually unbearable levels. And "funny" because of Jack Nicholson's outrageous and in many cases ad-libbed onscreen antics. It never ceases to amaze me how The Shining is actually two films in one, both a comedy AND a horror flick. Ghostly apparitions of a strikingly menacing nature haunt much of the first half of the film, which gradually evolve into ever more serious physical threats as time progresses. Be that as it may, there is surprisingly little violence given the apparent intensity, but that is little comfort for the feint of heart as much of the terror is more implied than manifest. The Shining is a truly frightening movie that works symbolically on many levels, but is basically about human shortcomings and the way they can be exploited by unconscious forces combined with weakness of will. This film scares the most just by using suggestion to turn your own imagination against you. The Shining is a brilliant cinematic masterpiece, the likes of which have never been seen before or since. Highly, highly recommended. - Paul
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