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
The light switches in the Overlook hotel are mounted high up on the wall as is typically done in England. In American buildings light switches are nearly always mounted down below the center of the wall. See more »
Hi, I've got an appointment with Mr. Ullman. My name is Jack Torrance.
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THE END appears as the closing credits have finished. See more »
"The Shining" initially opened on 10 screens in New York City and Los Angeles on Memorial Day weekend in 1980. Three days after the release of the film, Stanley Kubrick and Warner Bros. ordered all projectionists to cut about 2 minutes from the end of the film, and send the footage back to the studio. Starting after the closeup of frozen Jack, the camera goes to a pullback shot with part of a state trooper's car and the legs of troopers walking around in the foreground. We then cut to the hotel manager Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) walking down a hospital hallway to the nurse's station to inquire her (Robin Pappas} about Danny and Wendy. He's told they're both doing well and proceeds to Wendy's room. After some gentle conversation, he tells Wendy that searchers have been unable to locate any evidence of the apparitions she saw. Additionally, Jack's body cannot be located. We then cut to the camera silently roaming the halls of the Overlook Hotel for about a minute until it comes up to the wall with the photographs, where it [back to the ending as it is now known] fades in on the photo of Jack in the 1921 picture. See more »
Sometimes all good horror needs is a good idea. But sometimes, rarely indeed, a horror masterpiece will reach us by the hand of a Kubrick, with the adept, elusive touch of a great artist to guide the vision, and we know what separates it from all else.
Okay, the story has enough promise that even a hired gun would have to try to fail. Heck, even Stephen King himself didn't fare so bad. It's how Kubrick perceives King's universe however, how he fills the frame with it, that renders THE SHINING a feast for the senses.
Horror that will reach us through the mind and body alike, an assault as it were, tending eventually its pitch to a crescendo, yet curiously not without a delicate lull.
Kubrick's cinema is, as usually, a sight to behold. We get the adventurous camera that prowls through the lavish corridors of the Overlook Hotel like it is some kind of mystic labyrinth rife for exploration, linear tracking shots exposing impeccably decorated interiors in symmetric grandeur. The geometrical approach in how Kubrick perceives space reminds me very much of Japanese directors of some 10 years before. In that what is depicted in the frame, the elements of narrative, is borderline inconsequential to how they all balance and harmonize together.
Certain images stand out in this. The first shot of Jack's typewriter, ominously accompanied by the off-screen thumps of a ball, drums of doom that seem to emanate from the very walls or the typewriter itself, an instrument of doom in itself as is later shown. A red river flowing through the hotel's elevators in a poetry of slow motions. Jack hitting the door with the axe, the camera moving along with him, tracking the action as it happens, as though it's the camera piercing through the door and not the axe. The ultra fast zoom in the kid's face violently thrusting us inside his head before we see the two dead girls from his POV. And of course, the epochal bathroom scene.
Much has been said of Jack Nicholson's obtrusive overacting. His mad is not entirely successful, because, well, he's Jack Nicholson. The guy looks half-mad anyway. Playing mad turns him into an exaggerated caricature of himself. Shelley Duvall on the other hand is one of the most inspired casting choices Kubrick ever made. Coming from a streak of fantastic performances for Robert Altman in the seventies (3 WOMEN, THIEVES LIKE US, NASHVILLE), she brings to her character the right amounts of swanlike fragility and emotional distress. A delicate, detached thing thrown in with the mad.
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